Accommodation in Cuba is particularly interesting. You have the usual hotels and resorts, but we are not the usual boring cookie cutter tourists. We are trevellers, frequent travellers. Travellers who would like to understand more about the culture and country. Hence, I will share 2 great accommodation methods for authentic travel.
But first, a quick tip on flights and immigration.
Flight and Immigration in Cuba
You in the morning, after an overnight intercontinental flight from Miami or Mexico City. Followed by a short local flight to Havana. Please be patient. Havana airport is by far the most crowded I know. Expect a minimum waiting time of 2h to get your luggage.
Learn the Useful Tips on Security and Immigration.
Tips in Cuba
Time to head downtown, take a random cab, bargain hard. Pay no more than 30 USD, even if you’re asked twice as much. Thousands of Americans are now flying to Cuba every day. Better to book your accommodation in advance.
Now for the real stuff. Accommodations in Cuba for authentic travellers.
Accommodation 1: Casa Particular
Plan A: Casa Particular (room with locals): locals with a license, authorized to host tourists. Usually in old colonial style buildings in big apartments.
Meet my friend Gerardo. Enjoy his Havanesque living room, featuring rocking chair. Enjoy the rooftop at sunset drinking a cold beer. 30 USD per night for the room of 2 people, 5 USD more for breakfast. Good service, he does that for a living.
Information Casa Particular, Accommodation in Cuba
Name: Gerardo Cardenas,
Address: Calle Cuba No. 611, 2nd Floor, Apt 4, Habana Vieja, La Habana, Cuba
Contact: +53 7 862 7144
Tip: Book a few days in advance!
Accommodation 2: Stay with Locals
Plan B: Stay with locals. I was in Cuba for Christmas period last year. All accommodation was fully booked. After a few hours walking around Habana, I found nothing. I decided to “go local”. Knocking a random door, I met 75-year-old Teresita, smoking cigar in front of her house.
We ended up staying with her and her family for a week! An authentic Cuban experience, learning salsa, smoking cigars, drinking rum and going to midnight Church for Christmas! Floiriana, her daughter in law, is the best cook in town. Leisan and Marinelys, Teresita’s grandchildren, are awesome guides and speak English. They would be super happy to show you around. They don’t do that for a living.
Travelling expensively has changed me, even shaped me in a way. Today, I am very keen to share this experience with people, from all backgrounds: people willing to start travelling, or doing it even more often, wiser or in a more sustainable way. I have received more help, friendships and kindness that I would have expected. For me, this series is a way for me to give back, to help people in return, to inspire beginners.