Cuba family travel is a real passion of mine, so I was delighted to receive this story in my inbox from Abhishek, who asked me to publish it here on Have Baby Will Travel. If you’re not into the idea of a Cuba resort vacation at an all-inclusive, you’ll be delighted to discover that staying in casa particulars is also a very family-friendly way to visit Cuba.
Cuba Family Travel: Havana, Varadero, and Viñales by Casa…
In May 2015, we traveled to Cuba from Toronto with our 27-month-old son. We flew direct from Toronto to Varadero. From the Varadero airport, we took the Viazul bus into Havana where we stayed for 4 nights. From Havana, we went to Viñales where we spent another 2 nights. Our final destination was Varadero where we spent 3 nights.
We stayed in casa particulars . All of the casa bookings were done through bbinnvinales.com. The booking system is a bit dated but it works. You pay the casa owner directly in CUCs. A room is generally between 20 – 35 CUCs. The rooms and bathrooms were clean and the beds were comfortable. The air conditioning was much needed and I was happy there were no power cuts. Usually, at least one person at each of the casas spoke English or French so we didn’t feel much of a language barrier. I would recommend Villa El Habano in Viñales and Casa de Lida in Varadero.
We were very satisfied with the Viazul service–the buses departed and arrived on time; buses were clean and air conditioned; drivers were courteous and helpful with the luggage. We traveled on Viazul from Havana to Viñales and back from Viñales to Varadero (via Havana). The Viazul station in Havana is very inconveniently located quite far from Old Havana and Centro Havana. A taxi ride will cost you about 8 – 10 CUCs.
In Havana, we enjoyed walking down Obispo and around Plaza Vieja. The fort was a fun afternoon trip and at the time there was an art exhibition on. Chinatown was small and we ate there but if you’re short on time you can skip it.
Our time in Viñales and Varadero was more enjoyable. The beach was a 5-minute walk from our casa in Varadero. Several good restaurants were within a 10 – 15 minute walk. I would recommend trying El Criollo and Salsa Suarez in Varadero.
Viñales, about 3-hour bus ride east from Havana, is a hidden gem if you like the countryside. It’s a small town that is bustling with young tourists. We did a horseback tour of the valley which included a cave that was about 250 meters long.
We didn’t feel that traveling with a toddler was a hassle at all. Based on our experience, Cuba is a safe country with reasonable infrastructure. The Cuban people are friendly, honest, and helpful.
I would recommend a casa experience.
We will definitely visit Cuba again.