In addition to questions on how to visit Cuba legally and getting around, I received many questions on where to stay. Hotels are pretty expensive, but to be in compliance with the Support for Cuban People category, you should be staying at a Casa Particular (vacation rental or casa for short). Types of casas include private rooms, apartments, or entire houses. If you’re visiting Cuba anytime soon, here are some tips for renting a casa particular.
How to Book a Casa Particular
The easiest way to book a casa particular is through an online service. During our search, we chose Airbnb, but there are other options available. Just make sure to ask as many questions as possible and read reviews before making your final decision. You also need to state your reason for visiting before booking. Make sure all your ducks are in a row from booking to returning as you may be questioned by a Customs agent when entering the US. Below are some sites to book a casa particular online:
- Airbnb ($40 credit on your first booking)
- Innclusive ($20 Innclusive credit)
- My Casa Particular
- Havana Casa Particular
- Cuba Booking Room
Related: 5 Tips for Planning a Trip to Cuba
Not all casa hosts speak English. If you’re not fluent or conversational in Spanish, download Google Translate via the app or Google play store and use it to your advantage. Food may be included in the booking price while other hosts may offer it for an additional fee. My cousin and I booked both a private apartment and private room for two casas via Airbnb. Both rentals had cafes and restaurants walking distance, so we purchased food for about $3-20 CUC total for lunches and dinners.
To get an idea of a casa particular, here’s a video of our first casa, a one bedroom apartment rental on Calle 23.
In addition to our rentals, I have a few friends that have stayed in casas via Airbnb. Here are links to our room rental at La Rosa de Ortega and their suggestions in Havana:
Not only does renting a casa particular save you money on a budgeted vacation, it is a great type of cultural exchange. Our hosts gave us a list of activities, restaurants and showed where to go in case we needed money or assistance. One of my vegan friends showed her host how to make fruit and vegetable breakfast smoothies, gifted her blender and she loved it. Research is definitely key when looking for lodging in Cuba.
Have you done a vacation rental in a different city or country?