July is a wonderful month to visit Cuba although, in truth, it can be very hot and it is the rainy season. On the other hand, it can be a much cheaper time to visit the country, given that you would be visiting outside of the peak tourist season, which runs from October through to April. Apart from the cost, a great thing about visiting in July is that there are some very good festivals on during this time. Some of the best are listed below for you to consider!
One of my favourite festivals in the summer months and one of the oldest festivals in Cuba, dating back over two hundred years. A combination of dance and music this street festival sees the city of Santiago de Cuba come alive for 5 days. The main carnival is a wonderful experience as a tourist, because it brings out all of the colour and passion of the local people. A great way to experience the local culture and a wonderful photo opportunity. This is arguably the best carnival in the whole country and it is embraced by whole families and communities.
This festival continues to grow in size and popularity and takes place in what is Cuba’s second biggest city.
A lesser known but still very worthwhile festival worth attending each July is the comedy festival, known locally as the Festival Nacional del Humor. Cuba’s answer to the Edinburgh festival, expect also to see a wide variety of artistic performances, with humour in some way related to the events.
The shows sell out fast and do be warned that a high percentage of the shows are in Spanish. If you do speak Spanish and want to better understand Cuban culture, this is a great event to attend.
The Festival of Fire is one of the best local festivals and also takes place in Santiago de Cuba. This annual festival is another opportunity to see the vibrant and colourful side of Cuba and its people. This festival attracts a range of cultural events, which include the main festival, literacy works, scientific works and music and with participants from not only Cuba, but from across the Caribbean.
This annual dance show, which takes place every July, is one of the best ballet dance shows in the world, taking place in a country where ballet is highly respected and loved as a dance form. This event is normally in association with the Cuban School of Ballet. The event is aimed largely at promoting ballet to the younger generations, with one month of ballet which brings together students, teachers, dance choreographers and professional ballet dancers, to promote this art form.
This tends to be a truly international event, attracting participants from a number of countries and with other dance forms also included, such as with tango and other traditional Cuban dance also included. This international workshop of the Cuban School of Ballet main aim is to develop and maintain artistic creativity in Cuba and for the field of ballet.