Suriname – known for being the smallest country in South America, one of the two South American nations where they drive on the left & for having only one cinema.
Back to Suriname – it is a popular travel destination for the Dutch due to historical links.
But why do the Dutch, and other travelers, go to Suriname?
First, the temperature is always pleasant – especially for those from the Northern Hemisphere having to endure a cold winter.
But the country also has a lot of attractions.
As the majority of the country consists of rainforests, the nature in Suriname is stunning.
You also have plenty of hiking trails to explore.
The historic inner city of Paramaribo is exciting to see compared to modern Paramaribo.
If you like to see sea turtles, head to Braamspunt or Marapica Beach.
See, there is no reason to be bored in Suriname.
But before you share your colorful Suriname experiences online, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.
Travel eSIMs can be a much more affordable way to stay connected, even in Suriname.
How much will a travel eSIM for Suriname cost?
You can get a travel eSIM for Suriname for as little as 9.50 USD, with 1 GB for 7 days, up to 54 USD, for 5 GB, from Airalo & Nomad.
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 & Nomad. Let's go.
Original publication: 2nd of September 2022. Last updated: 29th of November 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Surinamese Mobile Operators
Suppose you want to get the best service and reception available in Suriname.
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 Surinamese 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.
So, which Surinamese mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers? None do.
You have several other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Suriname: Airalo (with Pondocom) & Nomad.
One of the main advantages of getting a travel eSIM for Suriname is that (1) you do not have to try to speak (broken) Spanish to get a local eSIM, (2) you can set up the eSIM before arriving in Suriname and activate it upon landing & (3) you do not have to deal with Suriname'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 & Nomad, so I can vouch for them – so can many Phone Travel Wiz readers!
So let's go over what the travel eSIMs offer for Suriname!
Airalo eSIMs for Suriname (Pondocom)
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 Suriname, the Pondocom uses the Digicel Suriname network.
So, which Suriname Pondocom eSIMs are available? You have this one option:
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 Pondocom eSIM through the Airalo website or apps.
So if you need 5 GB of data, you can purchase the Pondocom 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 Suriname 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 Pondocom eSIM Pros
Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Pondocom eSIM? Yes, there are:
- You can activate your Pondocom eSIM as soon as you land in Suriname
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Digicel Suriname's network
- Pondocom eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming)
- SIM card registration is not a thing you have to worry about with the Pondocom 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 Pondocom eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Pondocom eSIM?
- The Surinamese mobile operators, including Digicel Suriname 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 Digicel Suriname's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Digicel Suriname itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Pondocom eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Pondocom eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Pondocom eSIM Overall Thoughts
The Pondocom eSIM is a convenient eSIM that can be purchased before going to Suriname and can be activated upon arriving.
You get access to one of Suriname's best networks with the Pondocom 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 Pondocom eSIM is fine.
Remember, you cannot call or text with the Pondocom eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Nomad eSIMs for Suriname
Nomad is one of the eSIM players on the market that managed to grow quickly.
That is because it is one of the few premium eSIM players out there, often using multiple partners to bring you the best coverage and speeds out there.
As a result, Nomad is often (slightly) more expensive than Airalo.
But good people run the company.
For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.
And many more regional eSIMs are coming – I can promise you that!
Anyway, what did I mean with “often using multiple partners to bring you the best coverage and speeds out there” earlier?
In Suriname, Nomad uses the Truphone network, which uses a combination of local networks (Telesur & Digicel Suriname), allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.
This way, you will always have a connection (unless you are in the middle of a jungle, of course 🤪).
You have the following three options with Nomad for Suriname:
- Suriname 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 20 USD/20.50 EUR/17.50 GBP/26.50 CAD
- Suriname 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 48 USD/48.50 EUR/41 GBP/63 CAD
- Suriname 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 54 USD/54.50 EUR/46.50 GBP/70.50 CAD
Now, these prices are significantly higher when looking at the Airalo Suriname Pondocom eSIM, especially the 1 GB variant.
And I can tell you that Phone Travel Wiz readers do not get the 1 GB or 3 GB variants at all – they too costly.
However, the readers who get the Nomad Suriname eSIM go for the 5 GB variant.
Mostly because the Airalo Suriname Pondocom eSIM has only the 1 GB version, which requires multiple top-ups if you want more data and has a 7-day validity.
And, unlike the Pondocom eSIM, the Nomad Suriname uses multiple networks instead of just one (Digicel Suriname), giving you much better coverage and faster speeds.
So that is why many Phone Travel Wiz readers do not mind spending 6 USD more for the Nomad Suriname eSIM than the Pondocom eSIM (9 USD) with four top-ups to get 5 GB of data (4 * 9 USD).
Wait… only 6 USD more? Is 54 USD – 45 USD not 9 USD?
That is correct (and you are paying attention!), but you can get 3 USD/2.85 EUR/2.45 GBP/4.10 CAD off your first Nomad purchase when using code ADU123!
I am looking out for you there 😏.
And, of course, just like the Airalo Suriname Pondocom eSIM, you can also top up your Nomad Suriname eSIM on the Nomad site or apps.
- Check out my Nomad reviews
Nomad Suriname eSIM Pros
Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Nomad Suriname? Yes:
- SIM card registration and bureaucracy? Skip that with the Nomad Suriname eSIM, saving you time
- You can activate your Nomad Suriname eSIM as soon as you land in Suriname
- You get full (up to 3G) access to multiple Surinamese networks, allowing you to always have the best coverage and speeds
- Nomad Suriname eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- Nomad offers the most options (three) and longest validity (30 days) of any travel eSIM in this guide
- Multiple top-ups can be purchased when you are out of data or when your initial plan expires easily on the Nomad site or apps
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Suriname eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Nomad Suriname eSIM?
- Surinamese mobile operators have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to multiple Surinamese networks, your speeds may not be as fast as going with the mobile operators directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- Nomad has the most expensive plans for Suriname in this guide
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Suriname eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Suriname eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Nomad Suriname eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad Suriname eSIM is an excellent premium eSIM offering the most options and longest validity in this guide.
And because the Nomad Suriname eSIM uses multiple networks, you will always have the best reception when traveling around Suriname.
The main con is that Nomad has the most expensive options in this guide.
And you cannot make calls and send SMS with the Nomad Suriname eSIM because it is a data-only eSIM.
Best eSIMs for in Central- and South America (not just Suriname)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Suriname or Nomad Suriname eSIMs in any country than Suriname.
However, Holafly has an eSIM covering the popular travel destinations in Central- and South America.
Sadly, Suriname is not one of them, but I still want to introduce them to you because they will be much cheaper than buying multiple eSIMs, or SIM cards for that matter, per country.
I highly recommend going with the Holafly South America eSIM, which also covers parts of Central America, if you plan on visiting multiple countries in the Americas, as you will save a lot of money when you do so.
Holafly Central- and South America eSIM
While Holafly officially calls this eSIM the South America eSIM, it can also be used in a few countries in Central America.
And as many Phone Travel Wiz readers who visit Suriname also visit neighboring countries, it will be better to get the Holafly South America eSIM for your travels.
The Holafly South America eSIM can be used in the following 13 countries:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
But, as you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in Suriname, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
You only have one option for the Holafly South America eSIM: 6 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 44 USD/47 EUR/34 GBP/67 AUD/59 CAD.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Suriname (Airalo vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs Suriname.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Suriname Pondocom eSIM (cheapest)
- Nomad Suriname eSIM (most eSIM options)
Remember to use code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Suriname
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 Surinamese SIM card instead – that linked guide is the most extensive SIM card buying guide for Suriname on the web, packed with insightful information and tips.
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