If you’re hoping to come back from your visit to Cuba with a healthy holiday glow, you should plan your visit between mid-November and April. Not only is it dry season on the island, but it’s also nice and toasty – temperatures hover between 25 and 30 degrees, with up to 10 hours of sunshine a day. If you’re looking to escape the winter freeze and laze your day away on the beach, then Varadero is for you. It’s got over 20 kilometres of white sandy coastline, so you’ll be sure to find your perfect spot among the palms. If you fancy mixing things up a bit, combine your holiday in Varadero with another of our Cuban destinations. In Havana, you can wander around Revolution Square and listen to stories of the country’s history, while classic Cadillacs in a rainbow of colours whizz past. Then, drink traditional rum cocktails in Hemingway’s old haunts and dance salsa in the streets.
Check out which destinations you can pair up on a Multi-Destination holiday
May to November is the so-called wet season – the months of June, July, September and October experience the highest levels of rainfall. The entire Caribbean basin is affected by this tropical rainy period, but don’t be put off visiting during these months. Showers tend to be short and sharp, so you’ll still be able to enjoy warm, sunny spells throughout your holiday, especially in the mornings. Plus, the rain tends to bring about slightly cooler weather with less humidity – ideal for sightseeing and museum-hopping on a tour of the country’s capital. It’s worth knowing that Cuba is usually treated to a mini dry spell in August, which also happens to be the hottest and most humid time of the year – temperatures can hit a scorching 32 degrees.
Take a look at our Havana Special & Tropicana tour
Officially, the whole of the Caribbean is susceptible to hurricanes from June to November. However, the chances of experiencing a tropical storm that will affect your holiday are relatively low outside of August and September. So, storm chasers are probably better off heading further north in the Caribbean, to places like the Bahamas. A definite bonus of visiting Cuba during hurricane season is that it coincides with lots of their annual festivals. The carnivals in Havana, Matanzas, and Santiago de Cuba happen in late July and early August, so it can be a good time to experience Cuban culture. If learning to dance in the rain at one of the island’s summer carnivals or festivals doesn’t make you feel like one of the locals, nothing will.
Book a break to Havana
If you’re ready to experience the island, but you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, then May and June, or September and October are ideal. Not only are the top sightseeing spots and beaches less busy, but you can plan the same holiday on a lower budget. Often you’ll find good deals on rooms, tours and flights for trips during these low season months, as they coincide with the hottest, wettest period of the year. You’re unlikely to experience consecutive days of heavy rain, though. So, if you don’t mind getting a little wet, and fancy a quieter holiday, it’s a great time to visit. And, even if it is a bit damp, things in Cuba rarely stop because of the rain, so you can still get the most out of your trip.
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Havana Carnival – July and August
Fans of Rio de Janeiro’s famous carnival will love Cuba’s offering. Three of the major cities on the island – Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas and Havana – each host their own festival. The Havana Carnival is a tradition that has been passed down through generations of Cubans. It dates back a few hundred years, to when slaves held marches and dances to celebrate their culture. If you visit Havana in late July and early August, you’ll find the carnival parades in full swing. They fill the streets of the country’s capital with bright costumes, huge floats, live music and energetic dancers, and the performers love it if you join in.
Habanos Festival – February
Cigars are one of Cuba’s most popular exports, so it’s only right that they have a festival dedicated to them. The official state cigar company, Habanos, puts on a series of lectures, factory visits, and even a gala dinner, where they auction off rare cigars. If you fancy seeing what the hype surrounding these world-famous cigars is all about, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can try some during the event. It usually takes place in late February.
Celebration of Classic Cars – March
When you picture Cuba, it’s likely that you’ll conjure up an image of brightly coloured buildings and classic American cars. The island has organised a week-long celebration of the old-school vehicles that cruise along the streets of Havana – it’s in the diary for mid-March. On the agenda are a series of lectures, mechanical workshops, and parades. The organisers encourage anyone coming to the event from other countries to bring their own classic cars to show off at the displays, and they usually arrange a drive in convoy from Havana to another city, too. International
Book Fair – February
If you’re in Havana in February, stop by the Cuban capital’s International Book Fair. This annual festival attracts millions of book lovers with the likes of readings, poetry and night-time concerts. Plus, it’s held at La Cabaña – an 18th century fortress that’s sure to awaken your inner history buff.
The TUI SENSATORI Resort Negril puts white sands and the Caribbean Sea in the palm of your hand.
This adults-only hotel is on a peaceful swathe of beach. Here, luxuries like whirlpool baths in the rooms and gourmet dining come as standard.
The TUI BLUE Mai Khao Lak offers private villas in its accommodation catalogue, and it’s set on an unspoilt beach.
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