How to Get Online in Cuba (Spoiler: It's Not Easy)
ViaHero · March 22, 2018
So you want to brag about your amazing trip to Cuba to all of your friends? Phone service is tricky and WiFi can be hard to find, but if you keep reading, you'll find out how to get online as easily as possible. Afterward, feel free to message us with any questions directly!
Before your trip, make sure to check out:
- Connect With a Local to Plan Your Trip
- Cuba FAQ
- You Can Still Travel to Cuba: Update 2018
- Cuban Tourist Cards and Visas
- Cuba Info for Americans
- Contact Us
The internet is currently very limited in Cuba. Don’t expect to rely on it for anything essential. Consider it a perk if you are able to get online and you'll be much happier.
However, in the event you need it, there are a few options to get on the internet in Cuba:
Option 1: The first step is to visit an ETECSA office or a hotel to acquire a wifi card that you'll refill with money as needed. The rate for internet access is $2/hr. Once you have your card and put some money on it, find one of the open wifi hotspots in Havana.
Option 2: Go to a major hotel and wait in line (often an hour or more) to use a desktop computer with internet. It will be very slow. Don’t expect to visit more than four or five sites in 30 minutes, which will cost about $5.
Option 3: Find an internet cafe. Rates can range from $6-10 per hour.
Cuban travel expert Lisa is a great person to ask for advice about phone or internet service!
There are two main phone carriers in Cuba, ETECSA (the national state-owned carrier) and Cubacel. You may rent a Cubacel SIM card from many of the major airports in Cuba. You will need to show your passport and you will need to pay 3CUC per day for this service. In order for your phone to be able to use the Cubacel SIM card, it will need to be unlocked and to operate on the 900 MHz frequency. Once you have the SIM card, you will need to purchase pay-as-you-go Cuban phone cards, which generally retail at 10CUC or 20CUC per card.
Unfortunately, data plans are not available in Cuba at this time.
Note For Americans: Currently, American Verizon and Sprint phones work, but it is considered roaming so will be very expensive. It will display on your phone as Cubacel service.