When going on vacation, one of the big decisions you need to make is where you are going to stay.
Cuba is a unique country, with many beautiful properties. Rather than staying in a hotel, you may be interested in staying in a Casa Particular instead.
You will be able to save money, contribute to the local economy, and benefit from comfortable, warm, and traditional accommodation.
With that being said, continue reading to discover everything you need to know:
What is a casa particular?
A ‘Casa Particular’ is a type of accommodation in Cuba. Rather than staying in an expensive hotel, you can stay in a local’s house.
A casa particular is fully legal. Owners will sign up to be given the right to rent out their full house or a room on their property.
They are very much like a B&B, as many provide breakfast as well. As they are a lot more affordable and you get to stay in a traditional property, a lot of people prefer casa particulares (plural).
What are the benefits of staying in a casa particular?
There are many reasons why we recommend staying in a casa particular when visiting Cuba. This includes the following:
Enjoy an authentic Cuban experience
There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that you are staying in an authentic Cuban home. This means that you get a genuine glimpse into Cuban life during your stay. This is something that simply cannot be replicated in a hotel environment.
Make the most of your time in Cuba
When staying in a casa particular, you really can maximize your time in Cuba. You can learn from the locals. Find out what life is really like in Cuba. Pick up some Spanish phrases. Most people find that they have a much more fulfilling trip when staying in this type of accommodation.
Outstanding value for money
If you are visiting Cuba on a budget, a casa particular is just what you need. You should have no trouble finding one that fits in with your desired price range.
Eat authentic, home cooked Cuban food
Cuba may not be known as a destination for foodies. Nevertheless, the quality of the meals served in casa particulares is much better than in the majority of restaurants and hotels. Hosts take pride in their cooking, sourcing ingredients from local markets and taking great pride in cooking tasty, traditional meals for their guests.
You’re giving back to the locals
A casa particular is very much run like a B&B. This means that by staying in one of these properties, you are putting money directly into the pockets of the local people in Cuba, which is something a lot of people prefer to do, rather than paying big international companies with hotels in the area.
Enjoy central locations with a small-scale charm
You could be staying in an old colonial house in Trinidad or a brightly colored cottage in Vinales; either way, you will get to enjoy a unique, character-filled property in a convenient and desirable location.
The hospitality is second-to-none
Finally, casa particulares are known for being warm and accommodating. Most owners will give you a great welcome. They will be willing to go the extra mile to ensure you have a comfortable stay. Owners will also provide excellent advice to help you make the most of your time in Cuba.
How to book a casa particular in Cuba
You shouldn’t find it too difficult to book a casa particular in Cuba. There are plenty of ways to go about it, including:
Find somewhere on Airbnb
There is no denying the popularity of Airbnb! Since it first appeared in Cuba in 2015, many people have used this platform to book accommodation.
It has been a bit of a rocky ride for Airbnb and Cuba, as there were a lot of limitations at first. However, it has gotten much better in recent years. This all happened when relations between the United States and Cuba were eased thanks to President Obama. As a consequence, Airbnb was able to transfer funds so casa particular owners would get paid. Now, a lot of owners are open to using this platform.
One thing that is worth noting is that Airbnb does take quite a big cut, so if you can book the same casa particular directly with the owner, you may want to do this to ensure more of your money goes to the locals. Of course, if you prefer the security of using Airbnb, that’s completely your choice!
Use a booking portal like Hostelworld or Booking.com
There are lots of great booking websites that feature casa particulares and are known for safe, reliable options:
Booking.com is incredibly popular. Not only does it feature hotels, but villas, homes, flats, and other types of properties. Booking is straightforward, and you can often pay on arrival.
Another popular option is hostelworld.com. Most people use this website for booking hostel beds in dorms, but it is a viable option for casa particulares in Cuba. One thing to note is that if you want a room for yourself, you’ll want a booking that states “private room” rather than “dorm bed.”
Simply turn up and see which one appeals to you
Finally, you could always just book a trip to Cuba and go with the flow! Of course, this is only recommended during the low season. And, you should expect the most popular casa particulares to be fully booked.
However, for last-minute trips or those with a sense of adventure, you should be able to find a casa particular in this way. Plus, most owners know each other and are happy to make recommendations when their own place is booked.
Make the most of your time in Cuba by staying in a casa particular
As you can see, there is a lot to gain by staying in a casa particular while visiting Cuba. Not only will you benefit from more affordable rates, but you will get to stay in a traditional Cuban property and get a real glimpse into authentic Cuban life.