Cuba's Casas Particulares: 5 Reasons Why We Love Them

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 25-06-2018 04:48:59

If you’re looking to experience Cuba like a local, enjoying authentic adventures informed by insider knowledge, then you’ll want to book yourself into a casa particular (private homestay) ASAP. Cuba Direct has long been a champion of this kind of accommodation, recognising the many unique and immersive opportunities that they offer travellers as well as the positive impact they have on the ordinary Cuban families who run them. They offer excellent value; in fact 30 out of the Top 50 Best Value Hotels in Cuba are casas particulares according to the popular reviews website TripAdvisor. It comes as no surprise when you consider the casas’ enviable locations, authentic dining options and the wealth of tips and information the local hosts provide.

Here we outline just what a casa particular is and what makes them so special, giving our top 5 reasons why you should consider one for your Cuba holiday.

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Tags: insider tips, casas particulares, ethical tourism, private homestay, casa particular, where to stay, off the beaten cuba

Undiscovered Hotels: 10 of Cuba's Colonial Gems

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 06-06-2018 06:03:39

Like echoes of a bygone era, boutique hotels in Cuba are all about provincial warmth and historical charm. Compact and exclusive, each hotel featured on this list boasts less than 30 rooms (even as few as six!). Several are restored mansions from the 19th and early 20th centuries, featuring sunlit courtyards and high ceilings effortlessly combined with modern, top-of-the-line facilities. So take a break from all-inclusive resorts and step back in time with a stay in one of Cuba’s Unesco-listed cities’ historical treasures. Read on to discover our top 10 picks of lesser-known boutique hotels throughout Cuba.

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Tags: vinales, hotels, santiago de cuba, matanzas, cienfuegos, Holguín, where to stay, off the beaten cuba, camaguey, remedios, gibara, boutique hotels

Prince Harry and Meghan to Honeymoon in Cuba: Here’s Why

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 03-05-2018 01:27:54

With just over two weeks to go until the royal wedding, the buzz surrounding the event is reaching an almighty crescendo. While the big day itself will be a spectacular event, it’s just the beginning of the celebration for American actress Meghan Markle and HRH Prince Harry who will no doubt be jetting off to somewhere fabulous in the following days. Namibia, Rwanda, Barbados, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica have all been floated by the press as potential post-nuptial escapes for the jetsetting couple but our money is firmly on Cuba, the perfect honeymoon getaway. Here’s five reasons why it’s the ideal choice for the royal newlyweds…

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5 Hidden Gems in Cuba - Cities & Natural Parks

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 02-05-2018 10:33:19

Whether you're a first time visitor to Cuba or a seasoned Cubaphile, we've got the ultimate list of lesser-known gems that you won't be wanting to miss on your Cuban getaway! Jade-green waterfalls, historic diving spots, charming colonial towns and picture-perfect beaches - here's Cuba's top 5 hidden gems:

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Tags: where to go, destinations, top destinations, recommendations, travel ideas

5 Ways To Travel Cuba Like a Local

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 02-05-2018 10:31:51

Being half-Cuban and bilingual, I've had the distinct opportunity to experience Cuba both as a tourist and a local. Returning each year to visit family and friends, I've travelled the island extensively and gotten to know her many facets and personalities. Each time, I come to the same conclusion: Cuba is not the kind of country you can experience superficially. You have to get down to the nitty-gritty. You have to seek out her realities. You have to immerse yourself. Otherwise, you're not doing justice to yourself or to her people.

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Tags: insider tips, where to go, private homestay, casa particular, recomendations, cuban food

Travelling to Cuba: Your Questions Answered

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 20-04-2018 11:17:12

First time travelling to Cuba? We've got all your questions answered with a guide on everything you need to know about visiting Cuba - from visas, insurance and currency, to WiFi, accommodation and packing tips!

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Tags: cuba tips, advice, insider tips, where to stay, faqs

Where to Stay in Cuba: Our Favourite High-End Picks

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 03-04-2018 04:46:15

Looking for the five-star treatment on your next trip to Cuba? High-end boutique experiences were rarer than snow on the island during its post-revolution years but times have certainly changed (though we’re still waiting for a white Christmas!). These days, elegant colonial mansions are being transformed into boutique homestays and world-renowned luxury companies, such as Kempinski, are taking over iconic buildings.

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Tags: cuba, varadero, havana, trinidad, guardalavaca, beach, city, twin-centre holidays, holiday offers, sea, all-inclusive, hotel, casa particular, beach holiday, cayo, hotels, recommendations, where to stay, high-end, luxury holidays

48 Hours in Viñales

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 29-03-2018 02:11:58

Located in the heart of Pinar del Rio, Viñales is an area of outstanding natural beauty, where tobacco is grown for the Cuban cigar industry. The valley itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is peppered with strange and unique “mogotes” – a series of tall, rounded hills which seem to pop out of the ground. As well as walking, the area is great for photography, bird-watching, cycling and horse riding. There are plenty of unique activities on offer, including boat-rides through the Cave of the Indian, tours of tobacco plantations, and an immersive experience in the Palenque de los Cimarrones - a former hideout for runaway slaves.

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Tags: tip, destinations, vinales, recommendations, holidays, cigars, tobacco, music, travel ideas

10 Reasons You Have to Visit Trinidad

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 26-03-2018 11:31:10

Though most of us tend to envision Havana when we think of Cuba, the island is home to other, lesser-known cities that encapsulate the essence of Cuba in an altogether different manner. One of them is Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the entire Caribbean. Located on the Southern coast of Cuba, Trinidad offers the perfect blend of city, beach and nature – all within a short distance. Not that you’ll need much convincing, but here’s 10 reasons you have to visit Trinidad...

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Tags: trinidad, where to go, destinations, holidays, music, history, nature, travel ideas

Cuba with Kids: How to Make the Most of Your Trip

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 13-02-2018 11:23:35

Travelling with kids can feel daunting, particularly in places like Cuba where there are a lot of unknowns for first-time travellers. What most people don’t realise, is that Cuba is quite the family-friendly destination, especially since Cubans are so welcoming and kind to children. In fact, you’ll often find Cubans quoting their national hero and poet, Jose Marti, who famously said that “children are the hope of the world, because they truly know how to love”. To help you get the most out of your family trip to Cuba, we’ve spoken to our Cuban travel specialists to get the ultimate advice and insider tips.

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Tags: travel hacks, tips, packing, safety, family, kids, casa particular