Internet and WiFi
The "Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A." (ETECSA) (in English: Telecommunications Company of Cuba) is the government-owned service provider for the entire country. Their services include: telephony, mobile telphony (through their Cubacel branch), and Internet (through their NAUTA branch). Since 2011 an underwater high-speed fiber-optic cable (called ALBA-1) has been connecting Venezuela to Cuba, this new connection considerably improved the public internet service in Cuba since January 2013.
Internet Corner in hotels (wired computers):
Every hotel in Cayo Santa Maria offer internet access to their guests; computers are usually located in the lobby area. You have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card (30 or 60 minutes) at the Front Desk. On these cards there's a scratch-off area to reveal the user id (usario) and password (contresena) that you will use to sign-in using the access software installed on the computer. Make sure to buy the right type of card, there's one type to be used on computers provided by the hotel, and there's another type to access internet through WiFi (when available) with your own device.
Don't forget to sign-out after your session, so you can use the remaining minutes later. The NAUTA Prepaid Internet Cards remain valid for 30 days from the first connection.
Wi-Fi Internet access:
Since late 2012 more and more hotels, restaurants and cafés now offer Wi-Fi access for guests who prefer to use their own device. Some restaurants and cafés offer free WiFi if you eat or drink. In Cayo Santa Maria almost every hotel arleady have (or planing soon) to offer Wi-Fi access to their guests. Every hotel charges for this service, except the Melia Buenavista. You have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Wi-Fi Internet Card. Cost is usually around 5 CUC for 60 minutes. On these cards there's a scratch-off area to reveal the user id (usario) and password (contresena) that you will use to sign-in. Make sure to purchase the card for Wi-Fi connection, and not the one for wired computers, and check if there is an expiration date on the card. In the hotels, WiFi is usually accessible in the lobby area only, but since 2015 some new hotels are beginning to offer it in the rooms. Ask the front desk for the IP address (http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) to connect to their network and ... don't forget to logout after each session!
Internet access at a ETECSA Internet Center:
Since June 2013, public access to internet has been increased through 118 internet centers nationwide. You have to buy a NAUTA Prepaid Internet Card (30 or 60 minutes) to sign-in using the access software installed on the computer. Don't forget to sign-out after your session so you can use the remaining minutes later, Note that there's no ETECSA Internet Center (Salas de Navegacion) in Cayo Santa Maria, the nearest one would be in the town of Caibarien, on Avenida 11 corner of Calle 10.
Lily & Normand