Tourism Ireland

All You Need to Know About Casas Particulares in Cuba

by Jack Guy

Oct 7, 2017

Cuba © Demerzel21 | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Traveling solo can be difficult anywhere in the world, but Cuba presents a specific set of challenges.If you strike out on your own without an organized tour group, you’ll have to get used to the Cuban system. One of the most emblematic parts of the Cuban travel experience is the casa particular, a kind of bed and breakfast where you stay with Cuban families in their spare rooms.

You will be able to spot these houses by the blue signs displayed outside, which read arrendador divisa. This means they are approved for foreign guests. Other houses have orange signs, and they are for Cubans only. You can get in trouble if you stay in one as a foreigner.

Prices depend on location and the standard of facilities on offer. You can expect to pay upwards of $40 per night for a well-appointed room in Havana, but as little as $5 for a more basic place to stay in provincial towns.

You can negotiate the price on arrival, and make sure to order your breakfast the night before should you want it. Many house owners will put on a great morning spread for around $5.

If you want to get to know Cuban people, homestays are a far better option than state-run hotels. Staying in casas makes for a more personal experience, and there are plenty of them to choose from.

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