Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
General Casa Notes:
In almost all circumstances, Cuban citizens are allowed to accompany foreigners
into casas particulares. Since the casa is rented by the night, and not by the per-
son, no supplemental fees are required. The casa owner might require that
Cuban guests sign a guest-book before being allowed entrance. In some cases,
the guest will be asked to show identification. This is standard protocol and is
done as a precaution, to reduce the risk of theft from the casa and for the foreign-
er's protection. If you rent a completely independent casa then this will not be an
issue, as you will have your own front door key and can enter and leave in com-
plete privacy, with whomever you want.
Most casas also offer low-priced dining options. Prepared breakfasts can often be
had for about 2 to 3 CUC. Lunch and dinner prices are usually higher and vary
according to the meal selected.
Upon arrival at a casa particular, the owners will ask for your visa. Your name and
the details of your stay will be recorded in a registration book. Your signature will
also be required. The house owner will take this information to be processed at a
local immigration office and your visa should be returned within 24 hours.
If you are staying at a casa particular for an extended period of time, it is always
advisable to pay in installments (for example, 4 nights at a time). This will ensure
that if there are ever any problems with the casa, you can easily cut your stay
short and find other accommodations.
You are never required to pay for your casa particular stay immediately upon ar-
rival. Take a look around the casa and make sure you are satisfied with the condi-
tion of the unit. If you have not exchanged your foreign currency into Cuban cur-
rency, and it is already late in the evening, don't worry. You can relax for the night
and just pay the next day, when you have had a chance to use a money ex-
change service.
For foreigners, all casa particular stays are priced in CUC currency. There are
certain casas particulares which accept payment in Moneda Nacional, however,
these are reserved for Cuban citizens only. As a foreigner, these will not be avail-
able to you. For your own knowledge, they are called Arrendador Divisa casas
and they are indicated with a red and white casa particular sign, as opposed to a
blue and white sign used for tourist casas.
Interesting Fact: It is usually best to negotiate prices and book your stay directly
with the casa owner, rather than through a reservations broker. The broker will al-
ways charge a fee of 5 CUC per night to make a reservation, and this will inevit-
ably be incorporated into your casa bill via a higher nightly room price. If you have
a basic knowledge of Spanish you will be able to locate your own casa in most
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