In recent years Cuba has increased in popularity and more and more travellers are going to the island in search of a unique holiday experience. The country has plenty on offer, including miles of pristine beaches, some of the best music in the world and wonderful diving opportunities.
In September the country sees its low season with plenty of the summer tourists have already headed home and the wet season has truly set in. While this may put off some people there’s still plenty of activities to enjoy from taking a cooking class with a Cuban local to relaxing on the beaches when the weather is good.
Reasons to visit Cuba in September
- Although its hurricane season the weather is still incredibly warm providing excellent beach opportunities.
- As peak season is in August, travellers to Cuba in September will enjoy deserted beaches and quiet streets as most of the tourists have gone home.
- Another positive to the lull in tourism that makes things generally cheaper across the country from accommodation to activities. Visitors can take advantage of these cheap prices and enjoy their holiday more.
Weather in Cuba in September
In September the temperature in Cuba is consistently hot hovering between a minimum of 23°C and a maximum of 31°C, following with the previous months of July and August following suit. This means that visitors get to experience reliably warm weather during their holiday with temperatures peaking a mid-day, becoming almost uncomfortably warm.
The temperature drops dramatically after sunset with the lowest temperatures being around the low twenties. These cooler temperatures provide the perfect environment to sit by the beach, sipping on rum and listening to the waves crash against the sand. Sometimes there will be a cool wind that provides some relief during sweltering days.
Although the weather is Cuba during September is less than perfect, the Gulf of Mexico remains warm, calm and swimmable. The water is toasty warm at an average of 29.3°C throughout the month of September.
Clouds & rainfall
Cuba can see some deterioration of its weather form August into September with a number of overcast and cloudy days. September is Cuba is known as the rainy season so visitors can expect some precipitation on their holiday which an average of 70mm of precipitation in the month. The country averages about 13 rainy days throughout the month which sounds like a lot, but the rain tends to be short-lived for just a couple of hours in an afternoon.
It’s not all doom and gloom. During September Cuba experiences almost 9 hours of sunshine each day which leaves plenty of time for relaxing on the beach or exploring the varied countryside. The sun tends to rise at 7:30 am and sets at 7:30 pm allowing plenty of time to check out the country.
Where to go in Cuba in September
Havana is the capital city of the country and offers a ton of opportunities to explore the culture of Cuba and take part in a variety of activities. The area itself is ideal to explore with plenty of hidden bars to go to for an evening rum or building with gorgeous architecture to discover.
Old Havana is the city centre of Havana which contains the core of the original city. This is where tourists will find the colourful houses and see classic cars driving around. The area is a UNESCO Listed Heritage Site thanks to its unique history and wonderful cultural significance.
María La Gorda & Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes
In the far west of Cuba, travellers will find María La Gorda and Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes, a dry forested region that rarely sees any rainfall. María La Gorda especially is the perfect off the beaten track getaway for tourists who hate tourists. The entire area consists of a diving centre, hotel, small shop, sandy beach and just two restaurants. The small area doesn’t have tons to do but it does provide incredible diving and snorkelling options, offering up crystal-clear waters and an unspoiled beach.
Interestingly, Baracoa is one part of Cuba that sees relatively little rainfall in September even though it’s on the wet and windy side of the Cuchillos del Toa mountains which makes it the perfect place to visit. The town is Cuba’s oldest, founded two decades after Christopher Columbus visited in 1492, and is incredibly isolated compared to the rest of the country.
Here travellers can hike mountains and lounge on powdery soft sand beaches as well as explore its Indian remains. They can even visit one of the old Taino chiefs in the archaeological museum where the remains of Chief Guama are reportedly held. The town is also the leading producer of chocolate in the country so travellers can tour the local factories to see how raw cocoa is transformed into chocolate.
Things to do in Cuba in September
The key to enjoying Cuba in September is to enjoy the outdoors while it’s dry and sunny, and then when the weather deteriorates, make sure you have a backup of things to do that are out of the rain.
Although the weather may not be at its best during September, Cuba still experiences topically warm days and calm seas, perfect for swimming in. The beach will always be on the top of traveller’s lists when visiting the Caribbean island and thanks to the low season they will be mostly deserted allowing visitors to have the beach all to themselves. Some of the most beautiful beaches are on Cayo Coco, a tropical island off central Cuba which has white sand beaches and gorgeous coral reefs to explore.
