Cuba has a tropical climate and only two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season lasts from May to November, while the dry season lasts from December to April. The weather can, however, vary depending on what region you’re in. Aside from Cuba’s more mountainous destinations, much of the island is hot and humid. A breeze does blow across the island for most of the year, providing some relief from the heat.
The average temperature in Cuba is 77.4°F (25.2°C), so the best time to visit is less a question of temperature, and more a matter of when you should go based upon the regions and activities you want to enjoy. The temperature doesn’t shift much throughout the year; in July, the average temperature is 81°F (27.2°C), while in January, it’s 71.6°F (22°C).
The sun shines for about 8 hours each day. Summertime sees the hottest temperatures, especially in eastern Cuba. In general, the southern coast of Cuba is warmer than the northern coast, which gets hit with trade winds. In Cuba’s high mountains—for example, the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba—temperatures can dip into the 40°F - 50°F range (5°C – 10°C). The mountains also see some of the most rainfall in all of Cuba.
The rainiest months are from May to October. Around 88 centimeters of rain fall during this period. Rain tends to fall in strong, sporadic bursts, and lightning can accompany the downpours. Not surprisingly, the wet season is also quite humid. In general, the northern coast is wetter than the southern coast. The driest months are December, February, March, and April.
Cuba does get hit with hurricanes from time to time. The hurricane season lasts from August through October; tropical storms, however, can strike the island at other times of the year. In 2008, Cuba was hit by three hurricanes in just two months. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed 11 people in Santiago de Cuba.
Because of the island's well-known political issues, options for getting to Cuba are limited—especially if you're coming from the United States of America. This also means that preparing for your trip involves much more than packing the proper items; entry requirements require time and planning—you may very well have to plan your visit to Cuba several months in advance to secure the appropriate visa and/or permissions to enter the country.
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