casas particulares en cuba?

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casas particulares en cuba?

Postby debandpat123 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:45 pm

hola, can anyone tell me about the casas particulares in cuba? will the group stay in different casas? did you have a private bathroom? most casas i see only have 1 or 2 rooms, so i guess we'll be scattered about? any info will be appreciated. thank you, d
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby onyx007 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:58 am

I haven't been in the so called "casas particulares" but as I can tell they are
private houses, kind like "home stays". If it's the same thing like on my
one night homestay during the "Trans Mongolian Adventure" at lake baikal
your group will be split in different casas but all close by each other.

Maybe you should mail to G-Adventures and ask how they work in Cuba.
A "casa particular" is for sure much cheaper than a hotel, but I would find it
a little bit funny if almost every night your group is split up. But there might
be bigger houses, where the whole group stays in the same house.
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby Zuleika » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:10 pm

HIYA - Ive just got back - had a great time! Which trip are you doing?

On the Cuba Colonial tour we mostly stayed in the Casa's and they were fabulous - tons better than the hotels - which are pretty run down mostly due to them being state owned under the Socialist (communist) rule. I also did Cuba Libre which was casas and hotels.
What happens is there is usually a main casa where the coach drops you then you all split off into the smaller casa's normally 2 to a casa but occasionally 4. They will come and get you and are within short walking distance to the main house so you can meet up with the group again for the evening out. Eating is best done in the casa's too - the food is far far superior there to any state run restaurants and the money goes directly to the people and not the state, and sometimes the main casa will do a group meal for everyone. Food is 3 courses and usually creole food (beans/rice/meat or fish/salad/veg etc) - but you get a choice, a spanish dictionary might come in handy! They will have all your meals ready to whatever time your choose too.

Then you always meet up for drinks and dancing with the group in the evening no worries.
The Cubans are lovely warm friendly gorgeous people and will do anything to make you feel welcome so do not worry at all- in several casas we even had our own beer/soft drinks fridge in the room (and sometime chocolate - nom nom!) Try and learn a smattering of Spanish as they dont always speak English, failing that hand signals and gesturing go a long way. Some small gifts from home go a long way but mostly they would like a nice tip if you think it warrants of course(iit generally does).
All the rooms have private bathrooms and are generally of good standard. They will also give you a key to the front door as well as your own room door key and tell you to come and go as yoou please and stay out dancing all night if you would so like - nothing is a problem. IIt is safe to leave all your valuables, passport money etc in the casas too, far better/safer than taking it out with you. (although I admit I did lock my suitcase, but it would have been fine Im sure)

Money is a problem - I recommend to just take cash - the ATMs dont work - usually they are broken. I spent about £300 per week give or take. (But I like to party!)

Anything else I can help you with, just let me know.
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby debandpat123 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:48 pm

thank you z, i have been waiting to hear all about your trip! your description of the casas sounds great... i was a little concerned and now am relieved. when i first called g ad, they told me that 10 people sleep in the same room! (i had struck "cuba colonial off the list!) then i had my travel agent friend look into it for me, and booked for dec. 22. we are from the u.s., and this will be our 3rd trip with gap. (hard to get used to the name change.) i would love to hear EVERYTHING about your trip but if that is too time-consuming, then first would be examples of food and drink prices? (we like to party too.) what optionals did you do on the colonial trip? did you eat in paladares? and always the question... will we be the only ones without backpacks?!! what kind of luggage do you advise? and, please tell about the nightlife! we're usually too tired to stay out late but would like to know what's available. did the casas have adult beverages for sale? living where we do, we thankfully have a semi-firm grasp of the spanish language which i hope will help. actually, i don't know anyone from here who has been to cuba, so long the "forbidden fruit" as it were. can't wait to taste it! thank you in advance for any and all helpful hints!
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby onyx007 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:54 am

