Getting There & Away – HITCHHIKING

Hitchhiking | VaraderoFor Cubans hitchhiking (locally called: hacer botella, pidiento botella, cojer botella, or simply botella) is a very popular mean of transportation, and picking up hitchhikers is even mandatory for private and government vehicles if space is available, but these represent less than 40% of the vehicle passing. For tourists it’s the most economical way to travel around Cuba but waiting time can often be quite long.

The official system consists of points along main roads and intersections where certain vehicles are required to stop to pick up hitchhikers, these points are called “Punto Amarillo”.

You simply have to tell the “Amarillo” (State employee dressed in a yellow uniform) where you want to go, this person assigns the priorities and collect a little money when he/she finds you a ride. This money goes to the government, the driver don’t get any. As a result, it may be easier to hitchhike outside the “Puntos Amarillos” where drivers can make some money by picking up hitchhikers, but be prepare to pay more.

If you look like a tourist chances are that most drivers will want to become your "private taxi", always agree on a price before getting in. The chances of getting a free ride are low, especially near cities.

Lily & Normand

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