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Travels Top Frequently Asked Questions

» What is the phrase Casa Particular?

» Why you should go to Cuba now ?

» Why you should Rent a Casa Particular instead a Hotel Room ?

» What to do 7 Days Vacation in Havana ?

» Visa / Touristcard ?

» What to Take to Cuba?

» Can I hire a full-time or part time chauffeur in Cuba?

» Do you know How to move from city to city around Cuba?

» Havana – Where is the Best area to stay?

» Cuba: Money Exchange

» Cuba: Public Transportation

» What is the total cost of a property?

» What are's payment terms?

» Can you organize the transfer from the airport to the property?

» How much does the concierge service cost?

» Is property rentals child friendly?

» What is the cancellation policy on the properties?

» Do Locals "Cubans" are allowed in the Properties, Cars or Activities?

» Are properties clean?

» Can you check availability for me?

» Do I need to reconfirm my booking before arrival?

» Best Price Guarantee!

» Do I need a Visa to enter in Cuba?

» Why do you need an address of the Private House before arriving?

» Do I need Medical Insurance?

» How many beds in a rooms when I book for 2 people?

» What Could Happen if You Stay at an Illegal Casa Particular?

» How To Pay for Casa Particular?

» Cuban Currency Information

» Cuba Climate - Weather

» My Question is not answered here

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» What is an annual subscription?

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What is the phrase Casa Particular?

Casa Particular - Spanish for "Private House"; plural Casas Particulares - is a phrase meaning Private Accommodation or Private Homestays in Cuba, very similar to Bed and Breakfast although it can also take the form of Home Vacation Rental.

A casa particular is basically a private family establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. In general under this term you can find full apartment and houses, rooms inside people homes, mini-apartments or rooms with separate entrance (studio or efficiency type rooms) and Villas.

The cost and quality of casas particulares are usually indicative of the accommodation type and type of services available. Most of the casas particulares are rented for short term to travellers. Long term accommodation is also provided by some casas, especially for foreign students. In Havana, the Casas Particulares are usually family apartments and a number of them are houses.


•Guesthouses (Private Room): A room is rented out most of the times with private bathroom and a key to the apartment/house is usually given to the guest.
•Apartment: The guest can enjoy the privacy and independence of a full furnished apartment for his/her vacations. Sometimes this apartment is part of house being split by a wall usually with a connecting door.
•Studio or mini-apartment: it is not an apartment with several rooms but just the bedroom, a kitchen-living-dining room and a bathroom.
•Penthouse: an apartment located on the top floors of a building. It could be complete independent or share with the owner of the property.
•Villa-type or Independent House: it is independent property with several rooms like bedrooms, a kitchen, living-dining room and a bathroom (some have swimming pool)


•Double Rooms (Standard Room) are for two travellers sleeping in the same Bed.
•Twin rooms have two separate Single Beds.
•Triple rooms have either three separate Bed, or a Double Bed plus a Single Bed.
•Quads rooms are designed for 4 people or more.

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Why you should go to Cuba now ?

Cuba is different. It’s nothing like you can see and experience anywhere else. It’s not overridden with McDonald’s and locals seem to live the most relaxed lifestyle ever. You need to experience it to understand how fascinating Cuba really is. The time to visit Cuba is now.

Cuba has the same old true bastion of Communism - it is bound to change. It’s gonna happen one way or another. And when it changes, there will be no difference between a vacation in Cuba and a vacation in Mexico.

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Why you should Rent a Casa Particular instead a Hotel Room ?

Friendship – as a guest to a Casa Particular, you can develop a very nice friendship with the family as well as their relatives and friends and become deeply involved in the culture of the country. Before he/she knows it, the guest will be part of the family and be made to feel very special. Staying in a hotel, all you will meet are hotel staff and other tourists – you won’t make many local friends that way.

No Restrictions – hotels have many restrictions in place. Local Cubans feel very bad from visiting tourists in hotels. Cubans are genuinely nice people and you could easily make awesome new friends out in the street or on a beach. If you’re staying in a Casa particular, you can invite them over without problems. It would be impossible if you were staying in a hotel.

Freedom –The guest will enjoy the free and easy atmosphere, feel completely at home in the casa particular and will be able to invite friends over.

Less Expensive Trip – It is almost always cheaper to stay in a Casa Particular than in a hotel. The guest will have more money left to spend on taxis, restaurants, night life and museums.

Helping people directly – By renting a casa particular, the guest will be directly contributing to a person or family's standard of living which allow the family to help other relatives as well.

Knowledge – Cubans love to share knowledge about their country and their culture. In particular, Cubans love to discuss politics and share their views on the revolution - for good and for bad. In the comfort of a casa particular, the host may open up and share information that he/she might hesitate to share in public.

Price – Casas Particulares are cheaper per night than hotels. As a general rule, average hotel room prices range from CUC$ 100 – CUC$ 200 per night. Average casa particular prices range from CUC$ 25 – CUC$ 35 per night.

Food – when staying in a casa particular, you can pay extra to have the family cook for you. This type of homemade food is often times far more delicious and portions more generous than anything you’d get in a hotel.

