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2 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Aruba: Buying Guide

Aruba – known for its world-renowned beaches, exotic weather & thrilling nightlife.

The country is part of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao) in the Caribbean.

It is also one of the few countries where flamingos simply walk around on the beach.

To stay connected while in Aruba, you certainly want to get yourself an Aruban SIM card.

There is no doubt that you will have an exciting time when in this country, which is also one of the countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

But there is quite a distance between the two countries.

While you are already planning on how you will be flexing on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, you should be aware that international roaming can be expensive.

If you do not watch out, the roaming bill will cost as much as your trip to Aruba – or even more!

Luckily, one way to avoid excessive roaming bills is by getting an Aruban SIM card. Local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected when abroad.

But how much do SIM cards cost in Aruba?

You can get an Aruban SIM card for 26.50 AWG (14.70 USD) from Digicel and 37 AWG (20.50 USD) from SETAR in their stores or from resellers. SIM cards are also sold at Aruba/Oranjestad-Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

Okay, the SIM cards themselves may not be super cheap (many countries in this region have much lower starter rates), but the cost of data is reasonable.

But you probably want to know more about SIM cards in Aruba. So…

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Aruba. Let's do this.

Buying a SIM Card in Aruba Guide (logos of SETAR & Digicel)

Original publication: 9th of November 2020. Last updated: 2nd of January 2022.


Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Aruba?

You can buy an Aruban SIM card from SETAR or Digicel as a tourist. There is nothing preventing travelers from buying a SIM card in Aruba.

Your phone has to support the frequencies used in Aruba

Furthermore, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use an Aruban SIM card.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Aruba?

You can get an Aruban SIM card in the official stores of SETAR and Digicel. SIM cards are also sold by resellers, like CellularXpress and Citgo Gas Stations. They are also available at Aruba/Oranjestad-Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

You can expect to pay the following for Aruban SIM cards:

  • SETAR: 37 AWG
  • Digicel Aruba: 26.50 AWG
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Can You Use Your Phone in Aruba?

Aruba uses GSM for their cellular communications, meaning that you need a GSM-capable phone to use your phone in the country. Fortunately, there is about a 99% chance your phone supports GSM.

Besides that, you need to be aware of the ITU regions to determine whether your phone will work in other parts of the world.

Although there are 3 ITU regions, you only need to know these two terms: American frequencies and European frequencies.

Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3) typically use European frequencies, meaning phones bought in those regions can be used in countries using European frequencies without issues.

The Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean), ITU Region 2, use American frequencies, which are different from the European frequencies.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

Aruba uses a mix of American frequencies and European frequencies for 2G and 3G. 4G/LTE is exclusively on European frequencies.

If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, you want to go with SETAR.

It supports traditional American frequencies on 2G (1900 MHz) and 3G (850 MHz).

However, you would not be able to use 4G/LTE.

If you purchased your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 & 3) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, you can go with any mobile operator.

They support traditional European frequencies on 2G, 3G & 4G/LTE.

However, your 3G reception with SETAR may be weak at times.

Suppose you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support. In that case, you can go with any mobile operator, as your phone will support both American frequencies and European frequencies, even on 4G/LTE.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Aruba

Aruba has two mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • SETAR (Servicio di Telecomunicacion di Aruba)
  • Digicel Aruba

The following frequencies are used in Aruba:

  • 2G: 900 MHz, 1800 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 1800 MHz (Band 3)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Aruba, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

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VoLTE & VoWiFi in Aruba

Both VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFI calling) are not offered by the mobile operators in Aruba (yet).

This means that when you make a call, your phone will downgrade to 3G (or 2G when 3G is not available) instead of staying connected to 4G/LTE.

This is also why you often cannot use mobile data while calling if not connected to WiFi.

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Aruba

5G NR is not available in Aruba as of 2022, and the Aruban government has not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Best SIM Card in Aruba

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Aruba, I recommend going with SETAR or Digicel. SETAR is, overall, the best mobile operator. Digicel offers interesting combo plan swith dedicated data allowances for Prime Apps (if you use them) and has more variety in plans.

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Best eSIM in Aruba

Unfortunately, none of the mobile operators offer eSIM (to prepaid customers) in Aruba yet.

However, you can get the Aruba (Noord Communications) eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data valid for 7 days.

With this eSIM, you can skip the queues in Aruba and use it immediately upon arriving in the Aruba!

If you plan on visiting other neighboring Caribbean nations, consider the Island Hopper eSIM with 1 GB of data (7 days) in Aruba and these other islands:

With the Island Hopper eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 8 USD/country in the Caribbean!

SIM Card Registration in Aruba

SIM card registration, with the use of your personal information (such as your passport), is not required when buying a SIM card in Aruba.

EU Roaming in Aruba

European Union (EU) & European Economic Area (EEA)

Aruba is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands itself is part of the European Union (EU), but Aruba is not part of the EU nor the European Economic Area (EEA).

As a result, the EU/EEA Roam Like At Home roaming regulation does not apply to Aruba.

Therefore, you should not expect to roam for free if you have an EU/EEA SIM card while traveling in Aruba.

