Cuban Taxis – A step back in time ( Varadero sampling)
There are plenty of interesting reasons to visit Cuba especially when there is snow on the ground in Canada and Cuban weather is +25C or better.
One of those reasons would be simply to view all of the unique Cuban taxis. There are two levels of taxis in Cuba. One class consists of a reasonably new fleet of official Cubitaxi vehicles which sport blue license plates. The other class is the collection of “private taxis” where a 1960’s vintage vehicle would be considered ‘new’.
The fare for both classes of taxis is about the same at about $1 CUC (Cuban Convertible peso) per kilometer. The conversion rate at the time of our visit was about $1 (Canadian $ or US$) per $1CUC. Very important to agree on the price for a trip before hopping into either class of taxi. Five years ago, this second class of taxi operated in a sort of illegal fashion but now operate openly and are seen everywhere that tourists might be found.
The images in this blog are just a few examples of what a vintage car admirer will see while standing on a street corner of Varadero, Cuba on any given day.
I’m not really sure what the rules are with respect to pedestrians crossing the street in Varadero but from a number of close calls that I had, I think that it is safe to say that, in practice, the pedestrian does not have the right of way so it is best to make like the locals do and look both ways before quickly crossing the street :-).
I don’t expect that Mary Kay has been a dominate brand in Cuba but I did see one bright pink car during my visit to Varadero and another one that had a hint of pink.
This blog has primarily focused on the cars of Varadero itself but the vehicles seen here are representative of the many, many vintage, ‘private’ taxis that are waiting for passengers at the entrance to all of the resorts along the 24 km of the Varadero Peninsula.
In additon to the vintage cabs, there are many other methods of transportation in use in Varadero and I’ll try to make those the subject of another blog entry.