JohnGuestMarch 17, 2015 at 2:47 pmPost count: 195
Do you have a contact for budget car hire? Or is it cheaper to do day
trips to Vinales etc..Mario RizziGuestMarch 17, 2015 at 2:49 pmPost count: 195
In terms of a car hire, it might not be so easy to get something on a budget. Actually renting a car is a bit on the expensive side, as I mention in the guide. My suggestions would depend on what you plan to use the car for. If you are simply staying in one city and want to use a car for exploring, it would be significantly less expensive simply to use taxis every time you wanted to see a different area. A private taxi will take you across a city for about 3 CUC (3 USD). There are thousands of these taxis in all Cuban cities. Even if you used them 20 times per day to zig-zag the city, it would still be less expensive than renting a car.
Car hires start at about 60 CUC per day, and often cost much more. For longer term rentals (a few weeks or more), you can usually work out a cheaper rate. Most state car rental agents will offer you some under the table discounts, but usually only for longer term rentals.
If you are actually planning to use a rental car to drive across Cuba, visiting multiple cities and places, a car hire could be interesting, but would still be your most expensive option. If you did this, I would encourage you to really get some good maps, because road signs in Cuba are few and far between. My best recommendation if you are planning to visit multiple cities and do not want to use separate state taxi hires to get from one city to the next or the Viazul bus system, would be to find a driver who would be willing to chauffeur you around. It would be safer, cheaper and probably a lot more enjoyable than renting your own vehicle.
I have a friend who offers a private taxi service. He is a trustworthy older man, who studied as a chemist and has traveled all over the world. He also speaks almost perfect English. His name is Tomas. He has a 1952 Ford, which is well maintained. I am sure that he would be interested in driving you around the island for much less than it would cost to rent your own vehicle. Even if you don’t hire him as a chauffeur, you can always just ask him to give you a tour of Havana (I think he charges only about $15 per hour) or just chat with him, as a friend. The best way to contact him is by writing to his daughter (Gretel Hernandez Coral). Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Her phone number is 53 5 361 0457. But it is best if you send her a text message so that she will know to check her email, since she does not check it often. She speaks fluent English. The direct phone number to Tomas is 53 5 398 4809.
As for Vinales, organized day trips will always be on the expensive side. Vinales is a tiny town. You can probably walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. The main attraction is the nature, and exploring the countryside is easy. It’s just farmland and hills (mogotes). For exploring these things, you just walk around and climb them as you want. It’s free. So, in effect, an organized day trip does not offer many benefits. It’s just constrictive. I would suggest that you simply take a taxi, or the Viazul bus to Vinales. The moment the Viazul bus arrives at the station, you will be surrounded by locals, offering you their casas particulares. So, even if you have not already organized your accommodations, you can always easily find a pace to stay.
I hope this information helps. If you have any more questions, please just ask me.
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