This also means that you can not roam for free in the EU/EEA with an Aruban SIM card.

Aruba Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Aruba

When I initially wrote this guide in 2020, I said that mobile data was expensive in the Caribbean, especially in Aruba.

In fact, Aruba was the 10th most expensive country for mobile data in the region. However, that has changed over the year.

In fact, the cost of mobile data has become relatively affordable.

But how affordable is mobile data in Aruba now?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Aruba is 4.44 USD, the exact Caribbean average of also 4.44 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Compared to 2020's figures, the average cost of 1 GB of data has gone down by a staggering 51.3%.

While there is not much information about mobile data speeds in the country because not many people do speed tests there, I can mention something about speeds.

In the Caribbean, you can expect your speeds to range between 10 Mbps and 25 Mbps.

With pricey SIM cards, great to excellent nationwide coverage, decent mobile download speeds, and average mobile data rates, you should have a smooth network experience in Aruba.

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Currency in Aruba

200 Aruban Florin Bank Note
© Central Bank of Aruba/Centrale Bank van Aruba (CBA)

Aruba uses the Aruban Florin with the symbol AWG (which will be used throughout this guide).

However, prices are often listed as just Afl or ƒ. For example, 25 AWG = Afl/ƒ 25.

AWG is pegged 1.79:1 to the US Dollar (USD), meaning that 1.79 AWG = 1 USD. 1 AWG = 0.56 USD. 10 AWG would be 5.56 USD.

10 US Dollar Note
© U.S. Currency Education Program

Shops in Aruba generally accept USD as a payment form (at a slightly worse exchange rate).

However, you will mostly likely get your change back in AWG.

For up-to-date AWG:your currency (let's say Euro) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Aruban Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through SETAR & Digicel Aruba, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices & availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans & special packs (such as social media packs) 

With that being said, let’s see what Aruba has to offer to us.


SETAR (Servicio di Telecomunicacion di Aruba)

Setar Aruba Logo
© SETAR

SETAR, standing for Servicio di Telecomunicacion di Aruba, is one of the two mobile operators in Aruba.

While many Arubans will say it is the best option, many locals have a SIM card from SETAR and Digicel Aruba, as both mobile operators charge for off-net calls.

In contrast, on-net calls are almost always free.

SETAR is a local mobile operator that solely operates in Aruba – not even in neighboring Curaçao.

SETAR uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 1800 MHz

This is what you will learn about SETAR:

* Coverage
* How to Get a SETAR SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – SETAR

SETAR has the vest coverage in Aruba.

You will be able to get 4G/LTE reception almost everywhere throughout Aruba with SETAR.

Below is SETAR's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – SETAR

You can get a SETAR SIM card for 36.50 AWG in SETAR stores. They are also sold at Aruba/Oranjestad-Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

SETAR Aruba SIM Card
© SETAR

You can also get a Data SIM, aimed at tourists, in the following two variants:

PriceStarter KitDataCredit
33 USD1 Day Kit1 GB (1 day)5.70 USD
58 USD1 Week Kit4 GB (7 days) 5.70 USD

You can purchase a regular Prepaid Data Bundle after exhausting your data allowance.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – SETAR

SETAR top-up vouchers are sold in SETAR stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

The following (online) top-up options are available:

Top-UpValidity
5 AWG15 days 
10 AWG30 days
15 AWG30 days
25 AWG45 days 
35 AWG60 days 
50 AWG90 days 
SETAR Aruba Top-Ups
© SETAR

To top up your SETAR SIM card, dial *123# and follow the instructions.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

SETAR Aruba Top-Up Card
© SETAR

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *123# to check your SETAR balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the SETAR app (Android/iOS).

SETAR Aruba App
© SETAR

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – SETAR

SETAR has two types of data-featured plans: Prepaid One Bundles (combo) & Prepaid Data Bundles (data-only).

All SETAR plans can be activated by dialing *123#.

Prepaid One Bundles – SETAR

The Prepaid One Bundles are combo plans with data, minutes & SMS.

Dial *123# to activate Prepaid One Bundles:

PriceDataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
8 AWG1 GB1000 minutes100 SMS1 day 
30 AWG4 GB1000 minutes100 SMS7 days 
60 AWG9 GB 11000 minutes100 SMS30 days 

1 includes Freebees allowing for unlimited data for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat & WhatsApp – even after you have exhausted your data allowance

SETAR Aruba Prepaid One Bundles
Prepaid Data Bundles – SETAR

The Prepaid Data Bundles are, as the name implies, data-only plans.

Dial *123# to activate Prepaid Data Bundles:

PriceDataValidity
5 AWG1 GB1 day 
15 AWG3 GB7 days
30 AWG6 GB7 days 
49 AWG8 GB 130 days 

1 includes Freebees allowing for unlimited data for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat & WhatsApp – even after you have exhausted your data allowance

SETAR Aruba Prepaid Data Bundles

APN/Internet Settings – SETAR

  • Name: SETAR
  • APN: internet.setar.aw

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Digicel Aruba

Digicel Logo
© Digicel

Digicel Aruba, just Digicel, is one of the two mobile operators in Aruba.

