Puerto Rico – known for its beaches, coral reefs & the Spanish culture with an American twist.
The island is an unincorporated and organized United States territory.
What that means is beyond the scope of this guide, but it is somewhat part of the US.
But what can you even do in Puerto? A lot.
El Yanque National Forest is a fantastic trail with various waterfalls.
The Castillo de San Cristóbal is a large Spanish fort.
And you have nothing to do at night, visit Bahía Bioluminiscente to see glowing fish or organisms in the bay.
Quite some exciting things to do in Puerto Rico, huh?
But you should know that international roaming can be expensive.
That is why you can be better off with a travel eSIM to save on data costs abroad.
How much will you pay for a travel eSIM for Puerto Rico?
You can get an eSIM for Puerto Rico for as little as 4.50 USD to 44 USD from Airalo (Boricua Mobile) and Holafly.
I will also introduce you to a few global eSIMs that be used in Puerto Rico and 110+ other countries, including Puerto Rico's (indirect) neighbors, for competitive rates.
Original publication: 20th of January 2023. Last updated: 20th of January 2023.
Table of Contents
Airalo Boricua Mobile eSIM for Puerto Rico
If you have looked for travel eSIMs before, you have undoubtedly read or heard of Airalo – the largest, oldest & most popular eSIM platform out there, covering around 190 countries (more than any other eSIM platform out there).
Airalo is so popular and loved, even by myself, because Airalo's eSIMs are often the most affordable while using (one of) the best local networks while also offering plenty of data options so that you can pick the one that suits your needs.
The latter does not really apply to Puerto Rico or the Caribbean in general, but let's not get ahead of ourselves 😏.
Anyway, the Airalo eSIM for Puerto Rico is called Boricua Mobile and uses the T-Mobile Puerto Rico network (on 4G/LTE – no 5G NR because there is no 5G NR in Puerto Rico yet 🗿).
Wait… why does the Boricua Mobile eSIM use the T-Mobile Puerto Rico network?
Travel eSIM providers like Airalo set up roaming agreements with local mobile operators.
And that is not an Airalo-specific thing – basically all mobile operators do, allowing their customers can still stay connected when abroad (at high prices).
Otherwise, they would need to build their own networks in 190 countries, which is $$$.
For example, 2degrees in New Zealand claims it spent more than a billion (New Zealand) dollars on its network, and New Zealand is not even that big.
Imagine how much it would cost to build your own network in every country out there 😳.
Anyway, you may have been distracted by the term roaming because you may have read stories of travelers going back home facing a 7000 USD roaming bill or something.
Worry not; that will not happen when you use the Boricua Mobile eSIM (or any other travel eSIM mentioned in this guide), as long as you make sure to turn data roaming off on your main SIM card.
Okay, that is enough background information – let's check what Airalo's options are in Puerto Rico.
- Puerto Rico/Boricua Mobile 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Puerto Rico/Boricua Mobile 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11 USD
- Puerto Rico/Boricua Mobile 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 16 USD
(the prices has been decreased by about 40% recently – awesome!)
Be aware: most travel eSIMs, including Airalo's Puerto Rico Boricua Mobile eSIM, are data-only eSIMs, so you cannot call or text with them (nor can you receive any calls or SMS).
Hopefully, that is not a dealbreaker because the Boricua Mobile eSIM is the cheapest eSIM mentioned in this guide.
And you know that I would purchase multiple top-ups because I use a lot of data when traveling and testing eSIMs 🤪.
But… do I not often say that local SIM cards or eSIMs are cheaper than any other option, including travel eSIMs?
Yep, that is true (and you have a good memory!) – but you will have to deal with Puerto Rican SIM card registration laws.
(Why does this matter? Because hackers can steal your (critical) personal data if the mobile operator does not secure your data properly, like what happened in Australia (10 million Optus customers were affected, where info, like passport numbers, were stolen (including mine – luckily not my passport number but my boyfriend was not as lucky) or Indonesia (1.3 billion SIM card-related data was hacked)).
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Anyway, the Airalo Puerto Rico Boricua Mobile eSIM is an affordable option to stay connected in the country.
Holafly eSIM for Puerto Rico
Holafly is one of the many travel eSIM resellers out there, but it is one of the few that I recommend.
It started with selling, in my opinion, overpriced travel SIM cards before entering the eSIM market with (reasonably priced) eSIMs.
But any resellers pop up every week trying to sell the same service for more cash for themselves while offering zero customer service (which is why you only see me recommend a handful of eSIM providers… ones I have tested myself).
So why do I recommend Holafly?
Mostly because it started offering unlimited data plans for popular travel destinations as of June 2022, giving it some uniqueness.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in Puerto Rico.
But Holafly did not cover Puerto Rico until recently…. so one step at a time 😜.
