💡 Planning Your Trip to Cuba 💡
✈️ Flights: To find the best deals on flights, Captain Ulysses highly recommends using Skyscanner or Omio.
🇨🇺 Visa: Before you depart, be sure to apply for your tourist card (which is your visa for Cuba). You can easily order your tourist card online through CubaVisa.
🛏️ Accommodations: To book your accommodations in Cuba, the Captain recommends Expedia.
📸 Activities: To book your activities, the Captain highly recommends Civitatis.
What is a casa particular?
A casa particular is a common type of accommodation in Cuba where you stay with local residents. While some casas particulares only offer one room for guests, others are more like small hotels.
You can recognize them by a distinct blue logo with the words “arrendador divisa” underneath.
The facilities in casas particulares are usually quite basic, but all rooms typically include:
- Two beds, with at least one being a double bed
- A refrigerator
- A private bathroom with hot water
- Air conditioning (or fans as an alternative)
When you arrive, you’ll need to provide your passport. The owners of casas particulares are required to register any guests staying on their property within 24 hours. They also have to pay high taxes.
You might also come across places with a red logo of casas particulares. These are casas particulares reserved for Cuban residents, while the ones with the blue logo are typically available for foreign visitors.
Why choose to stay in a casa particular?
Casa particulares offer the most budget-friendly accommodation options in Cuba. On average, you can expect to pay around 20-25 CUC per night, including breakfast, almost anywhere on the island. Prices may be slightly higher in Havana.
They are also the most common type of accommodation available in Cuba. You’ll find an abundance of casas particulares, especially in the popular tourist areas of the island.
If you’re traveling on a tight budget and value flexibility, casas particulares are the perfect choice for you! In fact, the majority of independent travelers opt for this accommodation option.
Should you book your casas particulares in advance?
For the capital city and Viñales, it’s advisable to book your casa particular in advance, especially if you’re visiting Cuba during the peak season.
In other parts of the island, there’s no need to take such precautions unless you have a specific casa particular in mind.
The casas particulares listed in tourist guides are rarely available, but the owners will gladly provide you with alternative recommendations.
You can easily spot casas particulares by their distinct blue signs. Don’t hesitate to approach and visit the casas particulares that catch your interest.
How to make reservations for your casas particulares?
If you’re fluent in Spanish, you can directly call the casas particulares to make your reservations. If not, no worries! You can also use websites like Expedia to book your accommodations in Cuba. The great advantage of both options is that they are available in French and very user-friendly.
Dining at the casa particular
The majority of casas particulares offer the option of having dinner for their guests. You can expect to pay around 10 to 15 CUC per person. This additional source of income is significant for the owners, as overnight stays are heavily taxed by the government.
Dinners served in casas particulares are often quite abundant, including dishes like guacamole, plantain chips, fresh vegetables, avocado, meat or fish, rice, beans, dessert, and more.
In terms of quality, it can be a bit hit or miss! Some casas offer excellent dinners, while others may be a bit disappointing. If you have internet access, you can check TripAdvisor reviews to help you decide whether or not to dine at the casa particular.
Regardless, Captain Ulysses highly recommends experiencing it at least once or twice!
Casas particulares, the Captain’s top choices in Cuba
Here are the Captain’s top picks in Cuba :
Casas particulares in Havana
- Budget-friendly option: Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
- Authentic colonial casa: Casa Miriam Hostal Colonial
- More modern option: Hostal Habana Tu & Yo
Casas particulares in The Viñales Valley
Casas particulares in Trinidad
- La Residencia Margarita, for its tasteful decor
- La Casa Nerelvis y Liubetsy, for its friendly hosts and quality service
- L’Hostal Ramirez, if you’re running on a tight budget
- Casa Barmarin, for travelers in search of a higher-end Casa experience
Casas particulares in Cienfuegos
- the most affordable: Hostal La Escala
- the best value for money: Casa Bella Epoca
- the most exclusive/luxurious: Casa Buenavista | Hotel Palacio Barón Balbín
Casas particulares in Camagüey
- Hostal La Fuente, for its exuberant colonial ambiance and central location.
- Hostal Green House, for its small pool and luxurious terrace.
Casas particulares in Baracoa
Casas particulares in Santiago de Cuba
- Hostal Bellamar
- Casa Colonial 1893
- Hostal Heredia (more upscale)
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