Renting a Car in Havana: Should I Reserve?

Question: We, me, my wife and 3 kids will come to Cuba at the end of July for about three weeks. What’s the best way to rent a car. Should we organize it from here or should we book it by arrival ?

Answer: Reserve the car from your home country because you might get here and have problems getting a car the last minute. Even though tourism is now entering low season (June-September) sometimes cars to rent get scarce in Havana.

It is best to get a mid-sized car because the small/compact models are very small and sometimes don’t have air conditioning and are usually older. Also remember that you get the car with a full tank of gas that you pay for. This means you should return the car on empty.

Remember be sure to print all confirmation information and have a hard copy ready when you arrive to Havana. Also double check if you have to put a deposit in cash in Cuba or if it is included with your reservation.

Is there a Russian community in Cuba?

Question: Hello Havana Times, my name is Eduard and I live in USA but originally from Russia. We are planning to come to Cuba for Religious purposes. I am happy that I was able to find your website and I can learn something about Cuba from your website. We would like to find a Russian community in Cuba and wondering if you would know where we can find this community? According to our research there is about 55,000 people of Russian descent living in Cuba.

Also, is there an open access to the internet in Cuba?

Answer: Yes there is a good size Russian-Cuban community and one of our writers, Dmitri Prieto is a member of it. We will pass on your request to him and he can then write you directly.

As to your other question, Internet in Cuba for visitors is available at some of the hotels at varying speeds, and costing from 7 to 11 USD the hour. Cubans are not allowed to contract internet service at their homes, even the terribly slow 40-50 kb telephone dial up connections, which some trusted government workers and artists have.

  • Sky

    Not allowed, but some do….

  • Alina Simone

    I am a Russian-American in the USA hoping to travel to Cuba in the fall and have the same question. Can you please put me in touch with Dmitri Prieto?

    • sergio

      Hi Aliana, I do not speak Russian, but I do have a B&B in Trinidad, Cuba, check out our house at

  • Ren

    I guess it’s not an issue even if it’s true. I take russian class by skype at Preply and I think Russians are great people.

  • Robert Rhyno

    I am in the zoo business and will be in Cuba in August, I am trying to email the National Zoo but can’t seem to find an email address for it, do you have any way I can get in touch with them?

    • Circles Robinson

      The person who is going to check on this is out of town this week but will next week.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Regarding car hire, foreigners should be made aware that there is a top up charge for insurance of $18 per day. Also that insurance claims are only met if a police report is obtained. Finally, try to avoid renting a Geely – they are junk!

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    With regard to Russians in Cuba, the 2012 National Census reported just 5,500 people not born in Cuba.