Advice – if you opt for staying in a casa particular, you will be staying with normal people who live in the area. They’ll be happy to recommend places to visit and restaurants to eat in when you go exploring. Unlike hotel staff who will simply handle you a tour guide brochure or recommend the most touristy spots, casa particular owners could tell you where Cubans go to shop and eat so you can get regular price service and product. Touristy establishments price their services so as to make as much off of an unaware tourist as possible.

Support – by staying in a Casa particular you will be directly supporting a Cuban family, not an international multi million dollar company that’s there solely to make money on you. Hotel employees are paid very little by those multi million dollar international corporations that own hotels. You will get service equal to tips you leave. When staying in a Casa Particular, you are already directly supporting the family whose house you’re staying in. You will be treated like king by them; you will truly feel like your stay with them is appreciated. The inner feeling of putting your money to a really good cause can not be beat.

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What to do 7 Days Vacation in Havana ?

Day 1

Arrival in Havana - Accommodation at Casa Particular (Private Homes, a unique Cuban experience)

At your arrival you'll be given orientation maps, touristic recommendations and some advices like where to eat and how to get around.

Day 2

Morning: 9.30 am - 1.00 pm

WALKING Tour of Old Havana by a professional Tour Guide. Visit the 4 oldest squares of Old Havana and the most representative colonial buildings:

•Plaza de Armas, XVI century with Royal Force Castle (1558- 1577), the Palacio del Segundo Cabo or Royal Post Office (1770- 1791), the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (1776- 1791); the beautiful Santa Isabel hotel- where US President James Carter was lodged when he visited Cuba in 2002- the former residence of Count of Santovenia from 1784 and El Templete from 1828.
•Plaza Vieja where the restoration process is best explained with a stop at a special corner restaurant which is the museum of beer in Havana. Visit to the 1735 Casa de Condes de Jaruco with the most beautiful stained glass windows in Havana and walls with the original fiezes and a wonderful courtyard.
•Plaza de San Francisco de Asís from 1628 with the baroque Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi from 1735 and the 1908 Stock Exchange of Havana built by the famous US company Purdy and Henderson in a record time of only 16 months; the Custom House of Havana by Barclay, Parsons and Klapp from 1914.
•Plaza de la Catedral. Visit the Casa de Condes de Bayona from 1725- currently the Museum of Colonial Art of Cuba- and the Casa del Marqués de Arcos, Casa del Conde de Lombillo and Casa del Marqués de Aguas Claras, all from XVIII Century and the Cathedral, the greatest example of Cuban Baroque from 1777.

Lunch suggestion: 1.00- 2.30 pm
La Bodeguita del Medio (La Bodeguita is also known as the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, prepared in the bar since its opening in 1942) it offers a glimpse of Cuba’s typical atmosphere Afternoon. 2.30 pm- 4.00 pm.
FREE, Shopping, Meet with locals, etc.

Dinner suggestion:
La Torre restaurant on top of FOCSA Building in El Vedado, overlooking the city and the sea.
Evening suggestions:
Meet with Locals at La Cecilia, Salon Rojo, Live Jazz Music at “La Zorra y El Cuervo” Nightclub in La Rampa, El Vedado. Watching the old traditional ceremony of the 9.00 o’ clock canyon shooting at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña across the bay. El Gato Tuerto Bar in Vedado or Dos Gardenias in Miramar.

Day 3

Morning: 9.30 am- 1.00 pm.
WALKING Tour of The Walls District (XIX century/ early XX century)

•Visit The Parque Central of Havana where the 1879 England hotel is, the Neo- Moorish 1908 Seville Hotel, the 1914 Casino Español, the 1915 Great Theater of Havana by Belgian architect Paul Belau who also designed the former Presidential Palace in 1920- currently the Museum of the Revolution; the 1925 Centro Asturiano designed by Spanish Architect Manuel del Busto- currently the Fine Arts Museum.
•Walk along the world wide famous 1929 promenade El Paseo del Prado, inspired in the elevated plaza concept and considered one of the best open spaces in the world by French Landscape designer J.C. N. Forestier who also designed the nearby Park of Fraternity and Avenida del Puerto (Harbor Avenue with its Malecon Habanero) and also the 1929 Capitolio gardens.
•A visit to the Rhum Museum with a specialized guide, you have the opportunity to know about the origins and development of the Havana Club rhum. Degustation in the style bar of the 50´s.
•Visit the former home of President José Miguel Gómez from 1915 designed by Cuban architect Hilario del Castillo.
•Visit the former Bacardi Headquarters Building from 1930 (the Jewel of Art Déco).

Lunch suggestion: 12.30- 2.00 pm
Prado y Neptuno Italian Restaurant across Parque Central, designed in 1999 by Italian architect Roberto Gottardi, author of the Drama School at the Schools of Art Campus.

