If you truly want to help the local economy your best bet for lodging is to find a good casa particulares. They are regulated by the government and most are an apartment-type or separate from the property. There are many sites available where you can compare properties based on what you are seeking. For the most part I have had great success while being allowed to engage with various families. A very important tip about your host and your communication in planning your visit is to ASK if you can bring them anything based on your budget and baggage allowance. Most will be extremely grateful and items are the most basic, yet are critical to those making the request (i.e., soap, deodorant, lotion, aspirin, spices, band-aids, candy, etc.)
As far as cost of your room, expect anywhere between $22-$35 dollars per night. My average is $25 and includes breakfast. Flexibility will be required because while the homes are safe you must remember you are not staying at a hotel.
Listed below are properties I stayed in La Habana, Matanzas, Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba.
- La Habana – Casa Mayi
- Matanzas – Casa Manzaneda – internet available on site
- Camaguey – Casa Arturo & Xiomara
- Santiago – Villa Maria de Carmen – internet available on site