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Language: Spanish | Currency: Peso (₱) | Local time: UTC-4:00 | Avg. Flight time: 13.5 hrs
Even though the heat can be intense, July and August is when Cuba’s holiday resorts are busiest as domestic and regional Caribbean holidaymakers arrive en masse.
For many European and North American visitors, the best time to go is from December to March, when temperatures average around 22C and there’s a lack of rain and storms. January and February are slightly cooler, and although it’s usually still balmy on the coast, temperatures inland in the mountains can drop below 10C at night.
May to October is wet season – although this is becoming less predictable due to climate change – and the rain tends to be intense but brief and is generally followed by sunshine. Despite this, many Europeans don’t find this is to be a best time to visit due to the very high humidity, and Eastern Cuba tends to be muggiest of all.
September and October represent the peak of each year’s hurricane season, although you’d be unlucky to catch one and Cuba is well set up to deal with them.
The first rule for bargain hunters is to avoid Christmas, New Year, and Easter when prices rise significantly. For real bargains, be prepared to risk rain and humidity in May, or take a chance on October during hurricane season. Not only are hotel prices lowest in October, but incredible deals tend to become available at the north coast’s all-inclusive resorts as they quieten down, making October the best time to go for price.
July and August see the most festivals in Havana and Santiago. Their respective carnival and the anniversary of the Revolution (July 25) are the highlights. During these events, Cubans take to the streets to dance and party amid colourful costumes, flamboyant performers and seemingly endless amounts of rum.
In recent years, the Viñales Valley in western Cuba has attracted rock climbers, and hundreds of routes have been established, catering to climbers of various abilities. The best period for rock climbing is from January to February when the days are dry and balmy.