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Phones & Internet Image

Like everywhere else on the planet, cellular phones have replaced land lines in Cuba. Every kid (and house owner) wants one; it has become a household item and for many, a status symbol : 2 million cells in Cuba in the last two years, as of Dec. 31 2016.


Dial the 8 digits of the number (starting by a 5). Example, I call Etecsa's cell number 264 2266 Because it is a cell, it has the mandatory 5 before, ie 5264 2266

0 + code of the locality ("area code") + phone number. Example, I call La Habana : 0 7 862-xxxx [Since 5 oct. 2013, no need to dial a "0" before the number.]

First, dial 0 from La Habana or 01 from anywhere else on the island then the 8 digits of the mobile (cell). Example, I am in La Habana and I call Etecsa's cell : 0 5264 2266 Example, I am in Santa Clara, and I call Etecsa's cell : 01 5264 2266

0 + code of the locality ("area code" or codigo local) + phone number.

119 or the plus (+) sign, then the country code then area (city) code (except if calling a cell) then the phone number. If the cell phone you are calling from is attached to a (your) cell phone service provider abroad (and not temporarily using Etecsa's services), this call could be relatively expensive, because there will be the inevitable "roaming" charges. Roaming rates for Cuba check here >ROAMING RATES PER PROVIDER PER COUNTRY<

• from Canada and the USA : the code to call out of the country 011 + Cuba's country code 53 + the 8 numbers of the Cuban cell phone starting with 5 + seven other digits; the cell phone owner does not pay for the call
• from Europe, the UK, Scandinavia and Mexico : the code to call out of the country
00 + Cuba's country code 53 + the 8 digits of the mobile (cell) starting with 5; the cell phone owner does not pay for the call

MORE INFO : call Etecsa, the Cuban phone company (53) 5264 2266 (this is a cell because, of course, it starts with a 5).
• Post on Conner Gorry's blog here

etecsa calling card front
Two types of telephone calling cards are sold in Cuba. Both show one side with a picture of nature (or artist) and a gold micro-chip where the remaining value resides. The other side has instructions on its use.
etecsa calling card back
Looking for a phone number in Cuba ? Try the officlal web site (slow connection ...) http://www.pamarillas.cu/ [Site being rebuilt as of December 2013.]
Apellido is last name, Nombre is first name.

You can purchase a pre-paid calling card that can be used in any blue public ETECSA (the national phone company) phone, located everywhere in Cuba on street corners, in hotel lobbies, and the ETECSA office you'll find in every major city and at the airport on arrival, usually at the same counter where they exchange money.
In Cuba, you can make calls from/to any specially-equiped public phone with the prepaid card. Two types of telephone calling cards are sold in Cuba. Either type shows one side with a picture of nature (or painting) and a gold micro-chip where the value resides. The other side has instructions on its use.

Cards sold in cucs (Pesos convertibles) in values of 5, 10 and 20cuc are handy for both calls within Cuba (from 5 to 75 centavos depending on distance and time of day or night) and calls overseas (1,40 to 1,50cuc per minute depending on distance and service). These are used in a type of public phone with the card slot and value window at the top.

Cards sold in Pesos cubanos (Moneda nacional) in values of 5, 10 and more are used in another type of public phone with the slot at the bottom.

When you insert either of these, the window shows the value remaining and you see it decrease as the call goes on. Cost is about 1,40 to 1,50cuc per minute (depending on distance and service) for calls overseas and only a few centavos for calls within Cuba.

These cards cannot be used in public phones which only accept Cuban pesos (Moneda nacional)
in coins which are also everywhere in Cuba (usually, right by the Calling Card phones). Be advised that in small towns, there are no calling card phones so you should carry Cuban pesos in one-peso coins if you're traveling off the beaten path and, of course, you can't make overseas calls from a Cuban Pesos (Moneda nacional) phone, whether with a card or with coins.

