Monday, 28 September 2015

13 TIPS ABOUT WIFI IN CUBA

1. CAN I ACCESS WIFI IN CUBA?

Yes.  There are now WIFI hotspots in Cuba where you can use your android phones, laptops, iPhones, iPods etc to connect to ETECSA’s NAUTA internet system.

Check out this link to find out where you can use your devices to access WIFI in Cuba:


2. IS WIFI FREE IN CUBA?

No. WIFI is not free in Cuba.  You will need to buy an ETECSA NAUTA internet card to connect to the Cuba’s NAUTA internet service.

3. WHERE CAN I BUY THE NAUTA CARD IN CUBA?

You can buy the NAUTA internet card from ETECSA offices. 

In Vedado, Havana there is an ETECSA office at the bottom of the FOCSA building and in Havana Vieja there is an ETECSA office on Calle Obispo. 

In Trinidad, the ETECSA office is on Parque Cespedes. 

But be warned, there are often long queues and cards are in short supply so don’t be surprised if you find out that cards are sold out.  Sometimes you will find people selling the NAUTA cards on the street.

4. HOW MUCH IS WIFI IN CUBA?

I bought my NAUTA internet card from the ETECSA office in Trinidad for 1.50 CUC (1 hour). In Havana I saw people selling the NAUTA internet card on the street for 2 CUC (1 hour).

5. IS IT SAFE TO BUY THE NAUTA CARD ON THE STREET?

There is no problem with you buying the NAUTA internet card on the street.  Many people prefer buying the NAUTA internet card on the street because it saves them from standing in long queues outside ETECSA offices in the heat. 

6. HOW DO I ACCESS WIFI IN CUBA?

On the reverse of the NAUTA internet card there is a hidden unique login and password.  You simply scratch away to reveal the login and password details.  These details allow you to connect to the internet in Cuba as many times as you want until you exhaust the 1 hour (on the reverse you will also find an expiry date for the NAUTA internet card).

Whether you are using your phone or your laptop, go to your settings and open WIFI.  Go to your browser and the NAUTA page will appear where you can enter your login and password details.  Once NAUTA has recognised your details, the clock will start to tick, your time will begin and you can start using the internet in Cuba.

If you don’t use the whole 60 minutes, once you are finished using the internet, don’t forget to logout of the NAUTA page so your allowance will be paused and close down WIFI in settings.

7. CAN I USE SKYPE IN CUBA?

No. It is not possible to use Skype in Cuba. I tried to access Skype in Cuba but it would not work. 

8. CAN I USE FACETIME IN CUBA?

No. It is not possible to use Facetime on your apple devices in Cuba.  When I tried to use Facetime on my IPod touch in Cuba, it appeared to be ringing from my end but the person on the other end, in the UK, did not receive my call.

9. CAN I USE WHATSAPP IN CUBA?

Yes. It is possible to use WhatsApp in Cuba.  Once I was connected to the WIFI service in Cuba with my android Samsung phone, I was able to send WhatsApp messages from Cuba to friends back in the UK.

10. CAN I MAKE INTERNET PHONE CALLS IN CUBA?

Yes.  Even though you cannot use Skype or Facetime in Cuba you can use IMO which does work in Cuba. 

11. WHAT IS IMO?

IMO is another free video internet telephone service.  You can make video calls and send instant messages to friends and family in any country from Cuba, or vice versa, from any country to Cuba.  Obviously, you have to be connected to WIFI in Cuba in order to make video calls and / or send and receive instant messages.  You and your friends and family will need to download IMO on your devices so you can communicate with each other, so make sure that you and your friends download IMO before you to go to Cuba!

12. WHERE CAN I ACCESS WIFI IN CUBA?

There are various WIFI hotspots in Havana.  I tried to access the WIFI outside of the Havana Libre hotel and on the corner of calle 25 and calle L in Vedado, Havana. You will see many people all around this area connecting to the WIFI.  I didn’t have much success in connecting, but it was clear that other people could connect.  Remember, many people are trying to connect at the same time, internet connectivity speeds in Cuba are lower than you are used to; you need to be patient.

Check out this link to find out the location of the WIFI hotspots in Havana:


In Trinidad you can access WIFI in Parque Cespedes, outside the ETECSA building and at Casa de la Música.  You will see many people sitting around those areas under the shaded trees or park benches reading their emails or speaking to friends and family in other countries.

13. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

Please feel free to share your experience of WIFI in Cuba.

ETECSA Internet Card
NAUTA Internet Card - Cuba

ETECSA Internet Card
NAUTA Internet Card - Cuba


WIFI Parque Cespedes Trinidad Cuba
Logging onto WIFI in Trinidad Cuba

WIFI Parque Cespedes Trinidad Cuba
WIFI in Parque Cespedes Trinidad Cuba

(updated September 2017

Sunday, 12 July 2015

CUBA - ENTRY STAMPS & PASSPORTS

DOES CUBA IMMIGRATION STAMP YOUR PASSPORT?

Yes, it seems that Cuba immigration is now stamping passports.

On my recent visit to Cuba (June 2015) my passport was stamped for the first time ever!

I was travelling to Cuba via Lima with Avianca and when I got off the escalator and walked into immigration at Jose Martí International Airport in Havana, I was stopped and asked a few questions about my trip to Cuba; just before I even got to the queues for immigration.  Questions asked:

·         How long will you be staying in Cuba?
·         Is this your first time in Cuba?
·         What is your profession?
·         Where will you be staying in Cuba?


