Connecting to the Internet in Cuba is not easy. We fell in love with Cuba and its people completely. But there are also things that got us mad. For example, the difficulty connecting to the internet in Cuba. It’s a fully government controlled serviceSince the state company ETECSA has a monopoly in telecommunications. The island is one of the most backward countries in the world in this sense for two reasons:

  1. The cost of the facilities is high because materials have to be imported
  2. The fear that the population has free access to information and may be critical of the Cuban political system

Fortunately There are more and more options to access the internet in Cuba. At the end of 2018, the installation of repeaters in homes was legalized and mobile data packages were launched. Yes indeed, Connecting to the internet in Cuba is still quite expensive even for foreigners. You have to pay 25CUP per hour to connect to WiFi networks. A fairly expensive price for locals, whose average salary is very low. In this guide we tell you how to connect to the internet in Cuba, both through WiFi networks and SIM cards with data.

30 tips for traveling to Cuba

And even more important than connecting to the internet is choosing a good time to travel to Cuba and enjoy of good weather.

The Cuban government censors access to some web pages with a server in the United States or that are critical of the system. To be able to browse freely, we recommend Express VPN. Serves for mask your connection as if you were in another country. We use it to avoid the brutal censorship of the internet in china and it went wonderfully for us. If you can handle the great Chinese firewall, you can handle anything!

Contents of this article



Connecting to WiFi in Cuba is not as easy as in most countries in the world. Access is limited by time and speed is quite unstable. You need two things to connect to the internet in Cuba:

  1. Buy one Nauta card (or several). By scratching these cards you will obtain the username and password to access the internet.
  2. Meet WiFi access points.
The famous Nauta card to connect to the internet in Cuba

1.1. Where to buy NAUTA cards to have WiFi in Cuba

1.1.1. ETECSA stores

The most reliable and economical place to buy Nauta cards are the ETECSA stores. It is essential to carry the passport to identify yourself and pay in cash. There are three types of cards depending on the duration of the connection:

  • 30 minutes – 12.50CUP
  • 1 hour – 25CUP
  • 5 hours – 125CUP

The only drawback of ETECSA stores is that there are usually queues, especially in Havana. We stood in line for about 15 minutes in Havana, but there was no one in the stores in Varadero and Trinidad. It is best to arrive when they open at 8:30 a.m.

Keep in mind that they usually limit the number of cards that can be purchased per person at one time. This way they avoid running out of stock. In our case, they let us buy 3 per person. If you need more, you can always return the next day or use one of the other purchasing methods.

Our route through Cuba in 15 days

1.1.2. On the street

Walking through the tourist areas of any Cuban city, they will surely whisper to you “WiFi, WiFi.” There is people who are dedicated to reselling Nauta cards. They line up at ETECSA, buy as many cards as they can and sell them on the street for a few 2-3€. You will pay double, but if you need WiFi urgently and you are far from an ETECSA store it can be a good solution. Of course, make sure that they do not give you a scratched or expired card. The validity date appears in the right corner.

There’s also houses with signs on the door that say: ETECSA, telecommunications, telephone charges, internet cards or similar things. In this case, just ring the bell and ask for the Nauta cards you want. They usually charge €2.

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1.2. Where are there WiFi connection points in Cuba

1.2.1. Squares and parks

In some parks and public squares there is access to WIFI_ETECSA networks. You will find the complete list of all points on the island here. There are more than 1,000 active locations and work is underway to expand them. Likewise, you don’t need to study them. It is very easy to detect where there is WiFi because you will see a lot of Cubans sitting and looking at their phones.

We recommend you download the map of Cuba in the app This way you can locate WIFI_ETECSA points even without an internet connection.

internet in Cubainternet in Cuba
Everyone on the phone in public places

1.2.2. Hotels with WiFi

Most of the time It is much better to connect to WiFi in Cuba from hotels. First, because the connection is usually faster. And secondly, because it is more comfortable to sit in a room with air-conditioning than scorching under the Cuban sun in a plaza.

For example, some of the Havana hotels we went to for WiFi are the Hotel Inglés, Hotel Sevilla and Hotel Deauville.

Keep in mind that the most luxurious hotels usually have their own user system to connect to the WiFi, exclusively for guests. This is the case of Iberostar Parque Central, in the heart of Havana. Apparently the identification screen is the same, but when entering the data you will not receive any connection confirmation. In that case, you can ask the hotel porter which is the nearest public WiFi point and he will surely be happy to help you.

Where to stay in Cuba: hotels or private homes?

1.2.3. Some private homes have WiFi

More and more private homes have their own WiFi repeater. It works the same as WIFI_ETECSA. Only the network is usually protected with a password so that everyone cannot access it and the connection slows down. Once you enter the password (which the host of the house will tell you), the typical ETECSA screen appears to enter the Nauta card data.

During our trip to Cuba, we also We found private houses that offered a few hours of totally free WiFi. Hosts pay for their own internet package at home and make it available to guests without having to spend Nauta cards.

1.3. How to connect to a WiFi network in Cuba (and disconnect to avoid losing money!)

Connecting to ETECSA networks is very simple. Simply choose the WiFi network on your device and, once it connects, a identification screen. Be patient, sometimes it takes a while to load… There you must enter the username and password that appear on the Nauta cards. The connection will be confirmed immediately and you will see that the timer begins to run. You can close that screen and start browsing.

If you have not spent all the available time, it is essential that you log out of the account so as not to waste it. You must enter in the address bar to reappear the screen with the remaining time and a button to disconnect. So You can use the minutes you have left up to 30 days later of the first connection.

You can see how much available time is left on a card by entering Enter the Nauta card details and you will get the available minutes without consuming time.


2.1. Cubacel Turista: SIM card with internet in Cuba for tourists

Getting a SIM card with data is the most practical way to be permanently connected to the internet in Cuba. There is a SIM card for tourists only that costs 25 US dollars. It is essential to buy it online. It is picked up at the CubaTur counter in terminal 3 of the Havana airport or any ETECSA office in the country.

Has a 30 day validity and includes the following:

  • 6 GB of data
  • 100 minutes of calls to Cuban numbers
  • 100 SMS to Cuban numbers

Also you can recharge it with the following data packages:

  • 10GB for $20
  • 20GB for $30
  • 50GB for $60

Although you will have a Cuban number, you can keep your usual number when using WhatsApp. When the application detects that you have changed your SIM card, it will ask you if you want to keep your usual number or change it. Simply select “Keep number” to remain available to all your contacts.

Discover 20 curious facts about Cuba

2.2. How to buy a Cuban SIM card

There is also the possibility of buying a SIM card like the one that Cubans themselves have. It only makes sense though. If you stay in the country for more than 30 days or you will need more GB than the Cubacel card for tourists includes.

As you can imagine at this point, you must go to a ETECSA store with your passport to buy and register a new Cuban SIM card.

The card has an activation cost of 1000CUP (about €8), of which 250CUP can be used as credit for internet, calls and messages. From there, you can top up your balance according to the packages that interest you. For example, a 4GB package costs 200CUP. We recommend that you review the updated cost of all plans on the ETECSA website.

Keep in mind that all internet packs you purchase are valid for 30 days. Of course, once that period ends, the card is still valid and you can recharge it again according to your preferences, unlike the tourist SIM card.


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