Written by Kieran Proctor

4 Most Important Mobile Phone Apps For Cuba (2024)

This article covers the four (4) most important mobile applications, to have on your phone when you visit Cuba. As ...

This article covers the four (4) most important mobile applications, to have on your phone when you visit Cuba. As a regular long term visitor to Cuba, these are the mobile apps I find invaluable when traveling to Cuba.

To be able to use the mobile apps covered below, you’ll need to get a mobile SIM card and phone number in Cuba. It’s an easy process and I’ve previously covered how I do it and what I pay for data. But with a phone connection, having these apps will make your holiday much more enjoyable. They do for me!

The four most important mobile apps to have on your device in Cuba


Without a VPN in Cuba, you will not be able to access the Apple App Store or Google Play, Netflix or most other popular mobile applications. And this is because Cuba is under US sanctions. If you do not arrive with a VPN pre-loaded onto your phone, you will likely need to pay someone to put a VPN onto your phone.

A VPN can be loaded onto a phone in Cuba, without paying for a service, though it is quite challenging and it took me 2-3hrs to work it out. Expect a high degree of difficulty to do it yourself in Cuba, if you do not load one onto your phone before arriving.

An article outlining the process for downloading a VPN in Cuba, or any other blocked country, can be found here. And you should also turn off all automatic software or app updates, to avoid losing your VPN while in Cuba.

With that said, I’ve personally used NordVPN for 5 years, both at home and while traveling through the Middle East including Iran, Eastern Europe and Latin America including Argentina, Colombia and Cuba.

NordVPN works flawlessly in Cuba and has allowed me to access my bank accounts, the Apple App Store and even watch US Netflix while in Cuba, because Cuban television programs are awful.

Unlike other VPN’s I can confirm NordVPN works both on wifi and the cuban mobile phone network. Some of my Cuba based foreign friends found that their VPN’s worked perfectly on wifi but would fail on the mobile phone network.

With NordVPN I had a strong, fast and secure connection on both wifi and cellular services in Cuba. And we are now using NordVPN to upload videos to Youtube from Cuba.

NordVPN on mobile and laptop
Don’t travel to Cuba without a VPN. Your device will not be able to access your favorite websites and apps without a VPN.

La Nave

La Nave is Cuba’s answer to Uber Ride sharing. Uber will not work in Cuba and Cuba has zero Uber drivers.

In order to get around you can either flag down a marked taxi, ask your host or hotel to call you a taxi using WhatsApp or you can use La Nave. In all cases La Nave will be cheaper and more efficient.

With La Nave the price is displayed on the screen before you accept the ride, the location of the vehicles and the time to pickup is displayed and you can choose one of four (4) vehicle types.

The options are basic, comfort, basic XL and comfort XL. The prices will reflect the vehicle type and category with a standard ‘Basic’ vehicle choice being the cheapest option.

The ‘basics’ vary between soviet era Lada’s and the cool old cars Cuba is known for. I always select basic when using La Nave.

For a longer explanation of La Nave check out my article here.

la Nave in Cuba


If La Nave is Cuba’s answer to Uber ride sharing, Mandao is Cuba’s answer to Uber Eats. Like conventional Uber, Uber Eats will not work in Cuba. With the Mandao app you can order food, drinks or groceries from almost any restaurant or store in Cuba.

For those times when you’re using NordVPN to watch Netflix at home on your couch in Havana, Mandao is a lifesaver and allows you to order food from your favourite restaurant.


Maps.Me is exactly what it sounds like – a mobile map application. Google maps is pretty much useless in Cuba. If you want decent street directions and want to be able to find places quickly and easily, should be your go to app.

Google would continually send us the wrong way down one way streets or would be completely missing streets altogether. Maps.Me doesn’t have that problem and gives the best directions of all the navigational aids I’ve used in Cuba.

Use Maps.Me for directions and Google or Apple Maps for looking at reviews of restaurants and other establishments.

Maps.Me in Havan Cuba

Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Cuba travel guide available on this website. And I recommend you read it, before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My ultimate guide to Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Read the most up to date guide to traveling in Cuba.