Cuba's digital destination
Written by and/or contributed to by Christopher Baker
When is the best time to visit Cuba?
Cuba enjoys a subtropical climate and you can come any time of year and appreciate the country. Having said that, temperatures can vary significantly depending on where you are at certain time of the year, the Atlantic NE side having cooler temps than the Caribbean side. Although Cuba is firmly in the tropics, it still has a Northern Hemisphere weather pattern with cooler (drier) winters and hotter (wetter) summers. If you come from December through February you may not be guaranteed beach weather. You may even need a long sleeved shirt and sweater.
There is a hurricane season from June 1 to November 31, which typically will not impact your holiday; however, it can be a significant cause for concern if you are stuck in Cuba when a major hurricane passes through. It is worth bearing in mind that these are pretty infrequent and that Cuba is very well prepared if they do.
For more information on hurricanes see www.nhc.noaa.gov
(Nov-Mar & Jul-Aug) Shoulder
(Apr & Oct) Low season
(May, Jun & Sep) Price Prices are up to 30% higher in high season and there are less special deals around. It is worth keeping an eye out for special deals during this period. It is worth keeping an eye out for special deals during this period.
Availability of accommodation Popular locations (Old Havana, Trinidad, Vi?ales, Cienfuegos) will be booked far in advance at peak periods, which currently stretch from Christmas through the end of March. Availability is much better than in high season although you need to bear in mind that Easter will be much busier. Some hotels partially close down or do renovations in the low season; it is worth checking in advance.
Weather November through January is typically pleasant, warm and tropical, although it may not be beach weather. February and March is better for beachoholics!
July and August are extremely hot and humid. Expatriates that live in Cuba try and exit at this time. April and October are typically hot but not unbearably so. This is a great time for the beach.
You need to be aware of the hurricane risk in October. The rainy season starts in May but this is still normally a great month to visit. June is starting to get the real heat of the summer. You need to be aware of the hurricane risk in September.
Festivals December has the Havana Film Festival, the Havana Jazz Festival as well as the San L?zaro (Rinc?n) Procession and Las Parrandas (Remedios).
In the hot summer months, look out for carnivals (Santiago is in July, Havana is in August). Cine Pobre (Gibara) takes place in April while the Ballet Festival (Havana) is in November. Both are wonderful events. Cubadisco (Havana) and the Hemingway Fishing Tournament both take place in May every year.
Christopher P. Baker is a professional travel writer and photographer, and leads tours of Cuba for MotoDiscovery and National Geographic Expeditions. His six books about Cuba include MI MOTO FIDEL: MOTORCYCLING THROUGH CASTRO?S CUBA (National Geographic Adventure Press), winner of two national book awards.
? Christopher P Baker
travel writer ? photographer ? moto-journalist ? cuba expert
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.christopherpbaker.com
Lowell Thomas Award 2008 Travel Journalist of the Year