So, to recap, there are three types of public phones in Cuba : Peso coins only (local calls), Pesos convertibles calling cards (intra-Cuba and overseas calls), Pesos cubanos (moneda nacional) calling cards (local and intra-Cuba calls only).

But wait, there's more ! There is yet another debit-type card (used by Cubans) which carries a code that must be dialed in before the number, the tarjeta de codigo personal propria. (Card using your own personal code.), for which owner dials 66 first, then the code.

Bell Canada customer may still use the Canada Direct service which allows callers in Cuba dialing a number in Canada to charge the call to their Bell phone account. They have to dial 0800-22632 before the desired number.

The so-called "reversed charges" service is still available by dialing 1 6969. The person you call pays for the call.

Another new service has been made available in 2013, useful for family and friends abroad. Called AmundoCuba, an internationnal prepaid call card with a PIN, sold in increments of 5CUC (0 mins.) or 10, 20 up to 50CUC (117 mins) which comes to 0,42 to 0,50 centimes of Euros. More on this on www.amundocuba.com

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If you're calling long distance within Cuba from a private casa, the owner is billed for the call and the cost is quite low. If you're going to make many inter-city calls, you can offer the owner a few pesos. Even local calls are charged as ETECSA stopped providing unlimited service in Cuban homes in 1995. Instead, it offers 300 minutes a month for a set fee with a per-minute charge after that.

If you're making overseas calls from a casa in Cuba, a service called Salida Internacional allows the owner to dial the required phone number outside of Cuba using the 119 service and charge 1,40 to 1,50cuc per minute and add it to your bedroom bill.

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Mobiles (cells) in Cuba operate under the GSM (900 MHz) standard over most of the island except with the GSM (850 MHz) norm in La Habana, Varadero, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.

Visitors can bring their own cellular phone and activate it for use in Cuba through CUBACEL at ETECSA boutiques .

GSM per-minute rates vary from 26 to 40 US cents per minute within Cuba and do not require a monthly fee.

Calling outside Cuba to around the world costs about $1,40 (American continent) to 1,50US/minute. Roaming charges Cuban page >here<

If you expect to make a lot of calls to Cuba from abroad it would be wise to rely upon a debit service (crediting it with a ... credit card) like the Irish ezetop.com (among others - list below) which sell you time for 99 cents a minute — and sometimes on rebate for 32 cents a minute during Holidays (as of Dec 2013). [Because of the embargo, Cuba's national phone companies (owned by the people — at least on paper ; ) has to go through third-party providers which accept US-issued Visa and Mastercard.]

More Cellular Use & Activation details on Cubacel here. cubacel @cubacel.com

Their own cell phone (GSM types) to one of 376 point of sales and use the prepaid time method sold in increments of 10, 20 or 40US$ value in 50 locations in La Habana and in various locations in most provinces except Granma and Santiago).

Calls cost
20US cents per minute (10 cents from 11:00 PM a 6:59 AM) within Cuba — Etecsa FAQ here

To activate your cell, there are, like everywhere else on this planet, around the location of Etecsa offices, offers from cuenta propria permit holders (legal business permit) of private phone experts who can do the job faster than the Etecsa staff (where you have to wait a loooong time).

Most charge the same rate and do it on the spot. Believe you me, no Cuban cuenta propria wants to screw a traveler, unless he/she wants to be in a lot of trouble.

So trust these youngsters, they are honest and earnest.

Service activation costs 3US$ per day plus 36 to 60US cents per minute depending on time of day (8 am to 7:59 pm. for "Normal" rates and 8 pm to 7:59 am for "Reducido" rates).

• Another option is renting a phone for 6US$ per day, (Nokia, Siemens, Motorola, etc). You must add to that, the 3US$ per day activation fee and your calls cost 20US cents per minute (10 cents from 7:00 AM  to 10:59 PM).

