By Mayté Solano Gómez
Anytime you come to Cuba it will be an amazing trip. From one month to another you will find the island’s warmth in the music, the architecture, the weather, the food, but mainly, in its people.
Let’s find what will charm you if you visit Cuba in February, the month of LOVE.
Cuba Weather in February
February is one of the coldest months of the year in Cuba. Temperatures drop up to 10 ° C / 50 ° F on some days and it sometimes rains. Anyway, you may find sunny days, although not too warm.
So, it is not a good month to swim or practice snorkeling or diving, although staying in a house by the beach can be really relaxing. You will enjoy the beautiful view of the blue-grey waters and the fine white sand, the peaceful ambience and the soft sounds of waves.
Can you ask anything more romantic than that?
In Varadero, Casa de Papo can be a perfect choice. Near the beach and with luxury comfort, you will enjoy there a delightful romantic stay. There is also the possibility of excursions to places of natural interest, ideal for cold and dry weather.
Cuba Events in February
Now, what events take place in Cuba in February? From a cultural point of view, options are varied.
For book lovers, there is the International Book Fair, dedicated every year to a different country and a writer. Currently, this event covers all the country’s provinces. Nevertheless, the main venue is in the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, part of the historic centre of Havana, declared a Cultural World Heritage site by the UNESCO.
With a big crowd, locals and foreigner tourists can buy all sorts of books, classic or contemporary, for children or adults. But information technologies are also present, so digital books and social media have an important role in the fair.
The International Salsa Festival also takes place every year in February, in Havana, under the auspices of Maikel Blanco and with the presence of prestigious groups of Cuban popular music. This is a space for those who want to dance and enjoy concerts, dance classes and conferences.
Last but not least, is the Habano Festival. For lovers of a good cigar, there are trade fairs, conferences and tours of factories and tobacco plantations.
What to Do & See in Cuba in February
Celebrating San Valentin’s day in Cuba in February means mostly partying with friends and family, eating outdoors and giving romantic presents to your ‘other half’. Discounts and other offers are common in this period, either for hairdressing services, lodgings and restaurants, sales of handicrafts or shows of all sorts. Raffles are also held. In every province with a ‘Malecón’, couples and friends gather there and celebrate the date with music.
Another event in Havana is the International Book Fair, where you can not only buy books but enjoy the great view of the Havana Bay and buy souvenirs.
In Viñales the Habano Festival has a special significance because it is one of the main spots where the best Cuban tobacco growths. A tour of one of the cigars’ farms might also include visiting the Prehistorical Mural or the Indians cave, with its underground river.
In Camaguey, every February, the Culture Week takes place, along with the Camagueyano Sound Festival. This event gathers, almost for 24 uninterrupted hours, the best Cuban music groups of the moment. It is not only a space to dance, but also to visit the craft trade fair, enjoy a performance of the Ballet of Camaguey company, the second most important in the island, and tour the beautiful city.
Guantánamo, the most Eastern province, also celebrates Culture Week in February. It includes a welcoming parade, dance and music performances, craft trade fairs and contests, among other activities.
Cuba Circuit for February
Western tour for lovers
For lovers of art, live, books and reading, we recommend a circuit that includes Havana- Viñales- Cienfuegos- Havana.
Arriving in Havana during the International Book Fair, a visit to the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress is a must. In addition, you may have a romantic dinner and a Cuban drink by the sea. Other restaurants for a romantic evening are La Guarida, in Old Havana and El Cocinero, next to the Cuban Art Factory, in Vedado.
In Viñales enjoy a horse ride tour through the valley and visit a coffee and a cigar plantation. The ‘mogotes’, a particular type of hill, distinguish the landscape of this region. As for Los Acuáticos you can enjoy beautiful sunsets, together with natural juices made from delicious tropical fruits of the region. The path to reach the viewpoint covers a distance of between 1 and 4 km, depending on the route taken.
In Cienfuegos, places such as the Terry Theatre, the Botanical Garden, the Dolphinarium and the Guanaroca Lagoon are touristic attractions that place this city among the best destinations to visit in the island. Watching sunset by the sea from the Royal Dock is a mandatory venue for lovers, both locals and tourists. A romantic dinner is also possible if you visit this dock.
Once in Havana again we recommend taking salsa lessons, a perfect activity for couples.
