When is the best time to visit Cuba?
People come to Cuba for many reasons, most of them I dare say come for the pleasure of the weather and the clean air. “Why Cuba?” you might ask, well “Why not? It’s gorgeous!”.
So to answer the question: there’s not a wrong time to come to Cuba.
The feeling when you go to the Historic Center of Havana is intoxicating; you can go four times a week and never get bored of it. Everything in Cuba is mesmerizing: the smell of traditional Cuban food, the buzzing of people in the streets, the bright and warm sun, the piña colada, the cigars, the history of the revolution, and the resilience of the Cuban people. So, besides the obvious reasons to come to Cuba, we will tell you when, is the best time to do so.
Let us put it clear: you can come anytime and you’ll still have the best time of your life. However, to ensure that you make the best out of your vacation and that the activities that you will attend meet your expectations, we encourage you to consider three elements: climate, high and off seasons, and events.
What’s the climate like?
Concerning the weather in Cuba, bear in mind two facts: first, there are two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season; and second, temperatures in Cuba tend to be high most of the year – that’s why people say Cuba is an eternal summer.
Dry season vs rainy season
The dry season comprises the months from late November to the beginning of May, and the rainy season ranges from early May to late November. Generally speaking, it doesn’t rain every day, you can enjoy the sunshine most of the time and go sightseeing.
Temperatures are more on the warm side than on the cool side; therefore, you’ll be able to go to the beaches and tour around any place without worrying about freezing. Cold fronts are basically the source of the low temperatures for the so-called “winter”, that Cubans say to have never really experienced. In addition, it’ll be helpful for you to know that the eastern regions show higher temperatures than the western regions. Therefore, the winter barely leaves eastern Cubans any chance to enjoy some cold temperatures.
Another thing to bear in mind is that Cuba is well-known for the passing of hurricanes. However, this should not be a reason for you to have second thoughts about booking your trip to the tropical island. Cuban authorities maintain a constant weather surveillance, especially during the hurricane season – from late June to late November – and always ensure the safety of residents and visitors. Besides, storms and hurricanes don’t hit Cuban territory every year. Apart from these facts, there shouldn’t be any worries about weather conditions hindering your trip.
High and off seasons & events
Now, when it comes to the high and off seasons, and events, they can’t be analyzed separately; but they must be seen together.
The high season in Cuba, starts in December and during this time there are plenty of events to participate in. For example, Christmas is a low-key affair in Cuba, but private family celebrations are common. That’s why the prices for flights, accommodation, and food skyrocket during this time. So make sure you book your trip ahead and decide whether you’ll be staying in a casa particular or a hotel. One event not to miss is the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano or Havana Film Festival – celebrated for ten days in December. In addition, New Year’s Eve and the Anniversary of the Revolution are the star events of this period and Cuban families throw all-out parties all around the country.
January and February are not only the coolest months of the year but also the most fashionable. It will be high season until late April and those four months have a lot of surprises in stock for visitors to come. Not only will it be sunny enough for everyone to sunbathe in the sandy beaches but also since temperatures will remain on the cool side there will be opportunities to do anything: from going horse-riding in Viñales Valley, scuba diving in the keys, and hiking to participating in events such as El Festival Internacional del Jazz de La Habana or Havana International Jazz Festival, in mid-January, and El Festival del Habano or Cuba’s Habano Festival, during the last week of February. Moreover, there is an important event in April for art enthusiasts: la Bienal de La Habana or Havana Biennial.
May and June show a lessening of tourist activity which translates in more privacy and space for spontaneity to choose where to go without worrying about rush hours and crowds. By this time, temperature starts to rise up and summer starts to show its true colors. July and August are a delight for Cubans and foreigners both. Since it is summer vacation for Cubans, resorts and tourist sites will be crowded for a while, which represents the perfect chance to get to know Cubans. Don’t forget to put some sunscreen before going outside.
Then, September, October, and November are usually off season mainly for the hurricanes that historically come during this time. But fear not my friend, it’s safe to come and enjoy some low prices and the privacy of the occasion.
All in all, it is as we said “it is never a wrong time to come to Cuba.” Just make sure to book ahead your flight, accommodation, and have your itinerary well prepared so that you don’t miss out on anything.