You can stay at a beautiful resort, isolated in a gated environment far from the city, or try to book an expensive hotel room in town, but what better way to get to know the real Cuba than staying in a Cuban home? You'll also enjoy better food for less money, and gracious hosts who keep their casa spotless with pride.
We have had many guests from all over the world who left delighted...
Come stay with us!

Whether you are visiting for a few days or a few weeks, María Antonia and Octaviano at Villa Gijón will welcome you and make you feel at home in Santiago, Cuba's most Caribbean city since 1515.



Stay in this comfortable licensed "Casa Particular", a block from the Meliá Santiago Hotel, the city's finest, where you can use the pool or park the car or connect to the Internet, and near a popular tourist area with many amenities, such as restaurants, dancing, and shopping.

About the accommodations:
Your hosts: Octaviano and María Antonia
Lockable Bedroom with
Double Bed

(Extra Single Bed Available)
Private Bathroom
(hot and cold water, toilet paper, soap, clean towels)
Private Patio
Air Conditioner and Fan
Daily Linen Service and Cleaning
Coffee/Soft Drink Service and
In-Room Refrigerator

Prices per night. in CUC


Plus optional 3 CUC for breakfast per person
American or Continental breakfasts with fresh juices, fruits, cereal, eggs, ham, etc.

Discounts available for stays of 15 days or more.

About Money in Cuba
Advice for Travellers
Location Map

Airport, Bus and Train Station transfers can be arranged.
Secure parking, pool, and Internet access at Meliá Santiago Hotel one block away available for a fee.
A similar room is also available at the back of the house, with a small private bathroom and patio. All the same amenities, except in-room refrigerator and the patio is shared with the owners. Rate: 5 CUC less than front room prices + 3 CUC per person for optional breakfast.
Both rooms equipped with American 110V and European 220V electrical outlets.
Sorry - credit cards are not accepted.

Reservations: Click HERE
Please provide your dates and number of people.

International: +53 022 623796
Within Cuba: 022 623796
In Santiago: 623796
Octaviano or María Antonia

Page Updated 13 JUN 2009

Last-Minute Travelers and Larger Groups:
We have arrangements with similar casas in Santiago and can always find a room for you -- we do not charge you for the service. Call us, even if you already have other arrangements made -- you may need us.

"Octa and Maria were just unbelievable hosts... They were just so welcoming and we had the best food there that we had in our whole trip... by the time we had got to Santiago we had lost so much weight but we soon piled it back on, just had such a nice time hanging out in the Villa, eating and drinking beer!"
-Sinead, UK

"... ricordo per il riguardo, l’accoglienza e l’ospitalita che avete avuto sempre nei miei riguardi e come sempre la vostra buonisima cucina e sento molto la mancanza edegli spaghetti cucinati con vera perizia da Ottavio, erano veramente squisiti ..."
"... I always remember the care, the acceptance and the hospitality that you have had always for my needs and as always your excellent cooking, and I miss the excellent spaghetti crafted with true skill by Octaviano; it was truly exquisite ... "
-Adriano, Italy (frequent guest)

"The best quality to cost ratio."
-Lionel, France

"My wife and I liked the house - good hosts and good food all at fair prices, unlike other casas that I have stayed at where they try to charge 25 CUC for a small room and double food costs. I will be returning in June for 2 weeks."
-Keith, Canada

"... la pasé muy bien y encantado de alojarme en su casa - fue realmente todo un placer y la comida excelente."
"... I had a nice time and I was very pleased to stay at your house - it was really a pleasure and the food was excellent."
- Oscar, Spain

"Thank you very much for the nice time in your house and the good food, it was the best we had in Cuba."
-Stein, Germany


The Location

Villa Gijón ("VEE-yah hee-HON") is in a quiet neighborhood only one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the historic city center, the town square "Parque Céspedes", where the whole city promenades on cool evenings; the old cathedral, rebuilt several times after pirate raids; the colonial town hall, one of the first in the New World; the Casagranda Hotel, where you can sip espresso or Mojitos and Cuba Libres on the gracious balcony overlooking the city plaza; the Diego Velázquez House Museum, preserved from the 1500s; the Casa Trova, a popular music hall. Also nearby are the Bacardí Museum (yes, the best of all rums started here); San Juan Hill, site of Teddy Roosevelt's famous charge; the impressive 1600s Morro Castle on the cliff at the entrance to the picturesque Bay of Santiago, recognized by UNESCO as one of the finest examples of Spanish fortifications in the world. The old Santa Ifigenia cemetery with hundreds of ornate mausoleums holds the remains of Cuba's bravest patriots and most prominent citizens.


The Coast

Take a tour to the beaches and resorts on the Caribbean on either side of the bay. To the West, drive past the rusted wrecks of the doomed Spanish fleet that tried to escape the US Navy in 1898, to beautiful private coves every turn, with high mountain peaks hugging the shores. A truly spectacular place. To the East, the developed beaches at Siboney (the city's favored beach since the 1920s), to Daiquirí (the drink was named after this beach), and past typical Cuban scenery with Royal Palms and many varieties of mango trees drooping with fruit, to the Baconao National Park (a world biosphere preserve) and its fascinating dinosaur sculptures, and then the new resorts placed just so on beautiful stretches of tropical beach.



Hiking was a popular activity in Cuba since Colonial days. Santiago is surrounded by a beautiful and unique ecosystem. The mountains on the north keep the area dry much of the year, so cactus plants are not uncommon. Yet, the mountains themselves are covered in lush tropical forests with cool streams rapidly cascading to the warm Caribbean. There are many hiking trails in the area, developed and with overnight camping allowed. Cuba's pristine and isolated flora and fauna boasts unique species of trees, vines, orchids, birds, reptiles and insects, just now being catalogued and studied. There are ecotours available that take you over the mountains on foot.


The Old City

And speaking of Colonial, this almost 500 year old city has all the narrow streets and Spanish tile you will ever want to see. It is built on hills overlooking the harbor, with some streets so steep only a staircase can serve as pavement; it rivals San Francisco for its hilliness. Houses with thick walls and cool inner courtyards line the narrow streets shoulder to shoulder; the scents of delicious Cuban foods and coffee drift from open doorways; children play 'béisbol' (baseball) in the streets, while oldsters argue over domino tables in the shady doorways.


The Back Country

Besides the beaches and hiking, there are fascinating tours and sidetrips to the countryside. On the modern highway over the hills to the north, you enter the wide Cauto River valley, with endless sugar plantations and old mills dotting the plains, undulating hills covered in bright green grass punctuated by majestically tall Royal Palms, small towns where horse-drawn carts never really went out of style. On the other highway to the west, the Sanctuary of the Virgin of El Cobre, Cuba's matron, glows white against the green mountains behind it; beyond are coffee plantations hugging the steep, forested hills.



The People

And everywhere you go, the smiling faces of the city's 400,000 proud residents welcome you. This city has the history and culture of Cuba woven into its fabric, being its first capital and the birthplace of its independence movement and revolutions. It is also known for its music, with rich African influences (the conga and bolero are two of its best known inventions), and Spanish, English and French roots. There is a lot of similarity to the cultures of New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, and the three cities dance to the same beat. In this highly educated society, many people speak English and other languages. Cubans are known for their warmth and outgoing personalities - when walking, you will be engaged in conversation many times.

Whether you are visiting for a few days or a few weeks, María Antonia and Octaviano at Villa Gijón will welcome you and make you feel at home in Santiago, Cuba's most Caribbean city.