There is no Uber in Cuba, but Cuba does have La Nave. The La Nave mobile app has a similar user interface and feels just like Uber. It’s the Uber in Cuba!
La Nave is what I use to navigate the island. And it allows me to avoid using over priced Cuban taxis or haphazard collectivos. Here’s how you can get La Nave and save on transport costs around Cuba. For all other questions about Cuba you should see my Complete Guide To Cuba.
How can I use La Nave to get around in Cuba?
Download La Nave – The Uber In Cuba
La Nave is available from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. And you will need a VPN to access either store when in Cuba. I only recommend NordVPN for Cuba as it’s the only VPN that works consistently.
You can find La Nave at https://lanave.app
Once you have the La Nave app on your device you will notice it looks exactly like Uber. Cuba has no copyright laws and they simply don’t try to hide the fact they’ve copied Uber.
La Nave is the sole mobile app for transport in Cuba. The former mobile app for Cuba was Bajanda. And before Bajanda, Sube. But Bajanda and Sube no longer function in Cuba and have shut down after their owners fled from Cuba.
Nevertheless La Nave has a more intuitive (Uber copy) GUI and is much easier to use than either Sube or Bajanda. It also has more drivers available at all hours of the day.
With the exception of a major festivity like New Years Eve or New Years Day you will not have to wait long for a La Nave.
Get A Cuban Mobile SIM Card To Use La Nave
La Nave works off mobile data and gps, just like Uber. La Nave will not work for you if you do not have a Cuban SIM card and a local mobile phone number.
Go to your nearest Cubacel store and purchase a Cuban mobile SIM card for your phone. Mobile SIM cards in Cuba are cheap. And Mobile data is competitively priced.
At current rates I pay approximately $5.50US for 16gb of data on Cubacel. And Cubacel features fast 4G LTE. We upload 4K video to Youtube from a Cubacel 4G LTE connection and have no speed issues.
Once you have a local SIM card and phone number you will need to use that number to sign up. The sign up process will require your phone to receive a verification text message to your Cuban cell phone number.
It’s free to sign up. And payments to drivers are made in cash. You will not need a credit or debit card.
Using The Cuban Uber To Get Around in Cuba
Just like the original Uber you’re familiar with, La Nave will use GPS to determine your pickup location and require you to set your destination. It will then state the prices and give you 4 vehicle options.
The options are basic, comfort, basic XL and comfort XL. The prices will reflect the vehicle type and category with a standard ‘Basic’ Lada being the cheapest option.
Yet using the Basic option I more often get cool old cars. This is because almost everyone using the mobile app to get around Cuba only selects basic and most people aren’t willing to pay more. Therefore the ‘comfort’ options often turn up when ‘basic’ is selected.
You shouldn’t always expect a very modern or ‘comfortable’ vehicle when moving around Cuba. Often the difference is that the Lada that arrives when you select ‘comfort’ has a functional exhaust or 3 out of 4 wheel nuts for your safety.
Almost all transport options in Cuba will result in rickety old junkers arriving to pick you up. Personally, I just shrug and chalk it up to Cuba. I just accept whatever vehicle turns up when I select ‘basic’.
A basic La Nave from Vedado to Old Havana (Habana Vieja) should cost little more than 400CUP which is roughly $1.90USD (exchange rates). All payments are in the local currency. Tips are not expected and tipping cab drivers in Cuba is not part of the culture.
Alternatives Mobile Applications to La nave
There are no functional mobile applications that offer alternatives. You can try your luck flagging down a taxi and will likely be ripped off. With Cuban taxis you’ll most often end up paying double what a La ave would cost.
You could also pack onto the bus or into a collectivo. But you should be warned that scabies are endemic in Cuba and these transport options are where I’ve had friends get scabies. If you’re happy to spend a portion of your holiday looking for parasite meds on the black market, feel free to use these transport methods. Personally, I would just pay the $2-3 for a La Nave.
You will also find that buses, collectivos and more expensive taxis prevent you from seeing much of what Cuba has to offer outside the touristic areas. Either because these transport options don’t go the way you want or because they are prohibitively expensive.
For example, we paid roughly $12 to get to a Finca in Guanabacoa for a YouTube video. A cab was the only other option and it would have cost more than $100.
You can see videos of us using La Nave and the places we go on our YouTube channel – an example of one such destination is below.
Can I use La Nave From the airport?
You can use the La Nave mobile application to get to and from the airport. I use it as my main transport option between the Havana Airport and the city when I have Cuban Pesos (CUP). I never take taxis to or from the airport.
If you’re arriving in Cuba for the first time you likely won’t have a Cuban CubaCel SIM card and phone number. So I would recommend using a private airport transfer when you arrive. And I would suggest using La Nave to get back to the airport when you depart.
A private airport transfer is cheaper and more comfortable than a local taxi between the airport and Havana.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there Uber in Cuba?
How to get around in Cuba?
Uber airport transfers in Cuba?
Can I use ‘Sube’ in Cuba?
Can I use ‘Bajanda’ in Cuba?
Does Lyft work in Cuba?
Does inDrive work in Cuba?
What is the Cuban version of Uber?
What is the best way to get around Cuba?
What is the cheapest way to get around Cuba?
Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?
I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.
My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.