Airbnb just launched in Cuba -- here's a look at what's available right now

Airbnb, the online home rental service, just launched in Cuba.

Accommodation is available starting Thursday and there are now more than 1,000 properties on the Caribbean island to rent.

The move by Airbnb is the most significant US business expansion on the island since the trade embargo between the two countries lifted in December, according to the Associated Press.

Cuba is known for great rum, fine cigars, exotic beaches, and antique cars.

There’s already a rush for Americans to visit. The AP reported last week that one New York tour operator saw bookings jump 187% in February.

Tourists are reportedly rushing to see Cuba before it becomes too commercialised, and Airbnb will offer them a chance to stay among the locals on the island.

Here’s a look at what you can get on Airbnb in Cuba so far:

Villa Megano, Havana, £675 ($US1,000) a night

The most expensive listing so far is Villa Megano in the capital of Havana. It costs a whopping £675 ($US1,000) a night. The villa has five bedrooms and sleeps 10, comes equipped with air conditioning and other modern conveniences, and has some rather fetching views of the sea.

Here’s the villa:

And the living room:

Luxury Miramar, Havana, £486 ($US700) a night

Another impressive-looking place is the Luxury Miramar, also in Havana. It’s got a swimming pool and looks like a hotel. It sleeps 12 and costs £486 a night, which is pricey for one or two but would be affordable for a big group.

The place is well-decorated:

It has outdoor space, too.

And nice sleeping areas:

In the middle bracket, the places also look pretty good. Most are in the capital, Havana.

One host in particular, Jorge, seems to already have quite a large grip on the market. He’s got 178 places on his profile and says he lives in Switzerland.

Not all of the flats and houses are in Havana, though. This place accommodates two and is in Bayamo, which is south of the island. It looks authentic.

And here’s a place in Camaguey, which is inland, unlike most rentals in Cuba. Prices fall a great deal when you look outside Havana. This place sleeps two and costs £26 a night.

This is cheapest let in Cuba! It’s a single room with a TV and costs £10 a night for one guest. It’s probably the best way to stay in Havana on a budget and looks pleasant enough. There’s even air-conditioning.

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