Cuba is a fascinating destination, a cultural melting pot of an island which enjoys a year-round tropical climate. Whether you want to visit the beaches of the Caribbean coast or explore Cuba’s colourful colonial cities, travelling to this enchanting nation will feel like a paradisiacal trip back in time.
If you’re wondering where to stay, look no further! The best option for accommodation in Cuba is to stay with local hosts in a casa particular. There are plenty to choose from across the island and these homestays will, without doubt, enhance your experience of Cuba.
Cuba has been trending for a while now and has made a name for itself as a destination which is accessible, affordable, and unique. While it may lack as many lavish resorts of other Caribbean islands, its fantastic accommodation system provides visitors with an incredible cultural experience during their trip.
Local families rent out rooms in their homes to tourists; it’s like a grassroots version of AirBnB, but with 100% of the fee going directly to the homeowners. Additionally, staying in a casa offers an authentic glimpse into Cuban culture that you won’t find in a luxury resort. It’s a no brainer!
Is a casa particular similar to a hostel or hotel?
A casa is different because it is a privately-owned residence without the hefty price tag of hotels. Casa hosts pay a fee to the government in order to rent out their spare rooms, but they get to keep the entire profit from your stay. Therefore, you’ll know that your money is helping a Cuban family directly rather than being piped into a corporate company.
However, the best part of choosing to stay in a casa is getting to know the local people. In most cases you’ll form new friendships and your hosts will be eager to share information about the local area and activities, often while sharing a home-cooked meal in the comfort of their casa.
Every morning, whether in quirky Havana or scenic Viñales, you’ll be greeted with fresh coffee and a feast of fruit, bread, eggs, and pastries. For a small fee, some hosts will even treat you to some traditional homemade dishes, which is likely to be cheaper than dining in restaurants too.
All casas are unique, but they are often colourful, charming, and packed with traditional Latino character. Most will offer guests a private bathroom, with the option of other amenities such as air conditioning and Wifi.
Is it safe to stay in a casa particular?
If you’re concerned about your safety when choosing to bed down in a stranger’s home, you can be reassured that all hosts pay a monthly tax to the government to register their rooms for rent.
In fact, there is an official procedure where each casa notes down the guest details including passport numbers and tourist cards, and the host will typically call a phone number to register their guests.
Furthermore, registered casas are easy to spot, as each property has the same symbol – a kind of double-sided arrow – somewhere near the entrance to the property.
Every Cuban has a friend with a room to rent. If you’ve booked an escorted tour but you want to stay in a casa before or after, you can book them online. However, it’s also just as simple to find somewhere to stay on the spot.
In fact, your taxi driver, tour guide, or waitress will usually have the number of a friend with a spare room. There’s a zero percent chance of you ending up without a place to stay, so get ready to start packing for the trip of a lifetime!
So what are you waiting for? A trip to the most charming island in the Caribbean awaits! Check out our Cuba tours here.