Mobiles and Apps in Cuba

With the technological improvement in Cuba, using a mobile is getting easier. Thats is why I want to share some tips that could be very helpful for those who want to visit Cuba.

Cell phone and internet

The only way your phone will work in Cuba is when your provider have contracts with the cuban telecommunication company ETECSA. Internet in the phone is also possible although expensive
To know if your country and operator has a contract with ETECSA and the prices to call within the island click here.
If you do a roaming contract something you should do with your operator you will be available to use internet through the mobile data, I highly suggest to use it just in the places where 3G connection is found, otherwise is almost impossible to open a web therefore is more expensive.

The 3G network will be available in:

  • La Havana
  • Varadero
  • Cays at north of Villa Clara province
  • Cays at north of Ciego de Avila Province

The other way to use internet in Cuba is with the recently created wifi zones, and not that recent “telepunto de ETECSA”. The price for both choices is the same, 2.00 cuc/hour. To use those options you should buy a card, that comes with an username and password, in the ETECSA offices, or in hotels but careful here in the hotels the price is higher.

Wifi zones location

  • La Habana: La Rampa (Malecón hasta el cine Yara), parque de 51 en La Lisa, parque Fe del Valle (Galeano y San Rafael), el Anfiteatro de Marianao y el Paseo de la Villa Panamericana
  • Pinar del Río: parque Independencia and parque Roberto
  • Amarán and Viñales
  • Artemisa: boulevard and parque de la Iglesia
  • Mayabeque: parque de Güines and boulevard de San José
  • Matanzas: parque La Libertad and parque Peñas Altas
  • Villa Clara: parque Leoncio Vidal and parque Remedio
  • Cienfuegos: parque Martí and Rápido Punta Gorda
  • S. Spiritus: parque Céspedes de Trinidad and parque Serafín Sánchez
  • Ciego de Ávila: parque Martí and parque Morón
  • Camagüey: parque Agramonte and plaza del Gallo
  • Las Tunas: Plaza Martiana and Tanque de Buena Vista
  • Holguín: parque Calixto García and parque Julio Grave de Peralta
  • Granma: bulevares Bayamo and Manzanillo
  • Santiago de Cuba: parque Céspedes, parque Ferreiro and parque Plaza de Marte
  • Guantánamo: parque Martí and parque central Baracoa
  • Isla de la Juventud: boulevard Nueva Gerona

Useful apps to use in Cuba

Lets start with something we all use whenever we travel to places we don’t know, GPS. Since you can’t be connected all the time, an app that let you download maps to use offline later is very handy in Cuba.
Maps.me is a very nice GPS application available for android and iOS systems that comes with navigation and the possibility to download the maps to use offline. It’s free, that by the way is the only chance the Cubans living within the island can get apps due to we don’t have a way to pay even if we want to, the country hasn’t implemented online payments. And other good thing for maps.me is that the map for cuba has only 32 MB something very appreciated if your device is under 8 GB of memory. Besides this, there are some others apps that also work like Gaia or Offline maps and more you can check in the web.
Is always very important the communication with relatives and friends back home. If you take a look to prices for calling from cuba to overseas (click here to see the price) you will realize how expensive it is. Or making a video chatting to share a little bit of what is going on with the important people of your live. Well, you cant do that at least not naturally. Services like google hangout or skype are locked in Cuba because off the USA embargo, and that’s when you use a trick.
There are several apps that create a VPN in your phone. What this applications does is connecting your phone through a proxy located in other place of the world so when request one of those locked services they won’t know you are in Cuba. In iOS you can use Ovano vpn that creates a VPN profile in your mobile and with a single switch on is ruining this one is very stable, ovpn finder will give you a list of proxies and the countries they are located, and then use Openvpn the enable the proxy you want to use. For android you could try Droidvpn very simple to activate. I don’t really know how theses apps manage your data privacy do and online research about it, what you need is an app that creates a VPN in your device, fell yourself free to use whichever you want.
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