By Mayté Solano Gómez
November in Cuba is part of the peak season for tourism. And fortunately, it marks the end of the hurricane period on the island, although there might still occur one or two of them. Personally, it is a beautiful month for me, as it is my birthday, on International Students Day.
Let’s find what will charm you if you visit Cuba in November.
Cuba Weather in November
During November, temperatures begin to decrease slightly, oscillating between 27 and 30 ° C / 80-86 ° F, as well as the frequent rains from the previous months. It is the first month of the dry season. Days seem to be shorter. They last about 11 hours, as the sun rises around 15 minutes before 8 am and sets around 15 minutes before 7 pm.
Cuba Events in November
A week of November takes place in Santa Clara the Culture week, mostly in the afternoons and evenings, in La Caridad theatre, the Boulevard and the City House. The activities and performances entertain children and adults, through dance, theatre, music and different types of visual arts.
Havana is the meeting place for the International Ballet Festival, starting some times during the last days of October. It draws ballet dancers, choreographers and companies from all over the world, such as London Royal Ballet, the English National Ballet, the Scala de Milan and the New York City Ballet, that turn the city into the mecca of classical dancing for a few days. For 2022 the festival is scheduled between October 25th and November 1st.
The event ‘Dance in Cuba’ is a special occasion, where those interested will have the opportunity to get to know Cuban salsa in-depth, as well as other rhythms, attend classes and lectures, courses and choreography workshops, enjoy dancing with the best musical groups and the guests dance academies’ presentations. For 2022 the event will take place from November 13 to 18.
Finally, 2 of the most anticipated activities in Cuba in November are the Fashion Week in Havana, which seeks to promote Cuban fashion, with the participation of artists and designers from different provinces of the country and the Marathon of Havana Marabana, a sporting event that attracts professional and amateur competitors from around the world every year. In it, you run over distances of 42 km (marathon), 21 km (half marathon) and 10 km.
What to Do & See in Cuba in November
November is a great month to travel to Cuba. Not too crowded and there is still very nice weather to enjoy nature activities, such as hiking, trekking or snorkelling. It is a good moment to visit the eastern side of Cuba, as the sun doesn’t punish that hard. It is possible then to visit the mountain ranges and the natural parks in the region.
In Santiago de Cuba, you will find the Turquino National Park, a protected area located in the heights of the Sierra Maestra. This attraction was named this way for the Turquino Peak, the highest point in Cuba. It also contains Cuba Peak, Real Peak, and Sweden Peak.
The Baconao National Park, also in Santiago de Cuba, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for locals and foreign hikers. It 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.
The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, a World Heritage Site is located between the provinces of Holguín and Guantánamo. It is one of the most valuable sites for the conservation of endemic flora in the entire Western hemisphere. It includes mountains, plateaus, plains, mighty rivers, bays, and reefs.
The Desembarco del Granma National Park, in the province of Granma, is 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.
In Holguin, the Guardalavaca beach is a shell-shaped beach, with fine white sands and crystal-clear waters. It is flanked to the north by a coral reef and to the south by forests and hills of thick and green vegetation. Thanks to this peculiar geography, it is an incredible place, ideal to enjoy not only the sea and the sun, but also to practice nautical activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, boating and diving, as well as to enjoy the typical nature of the area.
According to history, Guardalavaca was one of the first places visited by Christopher Columbus upon his arrival on the island and where he pronounced his famous phrase “this is the most beautiful land that human eyes have seen”.
Cuba Circuit for November
If you plan to travel to Cuba in November, we recommend you the circuit Santiago de Cuba- Baracoa- Camaguey- Santiago de Cuba.
Santiago de Cuba, the ‘hot land’.
Santiago de Cuba has a very different identity from the rest of the Cuban provinces due to its strong Caribbean influence. This is why everything in it spontaneously generates musicality and joy. For Cubans, Santiago de Cuba is the ‘hot’ land, not only because of climate but also for the energy and overflowing vitality of its inhabitants.
