Internet and WIFI in Cuba
Internet is becoming increasingly available in Cuba, and costs are much lower than they used to be. However it is still much more difficult to access the internet in Cuba than in most other countries, and the vast majority of guesthouses do not have the facilities to offer WIFI.
There are WIFI points, however at different places in all the cities visited by tourists, such as plazas, public areas, and in most hotels. WIFI cards that give you 1 hour access to the internet can be purchased in the hotels and at offices of the communication company ETECSA. These cost 25CUP each, however often these cards are sold out and locals make a business of offering them on the street for an inflated price which you can most likely pay in USD. Some hotels sell them at higher prices or require you to buy a drink. We recommend you buy quite a few WIFI cards in Havana on the first days of your travels, as the cards are valid for use at WIFI points all over Cuba. Lines to buy them are usually long, or points of sale closed.
Telephoning from Cuba
International phone calls from Cuba are very expensive. The cheapest being about 25CUP per minute. You can either buy a phone card from an ETECSA to use on public phones, or call from a hotel. The rates from hotels may be slightly more expensive but more convenient as you are not cut off when the card runs out, and only pay the cost of the call. 119 is the code to make international calls from Cuba.
Global Roaming in Cuba
Celular or mobile phones from other countries will work in most cities in Cuba if they meet the following requirements:
- Your phone works on the 900Mhz frequency band
- Your operating network has a contract with the Cuban mobile network Cubacel. You with have to check this with your own operating network for this.
- You have the global roaming service activated
Local Mobile Phone and Data Service
Cuba's only mobile phone operator, Cubacel, provides a tourist SIM package that you can purchase online prior to arrival for pickup in the Jose Marti airport terminal 3. The SIM costs around 45USD and includes 2.5GB mobile data, 20 min of calls, and 20 SMS messages, top ups are only for mobile data, not calls or SMS. It is good for 30 days after activation. Purchase the card on the site Cubacel Turista.
If you are using your own handset, it needs to work on the 900MHz frequency band for it to work in Cuba.
Post in Cuba
The postal system in Cuba is reasonably reliable, although sometimes a little slower than in other countries. However, anything larger than a letter or a postcard invariably gets 'lost' in the system. There are some attractive and interesting post cards widely sold in Cuba (old photos of Che, Fidel, and the 'heroes of the revolution' being quite popular). You can also buy pre-paid postcards in Cuba from the shops which are quite convenient and do work. The cost of sending a postcard internationally is about 25CUP