Bed & Breakfast stunning Cuban house
Accommodation in a private house (Casa Particular) could be one of the more interesting experiences that you may enjoy while you travel to Cuba, especially if you want to get to know firsthand how Cubans live and think and how is the 'Real Cuba'.
Cuba is an unusual country in many facts and the only way to get to know the true feeling of Cuba and its people, and obtain a deep knowledge of the Cuban society; is to maintain a regular interaction with Cubans, your hosts for example, and this you will achieve choosing to stay in this kind of private accommodation, casas particulares.
Get in touch with the truly Cuban people: If you stay in a big resort in a beach, you will never get an opportunity to talk and to make friends with the real people. You will only meet workers of the hotel and other tourists like you. You will miss the main attraction of Cuba, its people. By staying in a hostel or apartment living with Cubans you will get a feeling of the 'Real Cuba'.
Lower prices: It is much cheaper to lodge in a private room or bed and breakfast than stay in a hotel. This does not mean you will be less comfortable, on the contrary, you will have the same conditions as a hotel, air conditioning, hot and cold water, a comfortable bed, and the price will be 3 or 4 times less than a hotel. Doing so you will save some money and extend your travel to Cuba.
Directly help the Cubans: Staying in a casa particular you will be directly contributing to a person or family's stand of living.
Privacy: If you stay in a private accommodation (casa particular) you could invite to your room any friend you may want to. Something that you won't be able to do if you stay in a hotel, because you can't have Cuban guests in official hotel rooms.
Since 1997 the Cuban government allows residents to rent rooms in their houses to tourists, they are called Casas Particulares.
The owners of the Casas help to promote their homes by distributing business cards, and by advertising on websites. You often will get their cards while travelling around Cuba.
Cubans with a special license can rent rooms in their homes to foreigners. You can recognize them from the street by seeing the blue signs (see picture), Casas owners must post this sign on their front doors. The signs will read: 'Arrendador Divisa.
You will mention, by entering each city, some Cubans will ask you if you need a casa. Mostly these are the so-called jineteros, they get a commission for bringing you to a Casa.
However, it also can be really disturbing to have these 'jineteros' around you all the time ...
Another alternative can be ... buy our Casa Particular Directory. In this handy wire-O book we have listed over 500 addresses of casa particulares, lots of them with phone numbers and some even with their GPS details.
Casa particular (Spanish for 'private house'; plural casas particulares) is a phrase meaning private accommodation or private homestays in Cuba, very similar to bed and breakfast although it can also take the form of vacation rental. When the meaning is clear the term is often shortened to simply casa.
A casa particular is basically a private family establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. In general under this term you can find full apartment and houses, rooms inside people homes, mini-apartments or rooms with separate entrance (studio or efficiency type rooms).
Casas particulares can be recognised by a small sign on the door, with two blue triangles ('roofs') against a white background, which the owners obtain after paying a fixed per-room annual tax.
Casas particulares have several advantages over other types of lodgings: Guests can quickly develop genuine Cuban relationships and become deeply involved in the culture of the country also they will enjoy a free and easy atmosphere, feel at home in the casa particular and will be able to invite friends over.
In 1997, when the Cuban government allowed Cubans to rent out rooms in their houses or apartments to tourists, providing Cuban families with new sources of income. As any other type of accommodation in Cuba such as hotels, camping and motels were owned by the government, the term “casa particular” stated that this kind of paid lodging was privately operated.
Casas keep some similarity to Bed & Breakfast, where breakfast is usually included in the price, although you should ask first.
Cuba tourism and Cuban holidays are on the rise, tourists not only visit the Pearl of the Caribbean for the sun, sea and the Cuba beaches, the interest for the Cuban culture and the unspoiled nature and Cuban wildlife is growing.
Cuba is a mind-blowing place for Caribbean holidays, cut off from the capitalist world the beautiful island has preserved his character and identity. Despite the many difficulties and shortages the local people still remained cheerful and friendly.
Cubans express their vitality in music and tango and salsa dancing. There's a wide range of attractions for the tourists, white sand beaches, beautiful architecture, museums, stunning wildlife and nature. HAVANA the capital of Cuba, is a compelling city. Enjoy your stay in Havana, also called LA HABANA, the city with the many faces.
I advise you to make contact with the locals on the streets. Cubans are open and friendly and Havana is a safe place – one of the safest in Latin America. The Cubans will welcome you as a friend … and yes, of course they will try to sell you ‘street cigars’ (counterfeit brand cigars) with the classic question “Hey, my friend, where are you from? Hola, from Canada? I have a friend in Canada. Do you smoke? I have some very good and cheap cigars from my brother who works in a cigar factory …!!!” Don’t limit your Havana trip to the well known tourist attractions: the Capitolio, the Cathedral, The Hemingway Trail, etc.
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This page was last updated: 20 December 2011