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

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

To make your Cuba holiday as authentic as possible, which I assume is one of the reasons you decided to visit Cuba in the first place, I recommend you stay at casa particulares or at least choose a mix of hotels and casas for accommodation.

High-end hotels are well and good, but you can find them anywhere in the world, right? Why not choose to stay in a classic colonial building in Old Havana, Trinidad, or any of the island’s unique destinations?

I tend to always stay in Casas when I am in Cuba as I prefer to connect with the local culture, and I have tested quite a few over the five years I have traveled here.

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

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

What is Casa Particular In Cuba?

Casa particular breakfast on the rooftop terrace of my casa in Trinidad, with lots of fruit, bread, juice, ham and cheese, under a sunny blue sky.
Breakfast at my casa in Trinidad

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.

This can be a room, an apartment, or a house, and it will give you a completely different experience than just staying at a hotel or fancy resort.

You can rent a casa particular online from several providers, like Airbnb and Expedia.

All visitors to Cuba, including U.S. citizens, can legally stay at a casa particular. As it is a private holiday home, it is covered by the Cuban travel clause, “travel in support of the Cuban people,” which Americans visiting Cuba must abide by.

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

Selected Casa Particulares In Cuban Destinations

Here are four articles where you can find top-rated casa particulares in popular Cuban destinations:

Different Types Of Casa Particulares In Cuba

The casa I rented for my birthday in Havana was a mansion, with a beautiful pool in the back yard lit at night, with delicate curtained sun beds, palm trees, and even a bar!
My birthday mansion casa particular, in Havana

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.

Book The Best Casa Particulares In Cuba

Top-Rated Casa particular Cuba Old Havana

A charming square in Old Havana at night, with outdoor seating conencted to the old city restaurants, with warm lighting and a cozy atmosphere.
Old Havana at night

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

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

Top-Rated Casa Particular Trinidad Cuba

Los Conspiradores restaurant next to Plaza Mayor and Casa de la Musica in Trinidad, full of purple flowers and green plants, super charmng seating area, here at night
Los Conspiradores paladar in Trinidad

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

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!

Top-Rated Casa Particular Santiago De Cuba

Bodeguita del Medio interior in Santiago, with dark brown wooden furniture, light blue walls, green ceiling, and lots of artifacts and decorations.
Modeguita del Medio Santiago

Three of the best casa particulares in Santiago de Cuba:

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

How To Book A Casa Particular In Cuba!

Cobblestoned streets in Trinidad Cuba, where a horse and carriage is passing between the colonial bright yellow houses
Cobblestoned streets in Trinidad

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

You can book your casa online just like you would book in any other destination before you get here . Hostelworld (yes, there are Cuban casa’s on that app, not just hostels), Expedia, and Airbnb all provide accommodation in Cuba.

However, some of the most used booking apps, including and, do not provide accommodation in Cuba due to the ongoing sanctions.

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 official sign for approved casa particulares, a blue anchor on a white background
Official Casa Particular

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

Charming pastel blue wooden houses in Vinales Cuba that looks a bit like a small version of a southern farm house, with a front porch and rocking chair in the front.
Charming houses in Vinales

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.

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

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

How Much Do Casas Particulares In Cuba Cost?

My Mansion Casa Particular in Havana, the blue water of the backyard pool, white sun beds, lounge chairs and palm trees on a sunny summer day
My Mansion Casa Particular in Havana

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 high-end, full-blown luxury mansions (which are also casa particulares if it is owned and rented out by a private person).

These can have dream amenities like jacuzzis and pool, rainforest showers, bars, wonderful beds, in-house service, and all the fancy stuff.

Does Casa Particulares In Cuba Offer Meals?

Typical casa particular room, the Cubans love their colors! Green bathroom, bright yellow walls and orange curtains, and on the bed a skillfully folded towel that looks like a swan.
Cuban casa: they love colors in Cuba

Most casa particulares in Cuba offer breakfast to their guests if they want an in-house breakfast. This normally comes with a surcharge, which is usually around €5.

Some casa’s also offer lunch and dinner. This will often be suggested in the rental description, or you can just contact the host and ask about it.

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

What Are Casas Particulares Like?

Jakera Spanish school in Old Havana is also a casa particular, that has dorm rooms for rent for their students. This is a selfie with me smiling in the front, and the hosts sitting on a red sofa in the background also smiling at the camera.
Jakera Spanish School is also a casa particular in Old Havana

Generally, the standard of a casa particular is simple but charming.

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.

Why You Should Choose Casa Particulares In Cuba

Casa particulares in colonial buildings in Havana, Cuba.

Living in a casa particular will enrich your Cuban experience tenfold when you visit famous destinations like Havana, Trinidad, Santiago, or Vinales.

Even if you are Canadian or European and not bound by the US Cuba travel restrictions, staying in a casa particular will make your experience in Cuba unique and different from other Caribbean destinations.

Cuban hosts will generally go above and beyond to make your stay wonderful.

They can share with you what life in Cuba is like, give you travel tips and local advice, and you will get an insight into the culture that you will totally miss if you stay in a high-end resort or hotel.

By choosing this, you will also help the Cuban people and the local population make a living, as the payment for your stay goes straight to a Cuban family.

Transport In Cuba Between Destinations!

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

FAQ’s Casa Particulares In Cuba

You can easily book a casa particular in Santiago de Cuba, the Cuban capital of the carnival. The photo is from a carnival in Santiago at night, with colorful dancers, costumes, glitter and life!
Carnival in Santiago

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 if you are looking for a casa while already in Cuba.

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

If you see the white and blue anchor sign outside the door, you are good. Also, all casas that offer accommodation on an online page or app are registered and approved, so don’t worry.

How Do I Pay My Casa Particular?

Outdoor breakfast in the backyard on cute tables with green table cloths, surrounded by the orange house, the red stairway to the terrace under deep green trees.
Casa particular breakfast in Trinidad

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

If you book the casa particular online before you arrive in Cuba, make sure you know whether you have already 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 or dollars.

Are Casa Particulares In Cuba Nice?

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 easily 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?

The orange casa particulares have orange signs outside instead of the blue and white ones. These are approved for Cuban guests, not foreign guests.

So, do not stay in the orange casa particulares in Cuba, if you are a foreigner traveling the island.

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 are mainly petty crimes like pickpocketing, etc. (so just be mindful of your shiny things, as always).

Is There Wifi In Casa Particulares In Cuba?

People sitting on a park bench in a park that is also a wifi hotspot in Cuba, on a sunny summer day
Wifi park in Cuba

Sometimes, yes. Some casa particulares in Cuba do offer Wi-Fi, as it is becoming increasingly 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!

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

Why Should I Stay In A Casa Particular?

Staying in a casa particular will give you a completely different Cuba experience than staying 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).

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 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.

In addition, American citizens must 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 plan and book 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.

Related blog posts:

Is Female Solo Travel In Cuba Safe? A Local Woman’s Advice

Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary By A Local

43 Best Things To Do In Havana Solo By A Local

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