Started as a way to give Cubans a means to earn money off an asset they had, casas particulares (private homes) are Cuba’s version of the bed & breakfast. They’re part of a network of thousands of homes opened up to welcome visitors to the island. Airbnb now has over 20,000 listings in Cuba and the cuentapropistas (entrepreneurs) that run these properties are among Cuba’s first to step into the world of startups.
As a traveler to Cuba, casas particulares are the best way to connect with Cuban culture. You’re in someone’s home and you’re getting to know them. Staying at a casa particular truly is an exchange that brings us all closer together. Plus, you’re supporting everyday Cubans by putting money into their pockets and improving their quality of life, which is a big win.
Right now, American citizens are prohibited from staying at most hotels in Cuba. And of course travel is a *bit* limited, as in not a chance you can travel internationally right now because we are drenched in coronavirus. But, when we’re all able to shake COVID-19 and hit the road to Cuba, we recommend you stay at a casa particular for a real experience.
We’ve always stayed at the same casa particular in Havana, every time we’re there. It feels like home and the people who run it treat us like family. A lot of that is simply because of the natural Cuban warmth. Cubans love to welcome you and share their culture. They are very hospitable so it goes without saying that running a bed and breakfast is the perfect opportunity.
I’ve always stayed at the same casa particular in Havana, every time I’m there. It feels like home and the people who run it treat me like family.
If you are planning to spend some time in Cuba, do some research and plan your trip so you can accomplish everything you want to. (If we can help, send us an email.) You can also just go to Cuba without accommodations, walk down the streets looking for a casa particular, designated by a universal blue sign outside, and knock on the door. If there’s availability, they’ll let you in and you’re in business.
Related Post: The Cuban Entrepreneurs: Startup Cuba Docuseries #1
…you can also just go to Cuba without accommodations, walk down the streets looking for a casa particular, designated by a universal blue sign outside, and knock on the door.
We go into depth about casas particulares in the fifth episode of our Startup Cuba docuseries, above. If you’re planning a trip to Cuba, it will be helpful to you. It’s a fascinating story about how Cuban cuentapropistas continue to resolver and make things happen.