More on Prepagos and Rentals on Cubacel here.
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One advantage of buying a Cuban family member (friend or lover) a cell phone is being able to send text messages (SMS) to each other all the time. Since the service started in 2003, it costs 16centsUS for Cubans to receive messages (125 characters max.) originating in Cuba, as long as these Cubans pay a 9.95US$ monthly fee to Cubacel. On October 3, 2005, the Cuban Government and CUBACEL decided to raise the price for receiving/originating a text message to/from outside the country to 1US$ per message.

More on SMS messages on this Cubacel page here. cubacel @cubacel.com

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You can send money to a Cuban by using an Internet service which allows you to debit the amount from your credit card. You must register first, fax a photocopy of your passport and the company issues a card to the Cuban recipient who can use it in most large cities in Cuba to either withdraw the amount or spend it like a credit card in over 7,000 businesses on the island. Money sent by you is credited to the card within 24 hours in La Habana and within 10 days in other Cuban cities. Western Union offers the service in gazillions of towns around the world — at a stupendous cost.

Transfer funds to the Banco Popular de Ahorro in La Habana through the National Bank in Canada or the Havana International Bank or the HSBC in London (UK), the Dresdner Bank AG in Frankfurt, etc. Same process for fund transfers to an account at the Banco Metropolitano in La Habana from banks abroad. Notes here.

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Screen output of wifi Cuban connection
Since July 2015, anyone can purchase a temporary Nauta wifi account password to use with smartphones, portables and tablets. Above, screen capture of an account in use.

A Guide to Havana’s Offline Internet Here

Cuba's Digital Revolution - YouTube

Some 432 wi-fi zones (as of Oct 2017) have been made available by Etecsa (Nauta's parent company) all over Cuba, mostly on pedestrian streets named bulevar, or in parks.

For 1,50 cuc per hour, available from Etecsa (Nauta, Telepunto, etc) offices in all major towns, users get a scratchcard revealing a password to be entered on the user's smartphone, tablet or portable computer valid for 30 mins., one hour or 5 hours to be used over the next 30 days. Rate is 10 centavos (10 cents) per hour for national connections. [Cost is 3cuc from scalpers who hang around spots or near the long waiting lines at Etecsa offices selling these Nauta cards.]

By the end of 2017, there should be close to 500 wifi zones + 655 Internet connection points on the island including wired Internet offices (Salas de Navegacion), computer clubs, hotels and airports available to visitors and citizens alike. See map below.

Since the start of wifi in 2013 to late 2016, some 11.2 million Internet wifi cards were purchased in Cuba.

List of wi-fi spots as of November 3, 2017
Updated list on the norfipc web site here ...

LA HABANA + a map here

• Parque in Habana Vieja,
• Bar El Floridita in
Habana Vieja,
• Hotels Ambos Mundos, Florida, Meson de la Flota, San Miguel in
Habana Vieja
• Hotels Inglaterra, Parque Central, Plaza, Saratoga, Sevilla in Habana Vieja/Centro

• Paseo del Prado in Habana Centro / Vieja,
• Parque Infanta y Salud in
Habana Centro,
• Parque Carlos Marx (Carlos III y Belascoain) in
Habana Centro,
• Parque de Trillo (San Rafael, San Miguel, Aramburu) in
Habana Centro,
• Parque Fe del Valle (Galeano y San Rafael) in
Habana Centro,

Malecón (seaside) from Paseo del Prado to Hotel Riviera in Habana Vedado
• Calle G (los Presidentes) and Malecon in Habana Vedado,
• La Rampa (from the Malecón up to cine Yara in
Habana Vedado),
• Parque Coppelia (facing Yara cinema) in
Habana Vedado,
• Parque Linea y L in Habana Vedado,
• Parque, esquina 13 y 14 in Habana Vedado,
• Parque 15 y 17 ("John Lennon") in Habana Vedado,
• Parque Palatino + Estadio LatinoAmericano in Cerro - Habana Vedado,
• Parque Nguyen Van Troi in Habana Vedado/Plaza de la Revolucion,
• El Castillito - Habana Vedado,
• La Piragua - Habana Vedado,
• Sucursal Cimex Sol y Mar - Habana Vedado

