Classic Car-Roundtrip "The wild West" - 7 days

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Classic Car-Roundtrip "The wild West": 7-day Cuba experience trip through the West for lovers of American classic cars of the 50s…

Cuba Cigars and Rum

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What is Cuba most popular for? Of course for its first-class tobacco, the world-famous cigars and the real rum...

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Classic Car Trip "On the trails of Tobacco and Rum" - 3 days

On the trails of Tobacco and Rum: Havana and Viñales - 2 nights in a private house - Bed&Breakfast  - with a classic car, driver and tour guide 

Interesting tour building block - not only for lovers of tobacco and rum...

Review

ORTR3 Classic Car Trip "On the trails of Tobacco and Rum / Western Highlights"

Great Havana sightseeing tour and trip in a vintage car including driver, your own travel guide and overnight stays in private accommodations

Havana - Pinar del Rio – Vuelta Abajo – San Luis - San Juan y Martinez - Guane – Sumidero - Viñales - Cueva de los Portales - San Diego de los Banos - Soroa - Las Terazzas -Havana

Trip summary:
This round trip leads you down the way of the best tobacco in the world, from cultivation to enjoying an aromatic Cuban cigar yourself. Along the way the customer gets to witness the naturally beautiful extraordinary landscape of the tobacco landscape in the west of Cuba. We will stop at the famous sites of rum as we move through Havana, as well as visit the cradle of diffenrent rum cocktails there. In the beginning of the trip, we firstly show you around Havana on a special sightseeing tour that will also lead you to the different sites of author great Ernest Hemingway’s drinking sprees and actions. From Havana, we advance the province Pinar del Rio and first into its capital which has the same name. After a short tour through this town, we drive onward into the Vuelta Abajo with its especially fertile soil, in which the best tobacco in the world is grown. The next stay is dedicated to the world-famous Cuban tobacco. In the Vuelta Abajo we will visit a famous, over 200 year old tobacco finca with you. During that time you can learn a lot about how tobacco is grown and you can watch an old tobacco farmer roll cigars. This is the home of the real and authentic Cuban cigar! 
As we continue into the tropical natural landscape, across very old steel bridges, past interesting villages with the authentic life of the rural people, we make our way to Viñales. Along the way you will encounter many interesting places where you can take lots of pictures of the colorful tobacco landscapes with their cultivation areas, drying barns and tobacco farms in this magnificent part of the country. Afterwards we embark on a trip into the tropical Viñales valleys with stops at the unique sights embedded in the tropical karstic landscape of the Mogotes. 
The next day brings you through breathtakingly pretty scenic landscapes again until you reach the cave of Che (Cueva de los Portales). After having visited this impressive natural monument you drive past San Diego de los Banos with its old health spas and have a short visit at Soroa Nature Park and Las Terrazas. Subsequently we return to Havana, the starting point of you trip, which is where the trip ends.
tobacco cuba

Cuban Cigars - Cohiba – A Cigar conquers the World!  
The best cigars come from Cuba and are smoked by famous personalities and people of world!

The Montecristo, the Cohiba or the Romeo y Julieta… who hasn’t heard of one, or all of those famous cigars!

cigars cuba

Christoph Columbus spread the word of Cuban tobacco around the whole world. The great admiral arrived in Cuba and sah how the natives ‘drank smoke’ in October 1492. These rolled tobacco sticks were called ‘Cohiba’ by the natives. Today, this brand belongs to one of the most famous ones in the world and was reissued and produced by the cigar-smokers Fidel Castro and Che Guevara after the revolution, whereas the ‘Cohiba Esplendidos’ and the ‘Cohiba Lanceros’ are particularly valued.


A bit of information about the preparation of tobacco
The tobacco seeds are sowed in the public tobacco plant center in the beginning of September. To protect the seedlings from the sun, they are covered with sacks. After 30 days, a 20 cm high plant will have grown out of the seed. Now the seedlings are planted in the tobacco farmers’ (Vegueros) fields.

