Hitchhiking in Cuba: illegal or mandatory?
Hello friends, hitchhikers, travellers!
We have a question and we hope you can collectively help us solve it. We feel the readers of HitchHikersHandbook are a real community and we love to hear what you have to say.
Our previous open discussion on whether or not women should hitchhike on their own was a great success, so we hope in this case it will not be different.
Is hitchhiking in Cuba illegal or quite the contrary: mandatory by law?
‘Hitchhiking in Cuba is illegal’
We have never been to Cuba, so we don’t have a first hand opinion but we have recently posted a guest article about budget travelling in Cuba in which Phoebe, the author, stated that hitchhiking in this country is illegal.
It is illegal for a Cuban to allow a foreigner to ride in their car unless they have a license. On the quieter roads we managed to get a few lifts, but do not expect anything similar where there is a chance of getting caught. It will not be the tourist who will get fined, but the Cuban and it may well be half their monthly salary.
Read the full article about the 9 Things you should be aware of when hitchhiking and backpacking in Cuba.
Phoebe is not your every other gringo (or yuma), she speaks Spanish and has travelled extensively in Latin America, therefore we feel we can trust her judgement, but there are other sources of information that contradict her statement and we would like to hear your opinion.
‘Drivers are required to pick up hitchhikers in Cuba’
Hitchwiki on the other hand states that hitchhiking in Cuba is excellent, many locals use it and…
In Cuba people with a private car are required to pick up hitchhikers.
However, that also means that there is a huge number of hitchhikers in Cuba and it is customary to pay a small fee for your ride.
Also Wikipedia suggests that hitchhiking in Cuba is more than legal:
In Cuba, picking up hitchhikers is mandatory by government vehicles, if passenger space is available. Hitchhiking is encouraged, as there are few cars, and designated hitchhiking spots are used. Waiting riders are picked up on a first come first go basis.
So is hitchhiking in Cuba recommended or prohibited by law?
Have you been to Cuba?
What was your hitchhiking experience like?
Did you have to pay?
How long did you have to wait for your ride?
What kind of people picked you up?
Any information you can provide is useful to us and other hitchhikers, so speak your mind!
And let it be a civilised discussion, without personal attacks, where we can all learn from each other’s experience :)