If you are looking to hire a driver in Havana


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On 1/14/2020 at 10:13 AM, nino said:

I met Jorge last trip a few times as he was driving FOH friends and can only confirm all the praise for him, he is a great guy and guide.

Funny to see Arturo Mejuto mentioned here, have known him for many, many years through Festival meetings and he is also a great guy, used to be HSA guy in Canada, serious, I am very certain he is good to have around in Havana.

We used Arturo for our group of four several weeks ago and he was absolutely invaluable to ensuring we had an amazing trip. It was our first time there and he did a wonderful group of mixing cigar shopping with introducing us to Havana and its history. He placed orders for customs for me in advance of our arrival to ensure I’d get what I wanted, he knew every manager at every LCDH shop (he helped open some of them) which opened doors to ensuring I couple get the boxes I wanted, he was prompt at every occasion, speaks perfect English, is good company, and has an incredible memory for history. Having a modern car was more comforting for us. I will use him every time I return to the island. 

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We hooked up with Jorge (George) on the first day of our havana trip. We hit it off straight away. Jorge speaks fluent English, is a raconteur, historian, tour guide, problem solver and just a decent

My wife and I used Jorge last Thursday. Everything you have read is true. Very proud and knowledgeable of the area. He is educating himself into the cigar world to accommodate the FOH members. He is m

Long time before "the light at the end of the tunnel is not the oncoming train light " .... but here is a suggestion for a Havana travel guide that both I and @Habana Mike would recommend once trave

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I met Jose Fernandez through a mutual friend here on FOH (Hat tip, and a thank you, you know who you are, much respect). Pre-Covid I would visit Havana a couple times a year with my Dad and friends. Jose and I became great friends also. He owns one of 20ish private taxi's in Cuba licensed for whole island travel and airport service. He's an incredibly professional person and driver. He speaks perfect English. Typically, when I'm traveling to Cuba now, I simply contact him on WhatsApp and tell him my itinerary (well in advance), what kind of accommodations I'm looking for, what neighborhood, and I just show up at the Airport. Everything is taken care of 100%. He's with us from the time we leave our Casa to when we're ready to turn in. Jose is communicative, kind, intelligent, prompt and trustworthy.

Jose will basically set things up the way you want them. Submit an itinerary with place and dates. No problem, it's handled. Want to simply call Jose when you need him during your itinerary as a Taxi Driver? No problem. Looking for Cigar tourism? No Problem, he has deep relationships from Havana to Pinar del Rio to Vinales. Looking for City hop over the course of a week or weeks? No problem.

Jose can be reached via:
Https://CubaTours.Taxi
Https://facebook.com/CubaTours.Taxi
WhatsApp / Mobile at   +53 5 2594032

ProTips:

