Is there Uber In Cuba 2023?

Is There Uber In Cuba In 2024? The Best Ways To Getting Around Cuba!

Are you planning a trip to the unique and extraordinary island of Cuba and wondering; is there Uber in Cuba yet?

That would have been amazing; as a female solo traveler, I love Uber!

But unfortunately, the answer to that question is no; there is no Uber in Cuba – at least not yet!

With any luck, that might change in the future as Cuba is becoming more “online.”

Meanwhile, it is important that you know the best way to get around in Cuba when you are visiting!

Affiliate disclosure

Without Uber in Cuba – How Do I Travel Around?

On my way to the airport in a classic American taxi car!
On my way to the airport in a classic American taxi car

I traveled for almost two years in Cuba before I “moved” there in January 2021, and the public transportation system in Cuba really is next level to understand for us foreigners.

You do need patience and preferably a chunk of Spanish!

Here is some life-saving and simplifying information about transport in Cuba, taxis, buses, and how to navigate!

Is There Uber In Havana Cuba?

Ther classic American cars are everywhere in Cuba, like here in the narrow streets of old and central Havana. Some are tour taxis, and others are just normal taxis!
There are old American classic cars everywhere in Cuba

So, unfortunately, still no – not even in the capital city, Havana, is there Uber or any other ride-sharing app.

So, how do you make sure you get where you want to go and do all the things you want to do?

Not only in Havana but in all other popular destinations like Vinales, Varadero, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos?

Well, there are a lot of taxis in Havana, in two categories. One legal, and one “illegal” – or registered and unregistered. Read more about that below.

But first things first, let’s start with transport to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana!

Havana Airport Taxi

Is there a Havana Airport taxi?

Yes, outside the airport in Havana, there are always taxis waiting for arriving travelers and hardly ever any waiting lines to get one.

The price should be around €25-30, and the taxi drivers accept (and prefer) that you pay in euros or dollars in cash.

(The monetary system in Cuba is a bit complicated; you can read more about money in Cuba here if you want to learn more).

Taxis in Cuba can be classic American cars!

The special thing about arriving in Havana is that you will normally be completely offline. Your phone will not connect to the 4G net in Cuba.

Although there is a wifi net at the airport on arrivals, where foreign tourists should be able to connect for two hours, I have not yet experienced it working.

This means you will probably be offline until you can get a wifi scratch card and connect through a wifi hotspot.

You can read all you need to know about wifi in Cuba here.

So if you prefer to make sure someone knows your name and, more importantly, address and is ready to pick you up as you exit the baggage hall at Jose Marti Airport, you can book private airport transportation to pick you up when you arrive.

Another way of doing this is asking if your host in your Havana casa particular , which are private homes, can arrange a pick-up for you.

Many casa hosts in Havana can provide a taxi to get you from and to the airport.

The price will be approximately the same as an airport taxi outside the arrival hall.

Hassle-Free Prebooked Airport Taxi In Havana

A good peace-of-mind option for your first visit to Havana is to book your pick-up through a secure online provider, where the taxi is also prepaid online before your arrival.

The driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall holding a sign with your name on it – already knowing the address you are going to, guiding you out of the airport, and getting you safely and fast to your casa or hotel.

Once you have arrived, you can check in and orient yourself, and ask your hosts or the staff for the best ways to get around from exactly where you are staying.

Urban Taxi In Cuba

Aerial overview of the Vedado city district in Havana
Aerial overview of the Vedado city district in Havana

In all Cuban towns, there are registered taxis (and unregistered taxis), but there are no immediate online taxi services or apps like you are used to in most other places

Cubans have a gazillion telephone numbers for different taxi drivers saved in their phones and are members of taxi WhatsApp groups.

They can call lots of taxi drivers (that they have used and trust) to find one that is available, or post a fare request on a WhatsApp group.

But what can you do as a tourist?

Are There Taxis In Havana?

You might want to taxe the classic American tour around Havana that lasts one or two hours, and takes you to all the popular sights of Havana like here: the Plaza de la Revolucion!
Take the Classic American Car Tour of Havana, which stops by Plaza de la Revolucion!

Yes, there are a lot of taxis in Havana to find.

During the daytime and evening, it is easy to hail a taxi in the most touristy areas of Havana, like the outskirts of the Old City, Parque Central, and the Vedado.

During the off-hours, however, after midnight and in the early morning, it might be hard to hail a taxi in the streets of Havana.

Also, outside the tourist track, it is not always super easy to find a taxi (that is available) when you want it.

So for you as a tourist, if you can not find a taxi in the street in the tourist zones, ask your hotel staff or casa host if they can get one for you.

Your hotel or casa probably will not pre-define a price, so make sure you have that conversation with the taxi driver that arrives before you get in!

If you choose to stay at a casa particular in Old Havana, you are within walking distance to a myriad of the city sights, bars, and restaurants!

