Accessing the internet when in Cuba is changing quickly – there are more and more public wifi locations available and more hotels and casa particulars now provide internet access. Some international mobile providers have a roaming agreement with Cuba, so you can use your home provider, but it might be expensive. And now, you can buy a tourist sim in Cuba so you have access to the internet when you’re on the move and at locations of your convenience. So here’s all your need to know about getting a tourist sim in Cuba.
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Your options for accessing the internet in Cuba are simple.
- Buy an internet access card from Cuba’s provider ETECSA and use the internet in one of the public spaces – you can read about the internet in Cuba in our guide here.
- Use data from your mobile provider – some providers from France, Italy, Canada, the UK and Russia have agreements in place in Cuba. Read more here.
- Buy a tourist SIM card and have data on the move.
Regardless of how you access the internet in Cuba – please do consider using a VPN. If you plan on making online bookings (say for the Viazul Bus, or a Casa Particular), checking details of your return flight, or even using some social media sites then you’ll need a VPN in Cuba. The VPN that I use (12+ years now) and recommend is ExpressVPN – this link gives you 3 months for free
Here’s how to get a Cuba Sim Card
You can buy a tourist sim card online in advance and collect it on arrival. You can also buy a Cuban tourist sim card at the Jose Marti Havana airport. You may also be able to buy a tourist sim at ETECSA offices, but you’ll likely need some Spanish language skills to do that.
The easiest way to buy a tourist sim card in Cuba
The quickest way to get a tourist sim card in Cuba is to pre-order it for collection at Havana Jose Marti Airport. The sim card can also be collected from ETECSA offices, but they’re better set up for collection at the airport.
You can buy it via Suena.
What packages are available for the tourist sim card cards in Cuba
The deal for tourists currently (January 2022) is
- 2.5Gb of data
- 20 SMS
- 20 minutes
- Valid for 30 days
What is the cost of the Cuban tourist sim card?
This Cuban tourist SIM card costs US$29.95.
Can you recharge the Cuban tourist sim card?
Yes. You can recharge this sim card online with Suena or other providers for the following costs.
- 2 GB – 10 USD
- 5 GB – 20 USD
- 8.5 GB – 30 USD
- 12 GB – 40 USD
The tourist sim card is active immediately and can be used for 30 days.
Where to collect your tourist sim in Cuba
You will collect it at the CubaTur counter at Havana Airport. The CubaTur office is open 24 hours a day and is in Terminal 3 at the airport. You’ll need the code that you were sent when ordering and they will put the SIM card in your phone for you. The SIM works for 30 days from activation.
If you arrive in Cuba via another airport, then you can collect your sim card at an ETECSA office during their stated opening hours, which are 0900 – 1600. You can find details of the ETECSA offices here.
FAQs on Cuban Tourist Sims
Got questions about Cuban tourist sims? Or want to know more details about tourist sim cards in Cuba and we haven’t answered your questions? Check out our frequently asked questions about sim cards in Cuba for tourists, or ask us yours in the comments.
Will all mobile phones work in Cuba?
To function in Cuba your phone will need to be unlocked and to operate with the following details.
Do I need specific settings to use the mobile data?
To use the mobile data, you must set up a nauta access point in your mobile phone:
Can I extend the Cuban tourist sim card?
No, the sim card will only work for 30 days. The Cuban sim card will not be extended beyond 30 days.
Is there a cost for receiving calls on the Cuban tourist sim
No. There is no charge for receiving either national or international calls on this sim.
Can I recharge the tourist SIM?
Yes, you can recharge data on the Cuban tourist Sim, but you cannot recharge with minutes or SMS.
Where can I recharge the Cuban tourist sim?
The following providers can be used to recharge the Cuban tourist sim
How can I check what minutes, SMS’s and data I have left on my tourist sim?
Use the code *222*887# to identify what data, minutes and SMS allocation you have left on your tourist sim.
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR EXPLORING CUBA INDEPENDENTLY
These are the resources and booking sites that we use when traveling to Cuba.
Travel and Health Insurance are mandatory for entry to Cuba.
Get a Cuba Travel and Medical Insurance Quote from Visitors Coverage here –
Alternatively, Civitatis Insurance is a great option for the required insurance for Cuba.
You will need a Cuba Tourist Card to enter Cuba – some airlines include these, if yours doesn’t, buy one from EasyTouristCard – now valid for 90 days.
Book your Viazul Bus tickets here
Pre-book and prepay shared & private shuttles here
Book the best FREE Walking Tours in Cuba
Reserve attractions, day trips, and activities in Cuba here
Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Cuba > discount coupon here
Book Accommodation in Cuba’s Casa Particular here
Pack these Items – you’re unlikely to find them in Cuba
A filter water bottle
Travel / Power Adapter
First Aid Kit
Final Words on How to Get a Tourist Sim in Cuba
Buying a tourist sim card in Cuba is really easy. It’s one of those things that you can do before you arrive in Cuba – book and pay for your Cuban tourist sim card online before you travel and collect it at either Havana airport or an ETECSA office.
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8 thoughts on “How to Get a Cuba Sim Card for Tourists”
We are going next week for the first time, and I am quite nervous, but excited! I have pre-purchased a SIM card, but wonder if I can pre-purchase a second one? Not sure if that’s allowed. I do only have one phone number now for which they can text the activation code, but I do have more than one email address? Just wondering if I enter the same phone number/email twice if it will allow a second sale? It did make me create an account. I am asking because I’ve thought about getting a second one for my old iphone too, that was just sitting in a drawer, just to have a back up. Thoughts?
Hi Carol – you can buy up to THREE – (here’s the confirmation from ETECSA – the Cuban mobile provider) -https://www.etecsa.cu/en/frequent-questions?faq=1090 Cheers, Sarah
My new phone only has an internal sim. I have my previous iPhone. Do I need an actual phone number to use the sim or can I just use it for things like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger to make internet calls?
Hi JB, you’ll need a SLOT to put the sim in, these are physical sim cards, not esims. You do NOT need to have a phone number attached to the phone that you’re planning on using for your Cuba Sim.
Thank you for the article, traveling next week. Is the cost of SIM the same at airport compared to buying in old havana neighborhood where we are staying?
Hi William, the tourist sim should be the same price, you may be able to buy a local sim cheaper, but it depends on availability. Please do let me know how you get on. Sarah
Things change quickly in Cuba but in March 2023 I bought a Tourist SIM Card, and although it worked just fine, a week later I discovered that instead of paying 25 USD for the SIM card I should have purchased a “regular” Cuban SIM card (priced in Cuban pesos) for a rechargeable -12 month card. Tourists do not have to buy a tourist SIM card (at the far higher price) but simply go to an Etecsa office and buy a Cuban card.
Thanks Linda. That can be a possibility, if you have the time to go and find the ETECSA office, and they have stock (and.. hey this is Cuba….they will sell it to you!) The convenience of prebooking a tourist sim means that you collect it from the airport and head off on vacation straight away.