After they finished asking me questions about my trip to Cuba, I scanned the room to see where the shortest queue to immigration was and found that there were no people queuing for immigration at the far end of the room.  I stood on the red line and waited to be called by immigration.  Once called, I stepped up to the Immigration Officer’s booth, handed her my passport (I have a British EU passport) and she began to ask me the same questions as her colleagues had done already.  I heard the Immigration Officer stamping what I thought was the Cuban tourist visa but when I checked my passport later that day, I was surprised to see that the Cuban Immigration Officer had stamped my passport with a Cuba entry stamp. 

Even though, I had visited Cuba on numerous of occasions since 2002, my passport had never been stamped before.  This was the first time my passport had been stamped with a Cuban entry stamp.
In the past Cuba immigration would not stamp passports. They would simply stamp the Cuban tourist visa upon entry and upon exit of Cuba and not the passport. 

WHAT DO I DO IF I DON’T WANT A CUBAN STAMP IN MY PASSPORT?

As I was leaving Cuba to return to the UK, I asked immigration if it was possible for people visiting Cuba to not get their passport stamped when entering Cuba and what they should do to avoid it.  I was told that anyone who doesn’t want a stamp in their passport should tell the Cuban Immigration Officer, when handing over their passport, that they DO NOT WANT a stamp in their passport and the Immigration Officer will respect their wishes.  On my next visit to Cuba I will try this and see if it works.


If you are travelling to Cuba and intend on asking the immigration authorities not to stamp your passport, let us know how you get on.


Cuba Immigration
Cuba Entry Stamp




Medical Cover Cuba
Immigration Havana Airport

Medical Cover Cuba
Havana Airport

Medical Cover Cuba
Immigration Havana Airport

Medical Cover Cuba
Jose Marti International Airport





Saturday, 21 March 2015

DULCE CREMA ICE-CREAM PARLOUR - TRINIDAD

On my last visit to Trinidad I noticed that a new ice-cream parlour had opened up in Trinidad offering a reasonably priced menu as well as a variety of choices of ice-cream sundaes.

Ducle Crema offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit down and escape the hot sun for a while whilst wondering the streets of the casco historico.  The menu offers different kinds of desserts.  If you want to keep it simple you can buy 1 or 2 balls of ice-cream but we found that the ice-cream desserts on the menu were more reasonably priced, sundaes with 2 or 3 balls of ice-cream were cheaper than the price of 2 balls of ice-cream! 

We sat down in the open air patio at the back of the restaurant and asked the waiter what flavours were on offer.  Expecting him to offer the usual strawberry or vanilla, he surprised us when he said that he had 13 different flavours of ice-cream; some of which included strawberry, mango, guava, vanilla, chocolate, tiramisu and moscadel.  For us it was such a novelty to actually be offered so many different flavours, we had to get the waiter to repeat the selection twice!  You may think ‘what’s the big deal?’, but in Cuba, especially Trinidad it had been a long time since there was an ice-cream parlour in town offering more than just 2 flavours.

Eventually with the help of the waiter, I decided to go for the Sundae Primavera, which came with 2 balls of ice-cream, vanilla sauce and pieces of fresh fruit on top; papaya, banana, orange.  I chose Tiramisu and Moscadel ice-cream.  Misleydis had the Canoa India; 2 balls of ice-cream of her choice and a piece of very sweet cake.

Both of us tucked into our ice-cream sundaes with excitement; we were pleasantly surprised, we loved them!  At last, great tasting quality ice-cream with lots of flavour has arrived in Trinidad!

Dulce Crema is on the corner of Maceo and Simon Bulevar and it opens from 10am-10pm.

Dulce Crema Ice-Cream Parlour - Trinidad

Saturday, 31 January 2015

HONEYMOON & SALSA DANCING IN CUBA

By Lisa Coyle, Honeymoon in Cuba, Salsa Lessons, Trinidad, January 2014

My husband and I had decided that Cuba would be our honeymoon destination after travelling from Australia to the UK. We begun our research and were particularly interested in staying in a Casa Particular when we were in Havana and Trinidad but found it difficult to find an information source we felt we could trust when making a booking in advance.

I found myself wishing that I had a friend who had been to Cuba and could make some recommendations! It was then that I stumbled across Rena's Experience The Real Cuba blog which had helpful information about her real experiences in Cuba, in particular Trinidad.

I contacted Rena and she replied immediately with helpful information on exiting the airport, finding transport, booking accommodation and general hints and tips. 

Rena was able to provide advice on the best location to stay in Havana (Habana Vieja) and provided me with a contact for a Casa Particular whom I emailed and made a reservation with (using Google Translate)! I had been forewarned on several travel sites that in some cases a "booking" doesn't necessarily mean a "booking" so I wasn't surprised to find that when we arrived at our Casa Particular in Havana we were taken to a different Casa several doors down (they will always find somewhere for you to stay!)

We had already made my reservation with Rena for Misleydis and Gustavo's Casa in Trinidad and was very happy to know that our 'booking' was actually confirmed so we knew exactly where we were going! We were met at the bus station by a bici taxi who got quite a workout peddling the two of us and our round-the-world luggage! 

Misleydis and Gustavo were so welcoming and Misleydis gave us a run down of the town and all the best spots to eat and drink and also told us about the big street celebrations that happened to take place during our stay. We enjoyed our salsa lessons with Experience The Real Cuba and my husband and I enjoyed practicing our new moves the following night (after a few mojitos of course!) 

It was lovely to have Misleydis (and her perfect English) to help us make bookings to travel to the beach as well as to travel back to Havana in a shared car when it came time to sadly leave Trinidad! 

Cuba is a beautiful destination filled with wonderful people. 

Upon reflection of our trip, we established that what we loved about our experience in Cuba is the surprises around every corner. I learnt that what we had planned to happen might not actually take place, but when you go with the flow even better things happen! 

Thanks for all of your tips and advice Rena! We had an amazing time and we would love to return again!