Afternoon 2.30- 4.00 pm.
Bus Tour of El Vedado district led:

•Visit the City Garden of El Vedado- planned in 1859-60 but not developed until early in the XX century- according to modern planning principles that introduced the green in the city for the first time.
•Visit the 1906- 40 University of Havana Campus, the 1926 Dolce Dimora mansion designed by Cuban architects Govantes and Cabarrocas, currently the Napoleon’s Museum, La Rampa district, the very heart of modern Havana where the famous 1966 Coppelia Ice Cream is and the1950s hotels, apartments, cinemas, restaurants and shops are.
•Panoramic Tour around Christopher Columbus Cemetery, National Monument , to see “La Milagrosa Grave”, Tobias Gallery, Funerary Art Museum and Count de La Mortera Grave among others;
•Panoramic tour around Vedado district to admire some beautiful mansions example of different architectural styles such as Art Deco, Art Nuoveau, Modernism, Eclecticism, Gothic, Baroque, which have now become Decorative Art Museum, UNEAC and ICAP Institutions, and others at Paseo and Presidents Ave. still remain as family houses;
•Visit to La Torre restaurant where you can enjoy a cocktail and the most attractive panoramic view of the city at a height of 121 meters
•Visit the 1930 National Hotel designed by US architects McKim, Mead & White designated best hotel all over the world in 2006.

Evening suggestion:
Optional drinks at the Hotel Nacional gardens and terraces.
Dinner suggestion:
Paladar "Private Restaurant" La Fontana in Miramar
Late evening suggestion:
Meet with Locals at La Cecilia, Salon Rojo, Discotheque at the Havana Café of the Melia Cohiba Hotel or Nightclub at the Riviera Hotel or Jazz café at Galerias Paseo.

Day 4

Morning: 9:30 - 1:00 pm.
BUS Tour of West Havana. The suburbs, the new hotels.

•Visit the Miramar District (planned in the early XX century) and the big city model at the Group for Integral Development of the Capital.
•Learn from the bus about important landmarks as the 1980 Soviet Embassy- tallest building in Miramar- and the Miramar Trade Center office park and the new hotels area.
•Visit to Jagüeyes Park at 5th Ave. and 42st and Santa Rita Church;
•Visit to Havana’s Metropolitan Park, one of the green lungs inside the city where you can admire beautiful landscapes of Cuban flora;

Lunch suggestion: 1.30- 2.30 pm
Paladar “ Private Restaurant” Vistamar, a 1950s architect’s home by the sea, in Miramar.
Afternoon 2.30- 5.00 pm.
From the bus see the westernmost suburbs inspired by the City beautiful movement from Frederick Law Olmstead with isolated villas in ample lots with huge gardens and eclectic and modern houses.

On the way back, drive along the tree- lined avenues of Paseo and G Street (Avenue of the Presidents) and visit the 1927 Florentine style Baró- Lasa mansion designed by Cuban architects Govantes and Cabarrocas with Art Déco interiors and the 1957 Riviera Hotel originally designed by Philip Johnson and formerly owned by mobster Meyer Lansky.

Evening suggestion:
Dinner at Paladar “Private Restaurant”: La Cocina de Lilian in Miramar district.
Late evening suggestion:
Meet with Locals at La Cecilia, Salon Rojo, Discotheque at the Havana Café of the Melia Cohiba Hotel or Nightclub at the Riviera Hotel or Jazz café at Galerias Paseo.

Day 5

Morning: 9:30 - 1:00 pm.
BUS Tour to Santa Maria del Mar “Best White Sandy Beach in Havana” - East Havana Beaches

Lunch suggestion: 1.30- 2.30 pm
Restaurant on the Beach – Santa Maria
Afternoon 2.30- 5.00 pm
• On the way back, Visit to El Cristo de La Habana outlook point, with a panoramic view of Havana City from the other side of the Bay and Morro Castle Spanish: Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro) is a picturesque fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay.

Evening suggestion:
Dinner at Paladar “Private Restaurant”: Los Guajiros in Old Havana district.
Late evening suggestion:
Meet with Locals at La Cecilia, Salon Rojo, Casa de La Música de Miramar or Diablo Tun-Tun

Day 6

Excursion to Viñales, Las Terrazas and Soroa

Pick up at the Casa Particular and departure towards Pinar del Río;

•Arrival at Villa Soroa where you will enjoy a cocktail;
•Walking tour towards a ceiba tree, the most ancient tree in the region with more than 650 years, brief explanation of its history and values on afrocuban religion;
•Visit to the Botanical Garden, Soroa's Orchids Garden including varieties of Cuba and the world as will as ornamental plants and trees;
•Visit to the waterfall where you can swim for a while;
•Continue the tour until “Complejo Las Terrazas”
•Welcoming cocktail al Rancho Curujey. Brief explanation of that nature wonder project.
•Visit to Buenavista coffee plantation a partially restored XIX century farm.
•Visit to Moka Hotel.
•A walking tour along the main streets of the community gives the visitors the opportunity of getting in touch with the warm and hospitable locals.
•Visit to Vegas Alejandro Robaina, where you will taste a welcoming cocktail and appreciate Tobacco plantations, traditional industry of the province;
•Visit to Viñales Valley lookout point which offers a beautiful general view of the Valley;
•Visit to the Indian Cave with a boat ride on the subterranean river which flows;
•Country lunch included in a restaurant in the area;
•Visit the Prehistoric Mural which illustrates the process of evolution in the Sierra de los Órganos from mollusk to the first human inhabitants of the region;
•Return to the Casa Particular.

Day 7

Varadero Excursion – Best Beach in Cuba

•Pick up at the Casa Particular;
•Departure to Varadero;
•Enjoy a day at the beach, with locker included;
•Lunch at a restaurant including one drink;
•Return to La Havana and stop on the way at Bacunayagua Bridge to admire the beautiful landscape of Yumuri Valley;
•Return to the Casa Particular.