Registered Havana Taxis

To visit El Morro fortress across the bay, you might want a taxi!
To visit El Morro fortress across the bay you might want a taxi

The registered taxis are the ones that are allowed to work as taxis, and the others are “pirate” taxis in Western vocabulary.

The registered taxis come in all shapes and forms, from the yellow and black typical modern car taxis to ordinary cars, to the classic American cars that are also registered as official taxis.

You can look for the “taxi” sign in the window or ask the driver if he is a registered taxi (he will have a permit).

When you hail a taxi in Havana or anywhere in Cuba, there is no meter running. Make sure you agree on a price beforehand before you get in!

The asking price from the driver will be higher if you look like a lost tourist who only speaks English than if you look like a seasoned Havana visitor who speaks Spanish. FYI 🙂

How Much Is A Taxi In Cuba?

Like the prices of everything in Cuba, the prices of taxi service has increased across the country along with the pandemic and the domestic currency reforms.

You might expect to pay around €10, or 2000 Cuban pesos, to go from Vedado to Old Havana, which is an 8-10 minute drive.

Taxi prices normally are a bit more expensive in Havana than in other destinations in Cuba, like Varadero, probably as a result of “supply and demand” mechanisms.

That can mean that when you book a taxi collectivo (shared taxi) or privado (private taxis) from Havana to Trinidad, it probably will be a bit more expensive than when you book a taxi collectivo or privado from Trinidad to Havana!

The informal currency value (street value) may also differ a bit from where you are in the country.

One dollar or euro (MLC) can have one value in Havana and a slightly different one in Trinidad or Varadero on the same day.

You can check the official and unofficial Peso Cubano values here, or read this article with everything about money in Cuba!

Bici Taxi In Cuba

You an get a bicycle taxi to take you from A to B in Havana for shorter distances.

Every city and town in Cuba has bicycle taxis that will take you through the narrow city streets for short distances where you want to go!

From Old Havana to Central Havana, a bit dependent on the distance, you may expect to pay between 500 and 1000 pesos for a bici taxi a few blocks in the streets of Havana.

500 pesos will get you around 6-7 blocks, so check with your offline map how far you are going to evaluate the bici taxi price!

Taxi Collectivos In Cuba

Taxi collectivo in Cuba: Share a taxi with friends - or strangers!
Share a taxi with friends or strangers

Shared taxis, or taxi collectivos, is a great option for a group of up to four people or if you travel alone!

As a solo traveler, you can book a seat in a taxi collectivo, that you share with other travelers going to the same destination.

Your casa host or hotel will be able to help you book a seat in a taxi collectivo to where you are going. Pay the driver in cash!

One seat in a taxi collectivo from Havana to Trinidad (around 4 hour’s drive) should be around €35-40.

Your casa host or hotel can also help you get a taxi privado, a normal taxi if you need help getting one or want to pre-book for a specific time.

A taxi privado from Havana to Trinidad will be around €140-160 and up, great for a group or if you just want to chillax in the back seat by yourself!

Havana Varadero Taxi

Hicacos Peninsula and Varadero beach paradise are two hours from Havana!
Hicacos Peninsula and Varadero beach paradise are two hours from Havana

If you are flying into Havana but are going immediately to Varadero, you can find a taxi at the airport when you arrive that will take you to Varadero.

I do recommend, though, that you have pre-booked that taxi, or even the Viazul bus trip, to take you.

You can get a private taxi service from Havana – Varadero here to pick you up at the Jose Marti Airport when you arrive, straight into the car, and off on the around two-and-a-half-hour drive to Varadero.

Viazul Buses From Havana Airport

The Viazul bus is a comfy, budget, and fairly reliable transport option in Cuba!
The Viazul bus is a comfy budget and fairly reliable transport option in Cuba

You can also book a Viazul bus ticket if the Viazul departure from Joses Marti Airport to Varadero fits with your arrival time!

The Viazul bus ticket is only $9, booked online before arrival, and takes you to the Omnibus station (also Viazul bus station) in Varadero Town.

You need internet access to book online, and without a Cuban sim card, you will not be connected to the data net. Foreign sim cards and mobile phones do not connect to the cellular provider Etecsa 4G net.

Your best options are booking tickets before you arrive in Cuba if you can.

You will also be able to pay for a Viazul ticket at the bus station in Cuba, but only with credit cards – not with cash!

This is important to notice for American tourists, as US credit cards do not work in Cuba due to the ongoing sanctions, to booking a Viazul ticket for a U.S. citizen can be a bit challenging!

If you book the bus from the airport in Cuba, remember that you need enough time to get through customs, get your luggage, and be present around one hour before departure time.

Your arrival time should be at least three hours prior to Viazul’s departure time.

Cuba Bus Services

There are long-haul bus service options in Cuba, as well as city bus services in Cuban towns, called guagua’s or ruta’s.

For the long-haul trips you have planned in Cuba, I recommend using the Viazul bus service which is fairly reliable (the occasional break-down of buses).

It is also the cheapest way to travel, and I would argue the comfiest! In many ways that can be the best and overall easiest way to travel long-haul!

