Ah, the nightlife in Cuba ... it's legendary. There's just magic in the night. Something about the trade winds, the people, the sights, the smells, the sounds, ... it all makes for a truly unique place and experience. The Cubans, irregardless of their economic conditions, have never lost their passion for partying. I promise you, if you haven't danced the Salsa under a Habana moon, you haven't lived ...
For us, Cuba-Junky, we prefer Trinidad and Vinales to enjoy the less crowded open air nightlife with life music and alot of salsa. For those who prefer the crowded salsa clubs go to the Casa la Musica, Club Torquino and other dancng places in Havana. Jazz lovers will find the best in Havana at clubs like La Zorra y el Cuervo.
Salsa, Reggaeton, Conga, and Son Montuno.
Music, dancing, beer and rum, they are to be found in every Cuban city, town or village.
The Cubans are the best salsa teachers, you will really enjoy Cuba's nightlife.
Remember, the real Cuban does not have enough money to party outside their own home. Cubans you meet in touristy places like the Casa de la Musica or whatever are Cubans who have access to the Cuban Convertible Pesos because of working in tourism or illegal jobs, the nightlife in Cuba is expensive for a normal local, so be aware who might become your friend ...
The real Cuban parties are held in each others homes and apartments, and not outside.
Cubans like to party in this way with friends and family. At especially big parties they will roast a pig and wash it down with Cuban rum. The rum is oftentimes of the 'homemade' variety, so watch out, as it's got a 'kick'!
Gay and Lesbian
Cuba is a macho society like most Latino countries, there is tolerance of gay people, and gay travelers will not generally encounter any problems. However, the Cuban Association for Gays and Lesbians, formed in 1994, operated until 1997 when it was finally suppressed by the government. There are no laws against homosexuality and assaults are rare.
There are no gay state bars and clubs in Havana.
Entertainment and nightlife centres around private parties. The location of where the action takes place is not so discreetly communicated in front of the Yara cinema on La Rampa. Most taxi drivers in front of this cinema know where to bring you.
Entertainment can include anything. Charges are usually in pesos although as a foreigner you may be expected to pay in convertible pesos, usually around 1 CUC.
From the world of film, see Antes que Anochezca and Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry and Choclate).
You can recognize gay friendly casas particulares at the Cuba Junky website at the rainbow icon
New Years Eve & Christmas
When you celebrate these days in a resort, the hotel probably has arranged a party for all the guests. It is usual you have to pay something extra for it, even if you have booked an All Inclusive service. Remind that it is NOT the Cuban way of celebrating Holidays.
A Cuba celebrate these days at home. Christmas at the night of December 24 with Buena Noche, New Year Eve with family drinking, eating pork and dancing till early in the morning
At New Years Eve in Havana there are some touristic spots to go to organised parties, mostly expensive and again VERY touristic. If you want to celebrate this evening with Cubans, be sure that you will stay in a nice Casa Particular with a nice happy family and you will have a fantastic party
Tradition in Cuba with New Years Eve is to roast a pig, and at 12:00 throw a bucket of water out of the window, to get rid of the bad ghosts :)
Free concerts are sometimes offered in the local city or town's 'Plaza de la Revolution', which are usually centrally located.
Most cities have a 'Casa de la Trova' or 'Casa de la Musica' where live concerts may be enjoyed.
Or like at the video the famous Los Van Van at the Malecon in Havana
For real fun: Conga
Conga is a dance coming from Afro-Cuban influences. In all congo dances the movements are clearly directed toward the earth and the movements are strong, forceful and loose.
Worried on how to dance a conga? ... check out the video at the left what fun you can have with a bunch of Cubans dancing the conga