For those not interested in the big-name hotels, a Havana guest house might be the perfect accommodation alternative. In Cuba, its actually fairly common that you can book a room in someone’s private home while on vacation. They are called “casas particulares”, which is literally “private house” in Spanish. You can meet some great people taking this low-key route, and save some money while you’re at it.
A casa particular can range from just a bedroom in a house, to a full apartment with a private entrance. You may or may not have a private bathroom (usually not) and there might be breakfast included with your room. You can basically think of them as bed and breakfasts. A night in Havana can range from $20 to $50 USD. They can be less expensive in other parts of Cuba.
Many casas have just 1 or 2 rooms available, which means they can fill up with just one other booking. If you intend to stay at a Havana guest house, make a reservation beforehand or you may have trouble finding a vacancy.
Though they are in private homes, casa particulars must be licensed by the government, which can help you find one. They should all have a sign on their front door that says “Arrendador Divisa” with a blue symbol.
There are hundreds of casas around Havana, but websites like Cuba Particular have a very handy directory of them. You can see photos and find out what features they have for guests.
These types of guest houses are found in the cities, like Havana, Santiago or Trinidad. Some of the beach resort areas have banned them because they supposedly compete with the big hotels.
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