Travel to Cuba between November and February
Right now the idea of the trip is something that excites those who have seen their plans postponed after the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you've been wanting to do that family trip to Cuba you have been organizing, or a group trip with friends, or even that romantic couple trip you were so excited about, we trust that you will have the opportunity to retake it, from the last quarter of the year on.
Cuba, in its responsible de-escalation process, has announced that it will open its borders to international tourism in July, but only for all-inclusive packages to the northern cays and Cayo Largo del Sur. Excursions to cities are for a later phase. It is only a matter of time before everything returns to normal, and Cuba has fortunately coped with this pandemic very well, so we hope to give you good news soon.
The possibility of visiting those destinations that are unavoidable for you is getting closer, so today we want to recommend the visit Cuba in the best possible time of the year.If you have not been able to go this summer due to the situation of the world quarantine, do not worry, since the Caribbean island awaits your visit in the best time of the year to travel to Cuba, which goes from November to February
You may wonder why we recommend this time span to visit the island. The truth is that any time of the year is attractive to discover the potential of the largest of the Antilles, as the temperature is very stable throughout the year. However, the winter months - although we subscribe to the statement that Cuba is an everlasting summer- offers you several possibilities. You will meet a nice weather to practice all kinds of outdoor activities, since although it is true that this is the winter season in Cuba, temperatures tend to remain at pleasant levels without the scorching summer heat. There is less rainfall and you will not find hurricanes or tropical storms. The humidity values decrease a lot, and this will allow you to carry out activities that do not involve so much physical wear.
What to do in the nature in Cuba?
Traveling to Cuba from November to February is the best time for those who visit the island with the idea of doing trekking, for examplo at Parque de Guanayara; or hiking at Valle Viñales, and bike routes through different areas such as the countryside near Trinidad, with that smooth slope towards Playa Ancón. You will also be able to go to beaches of Cuba, the water will still be warm. These are months in which national tourists do not usually go because most of the people are working. So you will have more privacy to enjoy well-known beaches such as Varadero, Playa Larga or the whole area of the northern cays.. From CubaUnique we recommend you try snorkeling, . Kayakingoutstands, as well as fly fishing in the Jardines de la Reina and the diving experience in Maria La Gorda, a beach which is famous among diving lovers of Latin America because of its excellent seabeds
If you like to enjoy nature, we cannot miss the recommendation of Viñales, in the West of the country. If you visit it in the months of November to January you can see the tobacco cultivation process, since the farmers will be in full sowing task. The sowing period is from October to January due to rainfed conditions. There you will be able to appreciate the whole process of manufacturing the famous habanos cigars, and you wil be able to get some.
Urban popular festivals and traditions
In addition to being in dialogue with nature, life in cities is usually very active also at this time. If you are more urban, getting to know colonial cities in the island will be a most pleasant experience. On the other hand, we have Trinidad, a colonial city with more than five hundred years of history. This villa offers its charms at any time of the year, but if you make your trip in December, you can participate in the street art event Lunas de invierno, which is held every year in the nearby town of Santi Spíritus.
Once you are in Trinidad you cannot miss its neighboring city, Remedios. We are talking about a colonial city with a lot of charm, wich you will absolutely fall in love with if you visit it in December and attend the Parrandas de Remedios, considered one of the three main national feasts in Cuba. You can specifically spend the 24th of December when this feast takes place, so you will have a Christmas Eve as no other: fireworks, parades, rumbas, polkas. You can even participate in the traditional Misa del Gallo, which takes place at midnight, in the Parroquial Mayor. This is a tradition shared by Cuban and Spanish cultures, so you will feel like family if you are Spanish and decide to spend Christmas in Cuba.
Traveling to Cuba at Christmas time
Talking about christmas holidays, if you decide to travel to Cuba in December, you can participate in the most popular traditions which Cubans run to give a farewell to the old year and the welcome of the new one. It is true that on the island Christmas time is usually a time for family, with celebrations taking place at home, where family and friends gather to prepare the typical supper for these occasions: roast pork, rice with beans, cassava with spicy sauce and vegetable salad.
Cuba is the ideal destination if you want to spend a Christmas in a quiet, family atmosphere, doing activities that you might not have considered doing in your country at that time of year, since weather in the Island will allow you to take a bath on the beach in the middle of December, and that is a gift that you have to take advantage of.
If you have Cuban friends, you will also be able to know which are the most typical Christmas rituals and participate in them: the burning of the old year's doll, throwing a bucket of water towards the street as a gesture that symbolizes removing everything negative from the house, walking around the neighborhood with a suitcase to encourage travel in the coming year are some traditions that Cubans practice on New Year's Eve. So, if you are visiting Cuba at Christmas time, we recommend you to spend Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve with a Cuban family, so that you can live the direct and intimate experience in a Cuban home.
The three wise men , as gift bearers, are a tradition in Spanish Catholicism that is also deeply rooted in Cuba, much more than Santa Claus; for this reason the tradition is maintained every January 6th of placing the three Wise men presents under the Christmas tree
There are also many other options that you cannot miss, and if you are in Havana at that time of year, it is essential, for example, to go to malecon to witness the fireworks show, enjoy a special dinner in one of the Paladares in Havana, o pasear por sus plazas pasada la media noche del 31 de diciembre y disfrutar de los live concerts, as the one having place at Cathedral Square @ Havana.
Cultural Life in Cuba
If you also want to take part in Cuban cultural lifethis season will also offer you a wide variety, since a series of activities are held annually on the island, which are concentrated in the final months of the year. If you like good latin-american cinema you have to travel to Cuba in December to enjoy the movies screened in the movie theaters around Havana a propósito este año del 42 Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. . For a very affordable price you will have the opportunity to watch movies by Latin American and Cuban authors of unquestionable quality in different theaters.
But if your interests are more focused on knowing the popular culture and religious traditions, Afro-Cuban ritualsoutstands, as well as procession to Santuario de San Lázaro . It will be that activity that you cannot miss. Every December 17th this religious event takes place, to which thousands of Cubans come from different parts of the island to pay tribute and thanks to Saint Lazarus.
More focused on Cuban crafts you can find various activities of art and architecture in Havana such as Feria Internacional de Artesanía FIART, which takes place every December in the Havana capital. I suggest you attend this event if you want to be familiar with the craft tradition in Cuba, since you can buy pieces of the cuban artisansranging from jewelry, furniture and decoration, to footwear and tableware.
For sports lovers, the island also offers options for these months, such as the Maratón de La Habana, Marabana 2020. You can join and together with professional and amateur competitors from all over the world enjoy this feverish atmosphere and run through the streets of the city on circuits that include distances of 42 km (marathon), 21 km (half marathon) and 10 km.
And since Cuba has options for all tastes, we could not fail to recommend some activities that have to do with musical traditions.Specially the Festival Baila en Cuba to be held in the coming month of November, is ideal for you to learn the typical cuban dances. You will learn to dance “Casino”, through master lectures and theoretical-practical workshops, taught by prestigious tutors from the Instituto Superior de Arte. You will have a space to exercise what you learned in the nightly concerts scheduled by the event and move your body to the beat of the Cuban popular dance music orchestras.
The panorama that we have described makes us invite you to travel to this Caribbean island between the months of November 2020 to February 2021. Endless activities, numerous local christmas traditions, an unbeatable weather, some warm beaches and tasty typical cuban food are the perfect mix to enjoy some tailored holidays in Cuba which satisfy those immense desire that you had to know the real Cuba. If you want to connect with the locals, participate in Christmas traditions and do all this in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, Cuba may be the option you are looking for.
Julienne López Hernández
Degree in History of Art0