After that the tobacco farmers are responsible for the further growth of the tobacco plants. The Corojo and Criollo seeds are mostly used for growing tobacco in Cuba. For this process, the Corojo plant is used for the cigars’ flyleaves and belongs to the most expensive tobacco leaves in Cuba.

Criollo is used as an insert (tripa) and a binder (capote). After 2 months of growing, petals form at the top and the sideshoots. To not slow down the leaves’ growth, they are immediately removed so the nutrients reach the leaves. 
The first leaves are then already going to be harvested. The process begins with the biggest leaves. The smaller leaves come afterwards. A tobacco plant is about 1,80 meters high. From planting the seedlings all the way to the end of the harvest, 2 months will have gone by.

After the harvest, the leaves are picked individually, then rolled up to bales and afterwards they are dried in drying sheds (Casas del Tabacco). During a 40 day time period, the leaves now get their brownish color through the transformation and lose up to 80% of their weight.

Now the first fermentation begins. For this, the leaves are compiled into 1 meter high heaps and then covered. It is very important to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 33°C. The temperature is controlled by circulating the piles of leaves. 
In this phase, the leaves gain a consistent color and cut down on nicotine, tar and acids, and furthermore, flavorings and fragrances form. 
The second fermentation process takes about 4-12 weeks and may not exceed a temperature of 40°C. The longer the process takes, the darker the leaves’ color becomes. Only now the leaves are ready for storage and cigar processing.

tobacco cuba

The best cultivation area in Cuba is located in the province called Pinar del Rio which lies in the Vuelto Abajo. The most famous tobacco farmers like Alejandro Robaina and Hector Luis Prieto have their tobacco plantations (Vegas) in the area around San Juan and Martinez.

pinar del rio

Vega Robaina

The old and tall man of the Cohiba was undisputedly Alejandro Robaina, who characterized the Cohiba cigar in an especially aromatic way.

Don Alejandro Robaina was born in Alquizar, Cuba on March, 20th.

At the age of 91, the most famous Cuban tobacco farmer Alejandro Robaina died on the 15th of April 2010.

The legendary planter with his straw hat is the only Cuban who has a Cigar named after him: The Vegas Robaina. On their website, the Cuban-Spanish company Habanos appreciated the ‘charisma’ of the decedent who started planting tobacco at the age of 12.

cigars cuba

In the third generation, he already led the tobacco plantation located in the best tobacco cultivation area in the world which was founded by his ancestors in 1845. It was also him, who, after the revolution, convinced his close friend Fidel Castro to not have the plantation become governmental but rather have it stay in hands of the family. Due to his special deeds for Cuban tobacco, the brand Vegas Robaina was introduced in his honor in 1997.

Alejandro Robaina kept developing new tobacco blends and cigars even at a high age. For personal need, special Cigars are manufactured from self-grown tobaccos on his premises. Alejandro Robaina lived humbly in a small finca inmidst his plantations and used to travel around the world from time to time, acting as an ambassador for Cuban cigars. Since the beginning of 2004, Robaina’s grandson Hiroshi has been leading tobacco cultivation on the Vega. 

Travel Details

ORTR3 On the trails of Tobacco and Rum / Short Roundtrip in a Classic Car / Car with driver and guide

Day 1: La Habana 
At 08:30 am you are picked up at your Casa Particular or hotel. Discussion about the day’s tour.
Sightseeing stroll through the center of Havana in the morning. Im Every alley and almost every single house is lovely in the historic center Habana Vieja and you can find photo motifs and places to linger around en mas. We will take you on a walk through the historic city center La Habana Vieja, protected by the UNESCO. The city was founded in 1519 together with the first seven cities in Cuba. The city tour leads us to the Plaza de Armas, the Templete, the fort Real Force Castle, the palace San Francisco de Asis and the Cathedral Square with a visit of the cathedral in no particular order. You will also be able to have a short look at the original restored presidential carriage from 1910. Then we head to the Casa Africa which is themed after the popular religion called Santeria. In case you would like to, we can also visit the pretty churches Espirito Santos and Merced. If possible, we can visit a tobacco factory that is open (Unfortunately, the Partagas tobacco factory is currently closed due to renovation work!).
havana
On one of the rooftop decks we will enjoy a tropical refreshing drink while having an excellent view over the photogenic rooftops of Havana. Together we will take a stroll through the shopping streets Calle Obispo and Calle O’Reilly and then to the arts and crafts market. On the way we will take short breaks in the narrow alleys of the historic city and next to special buildings. We will look at colonial inner courtyards and learn a lot about the capital Havana and their stories. Of course we will also include a stop for you to have a Mojito and an aromatic Cohiba in the famous Hemingway Bar La Bodeguita del Medico or a Daiquiri in La Floridita. 
All drinks are optional and at your own expense!
Lunch at a local restaurant. 

