If you’re in Cuba in July, sure, it’s great to walk the streets of Old Havana, or visit frozen-in-time Trinidad, or take a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Island’s many beaches… But the real place to be this month is around 800 kilometers east of Havana: Santiago de Cuba. The Festival Internacional del Caribe Fiesta del Fuego (July 3 -9), a weeklong colorful celebration of Caribbean cultures, will be dedicated this year to the small island of Bonaire, which will bring their dances, Simidan and Bari. Join the Santiagueros in the Serpent Parade and the Burning of the Demon, which kicks off and marks the end of the festival, respectively.
Then take a break because you’re going to need to recharge your batteries to continue partying. From July 21-27, another vibrant and contagious event takes place: the Santiago de Cuba Carnival, which attracts crowds of locals and visitors alike as no other carnival in Cuba. The entire city takes part in this celebration, as people of all ages dance down the steep streets of Santiago de Cuba to the rhythm and sounds of congas and the Chinese horn.
So, whether during the Fire Festival or the Carnival (or both), be sure to join the locals, don’t be a sideliner!
If you can’t make it to Santiago de Cuba, though, you still have the Varadero Baila International Salsa Dancers Festival (July 7-11) which takes place at the famous resort town of Varadero. Dance, sun and beach all in one.
Back in Havana, there is no slowing of activities either: workshops on Cuban folkloric dances (July 3-15), the Art at La Rampa Crafts Fair (throughout the month), the Aquelarre Comedy Festival (July 3-9), CIRCUBA, the third oldest circus festival in the world (throughout the month), plus the usual suspects: art exhibitions, musical theater, ballet, performances by popular bands, and so much more. Be sure to check out our listings for more detailed information.
Have a great July!
The LaHabana.com Team