Imagine twenty years or more ago, before the internet and Airbnb became ubiquitous. Travelers would still have wanted to rent rooms in local homes, but the process was more word of mouth. That basically, is the Cuban casa particular.
Quite the opposite of “particularly special home,” it’s rather more like a particularly normal one. From Havana in the north, Valle de Viñales in the west, to Trinidad and Cienfuegos in the south—nearly every home you pass by, will have the insignia below on display.
Given that relations were recently restored between the US and Cuba, it tends to surprise most Americans that Cuba survives on the back of its brimming tourist culture and breathtaking natural allure. As such, on arriving in any major city, there will be an excess of friendly locals eager to show you to a homestay (and commission a peso or two for themselves).
Yes, some may squirm at the thought of not planning out their trip ahead of time, which is fair enough. Nevertheless, whatever your age, it would be remiss of you not to consider it—especially if you like adventure—as it almost certainly pays off in your wallet, belly, and overall experience in the country.
There is nothing more rewarding than staying in a real home in a country that prides itself on being grassroots and original. While staying with a family, you will drink their coffee, use their shower, and invariably receive personal travel advice. This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Hosts often call taxis and set up excursions for you, through trusted friends. For instance, at some casa particulars, the host will take it upon themselves to reach out to friends at other points of interest, such as Viñales Valley and Santa Clara. This makes for extreme peace of mind for the traveler and personal accountability in housing standards from homeowners.
The only hazard is being stuffed with a mountain of local fruit, fish, vegetables, rice and beans, washed down with some local beer, mango juice or coffee.–
Whichever accommodation option you choose, the Cuban public is legitimately one of the friendliest in the world and it shows in the country’s low crime rate. It has such a strong collective ethos that there is no shortage of locals eager to show you the best of their country (and practice their English).
It is the cause and the secret ingredient that allows Cuba to remain a gem in the Caribbean.
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.