Many people dream of a Caribbean beach holiday, and the island of Cuba in the West Indies archipelago is an unexpected location that offers just that. As well as classic white sand beaches and palm tree lined promenades, Cuba is also full of fascinating history and culture in every one of its towns and cities, and is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.
March is well regarded as the best time of the year to visit Cuba, as it is the country’s driest month and also the least humid. Music and the arts take centre stage in the variety of events that also happen in Cuba in March, showing tourists just a fraction of the vibrant and unique culture that belongs to the Caribbean island.
Reasons to visit Cuba in March
- March is the driest month of the year in Cuba, so you are likely to have perfect weather for the entirety of your stay
- There are numerous brilliant cultural events and festivals that happen across Cuba in March
- Many hotels offer off-season rates in the last week of the month
Weather in Cuba in March
The weather in Cuba in March is perhaps the best that the country experiences all year, with the lowest amount of rainfall across the month and sunshine almost every day. Humidity is nowhere near as high as during the wet season that starts at the end of April, and you are unlikely to experience any storms or cold snaps as temperatures climb towards the end of the month.
Temperatures are pleasantly high in Cuba in March, with highs of 28ºC – 29ºC and lows in the evening of around 19ºC. You will likely only need to wear light, summer clothing during your holiday, but there is still a slight chance of a sudden cold spell so ensure you have a jacket or coat with you as well.
March is also the least humid month of the year in Cuba, and there will be a refreshing, cool breeze coming from the North most days.
March is one of the best times to have a beach holiday in Cuba and make the most of the Caribbean climate, especially as the sea is so warm. With an average water temperature of about 26ºC, the majority of people will enjoy swimming and watersports in the ocean, especially when the air temperature is high as well.
Clouds and Rainfall
There is the least amount of rainfall in Cuba in March, which takes place during the country’s dry season. Days will tend to be less overcast at the start of the month, but there is still a high chance of clear skies and sunshine whatever time you are visiting in March.
The days are getting longer throughout March in Cuba, and there is an average of eight hours of sunshine every day, which is perfect for relaxing on the beach or sipping cocktails on a terrace. The sun tends to rise just before 7am in the morning, and then around 7.30am after the clocks have gone forward in the middle of the month, and set at 6.30pm and 7.30pm respectively in the evening.
The clear, sunny days in Cuba mean that UV levels are high, and it is important to regularly apply sunscreen and keep in the shade to stay safe during the hottest parts of the day.
Where to go in Cuba in March
On the northern coast of Cuba lies the small, picturesque beach resort of Guardalavaca. If you want a true slice of Caribbean paradise on your holiday in March then this is an excellent place to plan a beach holiday, as the resort’s small size ensures a much more tranquil experience.
Guardalavaca has impressive coral reefs and marine life if you want to snorkel, but those wanting a break from the beach will easily be kept busy with the range of other sightseeing spots in the countryside around the town. It’s the perfect place for those wanting a resort holiday that still has an authentic Cuban feel.
Another great place to get away from the crowds and enjoy Cuba’s magnificent weather in peace is to visit the community and nature reserve that can be found in the Sierra del Rosario mountains known as Las Terrazas. This small eco-village began as a simple reforestation project, and is now home to a hotel, arts venues and an outdoor activity centre.
Las Terrazas is a brilliant place to stay the night or to visit as a day trip if you have an interest in Cuba’s countryside and wildlife, as its location is perfect for hiking and bird-watching in particular. The main attraction for many though is the chance to take a zipline canopy tour over the village and surrounding forest, for a uniquely fast and adrenaline-filled experience.
Viñales is one of Cuba’s most popular locations, and by March the crowds should have dwindled enough to be able to enjoy this spectacular part of the country without it being overrun with tourists. Despite the amount of foot traffic the area gets, the Viñales Valley maintains an authentic atmosphere and its impressive countryside has not been disrupted by industrialisation.
