Warning about casas particulares in Trinidad Cuba
Posted: 07 July 2009 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Joined  2009-06-25

I had this message posted as a reaction on another topic but I think it’s too important to be missed. So I put it under it’s own title as a new topic for everybody to notice!!

In the first half of June I have been with my friends in Trinidad, owners of this casa near the busstation:

About what they told me, what happened to other travelers and what I have seen myself, I would like to warn all travelers who want to visit Trinidad.

Trinidad more or less has become a village of which the people completely are depending on the tourism. With lesser tourists and too much casas and restaurants competition between them has changed a way of life in Trinidad which isn’t so nice anymore.

Less tourism and too much competition, jealousy and envy have changed many casa-owners and their way of being polite and hospitality ... and other agents or brokers (‘casadores’ = people that don’t own a casa but work only for the money to bring you to a (bad or illegal) casa).

When you come by bus there will be waiting about 40 cubans for only a few tourists. Those tourists are brutaly cornered by the ‘casadores’, with lies, false information about the existing casas. Also when they already have chosen a casa, or even when they already made a reservation ahead, they will lie to them about that casa, or they will tell them that they’ll bring you to your known casa… But actually you are being deceived; bringing you to another address, another casa - which probably has lesser quality, hospitality, less clean, further away from the center, or might even be an illegal casa….
Those ‘casadores’ are brutal, they don’t give you space to make your own choice, they don’t let you go your own way to find your pre-booked address, Those ‘casadores’ are this way just for the money, they are not reliable and not showing any responsability…

Even when you get by rented car you’ll be more or less forced to stop and listen to those hustlers. With their lies about your ‘casa that’s not existing anymore’, or ‘the owner being in jail’ ... o whatever different false reason they want you to change your plans, to drop your address of the known casa and make you follow them to their own houses (illegal rentals) of worse casas.

In the meanwhile, the owners of the good casa with whom you’ve made your reservation, are waiting in vain for your arrival. This way the good casas are missing their possibility to rent their good room for that night, and their honest way of offering Cuban hospitality! The casas that have a website (that you might have seen before visiting), sometimes also are offering the possibility to make a reservation, are most of the time being helped by foreigners outside Cuba. Also those foreigners don’t want to lie to you; they are helping their Cuban friends, they have visited their friends (the casa owners) sometimes already many times, and last thing they don’t want is to be known in the bad way either, since they’ll get the messages or e-mails also at their own account.

If you’ve got an address or reservation:
- Check out the address you already have by yourself; just take your time and convince yourself about your existing plan (before following any other Cuban telling you things….)
Most of the time the casa you had in mind is just functioning normal and they’ll be waiting for you; beiing very happy that you really showed up!!

Without a reservation:
- Check if the proposed casa is an official, known by the logo on the door. Every legal casa has one and only they are allowed to rent their rooms. You can try to negotiate the price, or if you’re not happy about what you get, just go to look for another casa because there are plenty better ones, for sure !!

- Don’t get pushed to think the dinner inside the casa is an obligation; The official and good casa-owners also are letting you the freedom of choice: having your dinner in your casa or having it outside in a restaurant or whatever way you choose…

I hope you’ll have a nice stay in Cuba and also Trinidad; but be a little prepared!


[ Edited: 07 July 2009 09:29 AM by publisher ]