The Fastest WiFi in Havana, Cuba
Internet access is very difficult to find in Cuba. The average Cuban doesn’t have internet access because it’s simply too expensive. While internet access on the island is expanding, tourists can usually only find WiFi at select hotels. The most accessible and fastest WiFi in Havana is at the Iberostar Parque Central in Havana Vieja (Old Havana). It is located a block or two northeast of the Capitol building and is extremely easy to find. There are two Iberostar hotels, a new one and an old one, which are located right next to each other. The new Iberostar has ETECSA WiFi cards for sale to non-guests. The ETESCA cards are the key accessing the state-run internet.
You can purchase 1 hour internet cards for 6.50 CUC ($6.50) either at the bar in the lobby or on the second floor near the top of the stairs. I have read they sometimes give you a free drink but sadly I didn’t get any freebies. The water in the lobby was also very expensive, so avoid buying it at the Iberostar.
The best WiFi reception is on the second floor, at the top of the stairs and to the left, where you will typically find 10-20 people browsing the web. It’s air conditioned so enjoy it while you can.
After you connect to the WiFi you will be prompted to enter your ETESCA login and password. I was able to get access very quickly on both a Macbook Pro and iPhone 6, but others in the room had trouble. There is an attendant outside of the 2nd floor conference room who can provide assistance and sell you additional 1 hour cards. It is my understanding that once you purchase a 1 hour internet card it will work anywhere there is Wi-Fi, as it gives access to the state run internet. I was only able to find Wi-Fi at the Iberostar in my three days on the island.
The internet was actually pretty fast at around 2 Mbps. I was even able to use T-Mobile WiFi calling on my phone to call home, even though Skype is blocked. Feel free to try other apps as they may not have been blocked yet.
Thrifty Tip #1: Once you are done using the WiFi enter 188.8.131.52 in your browser and the session will end. It will tell you how much time left and you can use the remaining time later.
After you’re done using the fastest WiFi in Havana, I highly recommend walking over to the old Iberostar building and taking the elevator to the top floor where you’ll find an awesome view of Havana. They also sell cold beers or cocktails on the rooftop and you can find cigars sold in the hotel lobby (2nd floor up the stairs). The Iberostar has everything you need! Enjoy!
Want to learn more about my trip to Cuba? Read my American Travel Guide to Cuba!