Captivating Cuba offer July 26th Festival Celebrations in Havana and Santiago de Cuba

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July 26th is an amazing time to visit Cuba. Día de la Rebeldía Nacional is a festival like no other, offering people dancing in the streets, mojitos, Cuban music and a speech from the legendarily Fidel Castro. This year, Captivating Cuba are offering special Cuban holiday packages taking in all the festivities. For details of their available carnival deals, see:

García Lorca once stated: 'If I get lost, you'll find me in Cuba'. With this year's amazing 26th of July Celebration just around the corner again, it is easy to understand why. Slated as the crème de la Carnivals, this Cuba festival or, as the locals in the land of Castro call it, the Día de la Rebeldía Nacional, is the epitome of people dancing the streets to Cuban music, drinking mojitos and daiquiris, the rhythms of congas and other exotic Caribbean musical instruments pouring out of small and cosy bars and, of course hot, steamy Cuban nights. It's festival time again in Havana and in Santiago de Cuba, and this year it will once again deliver the promise of its past glory. It's the perfect time to take a Cuban holiday.

This year, Captivating Cuba ( are organising a series of tailor made festival packages for those who have never experienced the king of carnivals and for those who have ... and want more. A 13 night Cuba Holiday package combining both carnival cities of Havana and Santiago is as little as £985 per person. This includes return flights from London to Cuba, hotel accommodation, internal flights and transfers. (See for package details.)

"This is a package that we have been working on for the last few months," says Gaynor Hepenstall, Operations Manager for Captivating Cuba. "What most people do not realise is that this is really a double carnival. This is because Havana and Santiago de Cuba (the two largest cities on the Island) both have huge 26 July celebrations. It's going to be an experience that will be as lively, as vibrant and as colourful as Cuba itself and those who experience it, will never forget!"

The 26th July Carnival commemorates the assault by Fidel Castro on the Moncada barracks (Santiago de Cuba), which took place on July 26, 1953. The Carnival coincides with the Santiago de Cuba Carnival. Fidel and the Cuban patriots chose to attack during this carnival because they believed the soldiers, who traditionally indulge in the freely flowing rum, would be suffering from hangovers. Unfortunately for him, this rather clever strategy backfired and failed but, as we know, he did prove more successful and began his revolution that is still alive today.

For Cuban holiday makers that like to get totally involved in festivals, the 26th of July Carnival is perfect as the festivities involve the entire population of Cuba for three amazing days. For weeks beforehand every town in Cuba is covered with banners, posters, placards and official graffiti (admirers of Communist kitsch can gorge themselves silly). When it finally begins, in addition to the non-stop carousel of political speeches from government figures and patriotic parades there are, of course, endless concerts and street parties. Between July 20 and 27 the main street, the Avenida Victoriano Garzón, fills with Cuban music, masks, carriages, troupes of congas and costumes to create a kaleidoscope of hypnotic colours and rhythms. The most famous breweries in Santiago compete with their carrozas (carriages) in an enormous celebration in the morning for children and a more exotic version at night for adults.

For a real treat on your Cuba holidays, July 26 is probably the best and one of the last few occasions to experience Castro himself giving one of his famous speeches. Castro holds the world record for long speeches (see the Guinness Book of Records) and, since the bars only re-open once he has finished, the end of his speech is inevitably greeted with a rapturous ovation and a rush to top up the rum and continue the Cuban music.

No wonder the 26th July Carnival is the most popular traditional festival in Cuba, and the pinnacle of street entertainment in Havana and Santiago de Cuba.

About Captivating Cuba:
Captivating Cuba is a Cuba holidays specialist offering holidays to Cuba destinations such as Havana, Varadero and other less well-known resorts in Cuba. Captivating Cuba has great local knowledge and expertise in Cuba hotels and holidays so they can tailor a Cuba holiday to suit your needs. For further information contact Captivating Cuba on 0870 887 0123 or on


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Gaynor Hepenstall
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