After lunch you will be able to have a detailed tour through Havana in your vintage car. 
On said tour you visit the Cementerio Colon, the second largest graveyard of all of Latin America. On a round trip through the approximately 100.000 graves, of which 90% are made of marble, you will learn about many stories this museum graveyard holds. After that, the way leads across the place where the revolution took place, Revolution Square, with its memorial of freedom, an obelisk in the late art deco style. 
This is where Fidel Castro used to hold his famous speeches that influenced world politics in front of the masses. As soon as it opens again (currently still closed) we can use the elevator. From here you have a fantastic view across the city. We continue on to the village San Francisco de Paula, where Hemingway used to have soughing parties with many famous greats from the movie scene, the mafia and even politicians in the 50s. Hemingway acquired this manor, the ‘Finca la Vijia’, with his Nobel prize for literature. The former residence and its furniture survived the test of time really well and is nowadays the Hemingway Museum in Cuba.

hemingway

The museum can’t be entered but you can even see the writing instruments, many souvenirs brought back from various trips, as well as personal things from the life of the famous author through the open windows. (Closed on Sundays, holidays and when there is bad weather).
From there we continue on small roads and the city highway until we reach the fishing village Cojimar. This is the place where the great US American novelist and author Ernest Hemingway used to stay and listen to the tales his captain called Gregorio told him and then used those to write his nobel prize-winning novel ‘The Old Man and The Sea’. There will be a short stop at the Ernest Hemingway bar (drinks optional) and during a visit at the memorial located here you will learn many historic details about this famous man. 

Now we drive back along the Playas del Este, the eastern beaches of Havana and its seaside paradise where the natives who come here in Summer spend their holidays, all the way to the place Casablanca with its impressive statue of Christ. The wife of dictator Batista wanted to calm down the agitated and protesting people by ordering the erection of a replica of the statue of Christ of Rio on the elevated eastern bank of the seaport. It was not as big as the original but could be seen from all of central Havana. The place Casablanca is located opposite to the historic city center on the other bank of the port entrance. Here you have an unforgettable chance to take some pictures next to the Cristo de Habana. On the elevated deck next to the Cristo, you have a fantastic panorama view over the entire city center and the outskirts, the port entrance and a part of the harbor, the fort El Morro and the Malecon and also the seaside promenade of Havana. Here you can also clearly see why the city was built in this location and why Havana is the most important Pass-Through-Port for the gold of the new world. 

We underpass the port in a tunnel and drive along the Malecon into the city center of Vedado and then stop at the Hotel Nacional with its gorgeous park. From the 33rd floor of the Focsa and the highest building of the city, we can provide a breathtaking view over the skyline of Havana. On a drive through the green lung of Havana with its many parks, we can show you the Miramar district in which 90% of the embassies are located. Most of them are situated in the countless beautiful mansions. 
Here, we visit the famous artist Jose Fuster in his Mosaic-Street. He created a tribute to the Gaudí in Barcelona with his mosaic art. At the end of our tour we drive through the Sybone district, which is a suburb of Havana that is often compared to Beverly Hills. Afterwards we will reach your accommodation which is where the 5 – 6 hour long tour ends and also where you will be able to say that you experienced and got to know Havana for certain.

gaudi havana
Note: The tour does not take place in a particular order and during Winter the program is subject to change due to the days being shorter. Please note that the statehouse, the Partagas cigar factory and the obelisk/tower at the Plaza de la Revolucion cannot be visited for an indefinite time due to renovations and reconstruction measures. The Hemingway museum, the Finca La Vijia, is closed on Sundays and in case of bad weather.

