Don’t be fooled by its island-like size on a map of the Caribbean: Cuba is deceptively large. By far the best way to see the island is to rent a car. With over 16,000 kms of paved roads, there are few places you cannot get to. Do not believe what you have heard or read about many places being off limits: it is simply not true. There are actually very few places off limits to travelers and since they are mostly military-related, you probably won’t be interested in them anyway.
Generally, the roads are good and the high gas prices guarantee you will encounter little traffic on most highways. Expect to pay $50 – $60US per day including insurance and a deposit (better rates for weekly rentals). Gasoline is about $3.40US per gallon.
Also, as few locals own cars and public transportation is unreliable, locals often wait long hours for a ride to the next town. With a car, you’re likely to become an unofficial taxi service. Relax and pick up the people waiting for rides. It’s generally very safe and a great way to meet locals and see another side of the country.
Via Rent A Car
Tel: 800-645-1179 in Canada or tel/fax: 941-793-7157 worldwide
If you really must get to the other side of the island quickly, Aero Caribbean flies to most destinations within Cuba for $25 – $75 one way.
Calle 23 3113, Vedado, Havana, Tel: 79-7524.