Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Affectionately called the “Diver House,” Casa El Buzo in Matanzas has a breathtaking waterfront view of the Bay of Pigs at Playa Larga, is in walking distance of the beach, and has fantastic evening breezes.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Small Fishing Town

We finally arrived at Casa El Buzo after a long ride from Havana to Playa Larga. The difference from the big city to this small fishing town was stunning.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

The view from Casa el Buzo. What a hidden delight, what a perfect location.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

On the road to the casa, we passed several wagons of fresh fruit and vegetables, and learned the wagon would come right to the driveway hawking their produce.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Incredible Views

On the water side, we were treated to Winslow Homer-like views in every direction of tiny fishing boats departing and arriving, with their makeshift sails either furled as they rowed out or fully raised as they sailed in with their catch.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

View from the porch. Even the shadows from the palm tree were artist-worthy. I could imagine someone painting scenes from this spot.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Exploring the Home

The family lives in the downstairs, in a couple bedrooms.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

The rented rooms were upstairs, accessible up this stair / ladder.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Access to the upstairs was up a fairly steep ladder/stair combination.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

At the top of the landing was an honor bar. Not too many Cristal beers if we were to navigate the stairs safely! Both rooms had access to a stocked mini bar fridge. We appreciated the honor system. The freezer was full of mangos!

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

This was a nice touch in many of the places we stayed, especially since we didn’t want to inconvenience our driver every time we wanted a cold water, soda, or beer.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Much of the house had thickly varnished wood trim, constructed by a local craftsman.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Our Room and Bathroom

We took the bedroom to the left with views of the teeny town, dirt streets, neighboring houses, and the Bay of Pigs..

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Our room had two extremely comfortable beds, the window overlooking the Bay of Pigs and the neighboring properties, and an air conditioner.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Dogs liked to hang out on the roofs, and we spotted day tanks for water on nearly each structure. When property owners could not expand out, they expanded up, increasing their living space, views, and access to breezes.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Rumors of places lacking toilet paper and toilet seats – we found all our casa particulares were well-stocked. Public restrooms, not necessarily the case.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

The bathroom was enormous, with plenty of scalding hot water – we saw the day tanks on the roof and realized it was solar-heated water!

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Second Bedroom and Bath

The second bedroom was much the same, also with hand built shelves for luggage and wood trim everywhere.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Tiles are so popular in Cuba. It was fun trying to determine which were older, even antique, and which were modern. Unlike in the US, it was impossible to “date” places by the type of tiles used.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Enough room to bathe yourself and two entire sets of dive gear!

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Views from the right-hand bedroom were of the tiny fishing village, with boats coming and going day and night. The tidal range varied by at most a couple inches.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Balcony With Views

The upstairs bedrooms are situated by a large balcony with table and chairs. From here, the vantage point of the surrounding area is wonderful. The Bay of Pigs is in the distance beyond the houses lying on the last spit of land.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

It was a great spot to watch the fishermen come and go, dry out clothes on the clothesline, and watch the evening thunderstorm blow in from further South.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

In front of us is a gazebo where the children would gather. Beyond the drying clothes, at night we could see the lanterns of the fishermen who departed around dusk and anchored out to fish. The view was so tranquil and pretty, I even used it for a photo shoot for some Stream2Sea sunscreen and sting relief gel!

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Sometimes every boat seemed to be at dock, other times, they would all be gone out fishing.

That local woodworker also had built all the windows, doors, and trim. We enjoyed trying to find his handiwork throughout the house.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Kitchen – Cocina

The house’s kitchen did not escape the tiling treatment! Incredible breakfasts and steaming hot coffee emerged from here daily.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

I saw these hummingbird decorations sold in the markets in a couple places. You can see the water filter to the left of the refrigerator.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

It seemed these were everywhere – every casa particular, restaurant, everywhere. They are very large, and hold about a gallon in the reservoir.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Breakfasts

Coffee cups from a local airline, and a sugar bowl in a style we saw in homes, restaurants, and stores. Everyone seemed to prefer this one style. We were delighted when we saw at every casa particular the use of a thermos.

Coffee was made on the stove with a Moka pot everywhere, then poured into a thermos to keep it steaming. Portions were very small, as this method produces a very concentrated shot.