If there’s one thing Cuba is known for above all else, it’s the country’s eclectic music and dancing. While walking around the streets of Havana you’ll see musicians in doorways playing the guitar and upbeat music flowing out of bars onto the street. There are many salsa classes in Cuba to choose from although most of them are found in Havana and have experienced teachers to help take prospective dancers from beginners to advanced.
If the weather turns travellers can attend a cooking class instead and learn how to create some of Cuba’s most decadent dishes. The experience will teach visitors how to cook wonderful dishes using locally sourced ingredients while engaging with the Cuban locals. Cuban cuisine has lots of different influences and taking a cooking class will help visitors to understand them and appreciate unique aspects of Cuban culture.
Learn to roll a cigar
Cuba is well known for its cigars which is down to the excellent quality of the tobacco from the countryside. The tobacco is transported to the cigar factories in Havana and visitors can roll some for themselves as part of a tour. The complicated technique will see travellers try to pack a large amount of fresh tobacco into a traditional rolling paper which can then be smoked or given to someone as a gift.
Visit tobacco fields
Another favourite is to visit the tobacco fields in rural Cuba which will see visitors experience the true local Cuba. Vinales in the west of the country is where a majority of the tobacco is grown and also offers some incredible hiking and caving opportunities. Explore where people have been growing tobacco for over 200 years where travellers can ride horseback through the luscious fields of fresh produce.
Crowds & costs
In September the crowds tend to experience a lull after the high season which sees many of the places in Cuba tourist-free. At the beginning of the month the beach resorts can still be busy with people squeezing in the last of their holidays, but past mid-September the visitor numbers plummet. There are fewer tourists in Cuba between September and October than any other time of the year.
Due to this, rooms are easy to find and the prices for them drop dramatically. Visitors who come to experience the serenity of the country’s beaches will be treated to almost deserted stretches of sands and will find they have the beach to themselves. This makes September the perfect time for budget travellers who don’t mind experience a little bit of bad weather in favour of a less busy destination and cheaper options.
September festivals & events
Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad
Throughout the Catholic world, September the 8th marks the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In Cuba religious devotees from around the country partake in a pilgrimage to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Cobre, near Santiago, to honour Cuba’s venerated patron saint and her alter ego, the Santería orisha, Ochún. It’s celebrated as a feast day of Our Lady of Charity and every year thousands of Cubans accompany the statue in the traditional procession that takes place in the neighbourhood of Centro Habana.
Anniversary of CDRs
On September 28th, every neighbourhood in Cuba celebrates the formation of the CDR (Comité de la Defensa de la Revolution) in 1960 which is the largest social organisation in the country. The event includes political speeches with neighbourhood street parties that include games for children and, by tradition, a caldosa stew simmered in a big pot. The festival acts as a great opportunity for visitors to Cuba to meet and interact with everyday Cubans, especially if they are staying in a local guesthouse.
Frequently asked questions about Cuba in September
Is Cuba a dangerous place to travel to?
Cuba is no more dangerous than most other countries and the only real crime travellers will experience is minor crimes such as pickpocketing, theft and currency scams. These can be easily avoided by reading up on particular scams and attractions to ensure you know what to expect. There are also some minor health hazards to be aware of such as contaminated tap water and mosquito-borne diseases, but these tend not to be too much of an issue.
When is the hurricane season?
In Cuba the hurricane season officially runs from 1 June to 30 November, meaning that during September the country is in the middle of its hurricane season. Although the risk of hurricanes is slightly higher in June and July than the rest of the year, the chances of a tropical storm impacting your holiday are slim.
What is the weather like?
In September the weather is still incredibly warm reaching highs of 31°C during the heat of the day and rarely ever dropping below 20°C, even at night-time. During this month the country will be incredibly humid and there’s a high chance of rain, however, there never tends to be too much bad weather to actually put anyone off.
What’s the embargo against Cuba?
The embargo only affects people travelling from the US to Cuba, and some other minor details. It means that people can’t travel directly from the US to Cuba and instead have to travel to the island via another country. Some people have thought that this has kept Cuba hidden and a secret gem, however, when the embargo is lifted the island will be inundated with more tourists than ever. The embargo also means that Cuba can’t receive products from the US which means that Coca Cola is incredibly hard to find.
Overall, Cuba is an incredible place to travel to and the weather shouldn’t put any visitors off. Although you should be careful when travelling and try to time it correctly, there’s still plenty of things that can be done either in the heat of the day or inside.