Tips For Planning A Cheap Backpacking Trip To Cuba
Cuba remains the cheapest country you can travel to in Latin America. If you are on a strict budget and you want a destination where you can have a good time, you have to consider Cuba.
The people are friendly; they accept foreign visitors very well. If you go for the first time, you discover the affordable cost of many things, such as transportation accommodation, as well as other activities.
In Cuba, as a tourist, you can survive with one hundred dollars per week. It’s an ideal place for people on a budget, for having a good time and making new Cuban friends.
The best way to save money is sharing one bedroom with a friend. Most of the landlords allow up to 3 people per bedroom.
Casas Particulares vs. Hotels
If you really want to know Cuba, the best way is to book a casa particular. That way you can enjoy, for example, a better food. You can also know how the Cuban people live on a daily basis.
Landlords most of the time offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the tourist for a reasonable price. Also, the food tastes much better than in a hotel, since landlords put all their effort to offer the best service to every single tourist.
Staying in Casa particular also give you the opportunity of meeting new people from other parts of the world.
Sometimes you have to share a private accommodation with tourists that you don’t know, but that gives you the chance to make new friends.
Bargain in Cuba
You should learn how to do it. It’s very important if you want to save money. Taxi drivers, tour guides, sales representatives, street cigar’s sellers, “salsa dance teachers,” etc., all of them try to bite deep into your pocket.
The best way to avoid that is to bargain before engaging their service, whatever the price they offer you, just deduct 10 or 20% less.
Eating cheap in Cuba
You can go to any “Food Market,” (they are terrible and dirty) and buy some vegetables, fruits, some meat (pork mainly), and cook them at home.
First of all, you should talk to the landlord in order to allow you to cook your food in their kitchen in case you don’t have one.
If they do not accept, you can discuss with them to make breakfast and dinner for you. Prices at the market are in Cuban pesos, you could also pay with CUC, but you should know very well what the exchange rate is.
Private restaurants, best known as “Paladars”
You can find very cheap private restaurants for just $3 to $5. But you will never arrive by yourself to those paladars since almost always some Cubans will try to “guide” you to the closest and “cheapest” one in order to get a commission.
So, if the food cost $3, at the end, it will be $5 or more, just to pay the commission. So, just try to arrive with no Cuban around you if you are on a tight budget, but if you want to help, that’s ok though.
In Havana city, you could eat for an affordable price at Paladar NEREI, located in the center of Vedado Area, near to Havana Libre Hotel. Prices go from $5 to $12.
Cheap things to do in Cuba
There are many things to do in Cuba for a tourist on a tight budget. Museums, historical places, cemetery, etc., they cost around $5 to $8 per person.
For example, if you are in Havana and you want to visit Viñales Valley in Pinar del Rio, you should buy a bus ticket at any infotour office or at any hotel nearby.
That cost around $14 per person and it takes 2 to 3 hours to get there. If you want to visit the Rum Museum in Old Havana, that cost around $8 per person. Revolution museum also cost around $8 to $15 per person.
Cuba is the perfect place for travelers on a budget. The cost for two-week holidays is not expensive if you take care of your money.
You can spend a lot if you don’t know how to bargain for services that you would like to enjoy in the country.
The key to backpacking in Cuba on a budget is to be very careful when negotiating with various providers. If you do the right things, you could cut down on unnecessary expenses.