Day 8

Return to the Airport


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Visa / Touristcard ?

You can order your visa through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate in your country and some travel agencies and flight companies.

Cuba Embassies & Consulates:

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What to Take to Cuba?

Dress for a tropical climate. Pack items that work in various combinations. White T-shirts are perfect for reflecting the harsh sunlight. A pair of shorts or pants. Pack a warm sweater and a windbreaker for winter visits, as brief spells of cold weather can occur. Eschew a raincoat for a breathable Gore-Tex jacket. A small umbrella is also a good idea at any time of year (they’re almost impossible to find in Cuba, so bring your own). In summer, the weather is hot and humid: You’ll want light, loose-fitting shirts and shorts. Knee-length shorts for men are acceptable almost everywhere. Save your shorter running shorts for the track. Don’t forget your bathing suit.

You may wish to take a dress jacket or cocktail dress for dinners in more expensive hotel restaurants. However, most Cubans dress informally, though neatly, for all occasions. A comfortable, well-fitting pair of sneakers will work for most occasions. Pack a pair of dress shoes for your evening ensemble. You’ll want lightweight canvas hiking boots with ankle protection for hiking muddy trails in the mountains.

Bring any specific medications you think you’ll need. If you bring prescription drugs, be sure the druggist’s identification label is on the container. Women should pack extra tampons. Writing materials are hard to come by; take pens, pencils, and notepads (these make great gifts for children). An English/Spanish dictionary is handy and makes a good parting gift.

Space on buses and planes is limited. Limit yourself to one bag or suitcase, plus a small daypack and/or camera bag. Avoid backpacks with external appendages; they catch and can easily break. A small daypack allows you to pack everything you need for a one- or two-day side-trip and leave the rest of your luggage in storage at a Havana Casa Particular.

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Can I hire a full-time or part time chauffeur in Cuba?

A vacation or holiday in Havana, Cuba, is a wonderful life experience. The beauty, the style, the culture, and the nature– it is all there for your enjoyment. When you travel to Havana, you'll want to enjoy every minute of the experience, taking in the sights and sounds of the local environment, or simply just to have an unforgettable night out and one of the best ways to do so is through a chauffeur car hire from our staff. Our professional, safe, and friendly drivers are at your service, and you can choose the car you'd prefer them to drive. The price is $50.00 CUC during all day as much as you can use - It is our Full time Driver, there are not limit of time. On the other hand, a Part Time Driver cost $25.00 CUC (only 4 hours), Our professional chauffeurs will drive for you and will escort you throughout your vacation in style and elegance.

Avoid Injuries: Car crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from these injuries by:

• Not drinking and driving.
• Following local traffic laws.
• Avoiding night driving.

Hiring a local driver, when possible. They know where to take you each day, They know the secrets, They know the Locals. And they will immerse you in the stories of Havana with spellbinding tales.

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Do you know How to move from city to city around Cuba?

The cheap and safe way is using a bus company called “VIAZUL” Traveling almost from one end to the other of the country, Viazul´s buses link Havana with a group of cities that may be of interest for the traveler - Nature and colonial cities, beaches, history, Natural Parks, etc. All the attractions of the island !!! It is the official web site:

Address: Avenida 26 y Zoológico, Nuevo Vedado, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Phone: +53 7 81 1413

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Havana – Where is the Best area to stay?

Havana is a great place - it's really a matter of preference and that may change over time as you gain more experience. Havana Cuba is a city of great beauty and vitality. Among Old Havana (Havana Vieja), Vedado, Miramar and Siboney— the tourist-friendly areas — sits the Habana, a nineteenth-century residential neighborhood that exemplifies the energy and pulse of the city - Caribbean waters splash against these central areas.

There are Three Selected Locations depend on what you want:

1-Havana Vieja & Centro Habana - Areas: If you prefer to be close to Tourists, Sights, Historical Buildings, Bars, Restaurants, Museum, Palaces, Castles, Street Scenes, etc. In these areas the Majority of the Home Vacation rentals are share with a family (usually do not like that you bring Cuban guest and sleep with them – you will be in a family house). You will rent a Private Room: A room is rented out most of the times with private bathroom and a key to the apartment/house is usually given to the guest.

2-Vedado, Miramar, Nuevo Vedado & Siboney - Areas: If you prefer to be close to the cultural heart of the modern capital, Night Life – Best Night Clubs: Many nightclubs and bars that you can hear the best of Cuban music. Many of the city’s best hotels and restaurants are also clustered in these neighborhoods. Also, if you have a Cuban girl/boyfriend or Meet locals in Havana and party with them in your house, select these areas. Majority of the Home Vacation rentals are independent. The guest can enjoy the privacy and independence of a full furnished apartment. Sometimes this apartment is part of house being split by a wall and you will have private entrance. These are the areas where used to be the rich Americans before Revolution of Castro – you will find Private Luxury Properties.

