Phone & Internet In Cuba
The internet is very limited in Cuba currently, don’t expect to rely on it much. In the event you need it, there are a few options:
- First you’ll have to go to an ETECSA office or a hotel to acquire a wifi card that you refill with money. Rate is $2/hr. Find one of the open wifi hotspots in Havana. For a map of hotspots and more info: havanamyway.com/wifi-hotspots-map-havana/ These hotspots are easy to find just by wandering around Havana—just look for a crowd of people with smartphones and laptops out.
- Go to a major hotel and wait in line (1+ hours) to use a desktop computer with internet. It’s very slow, don’t expect to visit more than 4-5 sites in 30 minutes, which will run you ~$5. In Havana, the Nacional Hotel de Cuba has a decent internet connection.
- Find an internet cafe. Rates can range from $6-10 per hour.
There are two main phone carriers in Cuba, ETECSA (the national state-owned carrier) and Cubacel. You are able to rent a Cubacel SIM card from many of the major airports in Cuba or the nearest ETECSA office in the city. You will need to show your passport and you will need to pay CUC 3 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. You will need to simply top up your phone through purchasing pay-as-you-go Cuban phone cards, which generally retail at CUC 10 or CUC 20 per card.
Unfortunately data plans are not available in Cuba at this time.
Currently American Verizon and Sprint phones will work, but it'll be very expensive as it's roaming. It will show up as Cubacel service.
Updated March 28, 2018.