Joanna Lumley on travelling around Cuba (ITV)
Some of the best beaches in the world and a vibrant cultural life set this island nation apart from anything else you’ve ever seen.
Cuba is not your typical Caribbean island. Yes, it does boast the same alluring beaches, nature-blessed weather, and lush tropical forests Caribbean islands enjoy. But its magnetism primarily comes from its rich culture and its people. For such a small island, roughly the size of England in extension, Cuba has given the world some of the best musicians and dancers in modern time. It is known for its fine cigars and world-class rums. It enthrals visitors with it’s frantic, almost chaotic history, and it catches the imagination with its vibrant streets seemingly frozen in time, where classic American cars and dilapidated facades create a festival of sound and colour hardly seen anywhere else.
In addition to some of the best beaches in the world, Cuba offers visitors some of the largest and best preserved colonial town in the Americas, dramatic landscapes teaming with endemic species of flora and fauna such as those found in the Valley of Vinales or Baracoa, vibrant cities like Havana and Santiago de Cuba, and a welcoming people that always manages to pull a small through the daily hardships of life in this eclectic, beautiful, and ever maddening Caribbean island-nation.
When to visit Cuba
Travellers tend to favour November, December, and January to April when temperatures drop by a few degrees in Cuba, making the tropical heat and humidity far more tolerable and coinciding with the winter months in Europe, US, and Canada which drives travellers towards the kinder climates of the tropics.
Between June and August, when the Cuban summer is in full swing, the heat can be a bit too much if you come from a colder climate. This is, however, the time when Cuban beaches are at its best, and prices drop significantly. Worth a trip if you are willing to combat the heat with mojitos on ice, daiquiris, and a refreshing splash at the beach or the resort’s swimming pool.
The least busy season for Cuba would be around September/October because of the hurricane season. If you are planning a trip in these months, we do advice you check regularly the weather forecasts for the Caribbean and the Golf of Mexico.