When people ask, when is the best time to go to Cuba? A witty (really) reply is often 20 years ago. As the Caribbean island nation opened its doors, hotels and restaurants to the world we’re seeing the end of an old and unique culture.
American’s were largely prevented from visiting the island for decades in the second half of the 20th century. In Cuba this embargo is known as ‘el bloqueo’. The embargo fostered an incredibly beautiful culture of repair and mending, hence the impressive American cars in the streets. Despite the embargo citizens of nationalities other than American are, and have been, very much free to travel there. For those able to visit Cuba is an excellent addition to a longer itinerant visit to the Caribbean.
Barack Obama’s presidency brought about a thaw with Cuba and many American’s took advantage of this opportunity. However, Donald Trump almost immediately upon entering office re-introduced travel restrictions for American citizens. New sanctions recently came into effect as well. So the answer to the question of when is best to go to Cuba for Americans is; in either one or five years.
The Climate in Cuba
In a metereological sense does Cuba has seasons which are not ideal for travelling. Sitting in the Caribbean Cuba has a sub-tropical climate, which in broad terms has two distinct seasons and corollary weathers. Similar to parts of South America such as Buenos Aires, the dry season runs from November through to April and the wet sesason – including hurricane season – covers May to October. Cuba does enjoy warm, and hot, temperatures all year long. But this also comes with regular rains and a pretty consistently high humidity.
If you’re familiar with the Caribbean you’ll know that trade winds blow in off the Atlantic, at some point in the year these winds do a great job of cooling down the place, taking the edge off the humidity.
The Dry Season
High season is dry season! November through to April records the least rainfall and rainy days. Temperatures are not at their peak yet the sea is deliciously warm.
Of course prices go up, hotels get filled up and everything you want to see in Cuba is out in full show. The Havana Jazz festival takes place in December and brings world famous musicians to the capital, as well as the paid event there are free live gigs all over the city.
Give me heat
If you want to feel the oppressive, sticky heat of a Caribbean summer, try visiting in July and August, when temperatures climb into the 30s and the humidity level, well the humidity level is always around the 80% mark in Cuba.
Seasons with Seasons
The Cuban Spring, not that kind of Spring, comes in March and April. This is widely considered the best time to visit Cuba, it can satisfy both families with children and those fortunate enough to be free of school holiday timetables.
The temperature during this time is in the low to mid-20s. The humidity drops down to 70% and the rains are few and far between. Tempting as this sounds, Cuba, with its unique cultural experience, is not a place you are likely to book last minute during holidays. So if you’re planning to travel as a group over Easter book well ahead. For the best chance of avoiding the crowds, April or May, outside of the Easter break, is your best bet.
Caribbean islands wouldn’t be complete without hurricanes, in Cuba the hurricane season runs from June the 1st to November the 30th, however the chances of a hurricane hitting in June or July are slim. The greatest risk and danger comes between August and October.