Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon June 29 2015

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  • Nick and Dariece | June 29, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    The Lowdown on Accommodations in Cuba

    The Lowdown on Accommodations in Cuba

    All photos courtesy of Goats on the Road

    As travel restrictions for Cuba loosen in America, more and more people are looking to this island nation for their next holiday. But many people still retreat to the "safety" of the resort town of Varadero. While an all-inclusive holiday may be something you're more comfortable with, there is little of Cuba's true culture, history, and cuisine in Varadero.

    When you're preparing for a trip to Cuba, consider spending a day, a week, or your entire trip outside of the resort and experience a Cuba that is as safe as it is unique. In this article, we'll fill you in on what the different accommodations are like on this vibrant island nation.

    Basically you have three main options for accommodation in Cuba. Family owned "Casa Particulars" (home stays), state run hotels, or state-run resorts.

    Casa Particulars

    Casa Particular Daniel y Fina in Cuba

    We highly recommend Casa Particulars for a more intimate Cuban experience. You'll be able to stay in a private room with a private bathroom in a local family home. You can enjoy meals with your Cuban hosts and get a great insight into the country and its people.

    We recommend booking through because they have hundreds of great casas all around the country. Casa particulars are also a great way to put money into local business owners' pockets, rather than into the governments hotels and resort chains.


    There are some fantastic resorts in Cuba, but for the most part you'll find Soviet-style square facades that look like an eyesore on an otherwise stunning stretch of beach. Resorts vary in price, charm and, service, but you can generally expect that you won't get the quality that you'll find in resorts in Mexico or some other Caribbean islands.

    Also, many of the resorts are built in Varadero which has a lovely bit of white sand and aquamarine waters, but aside from beaches, resorts, tourist restaurants and bars, you really won't see much in the city. If you want to experience any of Cuba's history, architecture, food or real culture, it's best to venture away from the major resort towns.


    Havana hotels

    Many of Cuba's hotels are set in beautifully restored Spanish colonial mansions and they are truly an experience to be had. If you have it in your budget, we recommend picking one of the nice hotels in a city like Havana, Trinidad or Cienfuegos and enjoy a whole other side of Cuba. These buildings are often an experience in themselves and are definitely worth a visit, even if you don't plan to stay in one, you should stop in a look around.

    Are We Biased to a Particular Lodging?

    This article may sound a little one-sided, tipped towards staying in Casa Particulars, but to be honest, we feel like it is the best way to see Cuba.

    Staying with local families gives you an insight into the local culture that you simply can't get easily from a hotel or resort. Aside from that, you get your own private space and you'll make some great friends along the way.

    Cuba is safe, friendly and incredibly hospitable. No matter how you plan to visit it, you're in for a great travel experience.

    Which type of accommodation would you choose?

More Cuba


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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