By Mayté Solano Gómez
In May, flowers in Cuba begin blooming, especially due to the increasing rains. And flowers turn into fruits. It is the season for Mango, one of the most exquisite Cuban fruits. But it is also a month when the temperature is higher and humidity rises too.
Let’s find what will charm you if you visit Cuba in May, the month of flowers.
Cuba Weather in May
May is the first month of the wet season in Cuba, although hurricanes don’t begin until the next month. Of course, that is good news. But with the beginning of the rains, the heat and humidity also increase. Temperatures in Cuba in May are over 31 ° C / 88 ° F. During the first hours of the evening there’s it is still very hot, maybe until 3 o’clock in the morning.
The waters around Cuba are also hotter and there is plenty of sun; swimming in (and staying near) the beach in May is a great option for your holiday on the island.
The sun rises between 6 and 7 am and goes down around 8 pm, which means more than 12 hours of daylight.
Note: With such weather, the ideal clothes in May are shorts and t-shirts, sandals, sunglasses and hats or caps. Don’t forget the sunscreen protector.
Cuba Events in May
The main events in Cuba in May take place in Holguín and Havana. As for Culture Week, you can enjoy it in Artemisa.
Culture Week in Cuba in May
The Culture Week in San José de las Lajas takes place in May, coinciding with the founding date of this municipality, the capital of the Mayabeque province, in the west of the island.
It comprises a diverse program in which music, graphic arts including caricatures and photography, as well as contests and talks, are combined, in addition to the typical gastronomy of this region.
Romerías de Mayo (May Pilgrimages), in Holguin
This International Festival with religious roots in the late eighteenth century (1790) is held every year in Holguín, also known as the City of Parks. The event combines tradition and modernity and has given the city the name of the Capital of Young Art.
Every May 3rd a cross is placed in the Loma de la Cruz, associated with the belief that such an object, placed at the highest point in the area will enable the population to avoid epidemics, hexes, or natural catastrophes.
The event is organized today by the Saíz Brothers Association (AHS). The place of the main ceremony was enhanced, with a 458-step staircase and an oratory consisting of a small balcony-shaped square. The existing fort was rebuilt and a roundabout was made.
Nowadays, from May 2nd to the 8th of the month, parade of cars and people, concerts, conferences, debates, photographic exhibitions and other artistic events, such as theatre, literature and dance, take places. At the end, a tree is planted, as a symbol of the continuity of the tradition.
You can see the story of the Romerias de Mayo in the documentary feature film “Romerías, la utopía”, projected for the first time in May 2019.
Cubadisco International Fair, in Havana
Based in theatres and halls of the capital, the Cubadisco International Fair is the most important annual event of the Cuban music recording industry, although other art forms are present, such as dance and cinema. The event is dedicated every year to a country and a musical genre and personalities and artists with an outstanding body of work are honoured each time.
During this festival, in 1997, Cuban musicians carried out the longest ‘Son’ in the world (the ‘Son’ is a Cuban traditional music genre), which was registered in the Guinness Book of Records. More than a thousand musicians performed there for one hundred hours in five days. In the 12th edition in 2008 the longest ‘Rumba’ in the world was performed. For this, each of the Cuban provinces organized a day of rumba. This began at 9 p.m. on May 3 in the province of Guantánamo, at the east of the country, and ended on Saturday the 17th in the Cuban capital.
Note: Due to Coronavirus, the 2021’s Cubadisco International Fair will be held through the internet.
What to Do & See in Cuba in May
Definitely, May has options for every taste. Remember that it is low tourist season in Cuba. Let us show you our recommendations.
May 1st parade
It is a real party in Cuba, although in recent years the enthusiasm has decreased. On Labour Day on the island, students, farmers and soldiers join the workers in extravagant parades which take place in every main avenue, street and square in every province.
In Cuba, these workers’ rallies are no longer to demand work, medical care, social justice or equality of duties and rights, but to celebrate what has been achieved and to proclaim the workers’ support for the government and the prevailing social system. This is why the parades on May 1 in Cuba constitute for many a true demonstration of revolutionary reaffirmation and national unity.
Every year, a lot of foreigners participate with Cubans in the celebration, and experience the locals’ joy and revolutionary spirit. It is truly something worthy to experience.
With such tropical weather, what better idea than swimming on the beach, alternating with moments of mojitos or daiquiris, under a coconut tree, just in front of the sea?
In Havana, beaches of the eastern side of the city are among the best: Santa Maria, Mar Azul and Guanabo.
Varadero, in Matanzas, is ‘per se’ the ideal destination on the island to stay by the beach. You can book the Casa Migdalia, a casa particular with three rooms and two terraces, and enjoy the air and quiet.
But there is nothing like the keys in Cuba, blue and crystalline waters, white fine sand and a coral reef with a great variety of underwater life.
A very safe and healthy way to get to know a country and enjoy holidays is visiting Natural parks. In Cuba, a tropical island, you will find beautiful landscapes and natural reserves, ideal for walking and taking photos.
In Matanzas, the Ciénaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp) is one of the most unique places in Cuba, where several types of swamp ecosystems are grouped, almost entirely untouched by man. There you can’t miss the Laguna del Tesoro and the Hatiguanico river basin, the main river in the area, as well as Playa Larga and Playa Girón.
As a whole, the vegetation of the Ciénaga de Zapata constitutes one of the most important green areas in Cuba and, due to the species of flora and fauna that it hosts, represents a place of world interest.
The Topes de Collantes Great National Park, in the center of the island, can be accessed from Cienfuegos, Santa Clara or Trinidad, although the last one is the best option to stay in. It is at 800 mts above sea level and covers an area of more than 124 km2. It is characterized by perennial vegetation due to a climate abundant in rainfall and the temperature is low compared to the national average.
There, visitors will find open valleys, narrow fast-flowing rivers and beautiful waterfalls such as Caburní, a National Monument. There is also the Codina Trail, as well as the Vegas Grandes Trail, and the Batata trail, among many other natural and historical attractions.
The place is also ideal for those who like hiking and mountaineering, observing the flora and fauna, discovering the medicinal plant nursery, bathing in the pools, enjoying the waterfalls and planning visits to various caves.
Finally, the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, on the most eastern side of Cuba, is a protected area and one of the most important sites for the conservation of endemic flora in the entire Western Hemisphere. It is also home to three of the smallest vertebrate species in the world.
The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park was included by UNESCO in its World Heritage List in the category of Natural Sites in 2001. The levels of biodiversity and endemism are the highest in the Caribbean and are among the highest in the world.
If you’re interested in visiting Cuba, check out our accommodation in various locations below:
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