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 login an ETECSA HotSpot or visit a good hotel ( a lot more expensive than the 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 a 1 MB data is 5 euro. It is hard to find WiFi in Cuba and this is one of the options you can do.
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 challenging 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 an ETECSA Telecommunications Centre or visit a hotel that 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. That is how difficult to get WiFi in Cuba.
There are two types of cards available: 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.
The two main ETECSA Centers in Havana are at the famous Obispo Street, but there is ALWAYS a vast 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 to access Wifi in Cuba.
These are NOT a scam, both me and all the locals I know in Havana, were buying the cards from these hustlers, to save time and not stand in the long queues. Just make sure the backside of the card is not scratched already.
You will have to bring your passport with you to be able to buy a WIFI card at ETECSA centres.
While the hotels never asked me for it.
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 18.104.22.168 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 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 favorite 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 hang out, and with the fastest Wifi connection I found in Havana).
You can use the standard 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.
Friday 21st of October 2016
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.