Accommodation: Casa Particular B&B, Dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Tip for the evening: Attendance of the famous cannon shot ceremony, port closes at 09:00 pm (Optional and can be booked on site).

 
Day 2: Havana - Pinar del Río - San Luis - Vuelta Abajo - Guane - Viñales

Breakfast. At 08:30 am we start our trip into the province Pinar del Rio in our vintage car.
Your travel guide for west Cuba:
First your chauffeur takes you down the 150 km to Pinar del Rio, the capital of the province with the same name. To the right of the city entrance, the Pinar del Rio hotel is located. Your travel guide Carlos is waiting for you in the hotel’s central yard and will continue on to Havana with you from here. Carlos speaks English fluently and even a bit of German, so you will not have any problems communicating with him.
Short tour through the town Pinar del Rio. Visit of the cigar factory Francisco Donatien and the liquor factory Guayabita a bit further outside the city (in case both are open, closed on Sundays and holidays). After having had a look at these sights the trip goes into the lands of tobacco, the Vuelta Abajo. 

tobacco pinar del rio

The next few hours are completely dedicated to the world famous Cuban tobacco. We will visit famous, more than 200 years old tobacco fincas from before the revolution in the Vuelta Abajo around San Luis with you. You will learn a lot about the process of growing tobacco, and depending on the season, you will also be able to see how the tobacco leaves are handled as well as see the ancient methods and even watch an old tobacco farmer roll cigars. Today, we will visit the tobacco Vega Gustavo. It is here where you can find the real Cuban cigar, grown in unique soil and made from the best tobacco plants in the world. You should stock up on cigars here as the tobacco that is being grown here may very well have the best flavor in all of Cuba! (Optional purchase). 
During a short walk through the surrounding tobacco cultivation areas, we will visit another ancient colonial neighor finca with you. In case the owners are home, you can even have a look into this historic finca and from the roof, you have a beautiful view over the Vuelta Abajo.
Lunch at the tobacco Vega Gustavo.

We now say goodbye to the sympathetic people from the farm and continue into the tropical natural landscape with tobacco fields embedded in picturesque valleys, crossing very old iron bridges and passing interesting villages with the authentic life of the countryside residents. Along this way, many places tobacco growing areas and natural landscapes invite you to take lots of pictures. After that the way leads right into the tropical natural landscape of the mountain peaks of the Mogotes protected by the UNESCO. There are remnants of gigantic collapsed caves of long forgotten times. Embedded in this landscape you can find the picturesque tobacco farms in the Parque Nacional de Viñales. With the trip through the tropical karstic valleys of the tropical mountain range of the Sierra de los Organos, we then reach Viñales in the evening. 

Accommodation: Casa Particular B&B.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

During an evening stroll in Viñales you can enjoy Cuban live music in the market square and indulge in the fascinating atmosphere of this place. (Optional)

pinar del rio

Day 3: Viñales - Cueva de los Portales - San Diego de los Banos - Soroa- Havana
Breakfast. At 8:30 am we will have a few stops to take pictures at some lovely sights. Some of them being the breathtaking observation deck Balcon del Valle next to the Hotel Las Jasmines as well as the prehistoric wall of Dos Hermanas.

After that, we move past the gorgeous Mogotes all the way to the Cueva del Indio. We will also see the cave called Cueva del Indio from inside, as we will be passing the river that flows through it by boat.
Next point down the line after these stops in the morning is the trip through an impressively amazing landscape of tropical moutains with breathtaking views from the foothills of the tropical mountain range Sierra de los Organos. Along the way we reach another highlight of this trip, the cave of Che, la Cueva de los Portales. This is where Ernesto Che Guevara hid alongside his comrades during the revolution. 
This large cave and rock labyrinth located in a beautiful area is a unique and impressive natural monument which will surely amaze you. 
Lunch at a restaurant along the way. 

