Can you be a digital nomad in Cuba?

I know many people that have been Cuba but none are digital nomads and can really answer my questions.

While there are big visa and logistical details (duration of stay) that still need to be worked out, id love to hear anything about how practical it’d be to spend a few months there?

Internet? From what I’ve heard it’s awful outside of the resorts and non-existent outside the Havana. Things changes fast though,
Cost of living? From what I’ve heard it’s cheap, it can just be hard to find things occasionally.

Any first hand accounts from fellow digital nomads would be way more useful than the random Canadian tourist that went there for 5 days in 2009 if you know what I mean :slight_smile:

Well I’ve been there, but it was about 7 years ago. I stayed at a beach resort first, and internet was worse than dial-up 28kbps… You could barely check your emails, and it was super expensive because all prices were in euro.
Habana is a whole different thing, internet was still crappy in hotels, but you get to go more to the places where locals buy. The problem was that back then you had different prices for tourists, and even a different currency. Tourists were not allowed to exchange Cuban pesos, I don’t know how’s the currency situation at the moment.
Maybe things changed since then with Raul in charge.

Hey there @jb510,

Cuba is beautiful. Internet can be found at guest houses and hotels. Its not common to have access to wi-fi spots everywhere though.

You can get by with $500 a month (of course that depends on your standard of living) As you can see its ver affordable.

Transportation- Taxis are very nice ( more cost), they have Coco Taxi (its like a Coconut cabin and a person pulls you by bike). They have public transportation, what they call “Camello” like Camel (because they are buses that have a curve in the middle). This is the cheapest way of transport. You will see a lot of people traveling via motorcycle (4-5 people at once).

Housing- You can get a hotel to guest house. I stayed with a really nice woman and her son for under 100/night.

In essence, Cubans are the nicest people. They will go out of their way to help you in every way. Once your there, everything will fall in its place. Hope you go!

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Visited Cuba last year for a month. Larger cities like Havana, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba have some spots, mainly hotels that offer internet. In my experience it’s your lucky day if you found a hotel with a working WiFi spot. Even most of the 5 star hotels I visited don’t have a working internet connection. And if they have a internet connection, it is usually hooked up to an old Windows PC and quite expensive to use (10 US dollar for an hour, 500 KB/s connection). Your best changes are in the few American run resorts.

So, unless you bring your own illegal satellite connection (yes that was illegal in Cuba when I visited), you should prepare for a lot of time without an internet connection. I simply gave up and went offline almost the whole month.

Make sure to download ForeverMap witch caches OpenStreetMaps maps for offline usage.
Very useful, since most streets don’t have street names and a lot of roads don’t have signs and/or directions. Buy a local map as backup, or for the occasion you want to ask for directions (since GPS was also illegal when I visited Cuba).

I do agree that the Cubans are very helpful and they have a amazing culture. If you’re open for adventure and haven’t been there, then you should definitely visit Cuba at least once in your life. It was one of the most interesting countries I’ve been to.

I live in Cuba most of the year and running my online travel company from there. However its only possible via emails and sometimes I am able to do Viber calls. Internet is available (legally) only in hotels where they have wifi and in Etecsa offices. From February they installed first public wifi (paid) in Vinales, later on in Trinidad. Its planned to spread them more around the island. Its handy as sometimes hotels makes problem and wont let people to use the wifi if they are not their guests.
One hour of internet costs 4.5CUC. If someone has internet at home then its dial up via landline and very very slow!
As a tourist you can stay in Cuba 2 months. Sometimes the immigration gives you also third month…
If you know someone in Havana you might be able to find accommodation (apartment) from 300/400CUC per month.
Food is not expensive but be ready there is shortage of most of the things you are used to.
If you move around Havana by taxi collectivos it will cost you 0.5CUC per ride. Camelo bus are not there anymore. They have now normal chineese bus which doesn’t cost you nearly anything but also they are always packed during the day and you might end up waiting for very long time.
If you stay longer it will be worthy to get Cuban sim card and you will be able to have email in mobile. Its cuban email Nauta. Not gmail or your work email and you pay per data received.
If you dont speak Spanish everything will be more expensive for you and way more difficult.
Cuba is very unique and complicated country and its not for everyone. However I love Cuba, their people, their culture and their attitude for life!

Hasta pronto

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Thank you all! Really enjoying reading these updates.

My fiance’s parents are from Cuba and she’s visited once about 10 years ago. We’ve both long wanted to go, but have also long known that working from Cuba would be impossible for us. The same thing has kept me out of Burma the last few years.

We need nearly good, reliable and daily internet to be comfortable working while we travel. We do fine in SEA & Europe. We can get buy for a day or two without when planned, but are pretty accustomed to having good wifi by day and at minimum phone tethering at night…

Anyway, we’ve decided to go to Cuba for our honeymoon this october, it’s the first time we’ve had a window where we’ll actually be “on vacation” and can be offline for a long stretch. After a week or two honeymoon in Cuba we’ll spend spend the next 3-4 months in mexico and the caribbean working/traveling… Very excited.