Cuban Travel Tip # 8
Unfortunately in Cuba, public transportation is difficult. Buses are unbelievably crowded, make milk run stops and are best left to the young, adventurous backpackers with time and a Freudian desire for inconvenience.
Trains, are slow, crowded, subject to frequent breakdowns and delays. This mode too should only be considered by the courageous traveler. Frequently, a train is stopped because the rails have been stolen. When this occurs, passengers are often loaded into open trucks to complete their journey.
If you want to experience the island like a Cuban climb aboard. The train runs from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, the buses service every population center.
Rental cars are scarce in season and expensive by our standards. The lowest price I have found is around $70.00/day. I pay for my cars here with my travel agent and save the currency conversion charge. If you’re staying in Havana, it might be wise to delay picking up the car for a few days. Driving in Havana takes some getting used to.
English speaking drivers are readily available. Most are college educated and very reliable. Keep in mind when you hire a Cuban, he or she accepts responsibility for your safety. Sounds too good to be true…. but it is.
Another option used by visiting Cubans is to rent a private car. It’s cheap….but illegal. In case of an accident or a routine stop, it could jam you up.
I like horse taxis – or you can bring your own.