January is currently the cheapest month to fly to Cuba. At this moment in time July is the most expensive month. These prices are determined by multiple factors and booking in advance can help keep costs down if your schedule is not as flexible.
NYC - HAV
$286 - $570
71.6 - 80.6 °F
1.6 - 6.7 inches
Depending on what you’re looking to experience, you can book a cheap flight to Cuba anytime of the year (except for hurricane season) and surely be satisfied with what the culture has to offer. Baseball fans cater towards the post season months of April and May, while political followers gather around the socialist holidays, like Labor Day (May 1), and Day of the National Rebellion (July 26).
As soon as hurricane season ends, tourists pour into Cuba’s most popular destinations – specifically the beaches. Booking your flight to Cuba during the months between December and April is a good way to go, as the temperatures are never too hot, and humidity is fortunately at its lowest point of the year. December through January is the sweet spot and is the most popular time of year to visit, although the weather does get cooler at night. July and August are also extremely popular, meaning cheap flights to Cuba are difficult to find. It also means accommodations are more expensive. Places like Havana are popular most of the year, so it all depends where exactly in Cuba you want to go. Once you’ve sorted your flight tickets, you can find out if there are any festivals or events going on. Christmas, New Year and July 26th are very popular festivals so book your flights to Cuba early to save some money.
October and November are the least popular times to book flights to Cuba, and you will find the cheapest flights to Cuba then, but the possibility of a hurricane is greater during this time. As well as discounted flights to Cuba, you’ll find great deals on accommodations too. Just be sure you don’t mind harsher weather conditions than the rest of the year. Booking a flight to Cuba during hurricane season could put a damper on your vacation.
Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island, historically has welcomed most of its tourists from Canada and Europe, the rest from South America. For many Americans however, while Cuba lies just 90 miles from Key West, Florida, the island has been so close but yet still out of reach. That’s because in 1960, the U.S. imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine, and severed all diplomatic relations in 1961. The embargo was extended in 1962 to include all imports of products containing Cuban goods, even if the final products were made or assembled outside of Cuba. This has prevented most Americans from considering Cuba as a travel destination but in the future, planning a trip to Cuba will surely be as easy as booking a trip anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Current regulations still do not permit U.S. citizens to spend money or receive gifts in Cuba, essentially making travel by ordinary tourists illegal technically. However, former president Barack Obama’s announcement in September 2015 of the easing of travel, commerce and investment restrictions to Cuba has brought the idea of a trip to Cuba closer to reality than ever before for Americans. Though the embargo remains in place, these changes allow more Americans to travel to Cuba – from people having the ability to see their relatives more often to cruise ships being able to travel directly from the U.S. to Cuba without having to make a stop in another country first.
As we count down the days until we can jet off to Cuba for a quick getaway, what has drawn tourists from other countries to this island? Many cite its stunning beaches, rich heritage and culture, excellent diving and ecological wonders as reasons why they seek cheap flights to Cuba. Many more are doing so with every passing year.
The city of Havana is the capital, and is an exotic city that has been the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico for hundreds of years. Its historic center – Old Havana – was listed by UNESCO in 1982 for its Baroque and neoclassical buildings. Its museums, theatres, galleries and concert halls stand side by side with the bars and night clubs that serve world-famous mojitos. The second city, Santiago de Cuba, is much more “Caribbean” than Havana, and is a place of stirring history, beautiful squares and rich musical tradition, known for its carnival in particular.
Cuba’s beaches are also quite spectacular. Varadero beach is the pride of Cuba – wide and sandy and stretching out into Atlantic waters. On the Caribbean side are the Isle of Youth and Cayo Largo de Sur, both with soft-white beaches and wonderful dive sites. These are just some of the reasons why people from all over the world have been visiting Cuba for years, and why many more Americans will soon be traveling there too. If you are fortunate enough to visit, here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy the smoothest possible trip.
Here are a few tips for getting to where you need to go from a couple of major airports in Cuba.
There are no public buses from Jose Marti International Airport (HAV), and the nearest option is to take a taxi a few miles to a bus station to purchase your tickets, and then another taxi to a station to get the actual bus from. It’s easier and more convenient to get a taxi straight to downtown Havana. Depending on your hotel, you’ll most likely have a shuttle service in with your package. If so, after your flights to Cuba you’ll be greeted by an associate of the hotel at the airport.
The easiest way to travel to the town of Varadero is by getting a taxi straight from Juan Galberto Gomez Airport (VRA). You’ll have to ask your driver for the price before you get in, as some have different rates and some will try and overcharge you. The cheapest option is to get a bus. You can get a day’s pass for a small cost and you can use it as many times within the day. The buses run regularly from the airport to the town and most are open top double-deckers. The buses pass most major hotels as well as points of interest.
If you are looking to travel around the country, you can always take a domestic flight on one of Cuba’s national airlines, such as Cubana. This would be a quick way to get from one end of the island to the other. Other modes of transportation are easily maneuvered as well. Viazul, a national bus company utilized by most tourists, runs air conditioned buses, and allows you to pay in U.S. dollars once you board. They remain relatively spacious, and are safe bets for seeing the sights. You may also see privately owned taxi-trucks, known as Camiones Particulares, which are more popular modes of eastern Cuban travel. Because meters are not always present, establish communication with the driver before you enter to make sure both your fare and destination are concrete. Trains, while inexpensive and comfortable, are less popular, and the service has supposedly deteriorated in recent years, making car rentals and buses the safest and most reliable choices for transport.
By and large, renting a car is the best (and sometimes the cheapest) method of road travel in Cuba, as the country has an extensive road network. Pay special attention though, because driving rules are not always consistent, and traffic signs can be noticeably absent. The amount of hitch-hiking that occurs daily in Cuba may surprise you, but it’s actually quite regulated. Referred to as hacer botella, hitch hikers are guaranteed rides from government vehicles that have the space, and you may even see hitch-hiking organizers at major intersections and highway exits.
Most international travelers arrive in Havana, which is located at the west end of the island. As a result, Cuba has a thriving domestic air travel industry, mostly handled by Cubana de Aviacion. If you’re planning a trip to Santiago or other eastern sites, taking a domestic flight may be more enjoyable than the 16-hour bus ride.
Cuba’s central Caribbean location also makes it easy to visit other popular vacation destinations. Numerous airlines provide frequent flights and Cheapflights can help find some great deals. Here are some of the most popular routes from Cuba:
Cheap flights from Cuba to Cancun
Cheap flights from Cuba to Jamaica
Cheap flights from Cuba to Bahamas
A number of tour operators will have pre-arranged transfers to the airport arranged by the tour operator and included in the vacation package. Barring that, taxis are reliable and available (both car and bici-taxis). However, be sure to negotiate the price before you get in, or ask if the driver will use the meter. Public buses are also available, but they are very crowded and a challenge to even the most seasoned travelers.
Once you choose a destination and departure city, be sure to check out our Cuba airport guides for detailed travel information and helpful tips.