The best time to visit Cuba falls between November and April (during the country’s dry season) with comfortable to warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine hours. But, with nice weather comes loads of tourists, so expect price increases across accommodation and activities and crowds at popular sites and cities. However, due to the country’s location and tropical climate, Cuba generally enjoys favourable weather all year round with the exception of hurricane season during September and October.
When is the best time to visit Havana?
The best time to visit Havana is between December and March when the country’s going through its dry season and temperatures are warm but manageable (there’s nothing worse than being stuck in the city come the middle of the year when every step outside feels like you’re moving through solid air). If you’re lucky, there might not be as many European and North American tourists around during this time (if they head to the snow in their own countries), meaning accommodation prices will be lower.
When is the best time to visit Varadero?
While Varadero is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is between January and April when weather conditions are at their most stable and temperatures are warm but not uncomfortable. As it’s a resort town, expect to do plenty of swimming and other water-based activities, especially since water temperatures sit at around 24°C-29°C.
Best for: salsa dancing lessons, hiking and local markets
It’s mostly sparkling blue skies and warm temperatures in January in Cuba however, the country can be subject to unexpected cold fronts moving in from the north so pack clothes you can layer in case it gets cold, especially at nighttime.
January also experiences very little rainfall countrywide so it’s one of the best months to lace up your hiking boots and head out into Cuba’s great outdoors. If you’re looking to challenge yourself, embark on an overnight hike to the summit of the country’s highest peak, Pico Turquino. But, if you’re after something a little less strenuous (but no less impressive), try out the popular hiking destinations of Vinales and Pinares de Mayari.
Best for: road trips, waterfall chasing and exploring UNESCO World Heritage listed sites
The peak season crowds of December and January have lessened somewhat but February is still a busy month to visit Cuba thanks to its fantastic weather – think sunny days with minimal rainfall and average temperatures of around 25°C. This kind of weather lends itself to long road trips with the car’s top and searching for natural beauty in the form of cascading waterfalls (El Nicho is our recommendation) and golden sandy beaches in Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria.
Best for: listening to traditional Cuban music and cycling through the country’s lush landscapes
The fantastic weather continues in March with warmer temperatures than both January and February and very little rainfall (March experiences the least amount of rainfall out of the whole year). Summer’s high humidity levels have also disappeared so doing any form of activity outside is automatically more enjoyable than in previous months.
If you want to make the most of the month’s favourable weather, cycling is a good way to explore Cuba’s landscapes. Hiking is also popular, especially in the morning before temperatures reach their peak. When the sun goes down, the music comes out so salsa dancing and listening to traditional Cuban musicians doing their thing is also a favourite local pastime.
Best for: cultural events and easter celebrations
Temperatures are heating up in Cuba in April – think averages of around 28°C with maximums of 35°C. But the rains expected in May haven’t arrived yet so it’s a fantastic time to get out and explore Cuba’s natural beauty. The bigger cities in Cuba are also buzzing with various cultural festivals, including the Biennal Art Festival in Havana which only comes around every three years.
Best for: May Day parade festivities and religious processions
May signals the start of the wet season in Cuba so expect plenty of rain and high humidity levels. Days will often start out hot and sunny before succumbing to gloomy skies and thunderstorms in the afternoon, so get all of your exploring done before lunchtime. But the one positive about visiting Cuba in May is that you’ll have the bigger cities and popular resort areas largely to yourself. This also means accommodation prices will be lower so your money will go further (that’s a win if we’ve ever heard one).
Best for: wandering around art galleries, enjoying cigars and fishing
Humidity levels have been turned right up in Cuba in June with high temperatures and weather conditions starting to feel like you’re in a sauna every time you step outside. Steer clear of the country’s eastern provinces (including Las Tunas and Holguin) as temperatures are often too high to feel comfortable. But, despite the threat of stormy weather (June is officially the start of hurricane season), there’s still plenty of sunshine to bask in and you won’t have to compete with the crowds of peak season.
