Casa particulares in Cuba

How To Book Casa Particulares In Cuba & Are They Legal? (2024)!

When you are looking for places to stay when planning your amazing Cuba holiday, everywhere there seems to come up the words casa particulares!

A casa particular is a privately rented holiday home where you rent from, or stay with, a Cuban family.

I pretty much always stay in casas when I am in Cuba, the longest I have rented a casa is for two years, in Old Havana!

Here is everything you need to know about casa particulares in Cuba in 2024, how to find the best ones, and how to book them!

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What is Casa Particular In Cuba?

My breakfast at the casa particular in Trinidad Cuba December 2022
My breakfast at the casa particular in Trinidad Cuba

A casa particular in Cuba, is a holiday home, a private rental that you book directly from a private Cuban person renting out his or her property. You can rent a casa particular online from several providers, like Airbnb and Expedia.

All visitors to Cuba can stay at a casa particular, including U.S. citizens.

The word particular in this situation means that it is a private negicio; business, and renting out a private place is currently legal in Cuba, so don’t worry!

Why You Should Choose A Casa Particular In Cuba!

The cool backyard and the stairs up to the rooftop in a Cuba casa particular!
The cool shady backyard and the stairs up to the rooftop in a Cuba casa particular!

This is an amazing way to live when you are in Cuba!

Your Cuban experience will be a thousand times richer when visiting famous destinations like Havana, Trinidad, Santiago, or Vinales!

And, you will help the Cuban people and the local population make a living, as the payment for your holiday stay goes straight to a Cuban family.

Different Types Of Casa Particulares In Cuba!

My birthday mansion is a casa particular in Havana Cuba 2021!
My birthday-casa particular mansion in Havana Cuba 2021!

You can find all types of casa particulares across Cuba, across the range of size and quality.

Book anything from a small room in a Cuban private house, a bed in a shared room (like a hostel), an apartment, a whole house, or even a luxury mansion to yourself!

In Havana, you might find more luxurious ones than across the country, including in Varadero.

I always stay in casa particulares in Cuba, whether I am there for a short visit or staying long-term, which I have mostly been doing for the last two years.

(I also visit some really nice resorts once in a while, partly to do research for this website, and partly to be pampered a bit for just a couple of days by a pool!).

Top Rated Casa Particulares In Cuban Destinations

Here are the top-rated casa particulares in 4 super popular Cuban destinations:

How To Book A Casa Particular In Cuba!

The cobblestoned streets of Trinidad in Cuba!
The cobblestoned streets of Trinidad in Cuba!

There are several ways to book a casa particular in Cuba.

You can book your casa online before you get here on Hostelworld (yes, there are Cuban casa’s on that app, not just hostels), Expedia, and Airbnb.

You can also just find a casa walking the streets in any town or village in Cuba.

Look for the white sign with a blue anchor on the door, and you will know the house is an approved casa particular.

The blue and white sign for a casa particular in Cuba
The blue and white sign for a casa particular in Cuba

This approach might give you surprises though, some nice and some not so nice when you see the actual accommodation standard!

Don’t commit until you have seen your room!

How To Book Casa Particular Online From Cuba!

If you only have booked your first accommodation in Cuba before you get here to keep your plans flexible, you need to know that most booking apps do not work from within Cuba without a VPN.

Book a casa particular close to the center of Vinales Valley in Cuba!
Book a casa particular close to the center of Vinales Valley in Cuba!

So, I do recommend you download a good VPN before your Cuba trip.

I use Express VPN working from Cuba, which I can recommend, which helps you access almost any service outside Cuba!

How Much Do Casas Particulares In Cuba Cost?

My €400 birthday rental casa particular mansion in Havana 2021!
My €400 birthday rental casa particular mansion in Havana 2021!

You will find casa partiuclares in all price ranges in Cuba, starting from around €18-20 per night, all the way up to and above €400 per night!

For the €400-range casa’s, you get super high-end full-blown mansions (which are also casa particulares if it is owned by a private person) with dream amenities like a jacuzzi and pool, rainforest showers, and all the fancy stuff!

Does Casa Particulares In Cuba Offer Meals?

Casa Particular breakfast in Santa Clara Cuba!
Casa Particular breakfast in Santa Clara Cuba!

