Havana is only a 45-minute flight from Miami, which makes a weekend visit easy. If you only have three days to spare, focus on quality rather than quantity with these itineraries, discovering landmark historical sites, great cuisine, and sultry nightlife in Cuba's capital.
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Cuba has as much to captivate children as parents, from clowns strolling the streets of Havana to gorgeous beaches and mountains. Add in the country’s close-knit family culture and languid traffic-free streets, where local children play without supervision, and it’s hard to imagine a more kid-friendly place to visit.
It's not hard not to fall in love with Cuba. Set to a soundtrack of jazz, rumba, and salsa, it's a place where icy mojitos flow freely, classic cars cruise the streets, and historic hotels evoke the glamour of a bygone era. The perfect place, in other words, for a romantic getaway just after your wedding.
The dry season finally arrives in November, bringing heaps of sunshine and agreeable temperatures. Plus, this month Cuba hosts some of the most popular festivals of the year. The tourist floodgates begin to open also, but not so much than Cuba feels crowded, and expect higher hotel and other rates than in prior months.
December is peak season, especially during Christmas week, as Canadians and Europeans flood in droves. But the weather is as perfect as any month of the year. And three of Cuba’s premier festivals occur, including an unforgettable religious procession and the equally memorable fireworks “battle” (or parranda) of Remedios. But expect higher prices, and plenty of other visitors crowding your pictures.
We’re well into Cuba’s rainy season by August, with the hottest temperatures and highest humidity. Yet summer vacationers from Canada and Europe flock to the beaches to take advantage of Cuba’s scorching sunshine and ocean breezes—the rains are mostly heavy downpours perfectly timed to coincide with afternoon siestas. Plus, baseball season begins this month.
This is a fantastic month weather-wise, as Western Cuba typically experiences a prolonged dry period—la seca—with relatively little rain, and warmer temperatures than January or February. In fact, many visitors feel that March offers the most agreeable climate of the year, although high-season room rates typically still apply. It’s a good time, too, to enjoy some of Cuba’s more off-beat musical festivals.
July is one of the hottest and humid months of the year, although the chance of rain diminishes. It’s also one of the liveliest, with Cuba biggest carnival—in Santiago de Cuba—and its most important revolutionary celebrations, making this a great month to experience quintessential Cuban culture. Mid-July begins the Cubans’ own holiday season—a chance to vacation alongside the locals—while Canadians and European families flock to the beach resorts.
Although visitors are fewer than in January, February is, with good reason, still a very busy month, especially in Havana, Trinidad and Viñales. The sun shines without being overbearing, rain mostly stays away, and nighttime temps are refreshingly cool. Further afield the number of visitors thins, and it’s easy to find attractive off-the-beaten-track venues.
Cuba’s wet season officially begins in May so, yes, rain will likely be part of your experience. Fortunately, this usually means late afternoon thunderstorms following hot, sunny mornings. But you’ll have much of the country more-or-less to yourself as this is a low-season month. And the beginning of May is a great time to be in Havana for the country’s most important annual event—the May Day Parade—when you can experience Cuba at its most political.
The summer wet season begins in earnest in June, when the humidity begins to resemble a sauna. The Eastern Provinces are the hottest part of the country, and by June often insufferably so. Understandably, this is the low season for tourism. Don't worry: there's still plenty of glorious sunshine. And in spite of the weather, there are some major advantages to off-season travel. You won’t be competing with crowds, and early summer travel offers the lowest prices of the year.
This is a peak month in Cuba for travel. Havana, Trinidad, and Viñales in the heart of tobacco country can all seem overrun (although things have eased in Havana since 2019, with U.S. cruise ships no longer calling). This is also a peak festival season, and Havana is abuzz with celebration. Hotel rates are high, but there are plenty of bargain-priced casas particulares (private B&Bs). And though weather is variable, you’ll mostly experience gorgeous sunny days.
By September the suffocating heat of peak summer months begins to recede, but temperatures and humidity remain high. Havana and Western Cuba also see a second spike in rainfall. By month’s end the mid-summer tourist crowds and high-season hotel rates give way to far fewer visitors and bargain prices—making this month a win-win for travelers who don’t fear that September is the apex of hurricane season.
With temperatures cooling after the blitz of summer, and the peak season crowds still two months away, October can be a good time to visit. You’ll have much of Cuba more or less to yourself, and at bargain prices. However, overall it is the rainiest month. And this is a peak month for hurricanes, although the chance of one striking and affecting your visit remains very slim. Plus, three of Cuba’s premier music festivals take place in October.
Although the temperature is hotting up, this is still a fabulous month weatherwise, as the prolonged dry period (la seca) of Western Cuba extends through April. Heaps of sunshine and little rain. What’s not to like? Plus, Havana hosts several important cultural events. Not least, every three years, visitors get to enjoy the Biennal art festival, and while Easter is not the big deal it is in other Hispanic cultures, you can witness religious processions in any year.