When is the best time to go to Cuba?

When is the best time to go to Cuba?

There are several factors to take into consideration when considering when to go to Cuba, including flight costs, weather conditions and special events and festivals. The following is intended to guide you with some useful information about when is the best time to go to Cuba.

WEATHER IN CUBA

We recommend travelling from November – April as this period is the coolest and least humid.   The average temperature in Havana in December or January will be a very pleasant 20c or so, with temperatures in Santiago de Cuba around 25c.  Of course it is possible tolgo to Cuba at other times of the year, but you just need to be aware that it may be quite a bit hotter and more humid, with occasional heavy tropical rainfall (the sort of warm rain that dries off in 20 minutes when the sun comes back out).  From September to mid October the weather can be stormy and unsettled but not always. Your decision will depend on what you plan to do when you get to Cuba.

FLIGHTS TO CUBA

Although nowadays Cuba is popular as a destination all year round, there are certain times of the year which are more expensive than others.   Peak season for flights and accommodation is over the Christmas/New Year holiday period and many hotels in the cities and the all-inclusive beach resort areas in Cuba charge an additional supplement at this time.   Low season is generally considered to be May/June or September/October.

The cost of flights to Cuba is likely to be the single most expensive item for your trip. If you are flexible about your dates of travel, you can find some very good return fares for the low seasons. And if you can leave at short notice, you may be able to pick up a relatively cheap last minute fare. However, most travellers have their holiday dates booked well in advance and want to make sure that they have their travel arrangements confirmed accordingly.

Havana, the capital city, is the main international arrival point in Cuba, with flights arriving from all over the world on scheduled and chartered airlines. Holguin, at the other end of the island, is also becoming a more popular arrival airport and is the preferred destination for those planning to spend time in Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, the Turquino national park or the beach resort areas around Guardalavaca. Other popular airports for people booking beach resort holidays include Cayo Coco and Varadero and these are served by the main charter airlines.

FESTIVALS IN CUBA

Some people may argue that the best time to go to Cuba is when there is a major cultural event taking place.  There are a number of annual festivals in various cities around the island celebrating Carnival, traditional music, ballet, cinema, Jazz and Afro-Cuban culture.  The Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba takes place from 2-9 July each year and is followed by Carnival for the week before Cuba national day on 26 July. Both are colourful and joyous celebrations with street parades and cultural activities in various venues and public squares around the city and the famous Santiago based conga company, Los Hoyos, gathers huge crowds whenever they play.  In Havana, the December Jazz Festival is an explosion of musical talent from all over the world, and JoJazz each November is aimed at giving a platform to younger jazz musicians, encouraging them to express their own musical styles as well as demonstrate their expertise in Latin Jazz.  The Cine Pobre festival in Gibara, a small seaside town in southeast Cuba, takes place each May and is growing in popularity with a wider international audience, whilst the well established annual Festival de Ballet Alicia Alonso in early November features leading ballet companies in a series of performances in key theatres in Havana.  These are just some of the many annual  festivals in Cuba.

If you want a stress free, well organised holiday of a lifetime in Cuba, contact us to discuss your travel plans, or check out our Cuba holidays information and let us know which trip you would like to join.

About the Author
Kath Bateman founded Caledonia in 1996 and still has a very active role in the company. As a linguist and avid traveller, Caledonia brings together many strands of Kath’s personal and professional interests. She is a Modern Languages and Tourism graduate and has worked as a tour leader and trilingual guide, ski rep and salsa teacher, cultural events organiser, salsa club promoter and English language teacher. She lived and studied in France and Austria and has travelled widely elsewhere in Europe, Latin America and particularly in Cuba. Kath is still very much involved in the business and is as motivated by what Caledonia does as when she first set up the company in the spare room at home all those years ago.