New Year's in Cuba

New Year's Eve is a celebration just about everywhere in the world. In some countries it’s about spending time with family. In others it’s about being with friends or family at the right place, at the right time for the infamous countdown. In Cuba, the New Year, like everything else, has its own unique flare. 

January 1st is more than New Year’s Day in Cuba, it’s the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. On the first of January in 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionary army declared victory over the dictator Fulgencio Batista and began their march to Havana. For many Cubans on the island, it’s a day to celebrate being Cuban and Cuba’s sovereignty, as well has bring hope for the year ahead. 

One of travel’s greatest wonders is to experience something familiar, that you identify with, in a totally different country and culture. To see how they do it and to share an infectious smile with the people there. The national sentiment around the New Year in Cuba- well it’s one of things you have to be there to understand. However, no matter what your political persuasion, everyone agrees on one thing: Cubans welcome a reason to celebrate, to enjoy life and the splendor of their beautifully endowed Caribbean island. And they certainly make you welcome to enjoy it with them.

On New Year’s, many Habaneros will be mingling with family, friends and neighbors. Some will be roasting the traditional pig on creaky outdoor spits. Some will be throwing water off balconies- another tradition, so beware of people leaning out of their window. Some will simply place a chair on their front stoop or patio to watch others and offer a warm Cuban hello to passersby. One thing is for certain, music is an essential part of any celebration in Cuba and bringing in the New Year with some salsa and dancing, there’s nothing better. 


Personally, celebrating New Year’s in Iceland, the Bahamas, Ghana, India, and of course, Cuba are travel memories that will forever be with me. Maybe it’s the bonding with new and old friends, sharing a hug at midnight, or the buzz that swirls around as each community prepares to welcome the new year. Whatever it is, being someplace new over the New Year is always special, and Cuba fits the bill. 

If you’re still contemplating what to do this New Year’s insightCuba offers a variety of tour packages that can be timed to include Havana on New Year’s eve, including Weekend in HavanaClassic CubaUndiscovered CubaVaradero + HavanaLegendary Cuba  and Jazz in Havana. Now, on select tours over New Year’s, you can save up to $1,000 off per couple or $500 per person. With non-stop service to Havana from New York, Newark, Tampa, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Houston, and Orlando on Delta, jetBlue, American, Southwest, and United Airlines, getting there from the U.S. is easy. 

$1,000 off per couple ($500 single) on Undiscovered Cuba (12 days/11 nights) Dec 31 – Jan 11, 2019
$1,000 off per couple ($500 single) on Classic Cuba (8 days/7 nights) Dec 30 – Jan 6, 2019
$1,000 off per couple ($500 single) on Jazz in Havana (5 days/4 nights) Dec 29 – Jan 2, 2019
$600 off per couple on ($300 single) Varadero + Havana (4 days/3 nights) Dec 30 – Jan 2, 2019
$600 off per couple ($300 single) on Weekend in Havana (4 days/3 nights) Dec 30 – Jan 2, 2019

Maybe I’ll see you in the plaza on New Year’s Eve and together we can sing Auld Lang Syne in Spanish. Actually, I wonder how that one goes?