• Parque Wilfredo Lam in Habana Miramar/Playa,
• Teatro Karl Marx in
Habana Miramar/Playa
• Parque Coyula in Habana Miramar/Playa,
• Balneario Universitario 1ra y 42 in
Habana Miramar/Playa,
• Parque 13 y 74 in
Habana Miramar/Playa,
• Parque Coyula (calles 30 y 19) in
Habana Miramar/Playa,
• Recinto Ferial Pabexpo in
Habana Miramar/Playa
• Centro de negocios Miramar in
Habana Miramar/Playa
• Palacio de Convenciones in Habana Miramar/Playa
• KCHO Estudio Romerillo in Habana Miramar/Playa
• Centro comercial Flores in Habana Miramar/Playa

• Recinto Ferial Pabexpo + Pabellon 14 at Expocuba (Parque Lenin)
• Parque Santa Amalia in
Arroyo Naranjo
• Parque Pizarro in
Arroyo Naranjo
• Parque de la Leche (Caballero e/Ponce de Leon y Pizarro) in Arroyo Naranjo

10 de Octubre : Parque Mónaco (Acosta y Mayia Rodriguez) + Parque Lawton + Parque Cordoba
Boyeros : Parque Rio Cristal + Parque de Calabazar
Cotorro : Parque 9 de Abril + Parque de Santa Maria del Rosario
Guanabacoa : Parque Martires de la Jata (Central) + Parque Viondi
La Lisa : Parque de 51 + Punta Brava
Marianao : Parque 51 (Ave 51, e/ 202 y 204, al lado del Hospital Frank Pais) y 76 + Calle 49, e/120 y 122, al lado del Anfiteatro
Regla : Parque de las Madres
San Antonio de las Vegas : Parque Jose Marti
San Miguel del Padron : Parque José Marti + Parque Monterrey + Parque la Curva

• Complejo Morro Cabana en Habana del Este,
• Parque Guanabo in Guanabo en
Habana del Este,
• Parque de Campo Florido in
Habana del Este
• El Paseo de la
Villa Panamericana (e/5ta C y 5ta D) in Habana del Este
• Parque Hanoi + Centro Cultural de
Alamar in Habana del Este

Pinar del Rio : Parque Colon + Parque Independencia + Parque Roberto Amarán + Parque San Luis + Centro Comercial Alameda + Centro comercial Hermanos Cruzen
Vinales : Cafeteria Las Cubanitas + Parque José Marti

Consolacion del Sur : Parque Antonio Maceo
Guanabacoa : Parque Centro Comercial
Guanes : Parque 26 de Julio
Hermanos Cruz : Cafetería CIMEX
Herradura : Parque principal, entronque
Minas de Matahambre : Restaurante y Área El Cobre
Mantua : Cafeteria CIMEX y Parque central
La Palma : Restaurante y parque principal
La Coloma : Parque principal
Los Palacios : Pizzería 23 y 24 y Parque principal
San Diego de los Banos : Parque principal
San Juan y Martinez : la Esquinita, Parque Martín Herrera
Sandino : Parque Centro Comercial + Parque Manuel Lazo

K59 (kilometro 59 on the highway) : Complejo gastronomico
Artemisa : Bulevar (peatonal), Parque de la Iglesia
Bahia Honda : Casa de la Cultura + Parque
Bauta : Parque principal + Restaurante El Cochinito
Guira de Melena : Bulevar (peatonal)
Mariel : Parque central
San Antonio de los Banos : Parque central
San Cristobal : Coppelia Helados