Digicel, as a company, is active in many other Caribbean nations, Central America & Oceania.

Digicel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 1800 MHz

This is what you will learn about Digicel:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Digicel SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Digicel Aruba

Digicel has extensive coverage in Aruba.

Digicel covers practically all of Aruba. However, coverage around and inside the caves (Huliba Cave and Quadirikiri Cave) will be limited.

Below is Digicel's coverage map:

SIM Card Price – Digicel Aruba

You can get a Digicel SIM card for 26.50 AWG with 250 MB of data, 25 on-net minutes & 25 on-net SMS in Digicel stores and from resellers, including gas stations. They are also sold at Aruba/Oranjestad-Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

You may have to call 146 to activate your Digicel SIM card if your SIM card does not work upon purchase.

Dial *123# to access the Digicel menu.

Dial *129# to see your Digicel phone number.

Digicel SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 120 days (no top-up for 120 days or no activity for 120 days).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Digicel Aruba

Digicel top-up vouchers are sold in Digicel stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Digicel SIM card, dial *125*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *125*123456#.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *120#, 123#, or *142# to check your Digicel balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Digicel app (Android/iOS).

Digicel App
© Digicel

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Digicel Aruba

Digicel has two data-featured plans: Prepaid Digicel Data & Talk Prime Bundles (combo) + Prepaid Digicel Prime Data Plans (data).

All Digicel plans can be activated by dialing *123#.

Prepaid Digicel Data & Talk Prime Bundles – Digicel Aruba

The Prepaid Digicel Data & Talk Prime Bundles are combo plans with data, data for select Digicel apps, minutes & SMS.

Digicel Prime Bundles Apps (logos of  D'Music, PlayGo, SportsMax, BiP, Loop, Billo & Go Loud)
© Digicel

Dial *123# to activate Prepaid Digicel Data & Talk Prime Bundles:

PricePlanAny Use DataListen More (Music) DataListen More (Radio) DataWatch More DataPlay More DataShare More DataKnow More DataStore More DataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidity
8 AWG1 Day Digicel Prime Bundle3 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GBUnlimitedUnlimited1 day
17 AWG3 Day Digicel Prime Bundle9 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited3 days
30 AWG7 Day Digicel Prime Bundle21 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GBUnlimitedUnlimited7 days
70 AWG30 Day Digicel Prime Bundle12 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited30 days

You can download any Prime Bundle app by visiting the links below:

Digicel Aruba Prepaid Data & Talk Prime Bundles
Prepaid Digicel Prime Data Plans – Digicel Aruba

The Prepaid Digicel Prime Data Plans, also called Prime Data Bundles, are data-only packages.

Dial *123# to activate Prepaid Digicel Prime Data Plans:

PricePlanAny Use DataListen More (Music) DataListen More (Radio) DataWatch More DataPlay More DataShare More DataKnow More DataStore More DataValidity
5 AWG1 Day Digicel Prime Bundle3 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 GB1 day
12 AWG3 Day Digicel Prime Bundle9 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 GB3 days
25 AWG7 Day Digicel Prime Bundle21 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 GB7 days
130 AWG30 Day Digicel Prime Bundle12 GB30 GB30 GB30 GB30 GB30 GB30 GB30 GB30 days
Digicel Aruba Prepaid Prime Bundles

APN/Internet Settings – Digicel Aruba

  • Name: Digicel
  • APN: web.digicelaruba.com

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Aruba

I would highly encourage anyone visiting Aruba to get themselves an Aruban SIM card – you will be saving a lot of money when you do so.

However, for some, getting an Aruban SIM card is not an option.

For example, your device may be SIM-locked, meaning that you cannot use any other SIM card other than the SIM card provided by your mobile operator.

There are other ways to stay online while in Aruba, but they may not be cheap.

However, these methods may be more expensive than getting a SIM card from the local mobile operators.

International Roaming

International roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected when traveling in other countries because you do not have to buy a new SIM card, have to deal with SIM card registration regulations, nor have multiple phone numbers to deal with.

However, international roaming has proven to be expensive in many cases, especially compared to buying local SIM cards. That is why many travelers are not fond of international roaming.

Find out whether your mobile operator has attractive roaming rates for Aruba here.

Using an International SIM Card or Travel SIM Card

International SIM cards are SIM cards made for the traveler in mind.

Using them is often cheaper than international roaming.

However, they are almost always more expensive than using a local SIM card.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages of getting international SIM cards, which you can learn about here.

Using a Mobile Hotspot (Pocket WIFI)

Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local mobile operators of the country you are visiting.

Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

Using Free WIFI Networks

Using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to stay connected because they are free.

The major downside of trying to use WIFI hotspots is that you will have to locate them, and they are not available on every corner in Aruba.

Make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN so that hackers cannot steal your personal data.


The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Aruba

Getting a SIM card from SETAR or Digicel would do you well when considering an Aruban SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Caribbean Countries

Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide, covering other Caribbean nations, such as:

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

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