In addition to questions on how to visit Cuba and getting around, I received many questions on where to stay in Cuba. Hotels are pretty expensive, but to be in compliance with the “Support for Cuban People” category, you should be staying in Casa Particulares (casa particular, or casa for short).
Types of casa particulares in Cuba include private rooms in apartments and houses. If you desire, you can rent the apartment or entire house for added privacy. If you’re visiting anytime soon, here are some tips for renting a casa particular in Cuba.
How to Book a Casa Particular
The easiest way to book your casa particular in Cuba 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:
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 where to stay in Havana, here’s a video of our one bedroom apartment rental on Calle 23
In addition to our rentals, I have a few friends that have rented a casa particulares in Cuba via Airbnb. Here are links to our room rental at La Rosa de Ortega and their suggestions of where to stay in Havana:
Not only does renting a casa particular in Cuba save you money on a budgeted vacation, it is a great type of cultural exchange between you and your host. Communicate with your host to assist with planning your trip and share basic necessities that you can bring as gifts. 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 and gifted her blender. Research is definitely key when looking for lodging in Cuba.
Have you done a vacation rental in a different city or country?