Best for: sipping on drinks in local bars and festival-going
July wins the title of one of the hottest and most humid months out of the year but what it lacks in comfortable weather, it makes up for in lively spirit, boasting one of the biggest carnivals in all of Cuba – the Festival del Feugo (Fiesta del Caribe). Held in Santiago de Cuba, this weeklong cultural extravaganza is a celebration of pan-Caribbean music and dance and promises a fascinating insight into this country’s creative scene.
Temperature-wise, averages sit at around 32°C (maximums sit at around 36°C) and while rainfall is definitely still expected, it’s not as rainy as June or September. You can also expect travellers from Europe and North America to return to Cuba towards the end of the month as summer holidays begin but for the most part, there’ll be fewer crowds in the bigger cities.
Best for: staying in all-inclusive beach resorts and watching baseball games
Welcome to August, the month with Cuba’s highest temperatures and humidity levels. But if there’s a positive to come out of the month’s sizzling weather (average temperatures sit at around 32°C with maximums reaching 36°C), it’s the chance to relax at one of Cuba’s fantastic coastal beach resorts. Soak up all that sun and swim for hours before retiring to your room for a small siesta in the afternoon when the brief but heavy rains hit.
The European and North American crowds are well and truly here so expect to share your holiday with families and young adults looking to let their hair down now that school’s out. While this means accommodation prices will be higher, the activities on offer in August more than make up for it with baseball season starting at the beginning of the month.
Best for: birding and other eco-activities in western Cuba and diving with whale sharks.
While September sees the sweat-inducing high temperatures of the summer season start to reduce, it also marks the beginning of hurricane season with temperatures still sitting at an average of 32°C and high humidity levels. Despite the threat of dangerous weather patterns, there are some positives to travelling to Cuba in September. Peak season has well and truly dissipated by the end of the month and cities such as Havana, Varadero and Vinales are quieter and less expensive to stay in. But bring your umbrella.
Best for: cooking classes and museum visits
Hurricane season continues in October and while it’s still possible to enjoy spending time outside (especially if you’re travelling in the country’s west), this month’s weather lends itself to indoor activities such as cooking classes, café hopping and museum wandering. It’s also a great time to visit Cuba’s bustling cities if you’re a budding photographer as the intense sunlight and dramatic stormy conditions play with each other to create the most beautiful of contrasts (read: photos).
However, October is the rainiest month in Cuba so if you’re determined to explore (as you should be), come prepared with plenty of wet weather-appropriate clothing such as raincoats, water-resistant shoes and an umbrella. Humidity also remains high (so leave your hair straightener at home), along with the average temperatures.
Best for: festivals, café hopping and photography workshops
Phew, the epic rains of hurricane season are finally gone and in their place is Cuba’s dry season with average temperatures between 24°C-29°C and plenty of sunshine. While small showers are still possible here and there (except in Baracoa where thunderstorms can be expected until December), cities such as Havana and Holguin experience 10+ hours of sunlight on average and ocean temperatures of around 28°C.
Some of the most popular activities to do in Cuba in November include café hopping, dining out in each city’s best restaurants and attending one of Cuba’s many cultural festivals held during the month, including the Festival de Musica Contemporanea de La Habana and the Fiesta of the Red and Blue Majagua parties in the Ciego de Avila.
Best for: tobacco plantation tours, rum tastings and Christmas celebrations
The festive season descends upon Cuba in December, and so do the hoards of tourists from both North America and Europe in their bid to avoid their own country’s chilly weather. Yes, peak season is here but when you can expect comfortable temperatures of around 25°C with little to no chance of rainfall, who could blame those travellers for seeking out some sun?
Head to the beachside areas of Cuevas de los Portales and Cayo Levisa for some much needed sun-soaking and coral reef exploring or head for the country’s tobacco plantations in Vinales and the Pinar del Rio province to learn about the production of one of Cuba’s most famous vices.
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