Batabano : Parque central
Bejucal : Parque Bejucal
Güines : Parque de Guines + Parque Catalina
Jaruco : Parque de Jaruco
Madruga : Parque central
Melena del Sur : Parque central
Nueva Paz : Parque central
Quivican : Parque de Quivican
San José de las Lajas : El Bulevar (peatonal) + Cafeteria las Ruinas + Tienda el Samurai + Parque Camilo Cienfuegos + Parque Tapaste
San Nicolas : Parque San Nicolas
Santa Cruz del Norte : Parque y Malecon

Calimete : Parque del municipio
Cardenas : Parque José Antonio Echeverría + Plaza las Morlas
Colon : El bulevar (peatonal)
Jaguey Grande : Parque central
Jovellanos : Parque central
Limonar : Parque central
Los Arabos : Parque central
Marti : Parque central
Matanzas : Paseo de Marti + Parque La Libertad + Parque Guanima + Parque catedral + Parque Peñas Altas + Parque René Fraga + Parque Recreativo Monserrate + Asociación Cultural Artesanos + Cafetería Plaza La Vigía + Centro de Artes Escénicas + Centro tecnologico Narvaez
Pedro Betancourt : Parque municipio
Perico : Parque municipio
Playa Larga : Parque municipio
Union de Reyes : Parque municipio
Varadero : Centro convenciones Plaza America + Complejo Todo por Uno (shopping mall)

Caibarien : Parque principal
Camajuani : El bulevar (peatonal)
Corralillo : Parque central
Encrucijada : Parque central
Manicaragua : Parque central
Placetas : Parque principal
Quemado : Áreas Policlínico Municipio
Remedios : Parque central
Sagua la Grande : Parque central
Santa Clara : Plaza de la Revolución Ernesto Guevara + Parque de los Mártires + Parque Leoncio Vidal (parque central) + Parque de los Framboyanes + Estadio Augusto César Sandino
Santa Domingo : Parque central

Aguada de Pasajeros : Paseo del Prado
Cienfuegos : Parque central Parques Martí + Bulevar (peatonal) + Parque Villuendas + Parque Imago + el Rápido de Punta Gorda
Cruces : Parque central
Cumanayagua : Bulevar (peatonal)
Lajas : Parque central
Palmira : Parque central
Rodas : Parque central

Trinidad : Parque Céspedes (Carillo) + Casa de la Musica (Escalera)
• Paseo in Casilda
Sancti Spiritus : Parque Serafín Sánchez + Plaza Cultural Yayabo + Paseo Colon + Complejo Gastronómico Mar Cielo + Complejo Gastronómico Pio Lindo
• Parque principal in
• Parque principal + Paseo in
• Paseo in
• Parque principal in
La Sierpe
• Parque principal in
• Parque principal in

Ciego de Avila : Parque Martí + Paseo calle D + Parque Máximo Gómez
• Parque Marti, Parque Moron, Parque de las Madres in Morón
• Centro Cultural Auraca in Venezuela
• El Bulevar (peatonal) in Florencia
• Parque Sergio Antuña in Ciro Redondo
• Paseo de Chambas

Camaguey : Casino Campestre + Parque Agramonte + Parque 28 de Septiembre + Plaza del Gallo + Plaza de los Trabajadores + Parque Céspedes + Centro Tecnológico + Asociación Hermanos Saiz + Recinto Santa Cecilia + Complejo Lago de los Sueños + Cafetería El Legandario + Complejo Mercado La Caridad

Las Tunas : Plaza Martiana + Parque Antonio Maceo + Complejo las Antillas + Tanque de Buena Vista + reparto Casa Piedra + finca rural El Cornito + ranchon La Arboleda
• Parque José Marti in Puerto Padre
• Parque principal in Jesus Menendez
• Parque principal in Manati
• Parque Francisco Vega, Calixto in Majibacoa
• Parque principal in Jobabo
• Parque las Madres in Amancio
• Parque las Madres in Colombia

