July is the key month in the cultural calendar of Santiago de Cuba, where the city is caliente (warm) in more ways than one and the streets are full of festivities.

The festivities begin with the vibrant Festival del Caribe and end with the famous Carnival, and rightly so.

The Festival Internacional de Trova, in March, offers another excellent musical event, when the city rediscovers its musical roots.

From March to June, the city is renowned for its clear waters, which provide excellent conditions for wreck diving off the south coast.

Book well in advance during these peak periods.

During the spring and fall off-season, prices are as much as 25% lower in some areas, but hotels may offer fewer services (some may even close completely).

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