Staying in a Casa Particular in Cuba with a local family, eating traditional Cuban food, drinking Mojitos is the best way to experience an authentic Cuba for those looking to travel independently in Cuba.
Most of the state-run hotels throughout Cuba are old colonial buildings that were the height of luxury back in the day. As much as I really enjoy all these comforts, you can’t compare it to the experience of staying in a Casa Particular.
On my last trip to Cuba, we stayed at a Casa Particular in Trinidad called Hostal Casa Ariana. Each Casas Particular can be recognized by the small sign on the door: two blue triangles (‘roofs’) against a white background, which the owners obtain after paying the annual tax.
What is a Casa Particular?
Casa Particular in Spanish means “private house”. The Casa Particular started back in 1997, when the Cuban government started to allow Cuban families to register their home as privately owned businesses and rent out rooms to foreigners.
A Casa Particular is quite similar to a B&B (Bed and Breakfast). They are privately managed, most of the time, by the families living there. They rent out a section of the house or rooms for tourists to stay in.
The families also provide home cooked meals like breakfasts and dinners for a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant. A typical dinner meal might cost between $7-$10 CUC, and drinks anywhere from $2-3 CUC.
It’s the perfect way to stay with a local family and explore the city on your own which is what we did.
How Much Do Casa Particulars Cost?
Normally a Casa Particular will cost around $25CUC per night which is equivalent to $25 USD. It all depends on the season, high season you might pay anywhere from $30-$35 CUC. Which is a bargain if you ask me!
How Do I Book a Casa Particular?
We found our casa particular online just by googling Trinidad Cuba, and booked it directly through the owners. You can find many casa particulars online through online booking sites like AirBNB.com, and Casaparticular.com but some simply don’t include listings for all of Cuba.
How Do I Find My Pre-Booked Casa In Each Town?
We suggest calling or emailing each casa owner before you arrive to reconfirm your reservations. They can arrange transportation to pick you up and meet you at the bus station in Trinidad with a sign that has your name on it. Otherwise you can hop on a bicitaxi for a few CUC’s that will take you and your luggage to your casa particular. Most casa particulars don’t have a sign on them, so make sure when you arrive to confirm you are at the right place. Many people steak out tourist at bus stations and will offer stays at different homes that might be cheaper but not the best. These runners get a commission from the home owners, so definitely try to arrange pick-up to avoid being scammed!
Disclosure: This blog is affiliated with the Casa Ariana, the Casa Particular used as an example in this article. It is in the old section of Trinidad, perhaps the most beautiful town in Cuba. You can book a room at Hostal Casa Ariana or email them direct firstname.lastname@example.org