Holguin : Parques Calixto García + Julio Grave de Peralta + Parque infantil Rubén Bravo + Loma de la Cruz in
• Plaza de la Cultura in Gibara
• Parque principal in Banes
• Joven Club in Mayari
• El Bulevar (peatonal) in Rafael Freyre
• Parque principal in Antilla
• Parque principal in Cueto
• Parque las Auroras in Moa

Bayamo : Bulevar (pedestrian street) + Parque del Amor + Parque los Coches + Plaza de la Patria
• El Bulevar (peatonal) in Manzanillo
• Parque Calixto García in
• Parque principal in Jiguani
• Parque Ricardo de Céspedes in Niquero
• Parque 24 de Febrero in Campechuela
• Parque principal in Pilon
• Parque principal in Yara
• Parque principal in Rio Cauto
• Parque principal in Cauto Cristo
• Parque principal in Buey Arriba
• Parque principal in Bartolomé Maso
• Parque principal in Media Luna

Santiago de Cuba : Paseo Maritimo La Alameda (portside) + Parque Céspedes + Parque Ferreiro + Plaza de Marte + Centro Tecnológico Enramadas + Centro EGREM Alegremonos + Cafeteria ON + Supermercado y Centro Multiservicio en reparto Versalles + Caguayo (Galeria René Valdès Cedeno) en Vista Alegre + Parque en reparto San Luis
• Parque principal en Palma Soriano
• Parque principal en Baire
• Restaurante en Siboney
• Emisora Radio Titan en Mella
• Centro tecnologico en Enramadas
• Areas cine III en Cruce de los Banos
• Biblioteca Enma Rosa Chuy en Il Frente Oriental

GUANTANAMO (21 zones as of January 2017)
Guantanamo : Parque Marti + Parque Maximo Gomez/Centro Comercial Caribe + Complejo Comercial Reparto Obrero
• Parque central en
• Parque principal en Imias
• Parque principal en San Antonio del Sur
• Parque central en Caimanera
• Parque central en El Salvador
• Parque central in Manuel Tames
• Area en Boqueron
• Parque central en Yateras (Palenque)
• Parque central en Niceto Perez
• Parque principal en Costa Rica

Nueva Gerona : Bulevar (peatonal calle Marti) + Parque Cotorras (parque Estudiantes),
Parque Cine en La Fe

Click to enlarge

can be found in every major town on the island. Hourly rates are 1,50CUC (same as wifi, using the same cards).

There have been
193 Salas (Internet connection rooms) installed since the Summer of 2013. One can access the Internet on a desktop computer in these Nauta offices with a debit card which the unused portion can be used elsewhere on the island.

These are
open every day from 8h30 to 19h30 hrs. There is no high-speed Internet in Cuba so be patient. Best is to connect after 7 p.m.
We show addresses of Nauta ("Etecsa") Internet offices on each of our City pages.

And other service ETECSA, Cuban telecommunications monopoly, more Cubans have internet at home which the owners casas particulares Cubans and others doing business on their own account or "cuenta propria."in a very short time, Cubans with connections have grown from mere thousands to some 800,000 in Spring 2015

80% of Cuban schools have at least one computer with Internet access — although limited to Cuba's 10,000 (and more) web sites.

Most consulted web sites by Cuban wi-fi users in 2016 : 1. Cubadebate.cu, 2. Sld.cu, 3. Cibercuba.com, 4. Granma.cu, 5. Prensa-latina.cu, 6. Juventudrebelde.cu, 7. Cubasi.cu, 8. Cmhw.cu, 9. Cubisima.com, 10. cubava.cu, 11. Cubanet.org, 12. Scielo.sld.cu, 13. Cubaenmiami.com, 14. Cubatravelnetwork.com, 15. Beisbolencuba.com, 16. Radiohc.cu, 17. Radiorebelde.cu, 18. Radioreloj.cu, 19. Cuba.cu, 20. Cubawebdirectory.com Details on nautacuba here.

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Contents and photos © sogestour

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Updated 03.11.2017