Food was so plentiful that we were encouraged to make a sandwich for later, which we gratefully did. We tried a lot of new fruits! Fruit smoothies were served in glass pitchers. At one breakfast, leftover crab from the night before was presented with hard bread. It was delicious and spicy.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Breakfasts were served on the porch overlooking the small bay and the larger Bay of Pigs. It was such a tranquil setting for relaxing by the water.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Looking toward the Bay of Pigs, in the distance we saw fisherman heading out into the bay. Children on break from school swam across the channel and played in the trees.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

From here at the breakfast table, sometimes we could see teenagers playing dominoes in the gazebo. They would come in the mornings to greet everyone, and in the evenings for the game.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

The youngsters were quite serious about their daily domino match. One kept a rolled-up score sheet either behind his ear or pinned under his leg so it wouldn’t blow away. You could tell it was a long-standing game from the thickness of the score sheets.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Diver House

On the bottom floor, we discovered an entire dive shop, complete with compressor, in the space of one bedroom. It was packed with all sorts of equipment and supplies!

There even was an inflatable dinghy. We thought it was for rescue, but later realized that the waters are so calm on the bay that divers go out in small rowboats!

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Mosquito Headquarters

Casa El Buzo is on the water, and walking a block in one direction brings you to several restaurants. In the other direction, a sandy beach with several beachfront casa particulares as well as beach bars and restaurants.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Our first evening at Diver House, we were cautioned to be inside when dusk fell, or the mosquitoes would feast upon us. We went for a walk on the beach, and discovered, truly, they were vicious.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Mosquito Bars

While I’ve always heard these type of shutters called “mosquito bars,” I didn’t truly understand how they could keep out the biting insects. In Playa Larga, or anywhere, we never saw any insect screens. Shutters were either open fully or partially as the sun rose, or shut completely when the sun went down. While bedrooms may be air conditioned at night, main living spaces are not. During the day, windows and doors are open to allow the breeze to flow through.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

There is another room for rent downstairs. In addition, there is an apartment detached from the house on the bottom level.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Final Thoughts

As it turned out, our accommodations were comfortable, clean, and with incredible views in all directions. Playa Larga is very warm, hot, even. Plan to wear cool, light clothes and take a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Visitors are very safe.

Yaquelín, Leticia and Buzo Osnedi were wonderful hosts. Leticia and her daughter prepared our breakfasts for enjoyment on the patio. Leticia’s mother assisted as well.

High season is July 1 to August 31, and December 1 to April 30. Low season is May 1 to June 30 and September 1 to November 30.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Casa Particulars

When you spend a night in a casa particular, they will require your passport to note your name and country of origin in their records. This is customary, as they must keep records of how they are earning income. Above is the registration book for accommodations at Diver House.

Another interesting custom is the keys – you are given a set of keys to the main door, and you have one to your room. That is so the staff may come and go, preparing meals or watering plants or cleaning, while your room remains locked.

We have to thank Mitchel Morales and Xander Ferras at CubaDivingNow for assisting us with this incredible journey. Casa Lyosman y Yanin was just one stop of many. Hector Pechero was our main driver, and next we headed to Cienfuegos. Subscribe for more articles about our adventures in Cuba.

If you have any questions about booking a trip to Cuba, leave a message in the comments or email me, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions. Please subscribe – upcoming articles about our other Airbnb stays in Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and Playa Larga as well as articles about our Cuban travels are coming up next! How to travel to Cuba from the US is linked below.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

Airbnb – Make Your Trips “Off The Chain!”

Ok, so, here are two Airbnb discount codes. Try either one! The offerings from Airbnb change every couple months, so use whichever gives you the best deal. You can only use a code one time, so compare, choose whichever gives you the best deal since they change periodically, and make it count!

As of today, this one, Airbnb says, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.” Friends who sign up for Airbnb with my link will get $40 off their home booking. And they get $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.

Also today, this one, Airbnb says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure. I’m ready to book from this one right now! I’m thinking it’s a computer glitch – so jump on it fast!

Diver’s House / Casa El Buzo link on Airbnb. Or, if you already are in Airbnb, typing in “Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul” will get you to the listing. The house is located on Caleton Street, in the city of Playa Larga. The municipality is Cienaga de Zapata, in the province of Matanzas.

, Playa Larga, Cuba // Matanzas // Cienaga de Zapata // Diver House: Casa El Buzo – Osnedis – Habitacion Azul // Airbnb Review

What to Read Next:

My Method for Booking a Great Airbnb Property

Cuban Pesos // What We Learned About Exchanging Money in Cuba

Planning a Legal Trip to Cuba from the US // Travel Restrictions // Rules for Americans

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