There is no wifi in cuba
But can you get on the Internet in any way in Cuba?
The short answer. Sort of, yes. But plan on a digital detox while you are there because the Internet in Cuba is limited by speed of the line and the limited access of Wifi.
For us we REALLY NEEDED to check in at home. When we left our house on Thanksgiving Day, we had concerns about our sweet Labrador Riley who had suddenly gotten sick. We felt that it could be her time to go and it was imperative to get online with our housesitter as well as my Mom. We wanted to be able to check in at least once or twice while in Havana, as once we got to Varadero, accessibility would be even more limited.
Here’s what the challenges with Internet Access in Cuba:
1. Internet in Cuba is Dial-up and if you can remember, that is painfully SLOW!
2. If there is a thunderstorm, the network often goes down. P.S. you are on a tropical island
3. There are often long lines outside to use the internet.
4. The internet card is not always universally accepted.
We purchased an ETESCA card at the Parque Central Hotel in Havana.
Here’s the lowdown:
I went to the Mezzanine level to the left (business office) and requested a card from the desk agent. The cost 4.50 CUC. He was super friendly (refreshing!) and let me know that I could use my iPhone and connect OR use one of their business center computers.
I really wanted to be on my iPhone to get everything downloaded plus I needed to iMessage my Mom to check in on the sick labrador. I went back to the lobby and surfed for the next hour (did not need to buy anything from the restaurant). Of course, due to being on a tropical island, I knew that I could get kicked off service at any moment (so I mentioned that to the people I was messaging and emailing).
One other note about the ETESCA card, you scratch off the password. Once you login in to their network your time stops and that card will expire even if you only use it for 30 minutes. You cannot save any time.
Mistakes: I jumped online twice – while I was at the Hotel I should have purchased 2 or 3 cards the next time I saw a Wifi Zone to be able to check in. Because once you are in Cuba, your on their time which means they may take off for lunch, no one may be there to sell you a card, someone may not feel like selling you card that day . . . its their country, we’re just visiting =)
On the bright side . . . .
Cuba is the ultimate digital detox. After a day or 2, you’ll realize that you will be okay. Really! It will be fine.
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