The majority of people looking for Cuba vacations are wanting to escape the snow, cold weather, and Canadian winters. More goes into planning a vacation than simply choosing a destination and packing the suitcase, though. We highlight when to visit Cuba, from weather to events and high vs. low season crowds.
When to visit Cuba: weather
Possibly the most important thing to take into consideration when looking at when to travel to Cuba is the weather. The best for a Cuba vacation may be between December and May, both for the dry sunny weather in Cuba and Canada’s unfavourable winter weather.
Hurricane season in Cuba lasts from June through November, with the height of the season between mid-August and mid-October. While many travellers find it worth it to travel during this time of year for the quieter atmosphere around the resorts and the cheaper pricing, travel during hurricane season poses a risk of cancelled vacations, heavy storms while on vacation, and possible frustrations if the proper travel insurance is not purchased.
Temperatures in Cuba during the high travel season of winter months range from 23°C to 28°C depending on the area of the island, with the southern part of the island often seeing the higher temperatures (Cayo Largo, Camaguey).
When is Cuba busiest?
Cuba is one of the top destinations for Canadian vacationers, for its cheap all-inclusive vacations, weather, and excellent beaches. Cuba vacations are most popular in the winter months, from December through April, with high times being Christmas and New Year’s, Spring break, and Easter.
These busier periods often see higher prices, as well, as tour operators work off supply and demand for booking hotels and flights. Booking in advance, taking advantage of early booking bonuses in the summer and early fall, and taking advantage of resort credits are one way to avoid these higher costs.
Special events in Cuba
Some travellers might want to plan their Cuba vacation around special events and dates in Cuba.
Easter in Cuba
Travellers might find that some resorts in Cuba recognize Holy Week as a sacred time in the Christian calendar and therefore see limited activities and motorized water sports in the week leading up to Easter.
May Day Celebrations
Visitors to Havana on May 1 may experience a massive cultural event in Revolution Square, with musical events, speeches, and celebrations of workers. Cubans march and gather with banners in support of the Cuban Revolution in this cultural event.
Festival del Caribe
The Festival del Caribe, or Fiesta del Fuego, takes place yearly in the first weeks of July in Santiago de Cuba. You’ll find performances, exhibitions, workshops, street activities and music throughout the city during the festival period.
The most important date on the Cuban revolutionary calendar, 26 July is a celebration of all things communist: posters, graffiti, banners line the streets. The date celebrates Fidel Castro’s assault in 1953 on Moncada Barracks. July 26 marks the date of the start of the movement that led to the Cuban revolution: it remains an important historic event, especially in Santiago de Cuba, where the assault took place.
Havana’s Carnival is a summer-long celebration. With music, dancing, colorful costumes, fireworks, and plenty of rum, Carnival celebrates all things Cuban culture. Visitors to Havana will find parades, and plenty of dance throughout the city. If you’re visiting doing Carnival, take note of the Munecones – huge masks worn by dancers in the parade.
Havana Ballet Festival
The Havana Ballet Festival, held annually, is Cuba’s premier ballet event – Cuban ballet is held to a high standard and is viewed as an important art form in the country. The festival sees famous dance companies from around the world come to compete. Find shows during the festival at Gran Teatro, and Teatro America.
Havana Jazz Festival
Havana is known for its jazz, and the Jazz Festival, held each year in December, is no exception. This internationally renowned musicians brings together locals and international artists for a celebration of all things musical during the festival period. The majority of performances take place at Casa de la Cultura Plaza and Teatro Nacio.