3-Guanabo Beach/Santa Maria Beach: If you prefer to be close to a Sandy white Beach, Hunt crabs on the beach at night, Having a drink on the beach with friends, Relax, Feel the sun warm your skin and the pleasant breeze distance you from the world, Build a Sand Castle, and much more. Majority of the Home Vacation rentals are independent. The guest can enjoy the privacy and independence of a full furnished apartment. Sometimes this apartment is part of house being split by a wall. It is around 30 km from Downtown Habana. You’ll enjoy the Guanabo-hometown where you will feel of the less commercialized setting.

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Cuba: Money Exchange

With a somewhat weird two currency monetary system and a very unique political/social situation Cuba's foreign currency exchange can appear a bit daunting for a first time visitor, but with some basic info most people should be able to grasp the essentials without too much trouble.

Here are a few thoughts...


Cuba is like most other foreign destinations, you bring a major foreign currency and exchange it into the local currency to make purchases while you’re there. Cuban currency is NOT traded internationally, so you can’t buy it in advance. You buy it when you arrive in Cuba.

1.) The major legal currency for Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso, CUC. It’s what you exchange your foreign currency for and make all your purchases with in Cuba. Most tourists will only ever deal with CUC. For international exchange purposes 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso = $1.00 USD Dollar.

2.) The second legal currency in Cuba is the simple and lowly Cuban Peso, CUP, which is rarely used by the vast majority of tourists, but it’s still something you should know about.

Outside of a resort or hotel when you're travelling independently it’s always handy to have a few Cuban Pesos on you. You get about 25 of them for 1 Convertible Peso.

Street food like sandwiches and pizza, fresh fruit drinks and other small purchases are all incredibly cheap for Cuban Pesos. Once you get a feel for Cuba – and if you speak a little Spanish – there are peso bars and restaurants that can be quite interesting. Movies are cheap too.

Both types of Pesos, CUC and CUP, are legal tender in Cuba and both are completely available to anyone – including foreigners – with no restrictions whatsoever . You can exchange your CUC for CUP at any bank and most non-resort and non-airport Cadecas.

As a first-time visitor to Cuba though or as a resort tourist venturing off the resort for the day you can easily handle ALL your transactions with Convertible Pesos, CUC. Don't worry about CUP.

Lastly, all your tipping at the resort is (of course) in CUC. Never tip in CUP.


It's a common scam to be charged in CUC, but given your change in CUP, so it's a good idea to know how to recognize the two different currencies...

Convertible Pesos, CUC:
Cuban Pesos, CUP:

Note: The 3 CUP bill with the image of Che makes a nice inexpensive souvenir.


Accurate Exchange Rates: All the internet currency exchange sites (like,,,, etc.) are useless for real budgeting because they only give mid-market rates, ignoring the buy/sell costs that you'll be charged at the bank or Cadeca in Cuba.

At present here is the ONLY website that gives you the exact exchange rates that you will receive at the Bank in Cuba.

It's in Spanish, but it's very easy to decipher. Here's how it works...

1.) The first column, "Compra" (Purchase) is the rate they're charging you to BUY Cuban Convertible Pesos, CUC.

2.) The second column, "Venta" (Sell) is the rate they're charging you to SELL Cuban Convertible Pesos, CUC. UK and European travellers: See the asterisk (*) beside the GBP and EUR? That means you multiply instead of divide.

American travellers: Don't forget to subtract an additional 10% for the surcharge that Cuba charges against your USD - it's the only foreign currency that gets hit with this additional fee.

Mexican Travellers: The only other currency besides the USD that is also consistently a poor choice in Cuba is the Mexican Peso - for some reason its exchange rate is always horrible...


As you can see from the Banco Central de Cuba website mentioned above these foreign currencies are accepted Cuba:

Canadian Dollars CAD
Pound Sterling GBP
Mexican Pesos MXN
Danish Krone DKK
Norwegian Krone NOK
Swedish Krona SEK
Japanese Yen JPY
Euro EUR.
Swiss Francs CHF
US Dollars USD (Don't forget the additional 10% surcharge mentioned above.)

Note: Not all banks or Cadecas will handle all these currencies, so to cash your Krone, Krona, etc. you sometimes have to go to a main branch.

For our pals from Scotland... you'll need English notes, so hit a Clydesdale Bank Cashpoint, etc.


Where to exchange your foreign currency:

1.) The best exchange rate is a Bank.

2.) The next best exchange rate is at any Cadeca. A Cadeca (Casas de Cambio which means House of Exchange) is a government exchange facility. They're located at many resorts and hotels, and at locations all over the Island.

3.) The next best rate is usually at the Airport Cadeca.

4.) The worst rate can potentially be over-the-counter at any hotel or resort because the rate is not regulated by the government.

On a 1 or 2 week all-inclusive holiday then the difference between Options 1, 2 & 3 is immaterial.

If you're an independent traveller or a long term visitor and paying everything in CUC then exchanging at a bank is obviously the most sensible option.

Lastly, and this is a fairly new policy, there are some Cadecas in some of the higher-end hotels that display the exchange rates on a lighted board. (The rates are lit-up with LEDs.) For some reason these particular Cadecas are VERY expensive. Have a look for these "special" tourist-only Cadecas in the Park Central Hotel, Sevilla Hotel, etc. They're a rip-off.

You can buy your CUC at any Cadeca or Bank. With few exceptions CUP is available at most non-resort Cadecas, non-Airport Cadecas and Banks.


