How to get Online in Cuba.

There´s NO free WiFi in Cuba! And Snapchat is blocked.

Cuba does have internet access but it’s heavily restricted where you can get online since you will have to buy a WIFI card from an ETECSA telecommunications center and log in an ETECSA HotSpot or visit a good hotel ( a lot more expensive than the wifi card). Those are the ONLY two ways to get online in Cuba. OR you can roam with the sim card from your own country. But that’s not recommended since the price for 1 MB is 5 euro.

Cuba is probably the second hardest country to get online I have ever visited with North Korea being the hardest But technically it’s not difficult to get online in Cuba, it’s just expensive.

HOW TO GET ONLINE IN CUBA.

To be able to get WiFi in Cuba, will you have to buy a WIFI card from a ETECSA Telecommunications Centre or visit a hotel which has WiFi accessibility. The second option is a lot more expensive since the Wifi at Hotel National in Havana costs a outrages 7 CUC for one Hour, plus you will have to buy at least one drink at the bar.

There are two types of cards available: a 1 hour and a 5 hours card. The price for 1 hour is 2 CUC and 5 hours is 10 CUC. So there’s no discount for buying a 5hours compared to 5 x 1 hour cards.  You are only allowed to buy 3 x 1 Hour cards at the same time from the ETECSA Center. There is also supposed to be a 30min card´s available for 1 CUC but I got told by the staff at ETECSA Centers, that they were not available at the moment.

One of the Wifi hotspots in Havana. It´s easy to spot the crowds where´s theres connection.
One of the Wifi hotspots in Havana. It’s easy to spot the crowds where there’s connection.

The two main ETECSA Centers in Havana are at the famous Obispo street, but there is ALWAYS a huge queue here, often up to 1 hour.  The second ETECSA center that is easy to reach for tourists is at the famous Antiguos Almacenes San José tourist market, and is often empty.

There are local “hustlers” selling Wifi cards at the most popular public wifi spots, for 3 CUC for 1 hour.
These are NOT a scam, both me and all the locals I know in Havana, were buying the wifi cards from these hustlers, to save time and not stand in the long queues. Just make sure the backside of the WIFI card is not scratched already.

You will have to bring your passport with you to be able to buy WIFI card at ETECSA centers.

While the hotels never asked me for it.

The two types of WIFI card avalibale.
The two types of WIFI card available.
Online in Cuba
The backside of the WIFI card, before scratched the code
Online in Cuba
The wifi card after you scratched the code.

You will have to find a designated wifi spot to log in, most public parks in the big cities have the connection, just look for big crowds looking at their phones.
Find the “ETECSA” Wifi connection and connect, no password is required yet.

To log in just type 1.1.1.1 into the address bar and you will get your information screen with how much time you got left, and hit “Cerrar Sesión” or just disconnect your wifi connection on your phone.

The log on screen before your Online.
The log in screen before you go Online, where you will have to put in the WIFI code.
The screen you get when your loggoed on.
The screen you get when you’re logged in.

The Wifi hotspots in parks and hotels are both called ETECSA sometimes, but I got told that there is still a small difference. The Wifi hotspots at the hotels are connected to a different server, so if the WIFI is down at the public ones, it can still be online at the ones at the hotels and vice versa.

WHERE TO GET ONLINE IN CUBA.

By October 2016 there are more than 200 Wifi spots in Cuba.
My personal favourites in Havana was at the bar at Hotel Florida where you can sit inside aircon, and on the Rooftop of Ambos Mundos Hotel ( A famous Hemmingway hangout and with the fastest Wifi connection i found in Havana).

You can use the normal ETECSA Wifi card at both hotels, and none of the hotel’s own wifi connection

You will have to buy at least one drink/coffee at both these hotels to be allowed to sit there. But the drink price here is just as everywhere else with 2 CUC for a Cristal beer and 1,5 CUC for a coffee.

The rooftop view Ambos Mundos Hotel.
The rooftop view at Ambos Mundos Hotel.
The most popular WIFI hotspot in Trinidad, the place get´s completely crowded in late eveening
The most popular WIFI hotspot in Trinidad, the place gets completely crowded in late eveening

Here are some of the Wifi Spots around the country.

