If you are planning a trip to Cuba and need to get around, you may be wondering about the options for taxis and ride-hailing services. Here is a guide to help you navigate the transportation system in Cuba.
Taxis in Cuba
Taxis are readily available in Cuba, especially in the larger cities such as Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Camagüey. However, it’s important to note that there are two types of taxis: official state-owned taxis and private taxis.
Official state-owned taxis
Official taxis in Cuba are operated by the state and are easily recognizable by their yellow color and a taxi sign on the roof. These taxis are usually newer models and are equipped with meters. They are also generally considered to be safer than private taxis.
Private taxis in Cuba are owned by individuals and are often older models. They are typically painted in bright colors and do not have a taxi sign on the roof. Private taxis do not have meters, so it’s important to negotiate the fare before getting in the taxi.
Official taxis in Cuba charge fares based on a meter, which starts at 0.50 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) and then charges 1.00 CUC per kilometer. Private taxis do not have meters, so the fare is negotiable. It’s important to agree on the fare before starting the journey.
Ride-hailing services in Cuba
Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are not currently available in Cuba. However, there are local ride-hailing services that operate in Havana and other major cities.
Almendrones are shared taxis that operate on specific routes in Havana and other cities. They are usually vintage American cars from the 1950s and are painted in bright colors. The fare for an almendrone is typically 10 to 20 Cuban pesos, depending on the distance traveled.
Ruteros are another form of shared taxi that operates on specific routes in Havana. They are small buses that have a set fare of 1 Cuban peso per ride. Ruteros are popular with locals and can be crowded during peak hours.
Booking a taxi or ride-hailing service in Cuba
Booking a taxi or ride-hailing service in Cuba can be done in several ways:
- Hailing a taxi on the street: Taxis can be hailed on the street in major cities, although it’s important to ensure that it is an official taxi.
- Using an app: Local ride-hailing services in Cuba have their own apps, such as Sube and Alamesa. These apps allow you to book a taxi and track your driver.
- Hotel concierge: Hotel concierges can arrange for a taxi to pick you up and can also provide information about the fare.
- Private taxi drivers: Private taxi drivers can be found outside major tourist attractions and can be negotiated with for a fare.
While ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are not currently available in Cuba, taxis and local ride-hailing services such as almendrones and ruteros are readily available in major cities. It’s important to note the differences between official state-owned taxis and private taxis, as well as the fare structure for each. Booking a taxi or ride-hailing service in Cuba can be done in several ways, including using local apps, hotel concierges, or hailing a taxi on the street.