One of the things people love about Cuba is the chance to fully disconnect from the world. It's a great opportunity to leave your emails and social media behind. If you do need to access the internet or make a phone call while in Cuba, this guide will help to get you connected.
Using the internet in Cuba is now a lot easier, thanks to the undersea fibre optic cable from Venezuela. However, it is still nowhere near the speeds that we are used to in Europe.
Apart from being slow, it is also expensive. If you are determined to use the internet while you’re in Cuba, be prepared to spend quite a bit of money for a slow connection. Here’s how to go about it...
These are the official internet rooms of Cuba’s telecommunications company, ETECSA. They are a bit like internet cafes, only they don’t sell any food or drink. They are basically an office space with computers that are open to the public.
They are open from 8:30 am until 7 pm 7 days a week. There are 2 in Miramar district and 2 in Vedado, one of them is in the Focsa building, which is the highest residential building in Havana.
You can now purchase a one hour internet card for 1CUC. You can also access public Wifi points around Cuba.
If you need to call home using a service like Skype or video chatting on Whatsapp, you may find this difficult. Skype is unreliable, mainly because of the slow internet speeds. If you want to try and use it, then pay the extra to use the internet in a hotel, which is slightly faster than in the Nauta rooms.
Unless you manage to get a special package with your service provider, roaming charges will make the cost of phone calls very expensive. Sending texts is much cheaper, although they will still cost between 40p and 60p depending on your service provider. Receiving a text is free, so advise your family and friends back home to use texts, rather than phoning.
There are public phones in Havana and you can buy phone cards, which make them cheaper to use. The cost is about 4 CUC per minute to phone the UK, so that’s about £2.36 – which means you'll need to talk fast! Cards can be purchased for 10 or 25 CUC.