French Guiana – also known as Guyane in French, not to be confused with neighboring English-speaking Guyana, is popular for its beaches, forests/reserves & hiking trails.
It is an overseas department of France, meaning it is part of the French Republic (France).
If the locals love or hate this construction – I do not know.
What I do know is that French Guiana has a lot to offer – up north, at least.
From various islands, like Devil's Island and Salvation's Island, to the (French) Guiana Space Center.
The (French) Guiana Amazonian Park is a hiking trail for the adventurous among us.
And, of course, the many luxurious resorts the department has to offer.
What may not be wonderful is the cost of travel in French Guiana. It is not the cheapest travel destination (in South America).
But before you share your colorful French Guiana experiences online, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.
Travel eSIMs can be a much more affordable way to stay connected, even in French Guiana.
How much will a travel eSIM for French Guiana cost?
You can get a travel eSIM for French Guiana for as little as 8.50 USD, with 1 GB for 7 days, up to 54 USD, for 15 GB from Airalo & Holafly.
While this may sound a bit pricey but international roaming will be even more expensive.
So yeah, these travel eSIMs can be worth it.
In this guide, I will go over the travel eSIM options offered by Airalo & Holafly. Let's go.
Original publication: 14th of September 2022. Last updated: 29th of November 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the French Guianese Mobile Operators
Suppose you want to get the best service and reception available in French Guiana.
In that case, it is better to get a SIM card or travel eSIM from the local mobile operators, which in this case would be the French Guianese ones.
Not only will you not have to deal with latency, but you also get a higher priority on the network because you are a direct customer of the mobile operator instead of a roamer.
And with most travel eSIMs, you are roaming on the network(s) of the local mobile operator(s).
But that is not always the case – the slow speeds part, that is.
Some mobile operators throttle the speeds of prepaid customers because they want more people to get a postpaid plan.
Unfortunately, travelers cannot get postpaid plans – so one way to avoid throttling is by using a travel eSIM.
Yes – travel eSIMs sometimes have faster speeds than native prepaid customers because of throttling.
Besides Orange French Guiana, you can also get eSIMs from Airalo (KAWCOM eSIM) & Holafly.
You have two options for getting an eSIM for your trip to French Guiana: Airalo (with KAWCOM) & Holafly.
One of the main advantages of getting a travel eSIM for French Guiana is that (1) you do not have to try to speak (broken) French to get a local eSIM, (2) you can set up the eSIM before arriving in French Guiana and activate it upon landing & (3) you do not have to deal with French Guiana's SIM card registration laws.
I have to mention that travel eSIMs will be more expensive than local eSIMs and SIM cards, but they are more convenient.
Moreover, I have plenty of experience with the eSIMs from Airalo, so I can vouch for them – so can many Phone Travel Wiz readers!
So let's go over what the travel eSIMs offer for French Guiana!
Airalo eSIMs for French Guiana (KAWCOM)
If you have read any of my eSIM or SIM card buying guides before, then you know I am a big fan of Airalo.
Not only does Airalo have eSIMs for most countries (around 190 countries) of any eSIM platform, but they are also often one of the cheapest while offering fantastic service in terms of speeds and reception.
That is because Airalo usually partners up with the mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, both, or even multiple operators.
That way, you get the best bang for your buck, I have to say.
In the case of French Guiana, the KAWCOM uses the SFR French Guiana/Guyane (SFR Caraïbe) network.
So, which French Guiana KAWCOM eSIMs are available? You have this one option:
- French Guiana/KAWCOM 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 8.50 USD
Now, you may think this is a sad selection or that 1 GB of data is insufficient.
Both points are true… I agree – but you can make unlimited top-ups with the KAWCOM eSIM through the Airalo website or apps.
So if you need 5 GB of data, you can purchase the KAWCOM 1 GB eSIM and get four 1 GB top-ups.
Yes, it is a bit inconvenient for now; Airalo may offer 3 GB, 5 GB & 10 GB plans with a 30-day validity for French Guiana soon, as it did for many other countries it supports.
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Airalo KAWCOM eSIM Pros
Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the KAWCOM eSIM? Yes, there are:
- You can activate your KAWCOM eSIM as soon as you land in French Guiana
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to SFR French Guiana's/Guyane's (SFR Caraïbe) network
- KAWCOM eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming)
- SIM card registration is not a thing you have to worry about with the KAWCOM eSIM, saving you time
- Multiple top-ups can be purchased when you are out of data or when your initial plan expires easily on the Airalo site or apps
I could list many more pros, but these are the major ones.
Unfortunately, there are some cons to be aware of.
Airalo KAWCOM eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the KAWCOM eSIM?
