cuban

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25 Best Tips for Cuban Travel Now Tip #3 – The Internet

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Tip #3 – The Internet? Meh…
Internet – not available widely in Cuba, sorry. Only posh hotels downtown had it available and you can find sites by looking for folks crouched around a building’s perimeter on the street with their cell phones, laptops, etc. In order to use the internet anywhere – you need a scratch off coded internet card from Etesca. Etesca has an office on the main drag (Obispo street) in old town Havana (la habana vieja). You queue in the line (often long) and wait, much like the DMV office in the U.S.A.  Slowly, you are ushered in the building to wait a bit longer on a bench, the ‘tellers’ finally calling you up. You can buy one hour cards to use, your passport is essential, they won’t give you cards without it – it’s $2 CUC an hour (about $2 U.S.) Buy as many cards as you think you’ll want – the lines are long. And yes, Big Brother is watching – remember your passport number is attached to the code you input for internet usage. I was told that Cubans can only get 2 hours at a time, then…back in line.

Bonus Tip: Other Internet options – posh hotels offering internet will sell you cards but it’s $3-5 CUC an hour (but no line)! Sometimes just to get off the street and onto comfy upholstered seating in a quiet setting, I’d go into the nice hotels and sit in their lounge to soak up the A/C and quiet atmosphere while using my internet time. Order a beer and relax and recharge.

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