I have used Viazul going from Havana to Varadero, to Vinales, and even all the way to Santiago de Cuba in the east (20 hours)!

Taking The City Bus In Havana

Some city buses look like the traditional school buses in the United States! The guaguas come in various forms in Havana and the rest of the cuban cities as well!
Some city buses look like the traditional school buses in the US

For the city bus systems, the guguas, I do not recommend spending time and energy on a short holiday to make sense of that, unless you are really adventurous and enjoy going local!

Taking the city bus in Havana is absolutely possible, but it will be more of an adventure than effective transport from A to B!

Expect to wait in long lines, unpredictable departure times, and a whole lot of debate between the Cubans waiting in line about the horrible state of affairs with the buses.

There is no current online overview of the routes of guagua’s (buses) or rutas (mini-buses that go a fixed route) – and there definitely are no trustworthy departure times!

Traffic in front of the Capitolio just before sunset

But if you want to embark on the adventure it is to understand the Havana city public buses, check this online route overview from Habanatrans.

The really great thing about the guagua’s and rutas, is the price! Travel between Old Havana and the Vedado cost between 2 and 5 Peso Cubano, which is less than 5 cents!

This is probably also the most iconic way (at least authentic) to travel around Cuban cities.

But make sure you are not in a hurry making your way through the long colas (lines) and random departures because it will take time, so better to think of it as an adventure.

Havana Varadero Bus

The Viazul bus does not just depart from the Havana airport; you can also book a Viazul ticket from the Omnibus station in Havana, close to the Plaza de la Revolucion, to various destinations in Cuba.

This is possibly the best option if you plan to spend some days in Havana and then venture to beach haven Varadero or other Cuban destinations.

To mention the most popular destinations, the Viazul bus from the Omnibus station goes to Varadero, Vinales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and even Santiago de Cuba.

But you will be dependent on the departure schedule, and the trip will usually take a lot longer than a direct taxi service will take.

But it is cheaper!

FAQ’s Taxi In Cuba

You have arrived at the airport in Cuba - now, how to get around?
You have arrived at the airport now how to get around

How Much Is A Taxi From Havana Airport To Old Havana?

A taxi from Havana Airport Jose Marti to Old Havana should be around €25-30.

You will find taxis outside the arrival exit, and you can pay with euros and dollars.

Do Hotels In Havana Have Free Taxi Service?

The rooftop terrace at the Iberostar Grand Packard in Havana at night!
The rooftop terrace at the Iberostar Grand Packard in Havana at night

Hotels and Casas in Havana and Cuba normally do not have free taxi service or pick-up from the airport or bus station.

I have stayed in several high-end hotels and resorts all over the island, and hotels and resorts normally require you to pay for your own hotel transfer.

Your hotel or casa will probably be able to arrange a pick-up at the airport upon your arrival, which you pay directly to the taxi driver at a pre-defined price.

FAQs Cuba Travel

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct. US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US Government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist. Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

American citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people”. There is no paperwork or application process connected to this, you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba, apart from hopefully, the US citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter with Cuban culture.

US citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, there is no requirement for specific vaccines prior to entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider before entering Cuba.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

It is possible to buy a Cuban tourist card at Miami International Airport at the check-in counter with American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now. There are no COVID or health restraints from entering Cuba right now.

There are no political constraints from entering Cuba right now for most international travelers.

American citizens need to, in addition, choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Wrap-Up Is There Uber In Cuba?

So the disappointing answer to the Uber-In-Cuba question is still: no, there is no Uber taxi or other ride-hailing services in Cuba – unfortunately.

Private and collective taxis in Cuba are generally operated by independent drivers, although some are also working for Cuban tourist services or private pre-arranged transfer services providing door-to-door transfer.

I hope you feel less disappointed and more encouraged after reading this article with advice on how to get around Havana, as well as other Cuban cities, and longer distances in Cuba for long-haul journeys between destinations!

FAQs Cuba Travel

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct. US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US Government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist. Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

American citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people”. There is no paperwork or application process connected to this, you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba, apart from hopefully, the US citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter with Cuban culture.

US citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, there is no requirement for specific vaccines prior to entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider before entering Cuba.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

It is possible to buy a Cuban tourist card at Miami International Airport at the check-in counter with American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now. There are no COVID or health restraints from entering Cuba right now.

There are no political constraints from entering Cuba right now for most international travelers.

American citizens need to, in addition, choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Even without Uber – you will be fine, and transport might be weirder and a bit funnier (think of it as a road trip)!

Happy Planning 🙂

Related blog posts:

42 Legendary Things To Do Havana Cuba! Ultimate Havana Guide!

8 Top Tours In Havana To Truly Explore This Infamous Capital In!

8 Amazing Top-Rated Casa Particular Havana Old City!

My Resource Go-To List For Best Travel Booking Deals!

Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway,

Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator

Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance

VPN Secure Internet: ExpressVPN

Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card

Car Rentals Online: Discover Cars

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