A Casa Particular is your key to getting the Cuban food experience. Each one I stayed in, offered breakfast and dinner.
“You can always get breakfast at the casa particular; it’s five dollars. You will be stuffed if you finish everything that they give you,” according to travel vlogger Shayla Hohiesle. “It’s coffee and juice and water and bread, and then they would come with an omelet; ham and cheese is a staple in Cuba.”
Jon Barr, another video blogger I spoke with, had a similar experience, “I always got a different kind of pork in the morning. Like sausage links, ham, bacon.”
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First Course of a Cuban Breakfast
“And you’re like, ‘I can’t finish this all,’ it’s way more food than you should ever eat for breakfast,” Hoheisel said. “It’s so cool because you’re in their home and they’re making breakfast for you.”
You’ll find ham is an option in almost every dish in Cuba. In spaghetti, in sandwiches, burgers, and salad. Beef is less common and a little more expensive.
A Casa Particular is basically like an Airbnb, you can even book one on Airbnb.com, click here for $40 dollars off an Airbnb stay for first time users. These Casas are run by local Cubans, who are great sources of information. My first host in Havana gave me the basic rundown for what I could expect to pay for, for things like coffee and meals. For long taxi rides to places like Trinidad, it’s best to ask them to book the cab for you.
You can expect to pay 25 to 30 dollars for a ride from Havana to Trinidad. These rates usually match the price of the bus fare, but you’ll arrive a lot quicker. The trip should be around 5 hours, but be prepared for an interesting trip.
“Two hours into the trip, the driver pulls over to the side of the road, and he’s like, ‘ok guys, go to the bathroom,'” said Barr.
The car I rode in, had no seat belts, and you had to adjust the windows by pulling or pushing on the glass by hand. You’re lucky if you stop at a gas station.
“Instead of going to a gas station, this guy pulls over at his house and his dad comes out with a gallon of gasoline, and literally, they’re pouring the gasoline into his car,” Barr said.
Once you get to Trinidad, you’ll know why it’s worth the hassle.
“That was our favorite spot. All the buildings were different colors, which is so cool. And the streets were cobblestone and horse were a real means of transportation,” according to Hohiesle.
Trinidad was once known as the largest sugar producer in the world. At its peak in 1827, 56 sugar mills were in full operation. Founded in the year 1514 by Diego Velázquez, It’s cobblestone streets and historic buildings are hundreds of years old. Today, the city center is a Unesco World Heritage site.
“It was definitely the sounds of just hearing animals running around in the streets. The butchers chopping meet when you walked by. It seemed like every little house had something to sell, so you couldn’t walk a few feet without being surround by something completely different,” Barr said.
Trinidad Horseback Riding
You can find horseback riding tour in Trinidad that cost anywhere from 10 to 20 Cuca person. Your local Cuban tour guide can take you to a coffee farm, a local waterfall, a restaurant in the mountains, or all three.