It’s not exactly a secret that Cuba has notoriously bad internet. For those travelers heading to Cuba for vacation, the lack of internet is something to keep in mind — don’t expect to be hailing Ubers or using Google Maps to navigate when you get lost. However, that makes Cuba what it is: Just a travel back in time and yet one of your greatest adventures.
Is there Wifi available in Cuba?
Yes, but not as freely as we are used to in other western countries of the world. WiFi access in Cuba differs to access in Europe / USA / most of the rest of the world because:
- Access to WiFi in Cuba in general is rather expensive
- Access to the internet in Cuba is restricted and controlled by the government
- Cuba is a great holiday destination but yet a communist country
How to get Internet and WiFi in Cuba
- In Cuba there are now a couple of ways available to access internet and Wifi in Cuba
- You can log on at (or just outside) the ETECSA telecommunication centres
- The government has also introduced public internet parks. These places are where locals meet to access the internet
- Maybe you have picked a fancy hotel that has got its own internet hotspot
However, to gain access via any of the mentioned options above you usually have to purchase a card from a ETECSA. ETECSA now luckily has set up a couple of selling points across the city and sometimes located in one of the public internet park itself.The card costs approx. 1.00-2.00 CUC. It has gone down rapidly since 2015 where it was 4.50 CUC and will provide you one hour of online internet access in Cuba.
Remember to take your passport and some cash. I actually purchased a card directly from an ETECSA outlet only once. At this time, they asked me for my passport but eventually would give me the card without it. Usually I would buy the card directly from locals waiting for tourists around the public internet parks. In this case, the price comes with a premium, however, this way you would avoid long queues sometimes quite a lot of valuable time.
Of course, the locals try to maximize their earning by starting the conversation with a rather higher price, as well as a friendly smile on their face. However, priceses can be negotiated down and locals indeed are very friendly and would not try to steal anything from you. So don't be shy to approach them when you see them on the streets.