1. The best way to use Jose's services would be to fully book him to your party while you're in Cuba. He shares a price for that with you and will be agreed upon before you arrive. That price includes transportation, gas, and his time with you as your translator and concierge. Meals are not included. (see note 3 below) Frankly if you're English speaking with weak to no Spanish, Jose will take all the pressure off of the trip and you'd never not want to travel that way again -
2. Airbnb's and Casa Particualres accommodation culture - I booked an Airbnb once and he asked why I didn't ask him to book it for me. (I simply didn't know to ask) Well traveled people are used to handling their own itineraries end to end so that's what I was doing. Ultimately, the price you pay for Airbnb and the price he can negotiate with the Casa owners on your behalf directly are often as much as 40% different or as little as no difference. It's worth the ask. Send him the address and contact info for the Casa you'd like to rent, and he'll let you know in a few days.
3. Mealtime. Jose is happy to translate for you wherever you go. Mealtime is no different. He's happy to set the reservations for you, see you to your table, and help you order during the meal if you like. He will make everything as smooth as possible. Side note - If he's with you during the meal, he rarely eats, but will if you make him ? When he's with us, all of his meals are taken care of by our group and that's probably the best approach. He won’t drink while on duty.
4. Don't stay in Hotels. Well, you can if you want to, but it isn't the best way to experience the culture. Have Jose book a house for you (you'll have it all to yourself if that's what you want) and the owners will keep it clean, and even make breakfast for you each morning. Breakfast typically costs ~$5 per person per day. It's worth it if you'd like that. 
5. Petty Theft - Cuba is _very_ safe. Probably the safest Caribbean parallel country I've ever been to. I've only had something stolen once while in Cuba and I've never felt threatened or unsafe even walking the streets at 2am through neighborhoods. In this case we were at the beach and our bags were outside of our field of view for a little too long. Ensure you know where your things are at all times around Havana and the beaches. Keep your passports and cash on you where possible. I use a backpack that I don't let out of my sight. Petty theft is about all you'll ever need be aware of. I've stayed at many houses, they all had safes in the rooms and or just left our things be. Cubans are very honest and pride themselves on this.
6. Cigar Tourism. Habano's Tours are one of Jose's specialties. Talk to him about what you're looking for. You found a true gem in him in that regard. ..and no, we're not talking about the cooperativa BS you get in the street. You're in very good hands there. 
7. Currency Exchange. Jose can arrange and assist with currency exchange for you as soon as you arrive. Don't sweat it. You can exchange in the airport if you like also. Just let him know what you need, and he'll work it out so it's drama free. I've literally handed him thousands of dollars to go exchange for me for our group for our Casa fees and he came back later, we counted it together right on the front porch of the Casa. If you're from the US, the blue banded new style 100's are the most drama free to exchange. As of 2020 your Credit Card's still won’t work in Havana if you're from the US.
7. Don't be afraid to ask anything of Jose. You want bottles of water? He'll find it for you. You want that special Rum or Cigar box you can’t find. He'll drive to every place in Havana to look for it. He realizes you're on vacation and wants it to be your experience. Jose is relaxed about everything. You'll feel that way as well.
 

 

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On 1/7/2018 at 6:56 AM, El Presidente said:

We hooked up with Jorge (George) on the first day of our havana trip. We hit it off straight away. Jorge speaks fluent English, is a raconteur, historian, tour guide, problem solver and just a decent all around bloke.  Taxis in Havana are not cheap anymore and Jorge charges 100 CUC a day for personal hire.  Split is amongst three (lada) and it is a bargain to have someone trustworthy and excellent from sun up to late into the night/early morning. 

Take down his details although I will move this to the Cuba travel and classifieds section. 

As always, the only people will spruik on FOH are those that provide an exceptional product, service, experience.  Jorge fits the bill!

If you need a driver for a day or a week....shoot him an email. let him know Rob from Oz sent you. 

Jorge Luis Clavijo

Mobile +535 361 0146

[email protected]

www.facebook/taxiClavijo

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On 5/30/2018 at 4:53 AM, JY0 said:

Here is Jorge’s contact info  

 

Jorge Luis Clavijo

Taxi Service
www.facebook/taxiClavijo

 

 

 

On 10/4/2018 at 6:22 AM, busdriver said:

George is a good guy and he is on time and very reliable.  If he is not available when you want to schedule a pickup he will arrange for someone else to be there. His reliability is peerless in Cuba.  Over a long weekend, me and my party had half a dozen pre arranged pickups and George or his people were there every time.

George also knows the LCDHs that most of us want to see.  Just don’t count on him for nightlife suggestions. If you are younger and in Cuba to party, that’s just not his scene.  

George has had a lot of business lately for FOH, Rob has done him a real solid.  If he knows you are from FOH, he will be all that more responsive.

 

On 12/27/2018 at 10:19 PM, HDGSN said:

Yorge picked my wife and I up at the airport, drove us around all day the following day and arranged for a ride to the airport when we were leaving and he was not available. A+ service. He is a busy, busy man, and his services seem to always be in demand as he gets calls and texts throughout the day. He had a multi-day multi-province trip this week, a big one he was talking about in March with someone from FOH (or as he says, “the club”), and he even got an urgent last minute request to pick up a group at 4:30AM the next day while we were en route to one of the many shop visits.

He answers e-mails within 24 hours and also has WhatsApp to text, also within 24 hours. Airport rides are 30CUC and a full day of driving (10-7 or 11-8) was 100CUC.

He has good recommendations on nice restaurants, although they definitely skew to the nicer places.

His English is good and both parties can understand most of what the other is saying. He is a friend of this here club, and I will be recommending him to friends and family that may be going down there.

