There are a lot of factors to think about when deciding upon the best time to go on holiday. Much of it depends on you, like when you’ll be able to afford the trip, and when you can get enough time off work. You also need to think about what you can expect at your destination at different times of the year. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see the glorious wooden houses of Tromsø in northern Norway, but if you go during winter, the 24 hour darkness will make it difficult to see anything. Paris is sensational during the summer months, but you’ll find that you’ll be fighting for space on the sidewalk, because several million other people seem to have had the same idea. If you’re in the mood for a Cuban getaway, you might think you’re pretty safe, since the island is close enough to the equator to have consistently warm weather. Having said that, there are a few other things to consider when planning your trip. So what is the best time to travel to Cuba?

This Is Winter?

Cuba does in fact experience a winter, but depending on where you’re coming from, their winter might be more like your summer. In a Cuban winter (December to February), the thermometer rarely dips below 20°C (68°F). If you live in a cooler climate, 20°C might be positively balmy, so this might be the best time to visit Cuba for you. If you’re not a fan of the heat, you’re probably better off avoiding the summer months, when it can reach 38°C (100°F).

High and Low

You might think that by avoiding the warmer parts of the year, you’re also avoiding the crowds, but November to March is classed as high season, and so is July and August. If planning to visit during these timeframes, be sure to book your accomodation very far in advance, and be aware that prices can be 30% higher during these periods. If you start planning your Cuban adventure as early as possible, it’s definitely still possible to pick up a major bargain during the high season.

The Shoulder Season

In terms of crowds and cost, the best time to travel to Cuba is probably April or October. These are known as shoulder months, when the peak rush has ended, but the slow season has not yet started. There’s a small risk of hurricanes during October and November, so it’s best to have truly comprehensive travel insurance. The chance of encountering a hurricane are miniscule, but it might force you to change your trip, and to amend dates. It’s best to be covered for these things!

Finding a Cheap Flight

When flying from Canada or Europe, you’ll find that many airlines offer both scheduled and charter services. Charter services basically mean that airlines will fly into Havana with greater frequency during the winter months – these are services only offered during this timeframe, which can make it the best time to travel to Cuba. While it is a more popular time to visit, the greater frequency of flights mean that you can easily find cheap air tickets for the peak season.

Festivals and More Festivals

No matter what time of the year you opt to visit, there will be no shortage of things to do, since there are festivals and activities all year round. Cultural aficionados will find that anytime is the best time to travel to Cuba.

  • February – offers the International Book Fair, and the Habanos Festival (a celebration of all things cigar), both in Havana.
  • March – has the International Festival of La Trova, a folk music festival in Santiago de Cuba, and the Havana Celebration of Classic Cars.
  • April – is the month for Havana Bienal, a citywide art show featuring the best art of Cuba, in a variety of mediums. There’s also the Cine Pobre Film Festival in Gibara, which is for lower budget independent films, and has been running since 2003.
  • June – hosts the Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament (previously held in May), and the Boleros Music Festival, both in Havana.
  • July – finds Santiago de Cuba being overrun by party goers, since this is the month of the annual carnival, and the streets are pulsating with Afro-Caribbean music.
  • August – is the month where both Havana and Matanzas host their carnivals, although they’re not as large scale as Santiago de Cuba.
  • September – is traditionally a month of quiet religious reflection, and tribute is paid to Cuba’s national saint all over the country.
  • October – offers the Days of Cuban Culture, where Cuba’s unique Afro-Caribbean heritage is celebrated.
  • November – shows that salsa is not the only type of dance in Cuba, with the International Ballet Festival in Havana.
  • December – is a great time to visit the cinema, with the Havana Film Festival, focussing on the cinema of Latin America. There’s also an excellent jazz festival, also in Havana.

When are you planing to travel to Cuba? Feel free to share it with us in the comment section and we can give you some awesome tips what to check out.

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