Havana, Cuba Transportation, Taxis, Airport Transfers + Getting Around

Updated on January 15, 2020

Havana, Cuba Transportation, Taxis, How To Get Around

Trip Report Index
Who Can Fly To Cuba & When?
How to Book Award Flights To Havana, Cuba (fr United States NYC/EWR – HAV)
Our First Casa Particular Stay in Havana - Meh
Cuba: How To Get a Cuban Tourist Visa, Entry Requirements, Medical Insurance
How To Book a Casa Particular in Cuba Without the Hassle!
Cuba's Two Currencies (CUC vs CUP), Exchanging Money, Credit Cards, ATMs
Havana, Cuba Transportation, Taxis, Airport Transfers + Getting Around
Quick Havana Neighborhood Guide & Where to Stay
Havana, Cuba – Digital Detox Retreat From Internet & Phone (+ Where To Get It If You Really Need It)
I Loved Cuban Food...Until I Went To Cuba

When visiting Havana, you'll need to get around. One thing Cuba has plenty of is transportation options!

You probably won't see this many classic American cars unless you go to a car show! Many of these cars look great, although only the body is American with the rest a sort of frankenstein since no American parts could be purchased in Cuba. Collectors are unlikely to start buying the cars but they are still cool to see and ride in!

Main Ways To Get Around Havana

  • shared taxi (“taxi colectivo”)
  • private taxi (“taxi particular”)
  • yellow taxi (government owned)

Additional Transportation Options

  • Coco-taxi (auto-rickshaw)
  • Tour Bus (hop-on hop-off)
  • Pedicab
  • Horse and carriage
  • Bicycle rental
  • Motorcycle rental
  • Public bus (avoid this one!)
  • Other buses


Airport Transportation

  • Cost from Havana Airport to Havana/Vedado: 35 CUC (probably negotiable to 25-30 CUC)
  • Cost from Vedado/Habana Vieja To Havana Airport: 25 CUC (arranged by our Airbnb host)

I recommend trying to book a taxi ahead of time, otherwise this might happen to you-> We had a really sketchy experience: left alone in a dark parking lot, taxi kept stalling, the driver jumped out at a busy intersection and poped open the trunk then… pulled out a plastic bottle of fuel from the trunk. Phew, our bags weren't stolen!

Arriving at the airport… We got to the information counter near the airport exit at around 1 am and asked for a taxi. The price quoted was 35 CUC and I didn't have the energy to bargain. Keep in mind the avg salary in Cuba is 20 CUC/month. We followed the driver, who didn't speak any English, to the money exchange and waited 30 minutes to get some local currency (1 person at a time, because only 1 of 3 employees were actually working). The ATM line was faster but remember that US bank cards don't work.

Shit! Did the driver disappear with our bags? No, but he walked off without saying anything and we thought he stole our bags. Finally, with some local currency ready, he leads us to his small white car in the dark parking lot. We all stood in front of the car where the driver told us to wait there then disappeared. 5…10…15 minutes, he's still not back. Its around 1:30am and my patience is waning. He finally returned, then goes to talk to someone 50 feet away in the dark empty parking lot. Is he making a drug deal or paying off a cop or parking attendant? Ten minutes passes before I approached them when he motioned rudely (translation: stand back, he'll be there shortly). Finally he came back and we left towards Havana.

The taxi stalled no less than 4-5 times on the way.  The last time it stalled at a busy intersection in Vedado when the driver jumped out of the car and popped the trunk. What's going on now? We thought our bags were about to be stolen by his buddies. Instead he pulled out gas in a plastic bottle. The driver eventually found our Airbnb address where our host was waiting at about 2am. We made it!


Shared Taxi (“taxi colectivo”)

If you don't speak any Spanish, be ready to pay more for your taxi rides. Even if you do speak Spanish, most taxi drivers will take advantage of tourists, no matter what type of taxi they drive! I preferred to take the taxi colectivo because it was cheaper and we got to ride in a cool car.


  • Shorter rides are supposed to cost 10 peso cubano (1 CUC = ~25 CUP). For two people, I was happy to pay 1 CUC.
  • Don't hail a cab near a hotel or major tourist venues. Go to the main road a block or two from the big hotels.
  • Stand on the curb and wave the taxi down. Don't do it like a high-five but instead like a low-five.
  • Ask the driver if he goes to a cross street and confirm the price (cuba-junky suggests not to ask the price…but I rather make sure). Don't say “Hotel Nacional?”
  • Our Airbnb host recommended having the money ready and paying when you get in, so there is no confusion over the price. I saw locals pay at the end of their ride…but if you pay up front he will probably let you know if you didn't pay enough.