Unlike the Airalo Boricua Mobile eSIM, you have a fewer options with Holafly for Puerto Rico, which I will list below:
- Puerto Rico 6 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 44 USD/47 EUR/34 GBP/67 AUD/59 CAD
The Holafly Puerto Rico eSIM uses the Claro Puerto Rico network, the best in the country.
As expected, you cannot use 5G NR (yet) with the Holafly Puerto Rico eSIM, nor can you call and text (it is a data-only eSIM).
Moreover, you cannot top up or extend the validity with the Holafly Puerto Rico eSIM – so you need to buy another eSIM when you are out of data, or the eSIM expires; you have to purchase a new one.
Holafly is working on top-ups, but it has been working on it for a while now… so keep your expectations low
On the other hand, you can use your phone as a hotspot with your Holafly Puerto Rico eSIM (which you cannot do in countries with unlimited data eSIMs).
On top of that, you can get 5% off each and any Holafly purchase (so it does not have to be the Puerto Rico eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ 😏.
- Check out my Holafly reviews
International eSIM for Puerto Rico & More Caribbean Countries
Okay, I went over the Puerto Rico travel eSIM options offered by Airalo and Holafly.
As expected, these eSIMs can only be used in Puerto Rico and not in neighboring Dominican Republic or Haiti.
So what if you plan on visiting any of those countries, or you are on a world tour and wish to use one eSIM in multiple countries – do you have any other options?
Yes, you do. Airalo and Nomad have regional, global & international eSIMs covering at least 80 countries; some include Puerto Rico too.
If you see names that you do not recognize because they have not been mentioned in this guide, it is because they either do not cover Puerto Rico or the prices are criminal – I want you to save money, not get robbed 🗿
So let's see which multi-country eSIMs can be used in Puerto Rico and other countries, including Puerto Rico's neighbors.
Airalo Island Hopper eSIM for Puerto Rico
Airalo also has the Island Hopper eSIM covering 24 countries with 1 GB of data for 7 days, costing 15 USD.
The Island Hopper eSIM can be used in the following 24 Caribbean countries:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bahamas (new!) 1
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- French Guiana 2
- Grenada 3
- Montserrat 3
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Islands
1 the Island Hopper eSIM included the Bahamas until February or March 2022, until it was mysteriously removed. But it was added back in October 2022
2 the Latamlink eSIM covers French Guiana too – it has better options than Island Hopper (1 GB/7 days, 2 GB/15 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days) in Central- and South America. However, if you do not visit those regions and stay in the Caribbean only, then stick with the Island Hopper eSIM instead
3 on 3G only
Like the Boricua Mobile eSIM, top-ups are available if you need more data.
I am working with Airalo to turn the Island Hopper into a -link eSIM so that it offers you better value (the -link eSIMs have at least four variants, up to 100 GB of data for 180 days, making top-ups often unnecessary).
But do not get the Island Hopper eSIM just for Puerto Rico because the Boricua Mobile eSIM is more than half the price of Island Hopper.
For now, you still have an eSIM covering almost all of the Caribbean, which is neat :).
Nomad Global eSIM for Puerto Rico
The last global eSIM I want to introduce you to is Nomad's Global eSIM.
It covers more than 110 countries (including Puerto Rico) with three variants: 1 GB/7 days (20 USD/19 EUR/16.50 GBP/27.50 CAD), 3 GB/30 days (48 USD/45.50 EUR/39.50 GBP/66 CAD) & 5 GB/30 days (54 USD/51 EUR/44.50 GBP/74 CAD).
While this can be convenient for those who do not need a lot of data… you will still be charged top-dollar for Nomad Global eSIMs.
In fact, the Nomad Global eSIMs cost the same as the Nomad Puerto Rico eSIMs.
And that is why I did not mention the Nomad Puerto Rico eSIMs in this guide because they are simply too expensive (compared to the other options you have).
I am working with Nomad to drop the prices for the Global eSIM because there are way cheaper options out there, giving you more data for the same prices as Nomad.
Sad… I know 😩.
Anyway, the Nomad Global eSIM can be used in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- Myanmar (Burma)
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Lucia
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
You can use code ADU123 for 3 USD/2.85 EUR/2.45 GBP/4.10 CAD off any Nomad eSIM (including the Puerto Rico and Global ones – first purchase only).
- Check out my Nomad reviews
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Puerto Rico (Airalo vs. Holafly)
I introduced you to various travel eSIMs that can be used in Puerto Rico.
While I have already informed you which eSIM(s) I recommend the most, I will list them once more for you
- Airalo Puerto Rico Boricua Mobile eSIM (cheapest)
- Holafly Puerto Rico eSIM (most generous data allowance)
- Airalo Island Hopper eSIM (covers 24 Caribbean countries at higher prices and just 1 GB of data)
- Nomad Global eSIM (covers 110 countries, including 12 in the Caribbean, at high prices)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs, and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is unnecessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Puerto Rico
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Puerto Rican SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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