Must-see Cuban festivals from July to December

The people of Cuba love to party, the streets come alive with vibrant sights and Latino rhythms which get everyone’s hips shaking. The island´s calendar is full of exciting events year round with each town and city holding their own carnivals, festivals, or ancient traditions. If you plan on renting a villa in Cuba during the last six months of the year, here are a few events you won’t want to miss out on.


Havana City Tour


From the end of July into the first week of August is the Carnival de Santiago de Cuba. This is probably the island´s most popular and lively event. Expect a full explosion of colour, lots of Latin beats, and dancing as locals dress up and take to the streets. It’s hot, it’s effervescent, and it’s exactly how you expect parties on the island of Cuba to be!

In September the Benny More International Festival celebrates the life and music of this iconic Big Band leader from the 1950s era. Head to Cienfuegos where singers and musicians from all over the island congregate to pay tribute to this fantastic Cuban musician. Be prepared to listen to and dance to bolero and mambo on a large scale.

If you prefer your events to be more elegant and low key, then the International Ballet Festival of Havana will definitely be right up your alley. Top ballerinas from around the globe arrive in Havana to perform with the dancers from the National Ballet of Cuba. This takes place in October so if this is the event for you, book your Cuba vacation rental well in advance.




December is a busy month for festivals with lots of regional events happening throughout the island. There are Mardi Gras-style parties with processions and floats, copious amounts of rum, and many elaborate costumes. Plus, during the first week of December you can enjoy the Annual International Festival of Latin American Film in Havana. This event showcases all of the rising stars of Latin American cinema and their upcoming movies. The cherry on the sundae in December is the International Jazz Festival held at Teatro Mella with many Cuban Jazz legends taking centre stage at the event.

Whichever festival you wish to see while you are in Cuba, make sure to plan ahead as flights and Cuba accommodations book up early when these festivals are on, and you don’t want to miss out!

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