Our Cuba travel guide takes you on a nostalgic trip through this incredibly mythologised Caribbean island. Cruise along the Malecon as the waves crash alongside the classic cars, stroll the streets of Santiago to the sound of clacking dominoes and never-too-distant drumbeats, follow in the footsteps of Fidel in the Sierra Maestra – or kick back on a beach with a Cuba Libre. This is Cuba.
Cuba culture travel guide
Handpainted slogans around Cuba cry 'Viva la revolución!' and 'Homeland or death!' But Hemingway’s quote could be a more fitting motto for the country in which his last major book was set; the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Cuban people is astounding. Cut off from the outside world for almost six decades, daily essentials are in short supply, yet Cubans live to cherish what they do have: music, dance, literature, landscapes – and one of the most inspiring histories in the world.
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is
– Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Watching dancers in the plaza, rolling a fresh cigar and riding a classic car along the Malecón are classic experiences, but our cultural holidays in Cuba really get under the skin of the country – staying in a family home, taking an Afro-Cuban drumming lesson, meeting a Santería priest and exploring forgotten pueblos where ox carts are wistfully, lovingly, described as 'Cuban tractors.' This unique Caribbean-Communist state is on the brink of major change, for better or worse. Read our Cuba cultural holidays travel guide to find out how you can experience it now.
Best time to go on a Cuba cultural holiday
If you’re determined to see the Cuba of your imagination, then the best time to go is now.
With the easing of trade and travel restrictions, Cuban culture is set to change dramatically. While that may be no bad thing for many Cubans (who earn $15-25 per month and live off rations) – travellers are understandably keen to witness the island before capitalist abandon roars ashore. Weather-wise, May-late Oct are wet with a risk of hurricanes – particularly in the east. Dec-Jan are cooler, while the weather warms up by March-April – ideal if you want to hit the beach. Festivals and events take place year round; whenever you go, you’ll catch a cultural show.
Havana Weather Chart
If you'd like to chat about Cuba culture or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.