What I can tell you about "adult beverages" that a bottle of "Havana Club"-Rum is cheaper than a bottle of beer, and they have rum everywhere and anytime, but be aware of icecubes as they make them out of unfiltered water. Three people (including me) got sick for a day because of icecubes.
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby Zuleika » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:53 pm

From the US???? wow - how are you getting round the ban on American citizens travelling to Cuba?
To be honest if you are from the US it will be very interesting for you, I don't believe that the Cubans will be bothered by this particularly, so don't worry, but I do think you will be in for some lively debates for sure - you are very much a minority traveller in Cuba!! But more to the point most of the rest of us tourists are fairly flabbergasted by how the US Gov has pulverised and punished such a small island so much over the last 50 years and the tit for tat 'games' that are still being carried out to this day!!! The CIA have reportedly tried to assassinate Castro more than 600 times!!! Of course I appreciate that in Cuba the views are bound to be a little one-sided of course.
I would have been very interested to have Americas view on the whole thing also.
Also apparently a lot of the propaganda in our press etc is in fact due to the Cuban exiles in Florida stirring things up and exerting pressure - read up on this before you come (if you can find anything unbiased?) - it is very very interesting and I had no idea before I went. Defo get all the inside info from your Cuban tour leader too. I was fascinated by the whole thing.

Also the virtual takeover of Havana by the mafia in the 40s and 50s is extremely interesting. The hotel you stay in in Havana was a big mafia hotel and you can really feel it and imagine it. Again - quiz your tour leader - ours was a mine of information and we couldn't get enough of it!!! lol

I also read a book called Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson - which was very good about the whole revolution thing - a big feature in Cuba Colonial. Fascinating!

Food prices are about £10 uk pounds for a 3 course meal.
Cocktails are about £2 or £3 - I recommend the daiquiris - yum! Lots of rum everywhere of course. No problems with ice on our tour.
Evenings out are dancing dancing dancing woooohoooo - I loved it - if you like dancing defo sign up for some salsa classes before you go and you will be away - I did for a few months prior and was able to salsa away with all the locals - defo enhanced the whole experience! Im even planning on going back on a salsa dancing holiday to Havana!!!
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby debandpat123 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:25 pm

americans are allowed to go to cuba if they go with a company who has a license, and g ad has a license... jeez i hope! (travel agent said they did.) i actually know very little about u.s. relations with cuba, except that Obama is trying to do what he can to repair some of the damage that was done during the bush administration. will defo need to study up and read before i go. so, no americans on your trip? some of us are very nice! :D did you take backpack or duffle? do you recommend any of the optionals? did you eat at any of the "peso" food stalls? how many were on your trip and age ranges? i would love to hear anything else that you would like to share! thank you, d
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby Zuleika » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:37 pm

debandpat123 wrote: so, no americans on your trip? some of us are very nice! :D


no offence meant Deb - I love Americans and travel with one from San Fran every year - we met on a tour a few years ago and get on so brilliantly we go away together now and have a great time. I wish - and so does she - that she could have come with me but I didnt know that she could.

I took a rolling duffle, several people had rolling suitcases and a few had back packs. Wheels are best if you have them so you can walk to the Casa's with no effort. Plenty of room on the coach for any luggage you have really. Didnt try the food stalls, didnt see many really and the ones I did looked very 'chemical!'
Age range - mid 20's to late 60's
Optionals??? - I cant even remember what the optionals were!!! lol
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby debandpat123 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:58 pm

hola, i had been very concerned about the casas before i went, and found them to be a wonderful experience. we loved our casa mamas, especially maria elena in santiago, and inalvis in baracoa. i don't like b&bs much at all here in the u.s., but this was somehow different. oh, i know why..... "es cuba." :D deb
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Re: casas particulares en cuba?

Postby anselmo » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:10 pm

Hola , i reccomend this website , there are a lot casas particulares en Cuba, from Havana to Santiago de Cuba: http://www.casas-cuba.org
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