Cuba Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

Best time to visit

Hot, sub-tropical climate all year. Most rain falls between May and October and the hurricane season officially runs from July to November, with most storms historically occurring in October and November. Humidity varies between 75% and 95%. Cooler months are January to April when the least rain falls.

Required clothing

Lightweight clothes most of the year; the high humidity makes it unwise to wear synthetics close to the skin. A light sweater is advisable even during the hottest months for installations with air conditioning (e.g. the Viazul bus which is always frigid) and a heavier sweater or jacket for December through March when cold fronts can drop the mercury to 10 degrees Celsius. Light waterproofs are advisable all year round.

Geography

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, about the size of England, and the most westerly of the Greater Antilles group, lying a mere 145km (90 miles) south of Florida.

A quarter of the country is fairly mountainous. West of Havana is the narrow Sierra de los Órganos, rising to 750m (2,461ft) and containing the Guaniguanico hills in the west. South of the Sierra is a narrow strip of 2,320 sq km (860 sq miles) where the finest Cuban tobacco is grown.

The Sierra de Escambray and Montañas de Guamuhaya behind Trinidad in the centre of the country rise to 1,140m (3,740ft) Encircling the port of Santiago are the rugged mountains of the Sierra Maestra. A quarter of the island is covered with mountain forests of pine and mahogany. Cuba has few rivers of note, the exception being the Río Cauto in the east. The country has 3,735km (2,321 miles) of coastline and thousands of offshore islands.

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