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Havana Classic Car Tour, Cuba; How To Organise It!

UPDATED MAY 2020. On my journey to every country in the world, I found visiting the Caribbean countries a little boring (I know, I’m sorry!). That was, at least, until I reached Cuba! Wow, what a destination! If you can set down the rum and cigars for a couple of hours, which is pretty difficult believe me, then the one ‘must-do’ activity in Cuba is to take a Havana classic car tour. Riding around Havana in the old-school American cars was perhaps the highlight of my whole 3 months in the Caribbean. But how do you organise a Havana Class Car tour when you’re in Havana? Don’t worry, it’s easy….

Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour; How To Organise it.
Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour; Anthony and I living the Cuban dream

Visiting Havana, Cuba and Doing It Right.

There are 2 ways you can experience Cuba. One is in an all-inclusive holiday resort, this blends Cuba in with all the other resorts dotted around the Caribbean. Beautiful beaches, Western standards of service, and luxury. Great. But you sacrifice the flavour of Cuba that way.

The other way to visit Havana, and Cuba, is by staying in a ‘Casa Particular’ in Havana and beyond, and travelling independently. These Casa Particulars are like AirBnB 20 years before AirBnB was invented. You pay a local family to stay in their house, they include breakfast, you get a key and you’re free to explore. I stayed in THIS ONE if you want to check it out, lovely family. 

Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour

Remember when you’re exploring In Cuba, they have 2 currencies. Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP). Essentially, as a foreigner, you only get access to CUC (1 to 1 with the dollar), where the locals use CUP, which is 25 times less valuable. This structure means these Casa Particulars allow local families to make real money and help them survive in a tough economy. So that’s another reason to use them.

When you explore Havana, you’ll see that it’s not quite as elegant as blogs and Instagram, suggest. It’s quite run-down, but with a distinct faded charm, and the classic car tour will highlight that further. When it comes to organising your Havana Classic Car Tour, you can head down to the Capitol Building and negotiate yourself with the drivers. That is a tough experience. Most of these guys don’t own the cars, and they’re on the hard sell. Expect crazy price quotes and aggressive sales techniques. A better option is to organise it online (about $55). You can book the Havana classic car tour here, it just takes 2 minutes. And avoid all the stress!

Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour; Downtown Havana

Havana Classic Car Tour; How it works

You can chat with the guy directly about where you meet, normally it’s around Hotel Ingleterre in the city centre. Once there, your guide will introduce you to your driver, and you’ll be ready for your 2-hour tour. 

You’ll hop in a 1950s American convertible (before you ask, no you can’t drive it!), and up to 4 tourists can fit in one car. I went with just my buddy and 1, and 2 people in the back, with the driver up front alone, was perfect. If there was 4 of us, personally, I’d choose to book 2 cars to make sure you get the best experience, and don’t feel too cramped. If there was just 3 people, I’d take just the one car though, they’re quite spacious.

The 2 hour tour breaks down into a 90 minute drive through Havana. You’ll check out ‘real’ Havana through Centro Habana, Miramar, and Vedado. And then onto the  the more famous spots like the Malecon, the glamorous 5th Avenue of Miramar, the American “Special Interests” building, Anti-Imperialist Square and finally you’ll get to Revolution Square. Home to the huge Che Guevara art piece. Epic.

Classic Car tour cuba
Classic Car tour Cuba; Che Guevara tribute

HOW THE CLASSIC CAR TOUR FELT

Driving down Malecon Street with people looking at us, honking the old-school horn, I felt like an Irish travel blogging James Dean. Seriously though, soaking up the moment, like fifty years back in time – this was EXACTLY what I hoped Cuba was going to be like.

Our actual drive lasted between an hour and an hour and a half, through the Plaza de la Revolucion where you get out to take pics, around the old city, where the guide explains about the history of the place. Also, our guide was a bit of a superstar so we got quite deep into politics, something I had been dying to chat to a Cuban about – absolutely fascinating.

Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour

COCKTAILS TO FINISH OFF OUR CLASSIC CAR HAVANA TOUR

As our Havana classic car tour came to an end, and you shed a tear that your James Dean moment has ended, the tour isn’t over just yet. You get dropped off at the famous Hotel Nacional – the hotel where all the various left-leaning celebrities over the last hundred years have stayed. They have a hall of fame where all their PHOTOS are listed – from the peak of society to the depths, it’s captivating.

After you’ve had your cultural fill though, it’s off outside with the high society, sitting in the plaza, overlooking the Caribbean sea drinking a cocktail of your choice (all included in the tour if you book directly online), I actually really wanted a beer but I thought I’d hang on to the last remnants of my classy day and ordered one of Cuba’s beloved son’s, Ernest Hemmingway’s, favourite drink – a mojito, with no sugar of course. Well played Ernie.  Our guide had a frozen daiquiri which in all honesty was more delicious than my choice, but I didn’t tell anyone.

CLASSIC CAR HAVANA TOUR
Our Classic Car Havana Tour was over, just time for one last cocktail
Havana Classic Car Tour
Havana Classic Car Tour

Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!

I use SafetyWing at $9 a week, and it's amazing. Also, it has great digital nomad insurance for people who are constantly travelling too! You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here

Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!

Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on johnny@onestep4ward.com. In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.

Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $300 - email johnny@onestep4ward.com to get started.

How about $55 free AirBnB credit?

Oh, one last thing! If you've never used AirBnB before, here's a $50 voucher for you! Enjoy!

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13 thoughts on “Havana Classic Car Tour, Cuba; How To Organise It!

  1. Whenever I hear Cuba, the first thing that will pop on my mind is the vintage car they use there. And it looks cool and fun to use while touring.

  2. Pingback: How many countries are there in North America? 23? Or More?
  3. Wow!! This post is really very helpful and informative for tour guidance. Do you want a private Havana Cuba Travel experience? Reserve your Private Varadero to Havana tour in an air-conditioned vintage car with Varadero tour taxi services. The professional tour guides and drivers will take you from Varadero to Havana in a safe and comfortable manner In a vintage car or Van. You can have an amazing Havana Cuba tour with food, drinks, dance, music and sightseeing and shopping. Private Havana Cuba tour is the most affordable vintage car tour.

  4. I want to bring my older son (53) TO Cuba to enjoy the ambiance and Old Cars. I don’t need any bull as I am an International Travel Agency Owner………Just quote me a five day tour including everything except dinner, Brf, Lunch and complete touring in a vintage car. Trans Am? Ready to book it……………

  5. Hi, It must have been a great experience for you driving the classic car, if you could have added some more details of your trip it would have been helpful.

  6. you are doing great.i visit your page everyday. someone like me learns so much from your website
    i am writing blog about my hometown.it is in Turkish. When i saw your blog,i start to write in English. i hope people like my first page
    http://kapadokyarehberi.info/ihlara-vadisine-nasil-gidilir/cappadocia-turkey/ my home town fairy land with fairy chimneys and rock formations used as a house,storeroom or hotel.I call it the flintstones, STILL PEOPLE LIVES IN A CAVE. Do you believe it?

  7. what an interesting style/type of tour to take while travelling. My dad absolutely loves cars and i can never convince him to ever visit me abroad (i move around working short contracts in many countries) but i would love to take him on this tour – Cuba is a long way from Australia but those cars might just be the convincing factor i need ! I see Cuba travel information popping up more and more just recently online, a destination i had not seen much about before

  8. Going to Cuba on Monday, 3 weeks, Havana, Santiago, Baracao, Holguin, Bayamo (trek), Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Havana. Any suggestions ??

  9. I toured around Havana for a day back in 2010, but on one of those open-air, hop on/hop off buses, so I am a little jealous that you did it in a classic car. There are some really cool things in the World, but experiencing life as it was back in 1959 is truly one of the most unique ones out there. 😀

  10. I guess the car tour is fine if plan to just stay in Havana and a car tour like that is on top of your list. However, if you are traveling around island you can get one of these cars to drive you, for the same price as a regular bus ticket, to any town within maybe 5-6 hours away. Cuba is all about figuring out how it works. It can either be quite expensive or ridiculously cheap.

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