He is good friends with Yolanda and also has Alex’s number and can call and make pre-arrangements with both, which I would recommend.  

 

On 1/6/2019 at 6:27 AM, Diesel 777 said:

My wife and I used Jorge last Thursday. Everything you have read is true. Very proud and knowledgeable of the area. He is educating himself into the cigar world to accommodate the FOH members. He is making contacts and took me to see Alex on the first day he was back at his shop. Honest is an understatement. My dumbass self accidentally left my wallet in his car at the end of our day. I realized it about 30 minutes later in a full panic tearing our cabin apart on the ship. As I am trying to retrace my steps the phone rings. My wife blurts out “there’s your wallet”. Jorge had found it and was at the port with it. The Royal Caribbean staff along with the Cuban customs and security were great at getting back down quickly. He is standing there with my wallet. Hands it to me and immediately says “check it”. I did and the 600 CUC and $200 US were still there. I go to give him something for his honesty and he backs up and refuses. I then try to give him a hug in appreciation and he backs up thinking I’m going to hide it somewhere on him. Needless to say, he is a great man. Yes, my stupidity would’ve been a nice score for him but he would rather have the constant business from us to make more money in the long run. If you have and questions about Jorge or Cuba, let me know. I hope I can return sooner than later!


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On 3/30/2019 at 7:19 PM, Bords said:

Can confirm Jorge is the best and was the highlight of our two days in Havana. He took us around old Havana then Cigar shopping, finishing off at the Nacional. Great guy and great guide!!
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On 5/1/2019 at 6:39 AM, SmokinNukie said:

I booked Jorge again for two days this past weekend. He’s still a gem imho.

We had some great and new experiences which I will detail when I get time. Good stuff.

Btw, he also got me into the Partagas factory for a private tour.

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On 10/23/2019 at 11:32 AM, ElJavi76 said:

Jorge reached out to me last night with updated contact info. He's going with a Gmail account since the nauta service just isn't reliable enough. Feel free to contact him thru any of his channels, including Facebook (taxis clavijo) and Instagram (taxi.cuba.clavijo). 

His new email is: [email protected]

Cheers!

 

On 12/6/2019 at 12:51 AM, bmf30180 said:

 I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Jorge this past weekend.  This was my second trip with him.  He goes above and beyond for all of his clients.  He's both professional and personable.  I cannot recommend his services enough.  From what I have heard, this may be the only image of Jorge with a lit cigar in his hand.  Hector was teasing him that he always tells people how great his cigars are, but had never smoke one personally.  I thought is was a great candid moment between friends.  FWIW, Jorge is absolutely correct.

When leaving us on our last day with him, he made sure to tell us that should anything happen and we need any assistance, to reach out to him.  That's the kind of service you get with Jorge.

I believe WhatsApp is the easiest way to reach him, and he is always quick to respond.

(I sent the pic to him and asked his permission to post it here)

Also, a huge shoutout to Hector for taking the time to sit and chat with us.  He is a very busy man this time of year and was beyond a gracious host.

 

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On 12/7/2019 at 4:44 PM, bmf30180 said:

Yes, the whatsapp number is the same.  Here is his latest card. 

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I've met Jorge a few times at Santy's and Hector Luis when he is driving and taking care of FoH friends and we happened to share some time together. Always a good time with him for sure.

He is a great, very civilized and well educated guy with a high professional standard.

I've had a few drivers myself last 10 years and mostly they were nice until they learned enough ropes from me about cigars, Paladares, LCDH's and farms to go for the tourist kill and became unreliable failures under "new Gringo management" ... ?.

Happy to have a very good & reliable local driver friend now who doesn't smoke, doesn't speak English, doesn't give me headaches and doesn't care about cigars and doesn't want  to be "offered" on FOH .... ?

Here is a nice video I just found about Jorge driving Cuban You Tube bloggers to Bay of Pigs these days ( right now ), an area I know quite well and love to escape from Havana to.

Makes me wanna be there during this harsh lock-down pandemic winter.

