Cuba is one of the fastest growing places to visit right now. Not only does it have some great sights to see, things to do, but the people are amazing! That is why we love the kind of social travel afforded by Hostels, the communal environment helps foster socialization among fellow travelers with similar interests while remaining affordable. One common drawback is that it doesn’t always help you connect with the locals. Now we have housing in Cuba that can improve that part of your experience, Casas Particulares.
Here at Gomio we encourage people to travel abroad and explore new places but we don’t want them to do so in a bubble. It can be easy and fun to go to a hostel and meet someone else from the same or different country but less often are the people that you interact with from the country that you are currently visiting. One overlooked factor that many people forget about a destination is the people. A Casa Particular provides you with the opportunity to experience the people factor at no extra cost.
What is a Casa Particular?
A Casa Particular is a home in which a family opens up a room or several to share with travelers on a budget. When you go to visit a Casa Particular in Cuba you will most definitely get the family treatment and they will see to it that you have what you need while staying there. They will have activities available for all kinds of preferences and best of all, you get to participate in these with your hosts. Here is a video from one of the Casas Particulares available through Gomio: La Villa Soñada
What’s in it for you?
The first question usually asked is, how much is it? Most of these options are similarly priced to what can be expected from a hostel or other types of budget lodging and in some cases a bit less or more depending on the amenities.
Find a Family, Not Just a Friend
In the case of Casas Particulares in Cuba you get to interact with more than just an employee that goes there to work. You get to interact with a family that lives there! Your trip does more than give you a great view of the caribbean and cheap beer. You make friends in a new place and get a customized experience.
Be More than a Backpacker, Be an Explorer
Since you will be interacting with the locals in a much more intimate setting at a Casa Particular you can feel at ease asking them questions about local tourism. Ask a local about the best places to grab some food or a cheap beer or the easiest way to get around a city. Locals can be more helpful than Rick Steves or Lonely Planet. You really want to have a unique, new experience? See what the locals find beautiful about thier own country and explore it. You may find some hidden gems that you could blog about.
What’s in it for them?
Cuba is not a land where the “milk and honey” flows like a first world country. Many people in the area are quite poor and tourism is truly one of the most lucrative parts of Cuba’s economy. Economically, when you go to a Casa Particular you can know that you are participating in fair trade tourism where the money that you spend goes directly to the local community you visit, not some company offshore in an obscure country that owns the property. While the price you pay will not be extensive, it will be very much appreciated by the locals there.
Why come to Gomio?
Here at Gomio we have a very large selection of Casas Particulares in Cuba to choose from. From the capital of Havana to Trinidad you can find affordable options that make your trip more interesting, fun, and enjoyable. If you need any travel advice on Cuba visit our blog post where we show you some awesome travel videos from the country.