Visiting Viñales in March will allow you to explore its beautiful scenery during the spring weather, and admire the incredible flat-topped rocks formations known as mogotes that are scattered throughout the valley. Tobacco plantations are plentiful across the area, and you can also explore the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas set of caves that feature a famous mural that took almost four years to complete.
Things to do in Cuba in March
March is a brilliant time to try out some fun outdoor activities in Cuba, and one of these is kayaking. The Zapata Peninsula is a wetland area that has a variety of different lakes and bays perfect for kayaking, and you can try and spot tropical fish below the surface of the water as you drift along.
Stay in a Casa Particulares
To really enjoy authentic Cuban hospitality there is no better place to stay than in one of the country’s casas particulares; a private B&B-style form of accommodation where you rent out a room in a local’s house. This is one of the cheapest and most interesting ways to properly experience life in Cuba, and hosts are often very friendly and full of tips and advice about what to see and do during your stay.
Party in Santiago de Cuba
The country’s second-largest city and the most diverse and energetic location is Santiago de Cuba, a place full of passion and noise. If you want to really immerse yourself in the pulsating beat of Cuba’s nightlife then there is no better place to enjoy music and dancing than Santiago.
There are brilliant National Parks all around Cuba, and the island’s beautiful natural scenery is home to a huge variety of wildlife that can be spotted during March when the weather is dry. For birdwatching in particular try the Parque Nacional de Guanahacabibes, and consider hiring a local guide for the best chances of spotting something rare.
Crowds & costs
March is the last month of the tourist season in Cuba and can be expected to still be quite busy. The country’s largest cities will tend to be crowded, and you will need to book accommodation well in advance if you are planning on staying somewhere like Havana.
In March it will be possible to find cheap rates across Cuba in casas particulares, which tend to have good deals for tourists if you do a little digging. Crowds also tend to die down towards the end of the month, and prices for flights and hotels will have dropped as April approaches.
March festivals & events
Havana World Music Festival
This popular music festival takes place in Cuba’s capital city, and celebrates a wide range of music genres that have their roots in the country’s culture and history. The festival aims to make both traditional and modern music more accessible for the public and to encourage collaboration between different musicians from all over the world.
Festival Internacional del Cine Pobre
The Cine Pobre Film Festival is an event dedicated to the ‘cine pobre’ genre of film, which stresses the importance of making low-budget films that have no stylistic guidelines. This festival showcases the very best of art films from the cine pobre genre, and takes place in the town of Gibara.
International Pepe Sánchez Trova Festival
This music festival began as a commemorative event for the composer José (Pepe) Sánchez, who is said to be the father of the Cuban ‘trova’ genre of music. Since 1962, the festival has brought together musicians from across the trova genre in Santiago de Cuba, Sánchez’s hometown and one of the country’s most musical cities.
Fiesta del Tambor
Early March sees the Fiesta del Tambor (Rhythm and Dance Festival) take place in Havana, featuring musical performances, workshops and competitions in dance and percussion. Cuba is famous for the driving beat that features in much of its music, and this festival is a fantastic way to watch and learn from the country’s rhythm and dance experts.
Frequently asked questions about Cuba in March
Is Cuba humid in March?
Whilst Cuba is more humid than countries like the UK, March is actually the month with the lowest humidity in Cuba and will not feel particularly hot and sticky.
Where should you stay in Cuba?
Havana is the most popular place to stay in Cuba, closely followed by Trinidad and Viñales. These places do tend to be a bit more expensive than rural parts of the country, but also have a much wider range of accommodation.
What clothes should I take to Cuba in March?
March in Cuba is warm, sunny and a little humid, so clothes made out of light fabrics are the best things to wear during your stay. Bringing multiple layers of clothing will be useful if it suddenly gets cloudy and cold, and a light jacket for the evenings is essential.
The amount of tourists and travellers who visit Cuba in March is a testament to why it is the best month to experience the island, with the perfect weather providing ideal conditions to enjoy both the beaches and the countryside. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, have an interest in colonial history or just want to top up your tan before the summer, visiting Cuba in March is a choice you won’t regret making.