Transportation in Havana

by Female Abroad

When it comes to Cuba, there are so many different forms of transportation that it can make your head spin! To make sure that we got the right one as well as not ripped off I dove into research and below is a list of what I've found. UPDATE: this article has been updated with our trip experience, Prices are 2022.

When it comes to Cuba, there are so many different forms of transportation that it can make your head spin! To make sure that we got the right one as well as not ripped off I dove into research and below is a list of what I've found. UPDATE: this article has been updated with our trip experience and photos. Make sure to check out the blog section to hear more about our trip.

Gran Car / Classic Taxis

These are everywhere and it is what we travelled in just because that is what our tour had arranged for us. The rides were comfy but there are some that are very rough so you have to be very careful as to what you decide to hire.

Range from Ford Model T's to 1957 Chevy's

Licensed to transport tourists

Will have "Gran Car" on the side

They can be found in tourist areas and in front of expensive hotels (a la Hotel Nacional)

Usually drive along predetermined routes (most of the time Old Havana)

can be hired to take you anywhere, money speaks!

CUC 20 - 30/hour

Cuba Taxi

We saw a lot of these at the airport but none in downtown Havana as the majority of the city is pedestrian only however you could catch them randomly along the Malecon and by the cruise ship terminal on the Malecon.

all cab's in Cuba as of 2008

Some still work under the name Panataxi, Turistaxi, Transgaviota, and Taxi OK

Panataxi: cheapest of these taxi's (yellow old-style cabs without air conditioning)

Turistaxi (Tourist Taxi): Hyundai's & KIA's with air conditioning

**illegal to haggle on the price for the Turistaxi so make sure the meter is on

All of them will be white with red signs or yellow with black signs and a "licensed taxi" sticker

can be called at 7/855-5555-59

all tourist taxi's have a meter

Make sure that the meter is running and agree on a price before you get in the cab if you driver tells you it is broken, they are going to scam you

There is a daytime meter (code 1) and a night time meter (code 4) as these codes will calculate a different price per km

rates vary but usually start at CUC 1 for the first km and then CUC 0.50 to 0.85 per each additional km

if you have a driver that doesn't want to turn the meter on and you have to catch this one, offer CUC 5 for the ride if you are going within the boundaries of the city

Local Taxi Colectivos / Almendrones

To catch these, the locals would walk down the street with cash in their hand sticking out. It really seemed like they were trying to hitchhike but with gas money. On the highways there were a lot of "buses" like the one in the photo below that would just pick up these cash hitchhikers as they went.

Old cars (1950's Chevrolets) "Almendrones" (old car)

Allowed to pick up foreigners since Feb. 2011


Recognizable by the taxi sign in the front window

Another clue, people regularly get in and out of them

Offer a one way route usually along the Viazul bus line routes: Parque Central at the corner of Prado and Neptune to Miramar or Mariano

People stand along the route and hop in/out

Usually charge tourists in CUC If you can speak Spanish you'll be charged in CUP

To help with not being overcharged, don't get in at the hotel or Parque Central

If you wish to take it raise your hand when you see the car coming

don't say anything, just get in

once inside, give the street you are going not the exact address

don't ask how much

if you are going to the tunnel: CUP 10

if you are going to Miramar or Mariano: CUP 20

pay the driver as you get out of the vehicle

make sure to have exact change

Coco Taxi

These were mostly around tourist sites like the Capitol building and city hall. There would be about a dozen of them sitting together while they call out to tourists, trying to get their attention.

Touristy and unique

Expensive (CUC 5 - 10 per hour or CUC 0.50/km)

normally they will try to charge you more so make sure to haggle

you sit in a "coconut" shell that is attached to a motor bike

looks like a giant helmet

yellow ones are for tourists

black and yellow ones are for locals and are a lot cheaper

can be called at 7/873-1411

Horse Drawn Carriages

These were mostly around the underpass area that would take you over to the fort. Not many of them and they usually take the quieter streets around Old Town but they could not go on a lot of the pedestrian streets (too narrow) and most didn't go on the Malecon if they didn't have to.

Found just in Old Town (La Habana Vieja)

Tourists only

Pricing varies from CUC 5 - 30/hour

Yellow Lada

Did not see any of these or if we did then we just thought they were a regular cab.

Long yellow and black cab's

0.40 CUC/km

not allowed to pick up at or near tourist hotels

Gua Gua (Bus)

Ran mostly along the main street (ex. Malecon) and looked just like a regular bus. There is also a hop on/off one as well.

Pick pocketers are common

Experience the real Cuba


Available for rental

CUC 24/day or CUC 150/week

Pick up from Dos Gardenias or outside of the bus station on Avenida 26

Cuba is one of the few countries in which private cab drivers decide their working hours, the routes and even the fare one pays. The authorities are aware of this, but, instead of organizing things better, they apply steep fines on cab drivers so as to get more money out of them. The locals like to get in this action by driving:

Boteros / Taxi Particulares (Private Taxis)

Privately owned vehicle used to transport people down a set route (similar to Colectivos)

Price will usually be on par with the government run taxis but they are more willing to haggle

Bicitaxi (Bicycle Taxis)


A pedal bike with a bench seat behind it, usually with a cover

seats 2 people

Cheapest way around

CUC 0.80 to 1 per km or trip

make sure to barter and agree on a price beforehand

Illegal to operate

if you are caught the driver gets in trouble not the rider

If a police officer is near by, the driver will kick you off and tell you where to meet them to continue the trip

drivers will refuse to drop you off right at your hotel

they might be paranoid about the money transfer (in case a cop is watching)

Now that you what you can take as well as what you want to take, I will let you with a couple hints of wisdom.

  1. Divers are friendly but its only to get you to part with your money so don't get fooled by it!
  2. If you are going to be taking a lot of cabs or wanting a private tour, befriend one of these drivers as they will be more than happy to provide you a service if you are going to pay for it
  3. They will try to sell you everything (cigars, women, booze) just politely decline as you never know what you are getting yourself into!

Now go out and enjoy Havana, you've learned enough to do just that!

Also, if you are arriving at Havana's airport make sure to check out my Airport - Havana article.