 

 

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On 2/7/2018 at 3:46 PM, upnflames said:

If anyone is looking for a great driver that will pick up at airport or port and is a great guy please let me know. There has been several on here and friends that have used his services. He speaks Spanish and English and retired from Habanas s.a. In Cuba and moved to Canada for Habanas s.a. as well. He knows everyone in Cuba that has anything to do with Cigars which makes it very nice. He's reasonably priced and most of the time he will get you custom cigars free to smoke at the shops. He's precise and always on time. Great guys just let me know if your interested and I will give you his info. The pictures are of my fulltime driver/friend..Arturo is his name. 

Cheers, 

Robert Rogers

 

 

On 8/21/2018 at 4:10 AM, garagedragon said:

My son and I hired Arturo a few weeks ago, and can vouch for Robert Roger's recommendation. He is a great guide, and terrific person.

On 2/22/2019 at 12:21 PM, GotaCohiba said:

Great trip this time with both Arturo and Jorge 

Either of them is a great option

If going out to Pindar del Rio I’d recommend Jorge

If hitting cigar shops or touring the history of Havana I’d recommend Arturo

Arturo contact info :  [email protected]

Just my $.02.     Either of them can be trusted to provide you a great service

On 5/5/2019 at 9:35 AM, GotaCohiba said:

Just finished 3 more days with Arturo that included day trips to Vinales and Veradero.

I'd go back to Veradero, but would skip a return trip to Vinales and instead head back to Hector's farm for custom rolls

On 1/15/2020 at 3:19 AM, boopdeep said:

I highly recommend Arturo. Great guy, very reliable and punctual, and has great contacts in cigar shops as he was in the industry for 25 years. We used him for 4 days in November, and there is no question that I'll be using him for every trip from here on out.

As with Jorge, I've never used Arturo Mejuto as a driver/guide, but : I've known Arturo for 15 years, having met him at the Habanos Festival back then when he still was working for HSA in Canada.

Great & reliable serious guy, I am sure you will be in good hands if you book him.

My 2 cents ?

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Back to Jorge Luis Clavijo - I just sent him the link to the YT video ( where there is also his contact data ) and told him I'd posted it here on FoH.

He replied immediately, he's still with that Cuban You Tuber group, today at Mariel and westwards and sent me this picture of him & the main You Tuber Anita with best regards.

 

Jorge Luis Clavijo.jpg

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Long time before "the light at the end of the tunnel is not the oncoming train light " ....
but here is a suggestion for a Havana travel guide that both I and @Habana Mike would recommend once travel to Cuba starts again :

https://www.instagram.com/ovzcuba1/

Osvaldo is a good friend, speaks good English and can help you navigate Havana.

Highly recommended.

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Osvaldo has been invaluable for us. Always has a ride for us at the airport. SIM for the phone. Money exchange service though that may a thing of the past?

Love how we go into a store to pick up water, rum and other essentials on arrival and the bill is significantly less than if we'd done so as Yumas.

They're a lovely family and always have us to their home for a dinner.

His wife Carmen's brother is a guitarist in well known pop bands and they took us to a concert at the Jardines del Teatro Mella. Outdoor concert with Tony Avila. We were the only tourists there. Backstage pass!

A friend of Alex at Comodoro and can translate where needed.

+1 on the recommendation!

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Another good recommendation for a driver in Havana :

Hansel Morales Caceres

A reliable, friendly, English speaking young man.

He might have a small car BUT he has a big advantage : His mother is my good friend Odalys Caceres who many of you know and like after meeting her at LCDH Partagas where she works and offers a tremendously excellent service.

I can recommend Hansel.

HAV Mobile : +53 5263 7282

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Hansel and Odalys :

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On 1/21/2021 at 6:05 PM, Habana Mike said:

Osvaldo has been invaluable for us. Always has a ride for us at the airport. SIM for the phone. Money exchange service though that may a thing of the past?

Love how we go into a store to pick up water, rum and other essentials on arrival and the bill is significantly less than if we'd done so as Yumas.

They're a lovely family and always have us to their home for a dinner.

His wife Carmen's brother is a guitarist in well known pop bands and they took us to a concert at the Jardines del Teatro Mella. Outdoor concert with Tony Avila. We were the only tourists there. Backstage pass!

A friend of Alex at Comodoro and can translate where needed.

+1 on the recommendation!

Also highly recommend this beautiful family. Great friends. They always have over to their house for dinner.

