How to holiday in Cuba for a fraction of the cost!
Dreaming about a holiday to Cuba?
Miles of white sandy beaches, tiny bars tucked away, striking architecture, cobalt blue waters and the best cigars in the world. There are hundreds of reasons to visit Cuba AND did you know? It doesn’t have to cost the Earth.
Yes, visiting the Caribbean CAN be the quickest way to break the bank, but you can actually travel to Cuba without forking out a small fortune fairly easily... You just have to do your homework!
If you’re desperate to sip Mojitos while watching the sunset (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) then here’s some secret tips on how to holiday in Cuba without the financial headache.
There’s more than just Havana
For many people, Cuba and Havana go hand in hand. As the capital city, and Cuba’s most historic hotspot, Havana is top of many travellers’ wish lists. But this popularity has led to a surge in prices for Havana holidays, compared to the rest of Cuba, so expect to pay top dollar in the city.
Instead of confining yourself to Havana, be sure to check out the other cool cities Cuba has to offer. Trinidad, for instance, is a colonial town considered to be far more beautiful than the capital.
All you need to enjoy this picturesque town is a comfortable pair of shoes and a camera, with the white beaches and tumbling waterfalls sure to keep you fascinated for a few days of your trip.
There’s also Cienfuegos, a coastal city often referred to as the ‘Paris of the South’, and not just because of its French roots. Littered with parks and art galleries, the city has architecture so grand it earned Unesco World Heritage status in 2005. If that doesn’t make you fancy a visit, we don’t know what will!
You can holiday in both of these cities for a fraction of the costs compared to Havana, so make sure to do your research and find a city that suits your expectations – as well as your wallet.
Mi casa es su casa
When it comes to accommodation in Cuba, take the plunge by staying in a casa particular. Literally translated to ‘private home’, when you book a casa particular you live with a local Cuban family, eating Cuban food and learning about the nation’s culture and history from the homeowners.
While there are plenty of grand state-run hotels in Cuba, they are sure to drain your precious funds super fast and will never deliver the same authentic Cuban experience as a casa particular. It’s a no-brainer!
Learn the language
If your command over the Spanish languages begins and ends with hola and buenos dias, you’re probably going to struggle to visit Cuba and stick to a budget. The vast majority of Cubans speak very little English, including your hosts in your quaint casa particular.
This can make Cuba quite daunting, as travellers will need to converse with the locals in order to live economically. Arranging daily activities, coordinating cheap transport and even ordering your evening Mojito can become difficult without the language.
Luckily, you can sign up for a 4-day Spanish course when you land in Cuba, giving you the perfect head start to the language. You’ll be rolling those Rs in no time… Arrrriba!
It might be tempting to use taxis and tourist buses to get around Cuba. But if you do, you’re going to find that this will be your biggest expense.
Instead, travel like a local and use public buses, camiones and taxi collectivos. A camione, meaning ‘truck’ in Spanish, is an open-backed truck which costs around £1 for a three-hour trip. Seriously. That’s travelling from Havana to Trinidad for the price of a bag of Haribo.
You can also use taxi collectivos – which are shared taxis and are usually a third of the price of a normal taxi. The beauty of travelling like a local is, unlike the tourist buses which only tend to travel once a day on a tight schedule, you can travel to your timetable... The way it’s meant to be.
Things to Do
If you’re serious about visiting Cuba on a budget, you might be a bit worried about finding affordable things to do. Luckily, Cubans are very resourceful people and the island’s three favourite pastimes, dancing, music and the beach, don’t cost too much to get involved in.
You won’t even have to search very hard to find something to dance to, as music is the genuine heartbeat of Cuba. It spills out from the Old Town bars of Havana to the cobbled backstreets of Trinidad and everywhere in between. Come Saturday night, it’s not unusual to find speakers set up in a main square for an impromptu DJ set!
And when it comes to the beach, with more than 3,500 miles of coastline, you’re never too far from the pristine white sands.
So, when are you booking your flights?
It’s okay if you’re a bit short on cash right now, just book a table with us instead. With decadent tapas, your favourite rum-filled cocktails and fiery salsa-filled parties, a visit to us is more or less the same as that trip to Cuba. See you there!