East tour for cultural enrichment
If you want to learn about Cuban popular culture and traditions, the ideal circuit is Camaguey- Baracoa- Santiago de Cuba.
Arriving at the international airport of Camaguey, you can start this circuit in this province, the first you will find when you travel to eastern Cuba and the largest one. The city’s historic centre was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is also known as the City of the Tinajones as in times of drought, since the Spanish conquest, these huge containers in the shape of a globe and made of baked clay are used to store rainwater for long periods of time. Today these vessels can be seen everywhere in the city, adorning its streets and terraces.
In Camagüey you will find plenty of churches, and in terms of squares, it is not far behind. In the historic centre it is possible to visit the Plaza San Juan de Dios; the Plaza del Carmen, with its sculptures of “Las chismosas”; the Candelaria church, which has a viewpoint that offers a fantastic view of the city; the church of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, probably the most important in the city; and the Plaza and the church of La Merced. Here, under the altar, ancient catacombs are preserved. Enjoying a performance by the Camaguey Ballet, in the magnificent centenary building that is the Municipal Theater, can be a truly enriching experience.
On the other side, Baracoa is located in Guantánamo, the easternmost province of Cuba. It is the first settlement founded by the Spanish conquerors. In Baracoa nature is the main attraction. The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is a World Heritage Site. It includes mountains, plateaus, plains, mighty, bays, and reefs. The Piedra (Stone) Zoo was declared a “National Cultural Heritage” in 1985. It has more than 426 sculptures of animals, aborigines and “palenques” of black slaves. To climb to the highest point there are 324 steps and 245 on the way back down.
Baracoa is between 1 and 2 hours away from Guantánamo. To go from one point to the other there is the Farola viaduct, the most recent of the seven wonders of civil engineering in Cuba. The road crosses an entire mountain range, with heights that sometimes reach 450 meters above sea level. Along the way, you go from a desert-coastal landscape to one dominated by tropical jungle. Once in Guantánamo, places like Casa del Changuy and La Karabalí show visitors some of the most genuine and traditional examples of Cuban music and dances: the ‘Changuy’ and the ‘tumba francesa’.
Finally, Santiago de Cuba is the second most important city in the country. It is famous mainly for the Sanctuary of Caridad del Cobre, Patron Saint of Cuba, and for its carnivals, considered the best on the island. But none of this compares to the human quality of its inhabitants and the warmth and joy they give off.
Among the main sites in Santiago de Cuba are the Castillo del Morro San Pedro de la Roca, a World Heritage Site; the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Cobre, Patron Saint of Cuba (Oshun in the Yoruba religion), the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the main one in eastern Cuba and Santiago de Cuba, and the second-largest on the island after the Necropolis of Christopher Columbus, in Havana. It was declared a National Monument in 1979, due to its rich historical, architectural and cultural treasures. In it lie the remains of the Cuban national hero, José Martí, as well as the ashes of the historical leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
The Baconao National Park is considered a World Biosphere Reserve and includes a great variety of attractions, such as the Prado de las Esculturas (Sculptures meadow), the Valley of Prehistory and the Dolphinarium.
From Santiago de Cuba you can arrange an excursion to the ‘Desembarco del Granma’ National Park, in the province of Granma, a World Heritage Site, whose most significant natural element is its system of marine terraces. Among the main tourist attractions in this park are Cabo Cruz, an ideal place for exploration and underwater photography; the natural archaeological trail el Guafe, an interpretive trail; the Coral reef of Cabo Cruz; the Cueva del Fustete, an aboriginal path whose walls display interesting pictographs; the Lagoon of the crocodiles, a suitable site for observing the flora and fauna of wetlands and the Cueva del Bojeo, one of the largest sea caves in the country.
There is an international airport in Santiago, so you can return to your country from here.
Cuba in February in Summary
February is part of the tourist high season period in Cuba. Although winter, weather can be very pleasant, with very few cold days and little rain. Plenty of cultural events are held, that will allow international tourists to enjoy the real Cuban spirit. Finally, the island is a wonderfully romantic setting for Saint Valentine’s Day.
Foreign visitors who come to Cuba in February should bear in mind that prices are higher during the peak season and that accommodation and tours may be fully booked. Consequently, it is best to organize your trip and book well in advance.
If you’re interested in visiting Cuba, check out our accommodation in various locations below: