Hail a Cuba Taxi

For getting around the cities, a Cuba taxi is often your most convenient option. I don’t recommend using a taxi to get from one city to another (there are bus lines for that) but you can get around town in a taxi without denting your budget.

The most comfortable (and most expensive) taxis in Cuba are the government-run and licenses ones. But there are also a large number of unlicensed taxis on the roads that will likely be cheaper. It is illegal to travel in them, but tourists aren’t usually punished if they get caught. If that does happen, you will be made to leave the vehicle, which could leave you stranded if you happen to be somewhere where you can’t just grab another cab. It’s not a frequent problem though.

Some taxi companies include: Panataxi, Habanataxi, Taxi Transtur and Turistaxi. Panataxi is likely going to be the cheapest, but it depends on the car you get. Larger cars cost more.

Cuba taxi

A famous yellow Cuba taxi

Coco Taxis

One other kind of taxi that you should try at least once is the coco-taxi. They are little 3-wheeled motorbikes that can carry just 2 passengers and the driver. Coco-taxis are yellow, and have a rounded back section where the passengers sit. They kind of look like half a yellow tennis ball on a motor cycle. A ride in a coco-taxi will cost less than a conventional cab, and is part of the “Cuban experience”.

Cuban Cars

Don’t be surprised that most of the Cuba taxis are well-kept but very vintage cars, especially the illegal taxis. Due to the trade embargoes against the country, new cars are quite rare and very expensive.

Most people in Cuba just work to maintain the cars that have been on the island since the 1950s, before the trade restrictions came into place. These cars are often referred to as “Yank Tanks” by the locals. They’re a common site around Cuba and can make for some lovely photos, if you like old cars.

If you’re not in a hurry, there are horse-drawn “calezas” which can also be a pleasant way of seeing the city especially the older parts of cities like Havana.

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