HOW TO GET RIPPED OFF (like we did)

  • Our host helped us hail a taxi colectivo to go to the Tropicana Cabaret, which is about 15 minutes from central Vedado. It was supposed to be 1 CUC for both of us. I didn't pay the driver upfront (my mistake) and when we arrived, he looked at the 1 CUC and demanded 5 CUC.
  • To make matters worse, we didn't see the Tropicana as we got out on the main road. Finally after asking for directions and realizing we had to walk 1 block, we found it. We weren't able to check the show prices in advance (no internet) but figured $120 was enough for both of us.
  • It wasn't enough, so we had to find a taxi to get back home…for 10 CUC. Waste of time and money. Tropicana how prices start at 75 USD! I'm sort of glad I didn't bring enough cash as I think that would have left me really feeling ripped off. I really doubt its worth it but Mrs Rewardboss wanted to go! If you book ahead you can use your credit card. After that I knew why the taxi price went up…I could have had a private taxi drop me off at the door for that price!

Cuba TransportationHavana Taxi Colectivo

Taxi Route:

The taxi colectivos in Havana follow this route according to Cuba-Junky. We found plenty of them on Calle 23, the main strip in Vedado.Cuba Transportation Havana Taxi Colectivo Route

Private Taxi (“taxi particular”)

Late at night, you won't have many options, so you may need to take a taxi particular or government taxi. We used a taxi particular to get to and from the airport as mentioned above. Many of these taxis were Russian made Lada's.

Havana Cuba Private Taxi Particular - Lada - Cuba Transportation

Our host and his wife took us on a half day tour of Old Habana (Habana vieja) and we had to take a taxi particular for 4 CUC. It took almost 20 minutes before we could find a taxi because none of the taxi colectivo drivers wanted to take the 4 of us and charge the lower price for locals (which would have been 2 CUC).

Our taxi had beautiful a un-restored interior – check out the door:


Havana Cuba Taxi Colectivo - Falling apart Cuba Transportation

Yellow Taxi (government owned)

AVOID all the taxi's near any large hotel, especially Hotel Nacional de Cuba. We were looking for a taxi to a restaurant about 15 minutes walk and the taxi quoted me 10 CUC (~$11 USD)! That's more than a New York City taxi! “That's the price here,” the driver said. I told him it's way too expensive and continued walking.

Some of the yellow taxis are beautiful classic cars like this:

Havana Cuba Yellow Taxi Cuba Transportation

Many other yellow taxis are not so amazing, like this black and yellow Lada:

Havana Cuba Yellow Taxi Cuba Transportation


These egg-shaped Coco taxis are parked in front of Hotel Nacional. We walked past them many times but never had an occasion to use one.

Coco Taxi - Havana Cuba Transportation


Cuba Junky says these pedi-cabs are the cheapest way to get around at only 1 CUC. I didn't have a chance to take one. Cuba Junky also says they are not allowed to carry tourists so you may need to jump out when the police are around. The pedi-cabs in the photo below are parked in Habana Vieja.

Havana Cuba Pedi-cab Cuba Transportation

Horse and Carriage

This is not something we were interested in and it didn't seem like a popular option. We only saw some horse drawn carriages in Old Havana. Cuba-Junky says they cost around 30 CUC/hr.

Habana Bus Tour

This hop-on hop-off bus will look familiar as they are in many cities. It's one of the few modern things I found in Cuba. We wanted to do it but never got around to it. Be sure to check out the TripAdvisor reviews because there are very mixed reviews.

I was told the price is 5 CUC per person, but the driver told our Airbnb host 7 CUC while I was looking at the sign taped to bus door which said 10 CUC. This person said the driver pocketed his 20 CUC, didn't give him a ticket, then drove everyone to the hotels along the coast for hours without seeing any tourist spots. Cuba-Junky says the bus is 5 CUC and has the routes posted too.

My advice: Confirm the route and price and get a receipt so you can get back on the bus! This person found a private guide for 30 CUP/hr (~$1.50). I'm trying to find out how to do this because that's a GREAT deal!

Havana Cuba Tour Bus - Hop On Hop Off Cuba Transportation

Transtour Tour Bus

Stop by one of the bigger hotels and you'll find tour companies offering a variety of excursions out of Havana. There were no other tourist offices probably because locals are not allowed to operate tourist businesses (a government tour guide said). Full day tour prices were around 60-70+ CUC per person. That's 3 months or more salary for an average Cuban. Worth it? I'll save that for a future post.

Here's a private tour some friends booked. It's more expensive than the tour I booked but I think they had a much better time

Here’s a tour some friends booked and enjoyed. It’s much better than the big bus tour that we booked but I think their tour was much better and less time wasting driving around to pickup/drop off at hotels. And we're not a big fan of big bus tours.

