Search
Close this search box.

Best Tourist Sim Cards in Colombia in 2024

Choosing a sim card is hard. We've analysed the best tourist sim cards in Colombia across pricing, coverage and data. Find out the best pick!

If you’re planning a trip to Colombia, having a sim card is essential for easy navigation and access to the internet. With a sim card, you can easily find the best restaurants, get directions to your accommodation, book a taxi, and share photos with your family while on the go.

While roaming is an option, the international fees can quickly add up. Therefore, we recommend either getting an eSIM or a local sim card in Colombia to enjoy local phone rates. Luckily, obtaining an eSIM or a local sim card is a hassle-free process in Colombia.

This comprehensive guide provides you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a sim card in Colombia, including the latest pricing details and the most suitable sim card for your needs.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Colombia for Tourists

The best sim card in Colombia is the prepaid sim card plan offered by Claro. For 31,000 COP you will get a generous 12GB of data valid for 30 days.

Claro has the best coverage in Colombia, however, Tigo is a close second. If you are only visiting for 15 days or less then I would also recommend the Tigo prepaid sim card which costs 16,000 COP for 10Gb of data but is valid for just 15 days.

I don’t recommend the Airalo Colombia eSim for budget-conscious travellers as it is significantly more expensive than the local sim cards. However, if you value convenience above price then make sure to check it out as eSims are always easier than physical sim cards.

Colombia Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Colombia costs 31,000 COP in June 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Colombia will cost between $8 USD and $32.50 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.

I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Colombia which includes 3GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $21 USD.

Colombia Sim Card Providers

In Colombia, the main SIM card providers are Claro, Movistar, and Tigo. Claro, a subsidiary of America Móvil, offers a wide coverage across the country, making it a popular choice for many Colombians. They provide various prepaid and postpaid plans, along with attractive data packages for internet usage. Movistar, owned by Telefónica, is another major player in the Colombian market. They offer competitive rates, reliable coverage, and a variety of voice and data plans suitable for different needs. Tigo, owned by Millicom, is known for its affordable packages and flexible options, attracting budget-conscious consumers. Despite each company having its own unique offerings, all three providers hold a significant presence in the Colombian telecommunications industry.

Claro Tourist Sim

Claro is a leading telecommunications company in Colombia, offering tourist sim cards for travelers visiting the country. With extensive coverage and reliable service, Claro ensures seamless connectivity during your trip. Their sim cards provide unlimited local calls, texts, and data, enabling tourists to stay connected and explore the beautiful destinations of Colombia without any communication barriers. Experience hassle-free communication and internet access while discovering the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and historical landmarks that Colombia has to offer with Claro’s tourist sim cards.

Claro Colombia Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Claro tourist sim card in Colombia is 31,000 COP.

The plan offered by Claro stores includes 9GB data + unlimited calls & SMS valid for 30 days.

Movistar Tourist Sim

Movistar is a renowned telecommunications company in Colombia, offering convenient tourist SIM cards for travelers. These SIM cards provide seamless connectivity across the country, allowing visitors to stay connected with ease. With competitive rates and excellent coverage, Movistar ensures uninterrupted access to the internet, local calls, and international services. Whether exploring bustling cities or serene natural wonders, Movistar’s tourist SIM cards are a reliable option for staying connected and making the most of your travels in Colombia.

Movistar Colombia Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Movistar tourist sim card in Colombia is 16,000 COP.

The plan offered by Movistar stores offers 12GB data valid for 30 days.

Tigo Tourist Sim

Tigo is a renowned telecommunications company in Colombia, providing convenient services to tourists through their tourist sim cards. These sim cards offer seamless connectivity across the country, ensuring travelers can stay connected with their loved ones and explore Colombia’s vibrant attractions hassle-free. With competitive rates and excellent network coverage, Tigo’s tourist sim cards are a reliable choice for visitors seeking reliable communication during their journey.

Tigo Colombia Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Tigo tourist sim card in Colombia is 20,000 COP.

The plan offered by Tigo stores includes 10GB data valid for 15 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Colombia

Identify mobile providers: Claro, Movistar and Tigo are your best options in Colombia.

Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.

Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.

Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.

Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.

Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.

Where to Get a Sim Card in Colombia

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Colombia at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.

However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.

In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.

If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Colombia then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Colombia have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.

In Stores

If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.

I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Claro, Movistar and Tigo. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Colombia are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.

Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.

Online

If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Colombia with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.

The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.

The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!

Colombia eSim

An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.

We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Colombia. The Airalo Colombia eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.

In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $21 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Colombia without having to venture outside.

Airalo Colombia

Our preferred eSim provider in Colombia is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Colombia and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.

Airalo’s Colombia eSim uses the Movistar network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Movistar networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Colombia.

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Colombia eSim:

1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $8 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $15 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $21 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $32.50 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 3GB data plan for $21 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.

Holafly Colombia

An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.

Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Colombia eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Colombia eSim uses the Movistar Colombianetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Colombia

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Colombia eSim:

Unlimited data valid for 5 days – Price: $19 USD
Unlimited data valid for 7 days – Price: $27 USD
Unlimited data valid for 10 days – Price: $34 USD
Unlimited data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
Unlimited data valid for 20 days – Price: $57 USD

What is an eSim?

An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is built directly into a device like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike the usual physical SIM cards, the eSIM does not require any physical insertion or removal from the device.

Instead, the eSIM is seamlessly integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This enables users to effortlessly switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically swapping SIM cards.

The use of eSIM technology offers great convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, particularly for travelers or individuals who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it far more convenient to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.

To activate an eSIM, users can simply scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually input the activation details. Once activated, the device can easily connect to the chosen mobile network and enjoy all the voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a regular SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

There are several reasons why using an eSIM can be beneficial:

– Convenience: Without needing to physically insert or remove a SIM card, switching between mobile networks or plans becomes easier. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers who may need to switch networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.

– Dual SIM functionality: eSIM allows for dual SIM functionality, meaning you can have two active mobile numbers on the same device. This is useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.

– Space-saving: With eSIMs embedded within the device, the need for a physical SIM card slot is eliminated. This frees up space within the device, allowing for smaller devices or the use of extra space for other components.

– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely over the air with eSIMs. This means you can activate or switch to a new mobile plan without needing a physical SIM card or visiting a store, offering greater flexibility and convenience for managing your mobile connectivity.

– Future-proofing: The growing support for eSIMs from mobile networks and service providers ensures that using an eSIM-compatible device allows you to take advantage of new services and offerings as they become available.

Overall, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it appealing to many users.

eSim Supported Phones

eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:

Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.

Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.

Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.

OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.

Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.

These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.

How to Use an eSim

Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!

Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:

Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.

Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.

Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.

Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.

Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. I've travelled all around the world, using and testing countless travel sim cards along the way. I'm the founder of and writer for Travel Sim Expert where I write guides to help travellers stay connected all around the world.

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is. 

Learn More About Me