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Trinidad has an abundance of casas particulares -- around 380 at last count, including several in fine colonial homes that rank as excellent bargains and are particularly appropriate accommodations in this beautifully preserved old town. Visitors who arrive on the Víazul bus are confronted by a rabble of dozens of card- and placard-waving folks hoping to get you to follow them to their homestays. They are perfectly innocuous and, for the most part, honest folks just trying to make a buck. Not all the casas are officially registered, however, and many are not as close to the colonial center as you might wish to be. Have a map ready so they can show you clearly where their houses are located. If you already have the name of a casa, don't mention that you are looking for "José" or "María" (for example); the homeowner you're talking to will morph into that person in no time. Houses in the old center of town generally charge CUC$25 to CUC$35 per double; those a bit farther out (usually no more than a 15-min. walk from the Plaza Mayor) charge CUC$20 to CUC$25 per double. Alternatively, you could stay at one of the large resorts on Playa Ancón, 12km (7 1/2 miles) away.

Check in Before You Check In -- In Trinidad, if you make a reservation with one of the more popular casas particulares, it's a very good idea -- if not essential -- to reconfirm your reservation a couple of days in advance. Casas often let out rooms that haven't been reconfirmed.

In Trinidad

The venerable old Hotel La Ronda, José Martí no. 239 (tel. 41/99-2248; www.hotelescubanacan.com), has been closed for some time for extensive remodeling. It is expected to open as an elegant little downtown boutique hotel run by Cubanacán, but an opening date is not known. A new hotel is under construction on a hill outside of town.

Inexpensive -- Hostal La Rioja Frank País 389 between Simón Bolívar and Francisco Javier Zerquera (tel. 41/99-4589 or 527-11776; tereleria@yahoo.com.mx), is run by the superfriendly and welcoming Teresa; it has a rooftop bar with city views. Casa Mauri, Gustavo Izquierdo 119 between Simón Bolívar and Piro Guinart (tel. 524-74272; www.hostalcasamauri.com) is an enormous house run by Miguel A Suárez del Villar Mauri that dates back to the 1920s. The colorful house offers two rooms -- one of which boasts an ancient bathtub. The welcoming Casa Bastida Maceo 537, between Simón Bolívar and Piro Guinart (tel. 41/99-6686; www.hostalbastida.com), boasts wonderful rooftop views. One room has a cute balcony overlooking the street and there's an attractive communal dining area under a bamboo roof. Casa Elda, Jesús Menéndez 166, between Fernando Hernández Echerri and Ernesto Valdés Muñoz (tel. 41/99-3283; mdleon@pol1tdad.ssp.sld.cu), is run by a friendly couple; the two rooms can be connected and both rooms now have ensuite bathrooms. Hostal Liliana Zerquera Gallardo (Casa del Historiador), Fernando Hernández Echerri 54 (tel. 41/99-3634), a lovely colonial home, has two rooms, one quite small with a tiny bathroom. There is also Casa Sotolongo, Real 33 between Francisco Javier Zerquera and Simón Bolívar (tel. 41/99-4169), which is located right on the main plaza, and Casa de José y Fátima, Francisco Javier Zerquera 159 between Frank País and Fco Peterson (tel. 41/99-6682), which has comfortable rooms with a balcony, in a colonial house with a gorgeous blue porch. Hostal Sandra y Victor, Maceo 613, between Piro Guinart and Pablo Pichs Girón (tel. 41/99-6444; www.hostalsandra.com), has two modern rooms and a great terrace with a rustic bar.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.