The Best Time to Visit Cuba

Palm Trees On Beach Against Clear Sky
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It’s pretty much summer all year long in Cuba, but some months are hotter, stickier, and more uncomfortable than others. The best time to visit Cuba is between November and April. These are not only Cuba’s driest months but also good bets for 70 degree blue sky days made for exploring cobblestone streets and lounging on secluded postcard-perfect beaches.

While December through February are Cuba’s coldest months, temperatures are usually in the 70s. Lows might dip into the 60s, but you’ll never need a coat, hat or gloves. Winter days are long, with nearly 11 hours of daylight even in December, and there are few better places to escape the winter back home than a Caribbean island nation where summer lasts all year long.

Peak Season in Cuba

Easter, Christmas, and New Year’s are popular travel times in Cuba. Hotels, flights, and tours can book up ahead of time, and prices may increase slightly as well. Snowbirds seek out Cuba throughout the winter months when temperatures are far cooler and often accompanied by snow, ice, and strong winds back home.

Cuba’s Hurricane Season

Hurricanes are rare in Cuba, but to further minimize the possibility of trip disruptions, avoid planning travel to Cuba in August and September. While hurricane season officially runs from June through November, Caribbean hurricanes most frequently occur in August and September. When the rare storm has hit Cuba, it’s typically most affected the island’s southern coast and not the northern section of the island which includes Havana.

Summer

June through August are the hottest months of the year in Cuba and the country’s summer season. Average temperatures are in the 80s but don’t be surprised by a 90-degree day. Summers in Cuba can also be humid, making for a hot, sticky, sweaty vacation that’s more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Cuba’s rainy season stretches from April through November and could cramp your Cuban summer beach style.

But summer brings some of Cuba’s most exciting festivals, and Cubans are more likely to be off from school and work for summer vacations, making some destinations more lively than at other times of the year.

Events to check out

  • Late June brings a celebration of bolero music to Havana and bolero concerts to Santiago de Cuba and other cities across the country.
  • July brings Fiesta del Fuego, a sizzling celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture, to Santiago de Cuba, a Spanish settlement in southeastern Cuba that’s known for its colonial architecture, revolutionary history, and Afro-Cuban cultural influences. The event draws speakers, guests, and musical acts from across the Caribbean.
  • July also brings one of Cuba's marquee celebrations, Carnival, to Santiago de Cuba, considered the most African city on the island. Carnival floods Santiago de Cuba's streets with masked partiers and lengthy conga lines. Carnival migrates to Havana in August, though the capital city's celebrations are generally more muted than in Santiago de Cuba. Still, you're sure to find plenty of street parties and open-air concerts to keep you busy.
  • In August, Havana also hosts an international hip hop festival. Temperatures may be sizzling, but so is the hip hop scene in Havana at this time of year.

Fall

September and October can still be muggy and hot in Cuba, but temperatures start cooling off in November. October is one of the slowest months in Cuban tourism and provides additional opportunities for bargains and enjoying this country without the crowds.

Events to check out

  • September may still be muggy, but this is when Cuba honors its national saint, the Virgin of Cobre. Pilgrimages to her altar occur in the small Cuban town El Cobre and celebrations in her honor are held across the country early during the month.
  • October brings the Days of Cuban Culture, a chance to celebrate Cuba's anti-colonial spirit and rich Afro-Cuban culture.
  • Also in October: the Matamoros Son music festival in Santiago de Cuba, an International Ballet Festival in Havana, and an International Fishing Tournament, held at Jardines del Ray beach.

Winter

Winter is the best time to visit Cuba. These months may bring bone-chilling temperatures to much of the world, but Cuba remains a paradise from November through February. Temperatures are in the 70s, the water is warm, and it’s like winter isn’t even real. Do be aware, Christmas and New Year’s are popular travel times in Cuba. Hotels, flights, and tours can book up ahead of time, and prices may increase slightly as well.

Events to check out

  • By December, the temperatures in Cuba have cooled to idyllic 70-something degrees. Still, the International Festival of New Latin American Film is likely to coax travelers indoors with a packed schedule of films showing over 10 days in early December.
  • Late December brings Las Parrandas, an extravagant Christmas Eve Carnival with late-night parades, ornate floats and lots of fireworks.
  • January in Cuba is for jazz lovers and when Havana—a hotbed for Cuban jazz music—hosts an International Jazz Festival.
  • February brings the International Book Fair, focused on Spanish language texts, to Havana. Havana's international book fair is considered to be among the top book fairs in Latin America.
  • Havana hosts the Habanos Festival in February, as well. This is one you'll want to visit if you're a cigar aficionado with a penchant for a Cuban stogie.

Spring

Spring can also be a pleasant time to visit Cuba, but April and May have the potential to bring rainy days. Cuba’s rainy season begins in April and runs through November with the wettest months seeing rain for an average of nearly 11 days a month. Temperatures are quick to climb, so don’t be surprised to find hot, muggy weather already settling in during April vacations.

Events to check out

  • Mid-march is when you'll want to visit Cuba if you can't get enough of the country's exquisitely maintained classic cars. Havana hosts a weeklong celebration of classic cars each March to celebrate the Detroit dinosaurs that fill its streets. There's usually at least one caravan of classic cars from another Cuban city.
  • To experience something truly unique, plan your visit in May when Cuba hosts its May Day parades and public gatherings across the country. The biggest of these events occurs in Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion and draws upwards of 100,000 people. May Day is the traditional socialist observation of Labor Day.
  • Late May brings the International Blue Marlin Tournament, a big-game fishing competition held at Marina Hemingway.

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