Have to say, on my first trip to Cuba I told my kids that they will have no internet access and was looking forward to such a bliss. It is not entirely true these days.
Whilst Cuba doesn’t have free internet or Wi-Fi, but you can get Wi-fi access in Cuba – cuba travel agency, however it is not readily available like in other places. Access is limited, restricted – you may find some of your normal apps won’t work there, and you will have minimal bandwidth.
You will be able to open websites and access your email accounts. You can also search on the Web using any browser available online. Webcam chatting, posting to your social profiles, and consulting the weather are common uses too. On the other hand, video streaming, online gaming, even uploading middle-size files are very difficult things to do.
The only major communications app blocked in Cuba is, interestingly, Skype. Instead, you can use other popular messaging tools like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger while in Cuba.
Some visitors like to use a VPN so they can access blocked websites and keep their data private while in Cuba.
How to get Wi-Fi access
To get access you firstly you need to buy a Wi-Fi card (Natua Card).
These can be purchased at some hotels (not all) or at ETECSA outlets.
They cost 1CUC per hour (although some hotels will charge you double for the privilege of being able to buy the card at their premises). You can buy a 1 hour or 5 hour card depending on availability.
Hotels do not ask for ID, if you buy the WI-FI card at ETECSA make sure you have your passport on you or you will not be able to purchase the card.
Once you have the Wi-Fi card comes your next challenge, finding a Wi-Fi spot. Some hotels, restaurants and even casa’s offer such service. Alternately just look for the places where there is a large congregation of people staring at their phones, no matter that it rains, hails or shines… In all seriousness, look for larger parks. Your guide can point these out for you.
Your log in details will be on the Wi-Fi card. When you use a NAUTA card, your card is loaded up with a certain number of prepaid minutes for online usage. Once you’re done with your web session, remember to log-out from ETECSA or disconnect from the Wi-Fi signal.
For more travel tips, check out our Travel Inspiration page.