Car Hire in Havana
This information is correct as of August 2015.
With waves crashing against the mildewed sea wall and the sound of guitars and voices harmonising over a drum rhythm, the city of Havana sneaks up with a charm that make visitors warm up to it. You will find here several landmarks such as the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla, which has a long and colourful history. Calle Mercaderes is also a fine place to be in the city, with shops, museums, and restaurants and social projects such as a maternity home and needlecraft cooperative.
Where to hire a car in Havana
When going to Havana, various modes of transport can be considered. One is car rental, which can be researched online. From there, you can contact different providers to find out which ones offer fair terms and affordable rates. This can let you schedule everything you need and discuss all the requirements you should bring to make the transaction go smoothly as possible. Some of the reliable car rental providers serving Havana include Habana Vieja, Havanautos, Via Rent a Car, Havana Car Hire, REX, Car Rent Havana, and Sunnycars.
The minimum legal age requirement when you want to drive in Cuba is 21. Your driving licence needs to be valid on the duration of your trip. It should be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP), as well as insurance with at least third-party coverage. Make sure to clarify if additional equipment should be brought before getting on the road.
What to expect when hiring a car from Havana
Driving a rental car is an excellent way to get around Cuba. Many roads are in acceptable condition, but many have potholes and other damages. Havana can be a bit crowded, with the rush hours usually occurring in the mornings and afternoons. Beyond the city, you should watch out for chasms in the road, horse-drawn carriages, tractors, cyclists, and pedestrians, as well as wandering dogs and fowl. It is not recommended to drive at night, as it is very unsafe due to the lack of lighting on highways. Animal-drawn transport, some lorries, and bicycles also do not have light, making it hard to determine if they are there or how far away they are from your car.
Toll roads can be found elsewhere in Cuba, as various autopistas or toll-free expressways can be found in Havana. Seven of them are centralised and connected to each other due to the Habana Ring Road. Congestion charging is not applied here, as Havana is not as badly congested as other major cities in the Americas. One-way stems and trams can also be found here with cyclists going out and about. All these make it essential to be vigilant on the road to maintain safety. You might find it difficult to manage parking needs, however. Various cars take up space in the city, making it necessary to reserve accommodations with parking facilities.
Getting to your destination
Matanzas, on its phase of redevelopment, has a literary and musical heritage during the 18th and 19th centuries. Once called the 'Athens of Cuba,' this city is on the way to breaking out of its shell with its finest provincial theatres, as well as artistic landmarks. Some of the places to find here include Ediciones Vigia, a unique book publisher, as well as Museo Farmaceutico, an antique pharmacy that was the first of its kind in Latin America. To get here, you will have to get on Primer Anillo de La Habana before driving on from Via Blanca. The trip can take around an hour and 20 minutes, if the traffic conditions are light.
Varadero in the 20-kilometre-long Hicacos peninsula is one of the most popular destinations in the country. Its range of hotels, shops, water activities, and beaches make up the main highlights of the area. You can venture to several natural landmarks such as the Cueva de Ambrosio and parks and gardens like Reserva Ecologica Varahicacos, and Parque Josone. When going here, you can follow Primer Anillo de La Habana and move on to Varadero via Via Blanca, with an estimated travel time about an hour and 50 minutes.
Soroa, a gorgeous natural area around 95 kilometres southwest of Havana, serves as a mountain hideaway to the residents of the capital. You will find nearby the Sierra del Rosario, where tall trees and orchids grow. Other than the great waterfalls of the Salto del Arco Iris, you can also visit here the Castillo de las Nubes, a romantic castle with a circular tower on top of a hill more than a kilometre away from Orquideario Soroa. When going to Soroa, you can head south=east towards Primer Anillo de La Habana and then continue to Autopista Este-Oeste. The drive can be done in around 50 minutes, as long as there are no disruptions along the way.