Cuba is so much more than the well-known triangle Havana, Trinidad, and Viñales. Cuba is a country where the most part is not flooded with tourists. Mountains, sugar cane fields, banana trees, palm trees, tobacco plantations, not fenced farm, deep blue oceans and sunny weather. If you have the guts to drive by yourself, travel without making a booking in advance and go far beyond the usual way, you will explore the most beautiful country and meet the most friendly people.
Driving in Cuba is not difficult, as long as you take a notice of the local behaviour. Nobody will drive fast, so don’t be in a hurry. Be aware of all creatures on the road. Dogs, chickens, horses with carriages, cows, bikers, cyclists, hikers, and children. Even on the highway, it is usual to walk on the road, sell foods, cars who stop in the middle of the highway and animals crossing. The most roads are full of holes and potholes. If you can manage this, you can cross Cuba and have the most effortless adventure.
We made a road trip from East to West Cuba and back, crossing from North to South and the other way around all the time. We did not book any accommodation in advance and searched for a place to sleep every day or two days. Even in the not touristic areas, there are plenty of Casa Particulares (B&B’s). All those cases have a sign with an upside-down blue anchor.
Sleeping with the locals is a profit for both. You will sleep on the best beds, in the cleanest rooms, eating the best local food and have the opportunity to learn everything about the real Cuban life. The Cuban’s will earn a little money extra because of you staying with them. Since 1997 Cuban people are allowed to earn some money by renting a room. They pay an amount per month for having a small business and the pay 10% taxes on the money they earn. When they don’s have guests, they have to pay the monthly profit to the government. It will help them a little, but still, the standard in Cuba is equal for everybody.
In whole Cuba, there is wifi in the cities and bigger villages. The network is Etecsa. You can buy a ticket for an hour for 1,50 CuC (1 US dollar). This card can be used all over Cuba, even in the hotels and resorts.
Cuba is changing, but not as fast as we think. Take your time to discover the real Cuba and relax.
Tip: rent a car by Via Transgaviota in Cuba. Even better is to rent a car by a travel agency in your country. There are not many rental cars in Cuba and the travel companies worldwide are well accepted in Cuba.