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On 1/21/2021 at 2:43 PM, nino said:

Long time before "the light at the end of the tunnel is not the oncoming train light " ....
but here is a suggestion for a Havana travel guide that both I and @Habana Mike would recommend once travel to Cuba starts again :

https://www.instagram.com/ovzcuba1/

Osvaldo is a good friend, speaks good English and can help you navigate Havana.

Highly recommended.

695912024_OsvaldoHAV.jpg.c95935e095fcb2413b66609c871af544.jpg

I can highly recommend Osvaldo as well. That's me to the far right in the photo above. He is a great person, very generous and honest. He also speaks great English. 

I don't know Jorge as well, but I have met him several times and he seems like a great guy.

I also HIGHLY recommend Jose Fernandez. I literally Trust him with my life. The photo's below are from the Bay of Pigs, we spent a couple days diving there in Nov 2019. We've done some crazy dives together (Wrecks, Caves, almost 150') and he's an excellent driver/guide/fixer.

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On 12/21/2020 at 10:19 PM, nino said:

Back to Jorge Luis Clavijo - I just sent him the link to the YT video ( where there is also his contact data ) and told him I'd posted it here on FoH.

He replied immediately, he's still with that Cuban You Tuber group, today at Mariel and westwards and sent me this picture of him & the main You Tuber Anita with best regards.

 

 

Here is the second of the YT posts of that Cuban You Tuber Anita - visiting Playa Larga/Caleton in Bay of Pigs, crocs, water rats, diving and Caleta Buena - swimming with the fishes.

Brings back nice memories of lovely places.

 

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:47 PM, nino said:

Here is the second of the YT posts of that Cuban You Tuber Anita - visiting Playa Larga/Caleton in Bay of Pigs, crocs, water rats, diving and Caleta Buena - swimming with the fishes.

Brings back nice memories of lovely places.

 

Its such a Beautiful part of the country! We need to spend some time down there during our next trip.

Below is the view from the bottom of "Cueva de los Peces" shown at 1:35 in the video: https://youtu.be/6JDA0KvwDwY?t=95 Believe it or not, that tiny hole in the rocks is about 145'/44m deep. 

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19 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

Its such a Beautiful part of the country! We need to spend some time down there during our next trip.

Below is the view from the bottom of "Cueva de los Peces" shown at 1:35 in the video: https://youtu.be/6JDA0KvwDwY?t=95 Believe it or not, that tiny hole in the rocks is about 145'/44m deep. 

 

Here is another fascinating video of diving and snorkeling - both at Cueva de los Peces which he claims is 70m/210feet deep - and out on Bay of Pigs at sunken ships :

 

 

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On 2/20/2021 at 2:09 PM, nino said:

Here is another fascinating video of diving and snorkeling - both at Cueva de los Peces which he claims is 70m/210feet deep - and out on Bay of Pigs at sunken ships :

 

 

61 meters at its deepest. That's what the signs at the cave and most sources say. BUT, that is inside the cave several hundred meters. I see some travel websites saying 70, but I havent been to either depth, yet. You'll only reach that point if you're diving "twins".(two tanks) Jose and I were on fumes for the last couple meters of our ascent. It only took us about 3 minutes to go down and an hour to decompress as we slowly worked back up. The cave actually connects all the way back to the ocean. So you can see both fresh and salt water species on the same dive. The fresh water is FREEZING for about 2 meters, then you hit the bathtub temp ocean water for the rest of the way. The thermocline is crazy, you think you're surfacing when you hit the top of the salt water, but your head just hits the cold water. You can't see down past it, its a very odd sensation.  

The free diver above looks to me to be about 35-40 meters deep. He did not reach 61 or 70 meters without air, its just not possible in this location. 

That wreck is actually right near the mouth of the cave, in the bay. Jose and I dove that wreck in the morning its only 12-15 meters down, then the cave after lunch. I'm actually inside that wreck in the second photo of Jose above. 

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48 minutes ago, FrancisK7 said:

Invaluable thread.

As soon as the COVID craziness subsides I'll be booking a Havana trip. Being Canadian I kind of want to book Arturo as my guide, I'd love to discuss the behind the scene stuff that happened between the government and Habanos.

When doing a LCDH tour how many are there to visits around Havana?

 

Lots.  Half a dozen or so within Havana proper.

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