Planning a trip to the unique and extraordinary island of Cuba and wondering if there are Ubers 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 at the beginning of 2023.
With any luck that might change in the future as Cuba is becoming more “online”, but meanwhile, it is important that you know exactly how to get around in Cuba when you are visiting!
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Transport And Taxi In Cuba!
I traveled for almost two years in Cuba before I “moved” there in January 2021, and the public transport 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!
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Is There Uber In Havana Cuba?
So, unfortunately, still no – not even in the capital Havana will you find Ubers at the beginning of 2023.
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!
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 in January 2023, and the taxi drivers accept (and prefer) the pay in euros.
The special thing about arriving in Havana is that you will not be online.
Your phone will not connect to the 4G net in Cuba, and there is no wifi you can connect to – paid or free (you need to buy the Etecsa scratch card first).
So if you prefer to make sure someone knows your name, and address, and is ready to pick you up as you exit the baggage hall at Jose Marti Airport you can book a private airport transport pick-up before you arrive.
One way of doing this is asking if your host in your Havana casa particular can arrange a pick-up for you, many casa hosts in Havana can provide a taxi to get you from and to the airport.
Or you can book from a prepaid online taxi service provider.
Hassle-Free Prebooked Airport Taxi In Havana
A second option is to book the pick-up through a secure online provider, where the taxi is also paid for before your arrival.
The taxi 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 to your casa or hotel.
Urban Taxi In Cuba
In all Cuban towns, there are registered taxis (and unregistered taxis), but there are no immediate online taxi services that 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?
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
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 taxis to ordinary cars, to the classic American cars that are also registered as 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 that only speaks English, than if you look like a seasoned Havana-visitor, that 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.
In January 2023 you might expect to pay around €10, or 1500 Pesos Cubano, to go from Vedado to Old Havana.
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 or privado 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
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.
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
Shared taxis, or taxi collectivos, is a great option for a grup 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 drive) should be around €35-40 in January 2023.
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 in January 2023, great for a group, or if you just want to chillax in the back seat by yourself!
Havana Varadero Taxi
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 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 Bus From Havana Airport
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 in Varadero Town.
Remember that you need enough time to get through customs, get your luggage, and be present around one hour before departure. Your arrival time should be at least two 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), and it is cheap.
I have used Viazul going from Havana to Varadero, to Vinales, and all the way to Santiago de Cuba (20 hours)!
Taking The City Bus In Havana
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!
But if you want to embark on the adventure it is to understand the Havana city bus system, 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!
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 a great option if you have planned to spend some days in Havana, and then venture on to Varadero or other Cuban destinations.
The Viazul bus from Omnibus station goes to Varadero, Vinales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and even Santiago de Cuba to mention the most popular destinations.
But you will be dependent on the departure schedule, and the trip is usually a lot longer than a direct taxi service will use. But it is cheaper!
FAQ’s Taxi In Cuba
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 in January 2023.
You will find taxis outside the arrival exit, and you can pay with euros.
Do Hotels In Havana Have Free Taxi Service?
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.
Wrap-Up Is There Uber In Cuba?
So the disappointing answer to the Uber-In-Cuba question is still no, unfortunately.
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!
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 🙂
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