If you plan on visiting Guatemala, having a SIM card is essential for easy navigation and access to the internet while traveling. With internet access, you can easily find the best restaurants, get directions to your accommodations, book a taxi, and share photos with your family on the go. While roaming is an option, international fees can quickly accumulate, so we highly recommend either getting an eSIM or a local SIM card to take advantage of local phone rates.
Luckily, obtaining either an eSIM or a local SIM card in Guatemala is a straightforward process. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need regarding purchasing a SIM card in Guatemala, including current pricing and the best SIM card options available.
The best sim card in Guatemala is the Claro tourist sim card which costs 199 GTQ and comes with 15GB data, free social media and unlimited calls and texts for 30 days. This is a pretty good deal!
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper or are staying for less than 15 days, then you can also just buy a Claro sim card for 25 GTQ then top up 50 GTQ and buy a prepaid plan. I recommend the 50 GTQ plan which comes with 6GB data + free social media for 15 days.
You can also check out the Airalo Guatemala eSim here. The prices aren’t as competitive as the local sim cards for the same amount of data so I can’t recommend them for most travellers. However, if you only need 1GB of data for 7 days it will cost you just $7.50 USD (or 58 GTQ). This is a convenient and cheap option if you are just visiting for a couple of days.
The larger 3GB Airalo eSim, although still quite small, will cost you just $21 USD (165 GTQ) and will last for 30 days. This is a good option for travellers who value the convenience over the extra data.
A Tourist Sim Card in Guatemala costs 199 GTQ in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Guatemala will cost between $7.50 USD and $21 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 Guatemala which includes 3GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $21 USD.
Guatemala, a Central American country known for its vibrant culture and landscape, has several main SIM card providers. Among them, Claro and Tigo are the leading names in the telecommunications industry. Claro, a subsidiary of the Mexican telecommunications company América Móvil, offers a wide range of services, including prepaid and postpaid plans, data packages, and international roaming options. Tigo, owned by the Swedish multinational Millicom, is another major player in Guatemala, providing competitive pricing, reliable coverage, and a variety of voice and data plans. Both Claro and Tigo have a vast network coverage across the country, enabling Guatemalans to stay connected wherever they go.
Claro is a major telecommunications company in Guatemala, offering tourist SIM cards for visitors to stay connected throughout their trip. With Claro’s tourist SIM cards, travelers can enjoy reliable coverage and excellent network speeds across the country. These SIM cards provide affordable data plans and allow tourists to make local and international calls. Claro’s tourist SIM cards are easily accessible at their stores, making it convenient for travelers to get connected from the moment they arrive.
The price of a Claro tourist sim card in Guatemala is 75 GTQ (25 GTQ for the sim card + 50 GTQ for the plan).
The plan offered by Claro stores includes 6GB data + free social media valid for 15 days.
Tigo offers convenient tourist sim cards in Guatemala, catering to the needs of travelers. These sim cards provide affordable and reliable mobile data services, allowing tourists to stay connected while exploring the country’s beautiful attractions. With Tigo, visitors can easily access maps, book accommodations, and share their experiences on social media. Tigo’s tourist sim cards ensure a seamless travel experience, enabling visitors to stay connected throughout their journey.
The price of a Tigo tourist sim card in Guatemala is 149 GTQ (50 GTQ for the sim card + 99 GTQ for the plan).
The plan offered by Tigo stores offers 10GB data + free social media + 200 minutes calls & SMS valid for 30 days.
Guatemala offers various tourist SIM cards that cater to travelers’ communication needs. Companies like Claro, Tigo, and Movistar provide affordable prepaid options with good network coverage. These SIM cards allow visitors to make local and international calls, send text messages, and access the internet, ensuring an uninterrupted experience while exploring the country’s stunning landscapes, Mayan ruins, and vibrant cities like Antigua and Guatemala City. Tourist SIM cards also offer data packages for convenient navigation, social media use, and staying connected during your visit.
The price of a tourist sim card in Guatemala is .
The plan offered by stores includes valid for .
Identify mobile providers: Claro, Tigo and are your best options in Guatemala.
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.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Guatemala 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 Guatemala then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Guatemala 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.
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, Tigo and . 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 Guatemala 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.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Guatemala 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!
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 Guatemala. The Airalo Guatemala 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 Guatemala without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Guatemala is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Guatemala 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 Guatemala eSim uses the Tigo and Claro networks to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Tigo and Claro networksnetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Guatemala.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Guatemala eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $7.50 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $21 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.
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 Guatemala eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Guatemala eSim uses the Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala, S.A. (TELGUA)network to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Guatemala
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Guatemala eSim:
6GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $44 USD
An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is permanently embedded in a device like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike the traditional physical SIM cards, there is no need to physically insert or remove an eSIM from the device.
The eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This allows users to easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards.
The use of eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, particularly for frequent travelers or people who switch between multiple mobile networks or travel internationally. It removes the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, simplifying the management of multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services just like with a physical SIM card.
Using an eSIM can be beneficial for several reasons:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans, ideal for travelers.
– Dual SIM functionality: Allows for two active mobile numbers on one device, great for managing personal and work lines.
– Space-saving: Embedded eSIMs eliminate the need for a physical SIM card slot, freeing up space within a device.
– Remote provisioning: Mobile plan activation and management can be done remotely, providing flexibility and convenience.
– Future-proofing: As more networks and providers support eSIMs, using an eSIM-compatible device ensures access to new services.
In summary, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing, making it a compelling choice for many users.
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.
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.
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.