pinar del rio

As we continue we first pass the La Guira national park to San Diego de los Banos, a Cuban health spa with old natural springs that have been visited since the colonial times.
In the time before the revolution many mafioso greats and rich habaneros, as well as American tourists used to come here to relax and take cures. Today this remains an interesting place, still worth seeing but barely retained as the past greatly chipped away at it.
From San Diego we head down the Carretera Central to Christobal and when we reach Candelara, we take a turn into the Sierra del Rosario, a biosphere reserve protected by the UNESCO, and then we finally reach Soroa Nature Park. Soroa is named after the Frenchman Jean Pierre Soroa who managed a big coffee plantation here in the 19th century. This nature park is famous for its fabulous tropical mountain landscape. Together, we will visit the orchid garden which holds more than 700 different orchid subspecies of which many are endemic. 


soroa
During May to October you can gaze upon the gorgeous waterfall Salto de Arcoiris (up to 21 m high) since it carries a lot of water and in case there is enough time, we can even descend down to its ponds. From Soroa, we head down to the famous community Las Terazzas with its artist colony and a lake in a pretty location. Here you go on a short walk, during which the history of this first ‘sustainable settlement’ of Cuba is explained to you. 
After a beautiful day in nature, we return to Havana in the evening. 

Accommodation: Casa Particular B&B.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

End of the Short Round Trip ‘Tobacco & Rum’                           

Note: Changes and deviations in the entire program and accommodations are reserved. Trips and the order of the programs are subject to the weather conditions and how much daylight is left, as well as unpredictable and changing technical conditions and can therefor lead to last-minute cancellations or changes conducted by the tour guide. The program orders are always determined by the tour guide. We kindly ask for your understanding. During Winter, changes can emerge as well as other details of the program since the days are shorter.

Please note: Participating in trips with private means of transportation like for example a private car, bicy-taxis, vintage cars, horse carriages etc., as well as accommodation in Casas Particulares (private guest houses) happens at the traveler’s own risk.

Travel advice: Please remember to bring appropriate hiking shoes and gear, as well as a sufficient amount of water/drinks. And don’t forget your swimwear.

Important note: Subsequent billing is possible in the case of unexpected Euro/Dollar fluctuations.

Services&Price

ORTR3 Classic Car Trip - "On the trails of Tobacco and Rum / Western Highlights"

(3 day Cuba Exclusive Round Trip in a classic car with own chauffeur and own tour guide) 

Begin of the roundtrip daily ex Havana
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Price per person in Euro in a double room: from 699,- €

Depature possible from Varadero: Extra charge 78,- Euro per person by request
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Included in the price:

- Service description: 3 day short trip in a vintage car (or car/minivan)
- Pickup at the airport and transfer to your accommodation
- From 2 people upwards 
- Driver and your own travel guide 
- English and German speaking travel guide
- Additional German speaking travel guide is not included
- Accommodation in a Casa Particulares (Breakfast and dinner according to the program)
- Overnight stays as shown in the program
- Lunch as shown in the program 
- Drinks during all meals are optional and not included in the price
- Trips and sightseeing events as shown in the program
- Secured Payment Certificate for the trip’s price 

Not included in the price:

- Airport transfers at arrival and departure outside the program days 
- Overnight stays outside the program
- Only/additional German speaking travel guide (33 Euros surcharge per day)
- Surcharges of any kind
- Expenses for services outside the program offered
- Optional trips, excursions and services
- Tips
- Drinks in the Paladares, Casas, Restaurants or other places
- Tourist tax Cuba and handling fee (p.p. 40 EUR)
- Tourist map on arrival (p.p. 25 EUR) 
- Airport tax on departure (is charged together with the ticket by the airline)

Note: Changes and deviations in the entire program in case of possible fallacies for the duration of the trip and the accommodations, as well as subsequent billing during strong unexpected Euro/Dollar fluctuations are reserved.