Very Important New Rule: You require your Passport for ALL currency exchanges now.


Accepted Currency: Always bring new(ish) bank notes, with no rips, tears or markings. Large denominations like $50 & $100 Canadian bills are not a problem, nor are the new Canadian polymer bills an issue.

All foreign coins are (of course) useless, same as almost anywhere else in the world. Resort workers or any Cuban in contact with foreigners will accept them, but then you're burdening another tourist with the task of exchanging the coins back into paper cash. In other words... Canadians, leave those Loonies and Toonies at home! ==============================

#1 Tourist Scam in Cuba: Unfortunately it's money exchange... fortunately though it's also 100% easily avoidable. Always take a calculator with you so you know the correct amount of CUC that should be coming to you. If you don’t have a calculator do NOT accept any transaction that doesn't come with a printed receipt. Take your time and re-count your money in front of the teller. No big deal!


Getting rid of your Cuban Convertible Pesos: You can exchange your leftover CUC at the airport when you leave, but the exchange is a rip-off.

A better way to handle your CUC is to budget wisely during the last few days of your trip so you don’t arrive at the airport loaded with useless CUC. Bring 25 CUC (exact change, in cash) for the Airport Departure Tax and spend the rest at the Duty Free, or save it for your next trip.



1.) Travellers Cheques: They are more hassle than they're worth. They're sometimes difficult to exchange and when you do find a place to accept them you pay a commission to cash them. If they do get lost or stolen they can't be replaced until you return home.

Notable Exception: For Americans who have so few options for handling their Cuban budgets American Express Travellers Cheques ARE a viable option. They're accepted at BFI (Banco Financiero Internacional) and BM (Banco Metropoliano.) Since you're not hit with the 10% surcharge penalty that cash faces the exchange rate is not bad. Important Reminder: You must have all the original purchase receipts with you to cash Travellers Cheques and it's sometimes difficult to find places to cash them outside major centres.

2.) Canadian Credit Cards: Any of the "Big Five" Canadian banks are fine. Royal Bank, TD/Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

No problems with PC Financial or Canadian Tire Mastercards as well. And for our friends in Quebec the National Bank Mastercard and Desjardins Visa also work too.

Until very recently all Canadian Debit Cards were useless in Cuba but this is finally starting to change very slowly. The CIBC Advantage Visa Debit Card now works in Cuban ATMs (and Banks and Cadecas) because it displays the Visa symbol on the card. Until this becomes common though do NOT assume your Debit Card will be of any use there. Any card without a Visa or Mastercard symbol is useless.

3.) UK/European Credit and Debit Cards: Many North American and UK/European Global Debit and Credit Cards like Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, Post Office, Yorkshire, Tesco, Halifax, etc. are fine.

Of course they have to be non US affiliated and display the Visa or Mastercard symbol. Visa will work in an ATM, Mastercard means a trip inside to deal with a teller.

Lastly, most UK credit cards now charge a foreign transaction fee of 2.75% which they disguise in the exchange rate back to Sterling. National's rate is lower and Post Office doesn't have this charge at all. Contact your card supplier to confirm their charges.

4.) Useless Credit/Debit Cards: Citi Bank, Capital One, Maestro, MBNA, AMX, any Mastercard from a Canadian Credit Union, Diners, Egg, Santander/RBS, Abbey, Abbey National, Marks & Spenser, Alliance & Leicester, etc. are some of the US affiliated cards that are useless in Cuba.

5.) Credit Card verses Cash: There is no extra fee in Cuba for using a credit card. Your Credit Card may be subject to a Foreign Transaction Fee at your home Bank, but there are no additional charges in Cuba. Your credit card purchase in Cuba will be converted from CUC to USD then when the transaction is posted to your statement it will be converted to your local currency.

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Cuba: Public Transportation

Public Transportation in Cuba is poorly managed and very scarce pretty much everywhere in Cuba. The exception to this rule is perhaps Havana and Santiago de Cuba provinces which enjoy an exceptional management from the Cuban Ministry of Transportation for being the main city hubs in Cuba. Do not expect a quality of service anywhere near what you would experience in any of the so called “First World Countries”.

Taxi companies in Cuba are also own by the government however they should not be referred to as public transportation since only foreign tourists and very few privileged Cubans can afford it. Taxi fares are reasonably cheap compared to what you would pay in London, Paris or New York for instance. The average taxi fare when moving within the boundaries of a Province in Cuba works at around 50 cents of Cuban Convertible pesos per kilometer.

Local buses in Havana and Santiago de Cuba run a regular and almost respectable service mainly for Cubans. It is not recommended for your own safety the get on any of these buses if you are a foreign tourist. You will definitely be spotted and most likely end up being a victim of a petit crime such as pick pocketing.

In some cities in Cuba you also find a coach/taxi service that connects their main neighborhoods. These coach/taxis are locally known as “Almendrones”, a friendly name given to those huge old American cars from the 50’s. You could call them taxis however their route is rather fixed. They simply pick up and drop off people along the way just like a bus would do but stopping on demand. The cost of these “Almendrones” is 50 cents of Cuban Convertible Pesos per person per journey.