Havana Cuba Tour Bus Cuba Transportation

Bicycle Rental

We did not see a single places to rent a bicycle in Vedado or Habana Vieja, but I found this sign on a house while walking to a restaurant. BikeRentalHavana.com charges 12 CUC per day without a guide or 25 CUC per day with a guide (prices are per person). I love see a city on bike…but I also don't remember seeing anyone riding bicycles.

Havana Cuba Bike Bicycle Rental Cuba Transportation

Motorcycle Rental

We very briefly looked into motorcycle rentals/tours but didn't do it. This Lonely Planet forum suggests it is only possible to rent scooters for very local trips. MotorcycleToursCuba.com offers longer tours where you can ride a Harley or BMW motorcycle. These tours are not cheap but would be a very cool way to see the country. The 6 day tour is 2,690 Euros pp for 2 people including hotel rooms while the 15 day tour is is 5,320 Eur pp.

Public Bus (“Gua Gua”)

Most public buses we saw were jam packed and standing room only. Our hosts suggested avoiding the bus for safety reasons. Watch out for pickpockets if you try this! We didn't.

Havana Cuba Public Bus Cuba Transportation


Want to get out of Havana and see the other parts of the country? Check out Viazul bus. We didnt use them but it seems they have modern buses. Havana to Trinidad, a 4 hour trip, costs $25 USD pp each way. Havana to Vinales, a ~2hr trip, costs $12 USD. Search the routes and prices on their website.




My Cameras: These photos were taken using either my Canon S110 (newer model is S120) or my Sony a6000 (with this wide angle lens).  The Canon is fits in my pocket and takes amazing pictures. The Sony packs the power of a full size DSLR while being small enough that I'm still willing to bring it!


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  1. Gee. So u go to a communist country run by dictators and u get ripped off. Oh too bad. Did u visit the prisons where freedom loving individuals? I didn’t think so!

    • where are these prisons – have you been? Yes, I got ripped off because I didn’t follow instructions.

  2. @ the reward boss.

    Would you recommend bring in euros verses dollars since the government charges a 10% premium fee and the 3% exchange fee so $100 would only give $87 CUC.


  3. Hello, I am hoping to travel with my daughter who is in a wheelchair/stroller. How hard would it be for her? We have travelled with her before to non-handicapped friendly places such as Venice so we can “rough it” a bit. Thank you.

    • Carmen, if you can handle Venice (the city) with a wheelchair then you will probably be fine in Cuba (the city) if you stay in the touristy areas. Cuba does have modern tourist buses but those are just for tours. I dont know if they can accommodate a wheel chair. I took a day tour to the countryside to Pinar del Mar on one of these tour buses. They will probably let you store it underneath where you normally put luggage though I would be prepared to make sure its secure yourself as they may not know how. Taxis – its possible some will let you put it in the trunk depending how big the chair and the car is. The old American cars are quite spacious!

  4. Hi there

    Good post!

    My wife and I are considering going to Cuba for two weeks and visiting Vinales and Trinidad is a must

    We have researched on the Internet and we already have an idea of ​​how much we are going to spend and the truth is that it does not seem so expensive, in terms of accommodation and food, but what does seem expensive is transportation We have found out and the bus from Havana to Vinales costs only $ 10 USD but the tour lasts about 4 hours which is a long time, on the other hand, collective taxis … mmmhhh we have seen videos on youtube and they really seem very uncomfortable. We prefer to pay a taxi or a private tour, although the initial idea is to spend 3 days in Vinales to get to know it thoroughly, we can adjust our itinerary.

    After a thorough investigation we have found a tour and transfer provider that seems quite professional and with reasonable prices:


    I wonder if you have ever used it or have you heard of them? Do you have any recommendations you can offer us?

    Many thanks,

    John and Wika

    • Sorry for the slow response. I think what you’ve found for $10 is maybe not a tour but just a local bus that goes to Vinales. When you say “only about 4 hours which is a long time” – what were you expecting? It’s a couple hours driving to get there and you’ll want to see a couple things, have a couple stops, have lunch. The worst part of the tour bus is stopping at all the hotels all over the place picking up people which will easily waste an hour before you start your trip. If you want something comfortable, you can book Transtour which I mentioned in the post. The Taxi link you sent me may be worthwhile but they’re just going to drop you off there though they also have tours. If I were to do it again, I’d find a private guide. As long as they have a car that’s not about to fall apart like our taxi from the airport, then it may be an experience. Please write back and let me know what you end up booking.

      Here’s a tour some friends booked and enjoyed. It’s much better than the big bus tour that we booked.

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