Tour guide: 
We would like to point out that the tour guides’ knowledge of the German language can vary. Especially during the main season (November-April) demand for German-speaking tour guides is very high. Therefore it may be the case that tour guides have knowledge of the German language but cannot speak it fluently. Generally English skills are very good, so there should not be any communication issues.

General information and program changes:
Please consider that sights, gastronomical facilities can close last-minute and without advance notice. In cases like that we will try our best to find an offer of equal value within the limits of resources available.

Regarding hotels, please note: 
Cuba is in a difficult situation when it comes to hotels. Due to overbookings it can come to last-minute reservation changes. The hotels cannot be compared to the standards of hotels in other countries despite their category specifications (Stars) and/or the affiliation with international hotel chains. Due to the colonial construction method of many city hotels, not all rooms have windows.

Changes, fallacies, transmission or typos are reserved.
Our announcements, confirmations and travel conditions are essential for our offers.

Please ask for our dream beach offers!

This short round trip is the ideal trip package in combination with a stay in Havana and/or an additional week at a dream beach for a 2-week vacation or evn just for a few days at the seaside for a 10-day trip. Please just ask us for our dream beach offers regarding your desired destinations.

Upon booking a 2 or 3-week Cuba trip, we are happy to put together a full package for you with you, including a seaside destination (beach) of your wish.

Tip for fans of water sports: Make sure to additionally book a diving package or a diving course as well!

Accommodation

All overnight-stays and accomodations like written in the program of the roundtrip.

Further information about private accomodation you can find here

Example: 

Flight

Booking of your flight: 

We recommend to search for flights via flight search machines of your country. 

But if you need help, we will assist you at any time. 

airport Havana

Tips

Information:

About travelling in oldtimers (CC=Carros Classicos)

All oldtimers, which are established for the roundtrips, have a taxi license for the transport of foreigners. They all date back to the time before or shortly after the revolution (1954 - 1960). Thus they are older than 50 years. In Cuba it is very expensive and arduous to refurbish those oldtimers and arrange them for excursion trips. For that reason, the cars are conducted by their owners and are maintained and shepherd like museum pieces. The drivers are often hobby mechanics and tinkerers, who have refurbished their cars on their own. In the majority of cases the car is in possession of one family for already 3 generations. But the „carros classicos“, how the Cubans call them, are not designed for cross-country, but only for comfortable tours on asphalt streets. The experience of this 8 day roundtrip in oldtimers is to feel the flair of the booming 50s. At the rear bench seat of the wide American 3 people will find a seat. A 4th person, either participant or guide, is able to sit in the front next to the driver. 
Each car is occupied by minimum 2 participants plus guide plus driver and with a maximum of 4 persons plus driver.  
We take care, that couples and related participants get their seats together in one car. But to keep down the costs for each participant, we try to fill up the car with the maximum of 4 persons. If customers wish to drive the cars with only 2 participants, there is the possibility to book this trip as a private roundtrip. (please see the price table) The owners of the oldtimers drive the cars in slow pace, with proper distance in a convoy and always in the same order. For reasons of safety the guide drives in the last car. The drivers are all hobby mechanics and they now their cars. For the case of need, all drivers are connected by mobile phones. 

About the luggage limitation in oldtimers and the luggage storage in Santa Clara:

The luggage trunk of the American is very big. Nevertheless, if the car is full with participants, it is only enough space for one sportsbag (soft material, canvas) each participant. There is a maximum space of 5 travel bags in each car (1xdriver+1xguide+3xparticipants).
Your "excess luggage" can be left in Santa Clara in a Casa Particular on day 2 of the roundtrip (fee=1 CUC each suitcase). Your guide will organise this for you. At day Das organisiert der Rundreiseleiter. On day 8 your roundtrip ends in Santa Clara, where you can pick up your "excess luggage".  
Customers, who only bring suitcases from home, can borrow for free a bag from the guide in Santa Clara and give it back at day 8. 

About the transfers:

All transfers are organised with taxis (normally oldtimers), which are able to drive to Casas Particulares. 
The transfers at day 1 from the airport to your Casa Particular in Santa Clara and the transfer from Santa Clara to the airport at day 8 are both included in the price. 
All other transfers are possible on application and with extra costs. Please ask for it with the booking.  
Because all transfers need to go to Casas Particulares, it is necessary to book all transfers together with your roundtrip. 