Havana Public Hotspots.

La Rampa (from the Malecón up to cine Yara in Habana Vedado)
Parque Linea y L in Habana Vedado
Corner 13 y 14 in Habana Vedado
Parque Estadio LatinoAmericano in Cerro – Habana Vedado,
Parque Trillo + Parque Fe del Valle (corner Galeano y San Rafael) in Habana Centro,
Parque Coyula in Habana Miramar/Playa,
Balneario Universitario 1ra y 42 in Habana Miramar/Playa,
Parque 13 y 76 in Habana Miramar/Playa
Pabellones Central and 14 at Expocuba (Parque Lenin),
Parque de Campo Florido in Habana del Este
Parque de Calabazar in Boyeros
Parque de 51 + Punta Brava in La Lisa
Parque 51 y 76 + El Anfiteatro de Marianao
El Paseo de la Villa Panamericana
Parque 9 de Abril
Parque de Santa Maria del Rosario in Cotorro
Parque Mónaco
Parque Cordoba in 10 de Octubre
Parque Jose Marti in San Antonio de las Vegas
Parque Santa Amalia in Arroyo Naranjo
Parque las Madres in Regla
Parque José Martin San Miguel del Padron
Parque Hanoi + Centro Cultural in Alamar
Parque Central + Parque Viondi in Guanabacoa,

 

Havana Hotels.

Hotel Chateau, Miramar.
Iberostar Parque Central
Melia Habana, Miramar.
Montehabana, Miramar.
Panorama, Miramar.
Occidental Miramar, Miramar.
Melia Cohiba, Vedado.
National Hotel, Vedado.
Parque Central, Vieja.
Saratoga, Vieja.
Sevilla Hotel, Vieja.
Plaza Hotel, Vieja.
Hotel Santa Isabel, Vieja
El Presidente (4.50 CUC/hour)
Hotel Nacional (7 CUC for 1 hour and very slow)

Santa Clara Public Hotspots.
Plaza de la Revolución Ernesto Guevara
Parque de los Mártires
Parque Leoncio Vidal
Parque de los Framboyanes
Estadio Augusto César Sandino in Santa Clara
Varadero Hotels.

Blau Marina (4.50 CUC/hour)
Blau, Varadero (4.50 CUC/hour)
Iberostar Varadero (5 CUC/hour)
Iberostar Laguna Azul (5 CUC/hour)
Melia Las Americas (5 CUC/hour)
Melia Sol Palmeras (7 CUC/hour)
Memories Varadero (4.50 CUC/h)
Ocean Varadero (4.50 CUC/hour)
Paradisus, Varadero  (4.50 CUC/hour)
Royalton Hicacos
Villa Cuba  (4.50 CUC/hour)
Roc Barlovento (4.50 CUC/hour)

Camagüey Public Hotspots.

Parques Martí
Parque Villuendas
Parque Imago in Cienfuegos
El Rápido in Punta Gordasector on the Cienfuegos bay
Parque del Municipio in Cruces
Paseo del Prado in Aguada de Pasajeros
Bulevar (pedestrian street) in Cumanayagua

Guntanamo Public Hotspots.

Parque Maximo Gomez/Centro Comercial Caribe.
Complejo Comercial Reparto Obrero.
Parque Martí in Guantanamo.
Parque central in Baracoa.
Parque principal in Imias.
Parque principal in San Antonio del Sur.
Parque central in Caimanera.
Parque Municipio in El Salvador.
Parque Municipio in Manuel Tames.
Area in Boqueron.
Parque Municipio in Yateras.
Parque Municipio in Niceto Perez.
Parque principal in Costa Rica.

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Getting Online in Cuba, can be a real nightmare since there´s no free WIFI in the country. Here´s a guide how to get online and where to find the connections.

1 Comment
  1. That’s crazy to see how much effort and money is involved in getting WiFi access within Cuba. Unless you are “location independent” or have to stay connected back home due to the nature of your job, you’re better off staying offline for the week or two you are in Cuba for vacation. Will be interesting to see how this changes over the next few years, though, with the Americans slowly being allowed into the country.

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