During November the temperatures, usually high, tend to punish less. That will aloud you to go hiking or visiting the natural parks or the lighthouse.
Casa de Mabel offers a splendid roof terrace with glorious views, a pleasant breeze and shady plants. Located a few blocks from the Parque Cespedes and Padre Pico steps, this central casa particular is ideal for discovering the streets of revolutionary Santiago de Cuba.
Baracoa, the first city of Cuba
Baracoa, the easternmost province of Cuba, also offers nature and tropical landscapes, ideal for trekking or hiking. In the vicinity of the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, is the Caridad de Los Indios community, the last population directly descended from the Cuban aborigines (Taino culture), Caribbean agro-potters, wiped out by European colonization.
The Stone Zoo has a sample of animals, aborigines and “palenques” of black slaves carved in stone, with more than 426 sculptures. For its creation, each figure was placed in an environment, similar to the areas they inhabit in their countries or regions. To climb to the highest point there are 324 steps and 245 on the way back down. Visiting the whole zoo is tiring, but visitors do so with pleasure due to the beauty of their sculptural work, the climate and the vegetation of the place. For all this, the Stone Zoo was declared “National Cultural Heritage” in 1985.
The Farola Viaduct is the most recent of the seven wonders of civil engineering in Cuba. The road crosses the entire Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa mountain range, with heights that sometimes reach 450 meters above sea level. Along the way, if you go from Guantánamo to Baracoa, you go from a desert-coastal landscape to one dominated by tropical jungle. 6In its entirety there are many springs that offer the traveller, apart from the spectacular, the refreshing of the environment.
In Baracoa you can stay in Casa Gustavo y Yalina. Located a couple of blocks from the sea and the Plaza Independencia, the casa is very central and close to everything! After a day exploring Baracoa, the oldest settlement in Cuba, the breezy roof terrace is a great place to relax enjoy the sunset!
Camagüey, the city of the ‘Tinajones’.
Founded in 1514, its historic centre was the last to be added to the UNESCO heritage list, in 2008. It is the largest and best-preserved on the island. Among the places of most tourist interest are the Plaza de San Juan de Dios and the Plaza del Carmen, the Convent of the Ursuline Mothers, the Five corners of the Angel; the Water Carrier of the Railroad, the Parish of Our Lady of Solitude and the Parish of Our Lady of Charity or the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Camagüey is the region with the largest number of keys and islets, among which are Cayo Romano, which was the scene in which Ernest Hemingway dedicated himself to looking for Nazi submarines during World War II and hunting and fishing trips. To the south, the Jardines de la Reina keys is an exotic natural setting with abundant coral reefs of wide biodiversity.
You can stay at Casa Los Vitrales, a private colonial house in the very centre of Camagüey. Built-in 1795, it was a convent until the nuns left in 1940. From here you can tour the churches and squares of the city, and then cool off in its spacious and cool interior patio with more than 90 species of plants.
Also in Camagüey, the Santa Lucía beach is one of the main tourist destinations for sea and sun in the country. Nestled in a practically virgin environment, its calm waters are ideal for nautical activities, such as diving, snorkelling, kite surfing and fishing. Even underwater photo-hunting is possible.
As this beach is on the north coast of the island, it shares with the other keys in the region the protection of the second largest coral reef in the world, after the Australian one. Hence, enjoying the marine fauna is a spectacle that is really worth experiencing. Other examples of wildlife that can be spotted d on the beach are flamingos, pelicans and iguanas.
Cuba in November in Summary
To sum up, benefit in Cuba in November from the pros of the tourist high season and the most pleasant weather, although still sunny.
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To get your Cuban Tourist Card, even if you are coming from the USA, you can do it through EasyTouristCard.com. Here you can order all the tourist cards you need at the same time. In this way, you will only pay one shipping charge.