Most casa particulares in Cuba offer breakfast to their guests if the guest wants an in-house breakfast! This normally will be for a surcharge, which usually is around €5.

Some casa’s also offer other types of meals, this will often be suggested in the rental description – or you can just contact the host and ask!

Most travelers in the Cuban cities prefer to go out for lunch and dinner, so meals other than breakfast are not that commonly offered in the casa particulares.

What Are Casas Particulares Like?

Most casa particulares in Trinidad Cuba are within walking distance to this lovely restaurant across from the Casa de la Musica in Trinidad!
This restaurant is 50 yards from Casa de la Musica in Plaza Mayor, Trinidad!

A Cuban casa particular could be any kind of house or property, but often it is a room, apartment, or a whole house in the classic colonial style.

Generally, the standard of a casa particular is simple, but most casa particular hosts in Cuba put their honor into presenting a house that is squeaky clean and offers travelers an amazing Cuban experience!

Cuban houses are also often incredibly colorful and fun (by European standards) and a tad eclectic in their interior!

FAQ’s Casa Particulares In Cuba

Beatles Pub in Trinidad
Beatles Pub in Trinidad

Are Casas Particulares Legal?

Yes, casa particulares in Cuba are legal. That is, there are legally registered casa particulares in Cuba, but some people without registered Casas might also try to get you as a guest.

This might happen on the streets when you are already in Cuba.

My colorful room in a casa particular in Santa Clara Cuba!
My casa particular in Santa Clara

If you should end up in an unregistered casa particular, It is no problem for you, really – but might be for the owner of the casa if they are caught renting illegally.

If you see the white and blue sign, you are good – and all casas that offer accommodation online are registered and approved.

How Do I Pay My Casa Particular?

The “dining room” in my casa particular in Vinales Valley

Some pages will have you pay by card online, while others will reserve the casa, and you pay when you arrive.

If you book the casa particular online before you arrive in Cuba, make sure you know whether you already have paid for the casa (like with Airbnb), or if you are supposed to pay when you arrive.

If you pay upon arrival, you will pay in cash, preferably in euros.

Are Casa Particulares In Cuba Nice?

The outdoor kitchen at the casa particular in Playa Giron, Bay of Pigs!
The outdoor kitchen at the casa particular in Playa Giron, Bay of Pigs!

Of course, it depends on what your definition of nice is, but I have always found the Casas in Cuba to be super nice, charming, colorful, and the hosts really kind and helpful.

But remember that it is Cuba, and a lot of commodities are not readily available.

Sometimes the water is not warm, sometimes the electricity disappears for a while, and sometimes eggs are impossible to find (if you have ordered breakfast).

What Are The Orange Casa Particulares In Cuba?

Do NOT stay in the orange casa particulares in Cuba if you are a foreigner traveling the island!

Foreigners are only allowed to stay in the casa’s that have a blue sign outside, and houses with an orange sign are only for Cubans

Are Casa Particulares In Cuba Safe?

Yes, it is safe to stay in a casa particular in Cuba.

In general, Cuba is a very safe destination for travelers, there are very few crimes against foreigners, and those that do occur mainly are petty crimes like pickpocketing, etc (so just be mindful of your shiny things, as always).

Is There Wifi In Casa Particulares In Cuba?

A wifi hotspot in Cienfuegos Cuba!
A wifi hotspot in Cienfuegos!

Sometimes, yes. Some casa particulares in Cuba do offer wifi, as wifi is becoming more and more available across the island.

If a casa particular lists wifi as an amenity, check with the host whether this is a wifi router, an available phone with 4G, or if they are referring to a nearby park. It could be either!

For private homes in general, wifi is not yet common, as it is expensive. Most Cubans still go to the wifi-park or a wifi hotspot to log on.

Why Should I Stay In A Casa Particular?

Yes, I absolutely think so. It will give you a completely different Cuba experience than if you stay at one of the big hotels or resorts!

  • You will live like a Cuban and get an authentic experience!
  • You are “helping the Cuban people”, and the local economy!
  • You can get to know Cubans in their houses and barrios, and learn a bit about the Cuban culture, way of life, religion, and maybe a few local phrases of Cuban Spanish!
  • You will save a lot of money by spending at least part of your holiday in a Cuban casa particular (hotels are a lot pricier)!

