Cuba's digital destination


Summer "a lo Cubano"

August 2016

We include guest features from around Cuba, a detailed Havana Events Listing as well as our reviews of the best restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and private accommodation.



¡Qué calor! Boy, it’s hot! That’s what you hear the most on the street these days in Havana…and all across Cuba. Because August sees the thermometer rise and the pace of life slow down. Long hot summer days full of humidity fill the month, and you always hope for an afternoon shower that refreshes a little…just a little. You can’t hide from the heat so embrace it and enjoy what the city has in store for you these days.
And what better way than to go to the beach. So in this issue we pack our swimsuits and take you to Juliet Barclay’s pick of the best beach in Cuba: the idyllic Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo. Although you don’t have to go so far to find crystal-clear waters and fine golden sand. Several articles dwell on how Havana residents spend their holidays at the beaches on the city’s northern coast, the Playas del Este. And not only by the sea, but close to rivers, camp sites or visiting relatives in the provinces.
However, if you’re looking for other things besides swimming and tanning, the capital has great things to do in the summer. Music-wise, the Hip-hop Festival takes place from August 25 to 28, the Rap Festival from August 13 to 18, and Verano in Jibacoa, Cuba’s top electronic music festival, from August 5 to 7. The Jibacoa festival combines beach and music, so it’s great for killing two birds with one stone. And for a folkloric taste of Cuba, the Timbalaye Rumba Festival (August 26-30 in Havana & Matanzas) will open at the Regla district across the bay with the performances of several folkloric dance and music groups.
If you like ballet, this month offers a special treat: Ballet Royalty (August 20 at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso) an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the performances of 12 principal dancers from ballet companies from the United States, Russia, Great Britain, Germany and Italy.
There’s a wide selection of kids’ activities this month, from the circus, to variety shows, to musicals, to puppet shows at theaters, the Zoo, the Trompoloco Big Tent, the Aquarium and even the Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor.
Our thanks to Jauretsi for her input on how to make the most of your holiday in Cuba and how to live like a local on your vacation to Cuba.
And to top the summer day, take a stroll down the Malecón in the evening, when the temperature is milder and the sea breeze refreshes everyone who sits on Havana’s most famous lounge. Read about it in the article We’ll Always Have the Malecón.
Havana in the summer—and in any other season—is fascinating. So take advantage of it, appreciate it, love it.

Abrazos! Team

In this Issue



10 Pitfalls to Avoid (or “Save Your Cuban Holiday”)

Cuba on vacation

Live Like a Cuban

Summer days!

As sure as the day is long

Cuba’s best beach

Summertime the Cuban way

Summer in Havana

Beach Party

Verano in Old Havana

The Delightful Rivers of Cuba

Summer on the Litoral Norte Shore

Visiting Family and Friends in the Summer

We’ll Always Have the Malecón

Daring to Dream the Olympics

Surviving Dominoes

Havana Events Listing

Havana Guide