|Popular in||December||High demand for flights, 3% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||September||Best time to find cheap flights, 4% potential price drop|
|Average price||C$ 706||Average for round-trip flights in April 2020|
|Round-trip from||C$ 339||From Toronto to Havana|
YTO - HAV
C$ 501 - C$ 998
26 - 32 °C
12 - 85 mm
When to fly to Cuba
Most travellers book cheap flights to Cuba between December and April. July and August are also popular with vacationers as are Christmas and New Year, Easter and July 26 (the anniversary of the revolution). In general Havana and Santiago de Cuba have peak seasons that extend all year long.
August to October is when hurricanes are most likely. Intrepid travellers can save money by visiting at this time.
Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island, welcomes most of its tourists from Canada and Europe, the rest from South America. Drawn by its stunning beaches, rich heritage and culture, excellent diving and ecological wonders, more and more travellers seek cheap flights to Cuba with every passing year.
Havana is capital, an exotic city that has been the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico for hundreds of years. Its historic centre – 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 the world-famous mojitos.
The second city, Santiago de Cuba, is much more “Caribbean” than Havana, a place of stirring history, beautiful squares and rich musical tradition, known for its carnival in particular.
Cuba’s beaches are 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.
Flight time to Cuba from Canada is approximately 3h 33m for direct service with the shortest available duration. Flights with stopovers may increase travel time substantially, with most one-stop flights averaging a duration of 6h 50m to 9h 45m. Some flights with multiple stops or from smaller Canadian airports may require as much as 20h of travel or more, so be sure to check all available flight options as a shorter flight is usually not much more expensive with available Cuba travel deals.
Montreal and Toronto provide nonstop service to Cuba from Canada, with flights available to multiple destination cities. Flights from Vancouver offer one-stop options to four cities. Havana, Veradero, and Santa Clara are the most popular destination cities, with flights offered via Air Canada. Other indirect flights are provided from Calgary and Ottawa, with flights from all cities available from WestJet, Sunwing, Air Transat, and Air China.
Due to recently lifted travel restrictions, travel around Cuba can be complicated for visitors. Havana offers domestic service to 11 regional airports, but those airports only serve Havana return flights. Viazul offers bus transportation around the country. These are plentiful but can be busy during peak travel seasons, so you should purchase tickets in advance. Those travelling to the country should also avoid the Transgaviota bus line, as it is associated with the known military group GAESA. It is expensiveto rent a car in Cuba, but it is the best way to get around if you can drive a manual transmission. For those who want a vehicle, private transportation or taxis offer cheaper rates. Trains are older and routes are often inconvenient, but offer a scenic way to see the country.
Cuba is home to plenty of tobacco farms that are famous for their cigars. Cigar enthusiasts and those who appreciate them must have at least one, but don’t buy them from the street if you want good quality. Shop directly at the farms or local tobacco shops. You can also tour the farms during your visit. there are plenty of beaches and city tours in Havana and other cities, as well. Morro Castle is another popular attraction for tourists, and visitors must stop by the Hotel Nacional in Havana, which is known for being popular among movie stars and as the base of operations during the Cuban Missle Crisis.
Cuba has strict travel requirements. Canadian nationals need to have a passport that is valid for at least a month beyond their travel period. Additionally, those who have dual citizenship or who were born in Cuba should contact the Cuban government before travelling to ensure that they have necessary documentation and proof of citizenship so that they are not detained or denied entry. Visas are also required for tourist, family, and business travel. Tourist cards can be obtained from airlines and tour operators, or from the Cuban government offices in Canada.
Cuba is usually hot, but summer can be the wettest season. Visitors arriving between May and October will encounter a lot of rain and 80 percent humidity. Late October and early November can have hurricanes and other coastal storms. The drier season starts at the end of November and lasts until April. In winter months, from December to March, the weather is more comfortable, with sunny days, little rain and cooler evenings.
AeroCaribbean offer domestic Cuba flights, linking cities such as Havana with Holguin, Santiago and Cayo Coco.
Astro and Viazul offer bus services throughout the country. Viazul caters for tourists, linking the major attractions of the island.
Ferrocuba operates rail services, although the infrastructure is creaky. Havana to Santiago de Cuba is a popular link for tourists.
Cuba has an extensive road network and renting a car is an easy option.