Havana taxis and hotels
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 25, 2012 12:27 PM Last Post By: Rickie_01
Nov 22, 2012 1:51 PM
Havana taxis and hotelsI will be heading to Havana in Mrach next year. After a lot of worrying about flights and connections, finally got that sorted out so yay!
Now, I have the details to sort out. A couple questions to people who have been there recently or know the city well enough.
This is my first visit to Cuba and will be arriving about 7pm. Not sure if it will already be dark by then. What will be the best way to get to the city from the airport? Are taxis reliable and what would I be expected to pay? Anything I need to be wary of like touts and scams? What about language barriers to get to the right hotel?
The other question I have is a place to stay. I will be joining an intrepid trip which starts from Victoria Hotel in Havana. Obviously, it will be the most conveninent place to stay. I will be there 4 days before the trip so that I get to see the city a bit before I head out of the city with the trip. When I enquired, Victoria appears to be more expensive that I thought it would be and am not sure if I want to spend that much on a hotel if I can find a casa or something else nearby that would be comfortable and safe in the city (given that I will still need to move into Victoria for a night before I leave on the trip).
Any suggestions for a place to stay for 3 nights in a part of the city that is close to teh attractions? How would one get in touch with the smaller establishments for reservations? I see quite a few in LP guide but none of them have any email addresses or websites I can go to book.
Nov 22, 2012 2:14 PM
Nov 22, 2012 2:23 PM
Nov 22, 2012 2:32 PM
3It will be dark - http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=99&month=3&year=2012&obj=sun&afl=-11&day=1
Taxis are the only sensible option.
I suggest that you contact one of the agencies/agents that handle casas - you pay a little bit more but they have the knowledge. see for example:
All their casas, and all tourist hotels are safe.
Also have a look at - http://insightcuba.com/blog/2012/11/21/live-from-cuba-tips-for-first-timers
Nov 22, 2012 3:09 PM
4I see quite a few in LP guide but none of them have any email addresses or websites I can go to book
Follow Beardo suggestion and send Jorge a PM for some suggestions on staying in a casa in the center of the tourist attractions. He is a licensed tour guide and if you wish he can have someone meet you at the airport and drive you to your casa. On the day of your intrepid tour you can meet at the Victoria Hotel.
Nov 22, 2012 3:24 PM
Nov 22, 2012 3:51 PM
6Taxis are plentiful and easy to arrange right at the airport. It'll be about 25 CUC anywhere, "downtown." Simply give your taxi driver the name/address you're going to, no worries.
Since the Victoria Hotel is in Vedado I would suggest starting your visit in a casa particular in Old Havana or Centro instead, this way you'll get the experience in staying in two very different parts of the city. Here's a few suggestions for casa particulars and local guide services:
Have fun, and pack as much as you can in on your own in Havana before the tour starts.
Nov 22, 2012 4:58 PM
7none of them have any email addresses or websites I can go to book.
Realize that only a very small percentage of casas have any web presence at all. The casa owners who do have e-mail typically check it 1-2 times a week from an expensive internet cafe. Reservations typically mean very little since there is no deposit or credit card required. Most casa owners will take someone at the doorway with cash in hand and give them your reservation. This is our fault because of too many no-shows.
So your options are to use a guide such as the ones mentioned here or simply knock on casa doors when you arrive in the area you want to stay. The latter is not as difficult as it sounds unless you are arriving late at night or in high season.
Nov 23, 2012 7:33 AM
Nov 24, 2012 7:10 AM
9Try to use local Cuban´s, as these are the future entrepreneurs of the nation we all love so much. Everyone who uses them is giving right back to the Cuban people with no strings attached.
If I was going to use the services of someone posted on this thread I would use the services of someone that contributes and participles on this website, someone like Jorgeguide.
Nov 25, 2012 10:52 AM
Nov 25, 2012 12:27 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$81.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$225.33 per night