Written by and/or contributed to by Christopher Baker
When is the best time to visit Cuba?
Cuba enjoys a subtropical climate and you can come any time of year
and appreciate the country. Having said that, temperatures can vary
significantly depending on where you are at certain time of the year,
the Atlantic NE side having cooler temps than the Caribbean side.
Although Cuba is firmly in the tropics, it still has a Northern
Hemisphere weather pattern with cooler (drier) winters and hotter
(wetter) summers. If you come from December through February you may not
be guaranteed beach weather. You may even need a long sleeved shirt and
There is a hurricane season from June 1 to November 31, which
typically will not impact your holiday; however, it can be a significant
cause for concern if you are stuck in Cuba when a major hurricane
passes through. It is worth bearing in mind that these are pretty
infrequent and that Cuba is very well prepared if they do.
Prices are up to 30% higher in high season and there are less special
deals around. It is worth keeping an eye out for special deals during
this period. It is worth keeping an eye out for special deals during
Availability of accommodation
Popular locations (Old Havana, Trinidad,
Viñales, Cienfuegos) will be booked far in advance at peak periods,
which currently stretch from Christmas through the end of March.
Availability is much better than in high season although you need to
bear in mind that Easter will be much busier. Some hotels partially
close down or do renovations in the low season; it is worth checking in
Hotel Los Jazmines in Viñales
Weather November through January is typically pleasant, warm and
tropical, although it may not be beach weather. February and March is
better for beachoholics!
July and August are extremely hot and humid. Expatriates that live
in Cuba try and exit at this time. April and October are typically hot
but not unbearably so. This is a great time for the beach.
You need to be aware of the hurricane risk in October. The rainy season
starts in May but this is still normally a great month to visit. June
is starting to get the real heat of the summer. You need to be aware of
the hurricane risk in September.
Cayo Guillermo, Jardines del Rey
Festivals December has the Havana Film Festival, the Havana Jazz
Festival as well as the San Lázaro (Rincón) Procession and Las Parrandas
In the hot summer months, look out for carnivals (Santiago is in
July, Havana is in August). Cine Pobre (Gibara) takes place in April
while the Ballet Festival (Havana) is in November. Both are wonderful
events. Cubadisco (Havana) and the Hemingway Fishing Tournament both
take place in May every year.