Regarding accommodation in Casas Particulares (CP)

Every night, after the vintage car trips, you will find accommodation in so-called Casas Particulares (CP) (Private Guest Houses). All rooms have a separate bathroom including a shower and a toilet as well as warm water and AC. In many cases the rooms also have fans. Not all rooms have 220V power outlets (Careful with dry shavers or hair dryers that don’t support 110V – 220V!) and normally all power outlets are designed for American tabs or American 3-pin plugs (2 Flat, 1 round). In Cuba you can’t buy any power adapters, therefor you should bring them in your baggage. A simple flashlight or chargeable lamp, or even candles can be very useful in case of a power outage. In many cases the rooms have 1 double bed and 1 single bed. The rooms can be used as single rooms, double rooms and also rooms for 3 people. In case 2 single beds, instead of 1 double bed are needed for 2 people, or 3 single beds are needed, they have to be requested during booking. All reservations at Casas Particulares include breakfast. The landlords of the rooms mostly cook the tap water, which they offer as drinking water, and have it cool down in the fridge. Only the carbonated water which can be bought everywhere in green plastic bottles is completely safe. Towels are provided by the landlords and are normally replaced every 2 days. Because of the climate in Cuba, mostly only thin sheets and a blanket are provided instead of a thick duvet.

Regarding windows in Casas Particulares (CP)

In hot Cuba, fresh air from outside and open windows or even incoming sunlight means unwanted heat in the rooms for the Cubans.

Because of that nobody in Cuba likes to open windows and let the sunlight into the room unimpeded. For Europeans this is quite unusual, but if you want to experience Cuba in the most real and authentic way, you should try your best to understand these circumstances caused by the climate and adapt.

Windows in the Casas Particulares are often covered with curtains to not let the light, i. e. the heat in.

In many cases the AC was built into a window subsequently as cooling is a lot more important than windows that open in Cuba. The windows there are normally not made out of glass, as the moist air would only end up as condensation on the glass, but are rather only horizontally arranged wooden planks that can be tilted and opened a bit to let some cooler air in at night. In Cuba, windows function less as a means of looking outside but rather letting air flow through. This is unfamiliar for Europeans but it can’t be changed. Everything was adapted to the climate and is therefor accordingly convenient. Most travelers prefer accommodation in a town’s center for understandable reasons. Hotels in Cuba are mostly located outside the center. But with Casas Particulares it is easier to fulfill the wish to be accommodated in the center, which is a great advantage that CPs have over hotels. In most cases the CP is not a small house at a corner but is rather just located beside 2 neighboring buildings wall-to-wall. The only windows that let you look outside are mostly at the house’s forefront that faces the street. This is also where the living room and the balcony are located most times. The bedrooms that are rented out are usually inside the house with a simple window facing the backyard to let air in. The backyards are also usually designed and built in a way so they don’t let a lot of light into the rooms, which is for heat prevention.

You can expect windows with a good view over the landscape maybe in the countryside or in suburbs but not in Cuba’s cities’ centers. This applies especially for Casas Particulares in Havana’s popular city center.

Please note:

Participation in trips with private means of transportation like for example a Bicitaxi and vintage cars, as well as accommodation in Casas Particulares happens at the traveler’s own risk. Getting accident insurance coverage for abroad is recommended.

Please consider that you are in a tropical country, or respectively, on an island, and in the accommodations you might find all sorts of insects, geckos etc. commonly found in the country!

Our Tips:
-Don´t leave valuables, phones, laptops, cameras etc. in the car.
-Please bring good footwear for trips and swimwear for the beach.

Travel Request

Watersport

There is the possibility to go diving during or in connection with your trip. Please let us know in advance, if you would like to go snorkeling or diving and we will be pleased to assist you in finding the right choice.

Further information you can find at www.cuba-diving.de/DIVE-CUBA/dive_cuba.html