- The French Guianese mobile operators, including SFR French Guiana/Guyane (SFR Caraïbe) itself, have much more generous data allowances
- There is only one plan available, the 1 GB one, meaning you have to keep topping up when you are out of data instead of buying a larger data plan from the start
- While you get access to SFR French Guiana's/Guyane's (SFR Caraïbe) network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with SFR French Guiana/Guyane (SFR Caraïbe) itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the KAWCOM eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the KAWCOM eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo KAWCOM eSIM Overall Thoughts
The KAWCOM eSIM is a convenient eSIM that can be purchased before going to French Guiana and can be activated upon arriving.
You get access to one of French Guiana's best networks with the KAWCOM eSIM.
The main flaw, for now, is that you have to purchase multiple top-ups if you need more data than just 1 GB.
While getting a top-up is straightforward, some tourists, like myself, prefer to just buy one big data plan so that you do not have to worry about data allowances.
But besides that flaw, the KAWCOM eSIM is fine.
Remember, you cannot call or text with the KAWCOM eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Holafly eSIMs for French Guiana
My relationship with Holafly is quite funny.
I knew they existed when they offered travel SIM cards for the Spanish market only.
Then they pivoted to the global market, still offering travel SIM cards.
Eventually, they started offering travel eSIMs for the Spanish market only again before going global.
There are many travel eSIM providers nowadays – new ones pop up every week like mushrooms, so I did not bat an eye.
Until they did something revolutionary.
In 2022, Holafly started offering unlimited data plans for its eSIMs.
And these unlimited data eSIMs can be used in various Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in French Guiana… yet.
I say yet because Holafly's goal is to offer unlimited data plans for every country it covers: 100+ countries.
And I can tell you that I get positive emails multiple times a week from Phone Travel Wiz readers that have used the unlimited data plans in East- and Southeast Asia, Europe & North America; they love these eSIMs.
For now, you have three Holafly French Guiana eSIM (which uses the Digicel network, by the way):
- French Guiana 3 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 37 USD/34 EUR/37 GBP/49 AUD/44 CAD
- French Guiana 7 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 44 USD/47 EUR/47 GBP/67 AUD/59 CAD
- French Guiana 15 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 54 USD/59 EUR/49 GBP/84 AUD/77 CAD
Even better, you can get 5% off each and any Holafly purchase (so it does not have to be the French Guiana eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – fantastic, right?
- Check out my Holafly reviews
Holafly French Guiana eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly French Guiana eSIM? Well, because of the following:
- Holafly French Guiana eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Digicel's network
- Unlike going with Digicel directly, you do not have to worry about SIM card registration because it is unnecessary
- You can activate your Holafly French Guiana eSIM as soon as you land in French Guiana
- The Holafly French Guiana eSIM offers the most data
Holafly French Guiana eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Holafly French Guiana eSIM?
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly French Guiana eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- French Guianese mobile operators, including Digicel, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Digicel's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Digicel directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You cannot top up your Holafly French Guiana eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly French Guiana eSIM (yet)
Holafly French Guiana eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Holafly French Guiana eSIM is an excellent eSIM.
You get fast speeds and access to the Digicel network.
However, Holafly is the most expensive option in this guide and may not be the best for budget travelers.
Best eSIMs for in Central- and South America (not just French Guiana)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo KAWCOM eSIMs in any country than French Guiana.
However, Airalo has a new eSIM covering popular travel destinations in Central- and South America.
I highly recommend going with the Airalo Latamlink eSIM, which covers almost all of Central- and South America, if you plan on visiting multiple countries in the Americas, as you will save a lot of money when you do so.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and the revamped Asialink eSIM has become popular quickly, so I have no doubt that the Latamlink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Asia and Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Latin American countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Uruguay).
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
Below is an overview of how much each Latamlink eSIM costs:
- Latin America/Latamlink 1 GB eSIM for 1 day, costing 5 USD
- Latin America/Latamlink 2 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 28 USD
- Latin America/Latamlink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 39 USD
- Latin America/Latamlink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 60 USD
With the Latamlink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.
Holafly also has an eSIM covering most of Latin America.
But honestly, the Latamlink eSIM is superior (but you can consider the Holafly South America eSIM if you want a bit more data (6 GB) for a shorter validity (15 days) for fewer countries (13 vs. 19) – just do not forget about code PHONETRAVELWIZ if you go with Holafly).
Overview of the Best eSIMs for French Guiana (Airalo vs. Holafly)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs French Guiana.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's French Guiana KAWCOM eSIM (best value for money)
- Holafly French Guiana eSIM (most generous data plan)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in French Guiana
Do these eSIMs not sound appealing to you, or does your phone not support eSIMs (but still thought this guide was insightful enough that you read it until the end)?
Consider getting a French Guianese SIM card instead – that linked guide is the most extensive SIM card buying guide for French Guiana on the web, packed with insightful information and tips.
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