Internet and WiFi
The "Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A." (ETECSA) (in English: Telecommunications Company of Cuba) is the government-owned service provider for the entire country. Their services include: telephony, mobile telephony (through their Cubacel branch), and Internet (through their NAUTA branch).
Here are the different options available to tourists to access the Internet:
1 - Hotel's Wi-Fi network
All all-inclusive resorts and most hotels offer a Wi-Fi network to their guests who wish to use their own device. WiFi is available in the lobby area and sometimes in other common areas. Only a few luxury hotels offer in-room internet. To access the WiFi network you need to purchase a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card. On these cards there's a scratch-off area to reveal the Login (Usario) and Password (Clave or Contrasena) that you will use to sign-in, here's a screenshot of the NAUTA WiFi Sign-in page.
Here are the Internet Cards available and their price in Cuban Pesos (CUP):
• 30 minutes : 12.50 CUP (~ $0.50 USD)
• 1 hour : 25 CUP (~ $1 USD)
• 5 hours : 125 CUP (~ $5 USD)
These internet cards are non-rechargeable and they remain valid for 30 days from the first connection. They also have an expiry date (shown on the back), always check to see if this date is not too close when you purchase the card.
Don't forget to sign-out after your session! (Cerrar sesion), so you can use the remaining minutes later. Here's a screenshot of the NAUTA WiFi Connected/Log-out page.
2 - Internet Corner in hotels (wired computers)
Each all-inclusive resort and the majority of hotels offer internet access to their guests; computers are usually located in the lobby area. Just like for accessing the WiFi network, you have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card (Tarjeta de Navegacion), see above. On these cards there's a scratch-off area to reveal the Login (Usario) and Password (Clave or Contrasena) that you will use to sign-in using the access software installed on the computer.
3 - Public Internet access at a ETECSA Internet Center and WiFi Hotspots
Since the summer of 2013, public access to the Internet has been greatly improved with the opening of hundreds of Internet centers, called Salas de Navegacion, all over the country. There are several of them in Vardero and Cardenas, see the list here: www.etecsa.cu/internet_conectividad/salas_de_navegacion/).
4 - Public WiFi Hotspots
There are also several public WiFi Hotspots in Cuba (mostly in city parks and plazas). In Varadero, you'll find a WiFi hotspot at the following locations: Centro Convenciones Plaza América, Centro Comercial Plaza Hicacos, Plaza las Morlas, Complejo Todo en Uno, Parque Boca Camario, Centro-Artex-Varadero, Hotel Sol Palmer, Centro de la música Varadero, Parque Santa Marta Varadero, Hotel Meliá América Varadero and Calle-30-Varadero.
Lily & Normand