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Having recently opened up to the world, Cuba has had tourists flocking in their hoards, keen to experience this mysterious communist country for themselves.
Combining the world’s best weather with crumbling Spanish colonial architecture, pastel houses, vintage 1950s cars, and – of course – the quintessential Havana cigar, Cuba is a true cultural quirk in the Caribbean.
Due to the sheer distance from the UK, cheap flights to Cuba are not always easy to come by. This is not helped by the fact that the temperate climate means the weather is respectably warm all year round.
Nevertheless, hurricane season, which peaks in September and October, is a time that many visitors wish to avoid. If you’re looking for cheap flights (and are willing to hunker down in case of a storm!) this can be a great time to book. Better yet, October also celebrates the anniversary of Che Guevara’s death, so even if the weather isn’t at its best, at least you won’t miss on the local festivities.
Due to the distance and recent surge in popularity of tourism, the best way to find cheap flights to Cuba from the UK is to book as far in advance as possible.
It also helps to be flexible on dates. By clicking on ‘Show Flexible Dates’ at the top of your Expedia search results page you’ll find a broader range of flights to choose from.
Be sure to search for flights to different locations around Cuba. The country has a number of international airports, including those in Havana, Varadero, Holguin and Cayo Coco. Mix up your search to see what different deals you can find.
Flight times to Cuba from the UK vary greatly, with some flights travelling direct, but most stopping over in other destinations, such as the USA. Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, optimal flight times from London to various Cuban destinations include:
The largest airport in Cuba is located close to the capital, Havana. Jose Marti International Airport serves millions of passengers every year.
The main international airports outside Havana include Juan Gualberto Gomez Airportin Varadero, Frank Pais Airport in Holguin and Jardines del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco.
Although a very small number of airlines currently fly direct to Cuba from the UK, since the country has opened up, the number of carriers is set to increase.
While much of Cuba’s charm is that it has yet to be heavily developed, this does pose somewhat of a challenge when getting around. Although the country has both bus and train services, for anything beyond local travel, these are, at best, lackadaisical and, at worst, delayed and congested.
Taxis are more popular, although even these can be hard to distinguish from privately owned local cars – often they serve as both. There are metered and fixed fares available, but you may decide the best option for getting about in Cuba is to hire a car.
Cuba, both balmy and beautiful, is so far relatively unspoiled by tourism. History buffs will want to put the capital Havana high on the agenda. Here you’ll discover relics of the country’s colonial past, with tour guides taking you through the city’s cobbled streets and white washed houses. They’ll also be certain to make sure you don’t miss out on the best bars, live music venues and historic sights.
Nearby, the white sand, palm-fringed Varadero beach is fast becoming a popular hotspot for sun lovers. Grab some sunscreen and kick back with a mojito and a fine Cuban cigar. Bliss!
One of the things Cuba is known for is its fine weather. However, if you’re booking cheap flights during hurricane season (June to October) be certain to familiarise yourself with the local procedures, in case of emergency.
You’ll also require full medical and travel insurance if visiting. This will be checked at the airport, so make sure to arrange it before you come.