The cheapest and yet very comfortable way to travel around Cuba is by coach/bus. There are only two government companies that run frequent services to/from most municipalities in Cuba. ASTRO is a coach company for local residents and it is paid in Cuban Pesos. If you are a foreign visitor then you must go for VIAZUL that is of course if you are not interested in taxis or car hire.

Making a reservation in advance for VIAZUL is practically impossible. The procedure in place at the moment involves showing up in person to any of the Viazul Terminals a day before in order to make a booking. This can be frustrating especially if you have booked your accommodation already in advance in different provinces. You can now book Viazul tickets view their website at

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What is the total cost of a property?

The prices of the properties depend on the property; it could be 25 CUC/night and Up. We have shown in the web site the prices "We do not hide any price” You will pay a total that you have seen in our system. If you want to know the price in particular about some, please send us an e-mail or you call us, we will be happy of being able to help you.

Important: All the prices included taxes; you do not pay extra money. We do not hide any price.

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What are's payment terms?

You should be paid % in advance - the % of deposit depends on Travel Date (Between 10 % to 60%) for any private property and whole amount if you rent a room in a Hotel, this way you guarantee the reservation, in case that you didn't come. You will not be refunded for any circumstances for private properties. On the other hand, Hotels need full payment in advance.

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Can you organize the transfer from the airport to the property?

If you would like us to arrange transport from the airport for your entire party, at cost, we will be happy to do so, provided you give us advance warning. A member of our group will go to the airport to pick you up and it will take you to the property. Price is around 30 Euros per transportation one way.

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How much does the concierge service cost?

Absolutely nothing. concierge service is included in the cost of the property or any service. Please see the concierge section of the site for some innovative ideas on what you could be doing on your next holiday with Us.

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Is property rentals child friendly?

Children and babies are welcome in almost all properties, and cots can be arranged if required. Babysitters and nannies can also be organised in advance.

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What is the cancellation policy on the properties?

A Customer may cancel a property rental contract at any time providing the first named person on the booking notifies in writing. Any money or deposit paid will not be refunded for any of these circumstances.

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Do Locals "Cubans" are allowed in the Properties, Cars or Activities?

Yes, sure! All people are allowed to enjoy any service that we offer on our web page like Private Property Rentals, Cars and Activities listed (Not Boat Rentals)

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Are properties clean?

By and large, properties are fairly clean places. With the numbers of people coming through them they pretty much have to be. Now this doesn't mean the floors are waxed and the silverware is polished, but the basics have been done. Cleaning is a constant process at most property (price of the rental included cleaning)

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Can you check availability for me?

Sure, we are here to help you. We check availability for you. Send us the list of the property name and location that you would like to check.

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Do I need to reconfirm my booking before arrival?

Unless specified by the property directly on the property's page or on the conditions you have recieved you do not need to reconfirm. Please print out your booking confirmation and have ready for check in at the property booked.

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When you book with us, we want you to get exactly what you want - at the best possible price rate. That's why we created the Best Price Guarantee.

What is the Best Price Guarantee?
It’s simple! guarantees you’re getting the best price. If you should find a better price online for the same property before arriving, will match the price.

What does the Best Price Guarantee apply to? The Best Price Guarantee covers virtually Property Rentals in Havana City

Best Price Guarantee: In the unlikely event that you find a lower rate on or on another website within 24 hours of booking with, we will match the price. This Best Price Guarantee is subject to the terms and conditions listed below.

Notifying of a Claim. You must contact us within before your arrival time. The lower rate must be available for booking at the time you contact us, as determined by our customer service representatives.

The Best Price Guarantee is available only for exact itinerary matches, for example, specific carrier or provider (including class of service), Property (including room type), applicable refund policy, and the exact same dates and times of travel or service as booked through For any stand-alone product booking (for example, a property room) the comparison must be to the same product purchased stand-alone through another website (i.e., not part of a property). Except as noted below, the Best Price Guarantee applies only to the cost of booked travel, as presented in the search results. The Best Price Guarantee is not available for bookings on websites where the carrier, property, itinerary or similar booking details are unknown until after purchase. You must meet all requirements imposed on the lower price (if any), including, without limitation, residency, regional and age-related requirements.

How do I take advantage of the Best Price Guarantee?

Just call HAVANACASAPARTICULAR.COM o send E-mail to us within 24 hours of booking and tell our customer support representative where you found the lower price. All requests, including receipts, are subject to verification by will not accept screenshots or other purported evidence of a lower price that cannot be independently confirmed by personnel. Nor will verify any request that it believes, in its sole discretion, is the result of a printing or other error or is made fraudulently or in bad faith. For verification of standalone and non-prepaid property bookings, the customer service representative will instruct you to mail a copy of your property receipt to

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Do I need a Visa to enter in Cuba?

Yes - All travellers from around the world are welcome and only need a Tourist Visa Card (Tarjeta de Visado), valid for 30 days which can be extended for another 30 days, to enter the country available from Cuban Consulate, travel operator/travel agent or airline (some travellers are exempt from needing visas and you would need to check this with the Cuban Consulate in your country). Canadians are entitled to have a tourist card valid for 90 days

To renew the tourist card you need to go to an Immigration office in Cuba and your documents. This is a straightforward process but can take time, especially in Havana, due to long queues.

In Canada, Mexico, Bahamas and Panama you can generally simply buy a tourist card at the airport desk or through a travel agent there. In Europe in general you cannot purchase a tourist card at the airport, however check this with your airline.

