casa particular cuba

Casas Particulares In Cuba: A Local’s Guide for Travelers [2024]

If you’re planning a trip to Cuba, you’ll likely hear about staying in a casa particular, long the most popular style of accommodations in Cuba. But what is a casa particular? And why are they so popular with travelers visiting Cuba?

Casa particular is a Cuban phrase meaning “private home,” describing properties that locals rent to travelers visiting Cuba. Simply, a casa particular in Cuba is like a vacation rental or AirBnb that you might have experienced before! However, in Cuba, there’s a bit more to it than that.

This is our local guide to everything you’ll need to know about staying in a casa particular in Cuba, including how to book a casa particular and how much they cost.

casa particular in cuba
Courtesy of La Rosa de Ortega

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What Is A Casa Particular?

Casa particular is a Cuban phrase meaning “private home” that is used to describe room, apartment, and home rentals in Cuba.

This style of accommodation was born in Cuba in 1997 when the Cuban government began allowing Cuban citizens to rent out rooms in their homes and later entire properties for the first time. At the time, this wasn’t as common as it is today, with rentals on, Airbnb, and other similar platforms now among the most popular places for travelers to stay. In many ways, Cuba was the first to popularize this style of stay!

From what started as rooms for rent in private homes in Cuba, casas particulares (the plural form of casa particular) are now one of the top accommodation options in Cuba, representing everything from bare-bones stays to luxurious mansions that easily put the best hotels in Cuba to shame.

As a result, the term has evolved to include almost any type of room rental or vacation rental property in Cuba that isn’t a hotel.

As laws continue to change, it becomes harder to define what is a true casa particular and what isn’t. While most cases particulares in Cuba were once spare rooms in the homes of locals, they now are mostly private apartments or homes. You’ll even find casas particulares with multiple rooms for rent and much more of a bed-and-breakfast feel.

casa el porry vinales
Courtesy of Casa El Porry

Why Stay In A Casa Particular?

There are plenty of reasons to stay in a casa particular, but for most travelers, it comes down to the fact that casas particulares are excellent-quality, affordable places to stay in Cuba.

Generally, casas particulares are lovingly cared for, friendly places to stay that give the added benefit of helping you feel close to the “real” Cuba, much closer than you’ll feel if you stay in a hotel in Cuba.

Looking to connect with locals in Cuba? Connecting with your casa particular “host” is a great way to start! They are often able to provide the best local recommendations of where to exchange money in Cuba, where to eat in the neighborhood, how to get around, and much more. Truly, we’ve never had a negative experience with a casa particular host!

Another important reason that many travelers love staying in a casa particular? It means they’re supporting a small, independent, privately-owned business in Cuba. For many casa particular hosts, this small room or apartment rental business is their main or only source of income.

It’s a style of business that benefits average local people, which is something that many travelers try to prioritize during their stay in Cuba.

What to Pack for Cuba

Check out our Ultimate Cuba Packing List to help you pack for your trip – we’re sharing exactly what to bring to Cuba and what we never travel without.

How Much Does a Casa Particular Cost?

Casas particulares range from spare bedrooms in a local’s home to sprawling 20th-century mansions with swimming pools and gardens, which makes it impossible to offer a price range travelers can expect to find for staying in a casa particular.

Generally, staying in a casa particular tends to be more affordable than staying in a hotel in the same city. However, that’s not always the case, and it will vary from city to city in Cuba. If you’re looking to stay within budget on your Cuba trip, it’s worth checking out the prices of casas particulares as you search for your accommodations.

El Candil Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of El Candil

Booking A Casa Particular

Due to the U.S.-imposed economic restrictions on Cuba, not all online accommodation booking platforms currently allow travelers to make bookings for accommodations in Cuba. However, a select few platforms allow travelers to book a stay in a casa particular.

Funny enough, we usually recommend that travelers book a casa particular through Despite the name of the platform implying that it might not include casas particulares, we’ve found that it actually has the best selection of properties in Cuba to choose from. The platform is easy to navigate and allows you to pay ahead of time, making for a hassle-free experience.

Many Cubans also list their casa particular rentals on Airbnb, and many travelers prefer to use this platform to find a casa particular.

After talking with locals who have casa particular businesses, we generally recommend that travelers avoid using this platform to make their bookings. Airbnb’s platform-wide fees make it harder for locals to be profitable, which generally results in higher costs for travelers who book through the platform.

Book a Casa Particular in Cuba

Use for the best rates and selection of casas particulares in Cuba

Casas Particulares in Cuba

We have a number of guides about the best casas particulares in some of Cuba’s top destinations. If you’re planning to stay in a casa particular as part of your Cuba itinerary, make sure to check out these guides before you make your booking:

You’ll also find recommendations for casas particulares in most of the destination guides we’ve created for Home to Havana. The following are our accommodation-specific guides to some of Cuba’s most popular cities:

cienfuegos cuba hotels

Can Americans Stay at a Casa Particular?

If you’re wondering whether Americans can stay in a casa particular in Cuba, the answer is a resounding YES. In fact, if any type of traveler headed to Cuba should stay in a casa particular, it should be travelers from the United States!

A recent round of travel restrictions placed on U.S. travelers by the U.S. government means that there are a number of hotels in Cuba that Americans are forbidden from visiting. It’s important to clarify that not ALL hotels in Cuba are off-limits to American travel, just a select few. The list can be found online at the U.S. Department of State website.

By staying in a casa particular in Cuba, you’re avoiding these restricted hotels entirely and supporting a local’s small business. It’s recommended for any Support for the Cuban People trip for American travelers and is a great way to give back while in Cuba.

Carley Rojas Avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Home to Havana and Explorers Away. She is a serial expat and traveler, having visited 40+ countries and counting. Carley has written for publications like Travel + Leisure, MSN, Associated Press, Weather Channel, Wealth of Geeks, and more. Find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.