July is one of the liveliest months of the year to visit Cuba. Schools have their main summer holidays during this month and there are revolutionary celebrations too. You’ll find fewer international visitors, but more domestic tourists and visitors. Head to the revolutionary cities of Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, and Havana if you want to take part in the Revolution Day celebrations, or the beach if you want to chill out. Here’s what there is to do in Cuba in July.
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Whether you’re visiting Cuba for the cultural aspects, the beach life, or a combination of both July is an interesting time to visit. You’ll meet quite a few domestic tourists at this time, heading to the beaches – check out our guide to Cuba’s best beaches here – and also aiming for the festivals and celebrations happening in Cuba during July.
The Weather in July in Cuba
The weather in Cuba in July, is warm. While this is classed as hurricane season, the risks are generally low for this month in Cuba. While July in Cuba is part of the wet season rain does tend to be, as I mentioned, brief. However, this is also mosquito breeding season, so come prepared with bug spray, and long light clothes. While it is official hurricane season in Cuba in July you’re unlikely to see one.
Temperatures in Cuba in July
You’ll usually find temperatures from 23 to 31 Celsius (73 – 88 Fahrenheit) and while there may be some rain it tends to be brief, although it is likely to be moderately humid. Overnight lows will be around 23-25 Celsius (73 – 77 Fahrenheit), which can be very warm for some.
Rainfall in Cuba in July
There is average rainfall in July in Cuba of 76 mm (3 inches), but it tends to be loaded towards the beginning of the month. And rain showers tend to be heavy, but brief, rather than persistent. Rainstorms tend to occur in the late afternoon.
Things to do in Cuba in July
July is revolution month in Cuba. 26th July is Revolution Day – it was on this day in 1953 that Fidel and Raoul Castro attacked the Moncada base in Santiago de Cuba and the (most recent) Cuban Revolution came to pass. July in Cuba is also Carnaval month and many events in the country are focused on this. This is summer in Cuba and Cuba’s school summer holidays cover July and August, nicely coinciding with these festivities.
Top Tours and Activities to book During July
You’ll want to take a revolution-focused tour if you’re visiting Santiago de Cuba. And, of course, make sure you take a Cuban Classic Car tour. Book all your transport and accommodation ahead of time.
What is there to see in Cuba in July?
Head to a beach in Cuba during July – Varadero is the country’s number one beach resort and there’s lots to do there, (I mean besides lying on the beach), and some great places to explore nearby Varadero too.
Head down the island to Santa Clara – and pay your respects to Che Guevara while seeing the site of the Tren Blindado
Make a beeline for Santiago de Cuba – the center of the revolutionary celebrations and don’t miss seeing the Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia, the final resting place of Cuba’s revolutionary heroes.
What is there to do in Cuba in July?
Tours and attractions tend to be open year-round in Cuba (although they will be closed on Revolution Day, 26th July), so you can continue to book and expect to be able to go to most of the iconic things that you’ve come to Cuba to see.
Check out the UNESCO World Heritage Vinales Valley – either visit for several days, or take a day trip from Havana
Explore UNESCO World Heritage Trinidad and the stunning Topes de Collantes National Park nearby.
It’s perfect diving weather, so head to the Bay of Pigs and go diving.
There’s more inspiration on what to do in Cuba in our guide to the top iconic things to do in Cuba here.
Events in Cuba in July
There are several events of note in Cuba in July – and if you’re planning on visiting Cuba in July, then you’ll need to plan with booking your casa particular or hotel (its school holidays so its busy), and also any transport you need – like the Viazul Bus or a transfer. Dates differ each year for all of these events (apart from Revolution Day, which is always the 26th of July). These are the events in July in Cuba
The Festival del Fuego in Santiago de Cuba is a week-long celebration of Caribbean dance and music. There are carnival troupes, concerts, and lots going on. This happens in early July in Santiago de Cuba and dates vary slightly each year. The Festival del Fuego (Festival of Fire) is also known as the Festival del Caribe (Festival of the Caribbean) and is free. The Festival del Fuego has been running since 1981 and brings in thousands of international performers and visitors, who focus on the themes of the culture, religion, and history of the Caribbean region. The festival culminates with a Fire Parade on the last night, with a burning of a huge effigy of the Devil, while a cavalcade of drums sees the festival off.
Cuba’s largest and most traditional carnival is held in Santiago de Cuba every July – running up to and encompassing the July 26th Revolutionary celebrations. In 2023 it’s scheduled to run from July 25th to July 27th. You’ll find the main parade on either Alameida or Garzon. This Carnival in Cuba’s second city – and it has to be said, the most exotic city comes about because of the huge mix of cultures from those who have settled here over the centuries. What makes the Carnaval of Santiago even more special is the rich mix of music and dance that you’ll find here, in this, Cuba’s hottest city.
Revolution Day – aka the day of National Rebellion aka the July 26th Celebrations aka el Dia de la Rebeldia Nacional is the most important day of the year in Cuba. There are celebrations across Cuba, but the biggest and most important are those at the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. There are political speeches, street parties, and concerts throughout. The best cities to visit during this celebration are Santiago de Cuba, Havana, and Santa Clara.
Why visit Cuba in July?
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Cuba, then July might not be a bad option. There are celebrations galore, and if you’re a history buff interested in the Cuban Revolution, then you’ll get to experience the National Day of Celebration firsthand. Consider taking our 7 day Cuban Revolution itinerary as a starting point for where to go.
For the wet season, this is a good option, as the rain starts to taper off towards the end of the month. The flight will likely be cheaper, but also there aren’t so many of them, so you’re competing for space on buses and in casa particulars with domestic tourists.
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While the weather is temperate the water temperatures are perfect for swimming in the sea and if you’re a sports fisherman, then this is marlin season too. You’ll find boats heading out from Havana and Varadero in the main to catch the Gulf Stream off the coast of the north of Cuba.
Is it busy in Cuba in July?
Yes and no. This is the school holiday season and it’s also carnival and Revolution Day, however, the tourists are mainly domestic tourists. This is not a high season for international tourists. As several festivals are going on, and especially if you plan to travel around Revolution Day you’ll want to make sure you book your transport and accommodation well ahead of time.
Read our guides to visiting Cuba throughout the year
Final Words on Visiting Cuba in July
July is usually the offseason for international visitors in Cuba, but you’ll find more domestic tourists, as it’s school holidays and festival time in Cuba. The beaches will be busy, and transport will be too, so book ahead. Celebrate the revolution, head to a beach, or do a little of both. You’ll definitely get a different flavor of Cuba by coming here during July.
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