Cuba in December sees the start of the island’s dry season, and peak tourist season too. For anyone looking for a Christmas with a difference, Cuba in December is a great option, blending fantastic temperatures with a huge range of activities and sights. Here you can find everything you need to know about the month’s weather, alongside ideas of things to do in Cuba in December, and the events that take place in the last month of the year.
Weather in Cuba in December
The average daily temperature in Cuba in December is a lovely 23°C (73°F), meaning whether you opt for time on the beach, or a day of exploration among the colonial city streets of its cities, you’re unlikely to ever feel oppressed by the heat. Indeed, the highest temperature you should experience, in the sunshine of the middle part of the day, is 27°C (81°F). Overnight temperatures fall back to a warm but not unpleasant 18°C (64°F), which is fine for sleeping, and excellent for staying out late into the night with nothing more than a light jumper.
Those looking to spend some time on Cuba’s sands will be pleased to learn that sea temperatures in Cuba in December are consistently recorded at 27°C, so be sure to not just soak up the rays but also step into the waves for a swim, snorkel adventure, or to try out one of the many water sports available on the island.
It can feel a little hotter than the thermometer suggests because of Cuba’s high year-round humidity levels. In December, these levels reach 86%, and if you’re feeling the stickiness one idea would be to head to the rooftop bars of the hotels and casa particulares where the gentle breeze can be felt best.
However, few cloudy days are seen during December, meaning those heading to Cuba can expect an average of eight hours of sun per day from a day lasting 11 hours. The sun sets at around 6 pm each day.
The lack of cloud cover also means there is very little rain. Just 30 mm falls on the island across the entire month, with only six days described as seeing any precipitation at all. It also means that you should cover up (especially if intending to visit any of Cuba’s fine church buildings) or ensure you’re wearing a high SPF sun screen as the country’s sub-tropical sun is strong.
*Please note that the team here at Locally Sourced Cuba Tours can do a lot of things, but unfortunately we cannot predict the weather. We can only base our predictions about the weather in Cuba in December, on previous years and averages.
Things to do in Cuba in December
December is really a month when nothing is off the table thanks to the prevailing weather conditions we’ve already outlined. But you can’t visit Cuba without spending some time in Habana Vieja, the capital’s ancient colonial Old Town. A hugely-important relic from Spain’s control of the island, this grand UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises the Havana of the movies, where grandma’s smoke thick Cuban cigars on doorsteps, trumpet solos seep through windows, and the vibrancy of his capital really makes itself known.
There can be no better way to explore the further reaches of Havana than by hailing one of the capital’s vintage taxi fleet and riding in style along the kilometres-long Malecon seafront promenade towards the districts of Vedado and Miramar. Alternatively, you could head instead to Fusterlandia, the new name for the fishing village of Jaimanitas, which has been taken over by the mosaic work of local artist José Fuster. Another unforgettable experience is to step aboard the Hersey Railway as it makes its gentle progress through the lush countryside from Casablanca in Havana to Matanzas or vice versa.
Escaping the capital further, Trinidad makes for an excellent destination for visitors to Cuba in December. Often described as an open-air museum so impressive are Spain’s colonial remains, Trinidad is one of the best places in the country to get a feel for Cuba at its most authentic (and also laid back). In addition, nearby you’ll find the very fine beach of Playa Ancon, as well as the Valley of the Sugar Mills, or the Valle de los Ingenios, another of Cuba’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The area has 70 former mills that processed the sugar cane from the surrounding fields – a crop that was the mainstay of the Cuban economy until the end of slavery.
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Taking place before the Christmas and New Year festivities take hold, the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema (or Havana Film Festival) runs for 10 days at the beginning of December. Cinemas across the capital act as venues for screening of all manner of cinematic creations, from short films to documentaries and feature films. Concentrating on talent from Latin America and the Caribbean nations, the fact many of the films are in Spanish does little to limit the festival experience.
The multi-day festival that takes place in the small town of Remedios just before Christmas, Las Parrandas de Remedios, gives visitors the chance to experience Cuba in party mode. Like celebrations the region over, these in Remedios incorporate lively street parades and culminates in an impressive fireworks competition.
Taking place just after is Charangas de Bejucal, a festival on the outskirts of Havana believed to be the capital’s oldest. In an echo of the antics that take place in Remedios, the festival is typified by a traditional rivalry between two groups of musicians, the Scorpions and the Roosters, who compete to see who can play the loudest.
If you can get tickets, there’s really only one way in which to bring in the New Year, and that’s at the al fresco dinner that takes place in the Cathedral Square in Old Havana. Hosting places for around 300, as well as a full meal, guests have access to an open bar, and after-dinner entertainment in the form of a cabaret-style show, before attentions turns towards the clocks.
Our Tours in Cuba in December
Christmas in Cuba, anyone? And why not, when you consider that the fantastic weather makes it easily one of the best times of the year to explore all the country’s centuries of history, take to the beach, and then enjoy the festivities of Christmas on top of that!
4 DAY PRIVATE CUBA TOUR
Local, Personal and Authentic
Our tour will take you on a fascinating and fun-filled journey of discovery into the History, Culture, Architecture and Rhythms of marvellous Havana.
5 DAY PRIVATE CUBA TOUR
Local, Personal and Authentic
Our Charming Havana tour is the perfect introduction to the charms and romance of Cuba – come and fall under the spell of this unique Caribbean island
6 DAY PRIVATE CUBA TOUR
Local, Personal and Authentic
Visit the Che Guevara memorial, meeting the enthusiastic locals in Santa Clara and immerse yourself in Cuban music and dance in the beautiful Trinidad.