America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

How do I find and book a Casa Particular in Cuba?

How to find accommodation in Cuba?

If the hotels exist, they aren’t numerous and are very expensive
On a trip to Cuba, it is best, like everyone else, to go to special casas, which are like hotels, but run by private individuals.
For the moment, apart from hotels and special casas, the government does not allow other types of accommodation (couchsurfing, home exchange etc.)
There is no site that lists all the casas in Cuba. To find good casas, you can :
  1. Buy the Lonely Planet guide for Cuba
  2. Go to TripAdvisor and look at the top rated accommodations in the city
  3. Read blogs/travel diaries of other travelers. Among others, this article where I comment on each of the casas I have booked (with contact information), or my travel diaries in Cuba

How to recognize a particular case?

Particular casas have this sign in front of the house. Be careful you can’t sleep in just anyone’s house (couchsurfing doesn’t exist), but only in houses with this sign. They have been authorized by the government to receive tourists.

Is it necessary to reserve a particular casa in advance?

Yes and no. The “famous” particular casas (cited in guides or recommended on blogs) are often full one or two months in advance. I do advise you to book if you want to be accommodated in a specific casa. In small towns like Playa Giron or Playa Larga, it is also better to book a casa.

What’s all this about booking? I don’t plan my itinerary in advance

Traveling to Cuba during the vacations and not having too much update since the diplomatic warming between Cuba and the USA, we preferred not to take any risk and booked in advance.
In practice, reservation is frankly not compulsory, except in small towns where the offer is restricted. However, reservation is the only way to guarantee you a room in a good casa.
Every time you get off the Viazul bus, many casa owners and casas owners are waiting for you to offer you their room. But it’s a matter of luck: you may come across a good casa as well as a bad one.
The option of walking down the street and knocking on the door of the casas to find a room is good. But believe me, when the sun hits (which is often the case in Cuba), you will quickly lose patience.
So I suggest another method: the day before you leave for another city, ask your casa if it knows a casa in the destination city. It will always find one. In general, if you are in a good casa, she will recommend a good casa and so on.

How to book a casa?

You can book a casa :
  1. By calling the casa. Casa numbers are available on the Internet. Type the name of the casa and the city, you will inevitably come across a blog or a site that will give you the number of this casa. If you are already in Cuba, ask your current casa to call for you, it will be free and easier.
  2. By sending an email to the casa (if the casa has an email address, which is only the case for a minority of casas). You will get an answer within 1 to 3 days. If the casa only has 2 out of 3 nights available, for example, it will offer you to look for a casa of equivalent quality and price (at a neighbor’s, a friend’s) in the same city.
  3. By passing by the intermediate sites. I highly recommend the site On the other hand, you will have to chew the work for them. You choose the casas you want, for a defined date, then they call the casas one by one to ask for their availability.
  4. On Airbnb. However, pay attention to availability. Again, the availabilities indicated on the site aren’t necessarily updated. It is better to send an email to the casa that you repeat on Airbnb to ask for their availability, then make the reservation.

Do I have to pay in advance to reserve a casa?

If you go through Airbnb yes.
If you use other methods (telephone, email, Cuban intermediary sites), NO. You have absolutely nothing to pay, so without CONFIRMATION 2 to 3 days before your arrival, la casa may cancel your reservation.
Casas do not accept credit cards, pay in cash at the end of your stay.

How can I confirm my casa?

2 to 3 days before your arrival, if you are already in Cuba, ask the casa where you are currently, to call the next casa. The casas are very supportive of each other and consider it their duty to confirm the reservation of their clients for the next casa. They will pick up their landline phone, call on a mobile number if necessary, to confirm for you.
The casas will all ask, “What time are you arriving?”. A typical answer “in the morning” is OK, for lack of a better one. However, if you want them to pick you up (often on foot) at the Viazul bus terminal, you will have to give them the exact time you arrive.

How can I find my casa once I get there?

It is absolutely not necessary to ask for directions from the drivers at the Viazul bus terminal. They may take you to another casa and act as if it was the casa you booked.
Download the application and download the offline map of Cuba. is quite efficient to find the casa. If your phone doesn’t geolocalize very well, move away from the bus terminal and ask a passer-by for directions. Cubans are very nice and will be able to help you.
In general, the address of the casa is approximate: on street 52, between streets 43 and 44. At worst, the name of the casa is always well marked on the door. Often accompanied by the names of the owners. Example: Casa Margarita, Daniel y Julietta.

How can I pay the casas?

Only in cash, in CUC. In general, they won’t have any exchange so get a lot of 5 CUC bills.

Am I obliged to have breakfast and dinner at the casa?

No. That’s why they are offered separately. 5 CUC/person for breakfast and between 10 and 15 CUC for dinner.
The quality varies from casa to casa. I recommend that you read the comments on TripAdvisor before booking a dinner or breakfast at a casa.
Yes, it is always necessary to inform the owners in advance. You can’t just decide 15 minutes in advance that you want to have breakfast or dinner at your casa. All this requires a reservation, usually the day before for lunch, and in the early afternoon for dinner. You will also be asked at what time you want to eat.
I don’t recommend dinner at the casas, I think that once or twice it’s good to get a preview of what Cubans eat. But the food in restaurants is better and cheaper.
WARNING: In the lost cities, dinner at the casa may be your only option. So don’t be too much in “I’m not planning anything” mode otherwise you risk sleeping on an empty stomach.

Can we sleep in one casa and dine in another?

Yes, but it is very badly seen if your casa also offers dinner.
But you can of course eat at restaurants, or make your own sandwich meal. More info about food in Cuba here
If you like this guide, check out our article: Ultimate Guide: Cuba in 27 days

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