Almendrones

Travellers to Cuba often describe their experience as a time warp, and nothing is more iconic of this experience than going for a ride in a Cuban "Almendron." This term is used to describe cars built before 1960, year in which the American embargo came into effect. An estimate of 75,000 Almendrones continue to drive the roads of Cuba in an example of mechanic ingenuity. With limited access to parts, Cubans are known to have fixed these cars by adapting parts from refrigerators or machine washers. In many cities, the Almendrones function as group taxis travelling a set route, and collecting passengers on their way. Fifty cents CUC (approx. 50 cents CAD) take passengers for a ride across time and space. Whether being repaired on the side of the road or driving noisily through the streets of La Habana, the Almendrones are essential characters in Cuba's charm.