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and name on passport should be the same as on flight tickets and card. Providers of cards may need to see a copy of your passport photo page.

The cost of the visa can vary, for example, if you purchase the visa from the Cuban Consulate in the UK it will cost you £15 or Canada around $20 CAN (This allows a stay of 30 days in the country, and usually could be extended for 30 extra days). It may cost the same or more in other countries. Some tour operators/travel agents or airlines may charge you an administration fee. Air Canada use to give passengers free cards on board the aircraft, however check this with the airline.

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Why do you need an address of the Private House before arriving?

In the airplane or when arriving at the airport, you need to fill out an entry form. This form in the police control you will be asked to provide the name of the hotel you will be staying in. You will write your “Private House” address without problems.

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Do I need Medical Insurance?

The Cuban government has announced that as of May 1, 2010, tourists, foreigners with temporary residence in Cuba, and Cubans living abroad who visit Cuba will have to purchase medical insurance. The insurance will be sold by your travel agent or airline when you buy your flight ticket or by Cuban firms at the ports of entry in Cuba according to Cuba’s Official Gazette.

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How many beds in a rooms when I book for 2 people?

Usually Double Bed: they can come with one big bed or with two separate beds. If you make us a note we will be more than glad to make the observation to the property in advance.

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What Could Happen if You Stay at an Illegal Casa Particular?

Cuba has officers who are especially appointed to bust illegal Casas Particulares. If you get caught sleeping in an illegal casa particular, you could get kicked out in the middle of the night.

All legal casas particulares have signs on their font door or other highly visible place. If a casa doesn’t have it, it’s likely illegal. All legal casas pay high fees for their license and a sign and wear it proudly and visibly. The sign is their front line advertising that attracts people from the street. Every legal casa will strive to have it as visible as possible. If you can’t see it, chances are good that casa particular is illegal.

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How To Pay for Casa Particular?

The only method of payment for a Casa Particular is by cash. Remember that Casas Particulares are owned primarily by actual Cuban families. They don’t have the means to process credit cards or to exchange travellers’ checks. Make sure you have enough cash available and higher % of the private houses accept that you pay in foreign currency. Be a nice tourist and pay the owner of a Casa Particular where you have stayed in Cash.

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Cuban Currency Information

The Cuban convertible pesos is the only currency accepted in business establishments throughout the country, for the purchase of service and goods, so you will need to exchange your Canadian dollars or sterling pounds or any other foreign currency into convertible pesos at the hotel reception or at the cuban banks.

Canadian dollars and foreign currency may be converted with an 8% fee. Canadian (and any other foreign) credit card purchases will be processed with an 11.24% fee.

Credit cards and travellers cheques issued by American financial institutions are not accepted in Cuba.

You cannot use your Canadian bank card (Debit Cards) at ATM's to retrieve local currency. You can however use your credit card for a cash advance.

There is also a "local" (non-convertible) peso used by Cubans. The banknotes look quite different and do not say "convertible".

The currency exchange service will be provided at the airports, hotels, banks and exchange houses. See here Today rate exchange:

International credit (not issued by American banks) will continue to be accepted in Cuba, either to pay for services or to draw cash from ATM machines.

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Cuba Climate - Weather

The eastern part of the country has a warmer climate than the western part.

Average temperature 24,6º C (76,3º F)

Summer average 25º C (77º F)

Winter average 22º C (71,6º F)

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My Question is not answered here

If the above FAQ does not answer your question, please Contact us and We will be happy to help. You can reach us by

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Would you like to have your property featured on

If you are a Property Owner or Marketing Manager, you should consider featuring your property on the Cuba's busiest booking website system. has been in operation since 1997 and currently works with almost 1000 travel agency worldwide. We are an online reservations provider to the travel industry, working with properties, Boat Rentals Company, Activities suppliers, Car Rentals, etc. You can find out more about working with or sign-up your property by filling in all your information on our sign-up form Once you have filled in all your information one of our representatives will be in touch with you within 24 hours to explain how to add availability and information to our site.

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Tour or Activity Providers: Would you like to have your tour featured with us?

If you are a Tour or Activity Provider or Marketing Manager, you should consider featuring your product on the Havana's busiest booking system. has been in operation since 1997 and currently works with almost 1000 Travel agency. You can find out more about working with or sign-up your tour or activity by filling in all your information on our sign-up form Once you have filled in all your information one of our representatives will be in touch with you within 48 hours to explain how to add availability and information to our site.

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What is an annual subscription?

The annual, or year-long, subscription is FREE. You do not need to pay any cent.

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I received a suspicious email, what do I do?

Usually emails with poor grammar, spelling, odd use of capital letters and/or asking you to wire money or participate in an unusual bank transaction is a scam. The sender is usually attempting to obtain money, personal information or your email address. We recommend that you let us know you received this through our service and delete the message without responding.

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Another owner copied my photo(s) and put them on their listing, what can I do?

If you believe that your work has been plagiarized, please inform us.

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How do I report Abuse/Fraud?

If you are the victim of Fraud/Abuse from a listing found on please report it to us.

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Can you list or modify my home for me?

We can help you to list or modify your home for you. Please, send us description, Photos and prices.

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