I recently got back from a long trip to Havana in which I had a great opportunity to explore the city and take some great videos of interesting places. Over the next few weeks I will be posting all my new videos of the city, showing you some great, off the tourist path locations to check out. I cover hundreds of other, authentically Cuban places in my Real Havana guide, so if you are planning a trip to Cuba and enjoy authentic travel experiences, be sure to check it out.
This 62 Year Old Cuban Car Drives Like a Dream (Once You Get Her Started!)
(If you are in Havana and would like to take a ride in a taxi like this, send me a message using the Contact page. Havana tour prices are about $20 per car load, per hour and private taxi rides are cheap, and negotiable)
This was truly a treat for me and I think that my excitement comes out loud and clear in this little video. My great friend Gretel was going to visit her childhood home in the town of Camilo Cienfuegos (just east of Havana) and she asked me if I wanted to come along for a ride. Of course I said yes. Gretel borrowed her father’s 1952 Ford and after a few false starts, the engines fired up, and we were off. I make some sarcastic jokes (a bit lame) but I have a great relationship with Gretel and she loves my dry humor.
We set off (my wife and daughter are in the back seat) from the neighborhood of Plaza de la Revolucion, just south of Vedado and we wind our way down Boyeros. It’s a gorgeous Havana afternoon and being in this car, with my family and Gretel, I am just filled with love for this great city.
Honestly, I am not a car buff, but in Cuba, you don’t have to be in order to appreciate these old cars. Most of the old Cuban cars that you see are in rough condition, but they drive well. Most of them have had their original engines replaced with efficient Soviet built diesel engines. Diesel fuel is very cheap in Cuba, especially on the black market. Usually it can be had for around 25 cents per liter (about 1$ per gallon).
And, it’s important to make absolutely clear that in Cuba, these old cars or not show pieces at all. They are maintained for their utility and for their money making potential as taxis. These cars can hold 6 people at a time and they often spend their whole day tracking back and forth through Havana, chauffeuring people around, 1 carload at a time. Trips cost 10 pesos per person (40 cents USD).
But be warned, if you want to take one of these taxis, you have to know the routes, and the etiquette to stopping a driver. I cover it all in my Real Havana guidebook. If you are planning a trip to Cuba, be sure to buy the guide and bring it with you.
In another video I give you a look at the town of Camilo Cienfuegos and tell you about what makes that little town so special.
Want to learn about Havana and how to explore Cuba like a local?
Download the Best Cuba and Havana Travel guide: Real Havana.