Aaron, Fernando, Lorri, Scott and Pete
I took 4 friends with me before this trip they did not know each other except for Aaron and Fernando knew each other, We all meet at the airport the night of the flight. Aaron's first trip ever out of Canada and Scott took off as soon as we arrived in Varadero, that surprised me big time because they are not big time travelers like myself but Scott heard about Cuba through his Brother Eric from Windsor, Ontario and Scott had a plan (agenda), I'm a none planners, I never know where I will be the day I wake up but I did tell them I will meet up with the guys in Havana on Tuesday @ noon for lunch, the boys had a room already so I had to find a room for Lori, Fernando and myself. that is easy and fun, so first we went to a hotel I know and they said sorry no rooms available so we went about a block down the street and seen a house with a family and yes they had two rooms for $20.00 a night each, they are called Casa Particular ( strangers home) a young family, now I needed a room so we walked another block and they were full, for some reason I had a feeling to go back to that hotel that said they were full and yes they did have one room available fully renovated for $23.00 a night with breakfast. I could have found another house but I would rather spend the time taking everyone around Havana because everyone I take to Havana or a town in Cuba to hang with the locals is their highlight of their trip to Cuba.
I always find good deals from staying at a strangers home to finding a driver to get us around, sometimes I will even gut a big bus like say a greyhound to get us around. I hired one driver with an old 1956 chev wagon, his name was Carlos, the deal was $40.00 to take us to a town called Matanza from Varadero and I always treat my drivers with respect buy their lunch and all just hang out with us and they always want to show us more like meet their family or just other places around town, lunch was only $12.00 bucks 3 pizzas, 1 chicken dinner with 4 cokes not bad could have got better if we went to their local barbeque in the market say 4 dinners plus 4 juices for about 6 bucks.
Most locals would love to have you over for dinner at their home they will make a lobster or chicken dinner with rice and beans from about $6.00 to $10.00 that is a great deal for you and it helps their family out too. Also if you stay at their home Casa Particular they will ask you if you want dinner and breakfast made for you, breakfast is about 3 to 5 bucks.
Me (Aaron) and my amigo Scott took off to Trinidad and I would recommend the disco. Amazing hospitality and great time. I would also recommend the snorkeling at Playa Ancon only 10 bucks. Don't stay in the resort the whole time get out and see the locals!!!!!!!!
WOW...what an experience!! It all started with Pete coming into the office one day and saying, "Cuba, November 23rd." Then one of my co-workers saying, "You should go Lorri!" The rest is history and I couldn't be happier that I stepped outside my comfort zone (and trust me, this was WAY outside my comfort zone) and went to Cuba with Pete and 3 guys I'd never met before! I enjoyed one of the best vacations ever and now have 4 new amigos....can't wait for next year!!
Cuba is the safest place in the world. Pete from travelcheapwithpete.com