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Hiring A Cuban Guide

by George

What is the best way to arrange a local Cuban guide during my stay in Havana? And what are reasonable costs for such a guide?

Please note I am not looking for an expensive guide (ie. PhD professor moonlighting as a guide) but a normal Cuban local who knows the area and customs well.

ANSWER: by Vic webmaster

The official way and a the safest way is to arrange a city visit with an official guide.
You can buy a Havana city tour package in most Havana hotels. When you stay a short time in Havana (2-3 days) this is the best way because all the transport (autobus) is arranged for you.
The disadvantage is you travel with a group of 15-20 people and not everyone has the same interests.
More adventure is to make a private tour with or without a Cuban guide.
WARNING: In Havana the Cubans will line up to be your guide, but note that in Cuba this is an illegal practice, it is not allowed for Cubans to make (black) money or moonlighting. I have seen several times a Cuban, guiding a small group of 3-5 foreigners stopped by the Havana police for identity control. Sometimes they are arrested. A good way to find a guide in Havana is strolling in front of the "Capitolio" and look out for Cubans bearing a badge with "Tourist guide" this are Habaneros with an authorisation. I suggest that you prepare your city visits, know which places you want to see, Havana is a big city a lot of transport has to be done by taxi or Cocotaxi. (taxi= 0.8- 1 CUC/km - 0.9 USD per km) Another possibility, make a deal with a taxi driver. For example: when you want to visit Cementery Colon in the Havana Vedado district (distance 5-6km from Old Havana) ask the driver to show you the nearby tourist attractions, such as Plaza de la Revolucion, Havana University etc. but always, always make a deal and discuss the price in advance. The price for a guide job may vary, but take in account that 20 USD per month is an average Cuban salary. So I guess 5-20 Cuc (5-20 USD) plus travel costs would be a fair price for the average guide.
Wish you a pleasant stay in Havana.

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Dec 01, 2017
Guide in the city NEW
by: Jaime Hardwell

Nice trip; very knowledgeable about the culture, society and the true cuban life, I strongly recommend jimmy.

Aug 18, 2017
true Cuba NEW
by: Jennifer Cordoban

Hi. I have been three days in Havana and did three different tours with a cuban local guide... he is a young law student so he knows everything about the cuban society, architecture, but also the cuban people, habits and everything, he accepts a small payment in dollars and was amazing, I recommend him for everyone traveling to Cuba. his name is Jimmy, here comes his email wendilla@nauta.cu.

Jun 16, 2017
Musicians, teachers NEW
by: Tom Graper

Radisbel was incredible. We returned on 16 June 2017. He really did his homework. I am a trumpet player and he took us way out of Habana to meet a retired trumpeter and his family...We listened, played, ate and shared. WE then heard four bands with trumpet and I sat in with two. This was a dream. Radis is an English teacher and a real pro.
He is not on the government grid so our dollars (CUC) stayed with the real Cubans. There is no checking, paperwork or restrictions. We paid after the trip + taxi (a Russian Lada).

Thank you Radisbel....radisbelsd@nauta.cu

Mar 12, 2017
better offer NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello there. I am a guide in Havana and although I don not work with a government´s agency we are very good at it and very preofessionals ... and less expensive too. We do everything for you, airport, staying, transportation, reservations, and more, the best thing is we work with one or more persons.We have been working with a lot of tourists and most of them Canadians and Americans.

Name: Radisbel Soto Diaz
Contact: radisbelsd@nauta.cu
Phone: (53) 53469717

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