How could you go all the way to Cuba and not spend at least a day to check out Havana? I put it at the top of my “must-sees” while in Varadero.
Once we checked the bus tours of Havana and calculated the driving times and stops involved (a Cigar factory and Matanzas), then could tell we might only have about an hour to walk around Old Havana, it seemed too short for us. Plus the trip with a BIG group that is always not our type.
If there is a PROBLEM, you should find the SOLUTION.
After collecting all the information, I asked our hotel to arrange a taxi to Havana for the entire day ( around 160 Peso). That means we had our own private driver and stopped wherever we asked him to. It is much better than the bus tours of Havana.
The car could fit four people , immediately several person wanted to join us for the day trip, finally I chose a young couple. BL asked me why, I said there is only one reason — the SIZE. Simply we don’t want to be packed like sardines on the way.
自经济衰退以来，汽油紧缺，政府颁布法规，要求凡古巴籍车辆，均有搭载路人的义务。在去 Havana 的途中，
各主要路口，路边站着成排的准备搭车的人，还设有专人负责拦车事宜。我问 Mick 搭车要不要交一定的费用，
Mick who’s our driver, he was friendly, spoke fairly good English. He drove very very safely and very knowledgeable about things we should see, gave us a personal tour of Havana. He was such a great guy! After Mick told me that all the money goes to the company but except the tips, I decided we should tip him 20 Peso, actually each couple only pay 10 Pesos. Also, I asked him to extend an hour for the day and bring us to see the real Cuba if it is possible. Mick was so happy and said that 20 Peso ( around 450 Cuban Peso) is the same as his monthly income.
Pricey?! But a cab for the entire day? Very much worth it!
During the noon time we were in Old Havana, we decided it is better to have our own free time and then met Mick back at the car when we were finished. We got to spend 3 ~ 4 hours in old Havana while Mick would have coffees and chat with other taxi drivers.
But for some reasons that young couple got really angry when we were on the way back. Once this lady got mad, she would go on and on and on in circles. “I don’t like Havana, there is nothing to see, nothing to eat, Havana is ugly!…“. All the bad and rude words came out of her mouth. She felt that Mick should give them a personal tour in Old Havana and then turned around and whispered to me:”I am only going to pay him 5 Peso”.
If you need to keep the costs low, You can take a bus from downtown Varadero to Havana for 10 ~ 12 Peso each way. The bus leave around 8:30 am and come back around 10:30pm. But, don’t rely on it, especially in Cuba, there is always no reason for the delay, so called CUBAN TIME. Well, if you are on a time frame, HOW MUCH CAN YOU ENJOY WHEN YOU ARE WAITING AND WAITING FOR THE BUS TO COME?
Tip # 14: 私人出租车的价格会便宜些，但载外国游客在古巴是非法的。通过酒店订车是最安全的。