Book The Best Casa Particulares In Cuba!

My most luxurious casa experience in Havana on my birthday!

Top-Rated Casa particular Cuba Old Havana

Check out these top-rated casa particulares in Old Havana:

Read more about the top-rated casa particulares in Old Havana by clicking here!

All casa particulares in Old Havana are walking distance from Parque Central which is beautiful at night with the lights from the Grand Theater and the Capitolio!
All casa particulares in Old Havana are within walking distance from Parque Central

Top-Rated Casa Particular Trinidad Cuba

You can read more about Casas in Trinidad by clicking here!

Casa de la Cerveza in Trinidad

Top-Rated Casa Particular Cienfuegos

Here are three top-rated casa particulares in Cienfuegos you will love to stay at:

Read more about the top-rated Casas in Cienfuegos by clicking here!

El boulevard shopping street in Cienfuegos Cuba
El Boulevard in Cienfuegos

Top-Rated Casa Particular Santiago De Cuba

Three of the best casa particulares in Santiago de Cuba:

Read more about the top-rated Casas in Santiago by clicking here!

Cemetary Ifigenia Santiago de Cuba where Fidel Castro is resting!

Save This Article For Your Travel Planning!

Transport In Cuba Between Destinations!

Unfortunately, there still is no Uber or other online immediate transport service in Cuba, so here are your other transport options listed!

FAQs Cuba Travel

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct. US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US Government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist. Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

American citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people”. There is no paperwork or application process connected to this, you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a US citizen travels to Cuba, apart from hopefully, the US citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter with Cuban culture.

US citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, there is no requirement for specific vaccines prior to entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider before entering Cuba.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

It is possible to buy a Cuban tourist card at Miami International Airport at the check-in counter with American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now. There are no COVID or health restraints from entering Cuba right now.

There are no political constraints from entering Cuba right now for most international travelers.

American citizens need to, in addition, choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Wrap-Up Casa Particular In Cuba!

Hopefully, you now have a clear picture of what a casa particular in Cuba is, how to book one, and which are the best ones according to multiple travelers before you!

The largest group of travelers coming to Cuba annually is Canadians, and if you are a Canadian wondering how to go about planning and booking a trip to Cuba you can read all about that in this article!

Americans are also discovering that it is possible to visit Cuba!

If you are an American wanting to visit, read this article that untangles everything you need to know to visit Cuba from the US!

Welcome to Cuba, and Happy Travel Planning!

My Resource Go-To List For Best Travel Booking Deals!

Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway,

Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator

Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance

VPN Secure Internet: ExpressVPN

Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card

Car Rentals Online: Discover Cars

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  1. Casa Particulares seem like a great alternative to standard accommodation when visiting Cuba. They would definitely provide an much more authentic experience.

    1. Hi Kelly!

      Most travelers say exactly that, although they “miss out” on the resort experience with everything at the ready! Staying in a casa particular when visiting Cuba will give you the opportunity to chat with the locals about life in Cuba, and most casas are also unique and super charming, and will give you an experience it is hard to find anywhere else!

  2. Staying in Casa Particulares seems quite interesting than staying in a normal Hotel. Enjoyed knowing about the experience.

    1. Hi Kiki,

      I definitely recommend staying in a casa particular, unless you are visiting the “resort zones” where your purpose is exactly the Caribbean resort holiday! If you want to embrace the experience of Cuba, this is a great way to do it 🙂

  3. I am looking into going to Cuba next year, so I am glad I came across your blog. It was interesting reading about the Casas. I am curious about the blue and orange signs. I imagine they have a price difference but, anything else? Anyway, super informative post! Thanks!

    1. Hi Patricia!

      I am so glad to hear that you are planning on visiting Cuba! The difference between the blue and the orange signs is that the casa particulares with blue signs are approved to have foreign guests in their house. There is a distinction in Cuba on this, weirdly, and the casas with orange signs are approved for Cuban guests. It would not be a problem for you if you happened to stay in an “orange casa” but it might be for the host! Happy Travel Planning! 🙂

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