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Central America: 10 Best Prepaid SIM Cards Buying Guide (2023)

Central America – known for beaches, weather & Mayan pyramids.

The region is also host to well-reserved colonial sites.

And let's not forget about the natural wonders.

Many travelers visit Central America because it is a relatively affordable travel destination.

Especially compared to North America and the Caribbean.

But South America may be cheaper than Central America.

While your intention of visiting this region will differ from other travelers, you probably want to stay connected.

Else you would not have clicked on this guide 😏.

But as you probably know, international roaming can be expensive – also in Central America.

That is why you should get a local SIM card per Central American nation you visit to save the most money.

And unlike in North America and the Caribbean, you can get SIM cards for just 1 USD or 2 USD – aka pocket change.

Moreover, the cost of mobile data is low in Central America too.

So, what are your options in Central America? Which SIM card is the best? How much do they cost? And what plans are available?

This guide will answer all these questions for every individual Central American country.

Yes, this is the ultimate guide to buying a SIM card in Central America. Let's do this.

Buying a SIM Card in Central America Guide (logos of Movistar, Smart!, Digi, Tigo, Claro, Kölbi, +movil & Digicel)

Original publication: 17th of November 2019. Last updated: 18th of October 2022.


Table of Contents

Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Central America

With only seven countries in Central America, it is quite easy to summarize which SIM card is the best for a particular country.

This is mainly because two mobile operators, Claro and Tigo, are active in almost all Central American countries.

So, which SIM cards are the best in Central America?

In Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua, Tigo (sometimes formerly Movistar) is the best. In Belize, Digi (formerly DigiCell) and Smart! are both fine. Go with Claro in El Salvador (and Costa Rica, but Kölbi will be better than Claro). In Panama, +móvil (Cable & Wireless) will rock (but Digicel is faster).

Okay, that is all you need to know. You can close this guide (lmao – no, but it is quite an impressive summary, right?).

For your convenience, there is a table of the best SIM cards in all Central American countries:

CountryRecommended SIM Card(s)
BelizeDigi Belize (formerly DigiCell) & Smart! Belize
Costa RicaKölbi Costa Rica & Claro Costa Rica
El SalvadorClaro El Salvador
GuatemalaTigo Guatemala
HondurasTigo Honduras
NicaraguaTigo Nicaragua (formerly Movistar)
Panama+móvil (Cable & Wireless) & Digicel Panama

Why are the mobile operators mentioned above the best in the stated countries?

You will have to read along to find out – imagine if you closed the guide already; you would have missed out on the golden nuggets 🤪.

Best eSIMs in Central America

Unfortunately, none of the Central American mobile operators offer eSIMs at all – not even to postpaid customers.

Moreover, there is no eSIM covering all of Central America (or the Americas in general, unlike Africa, Asia, the Caribbean & Europe).

But I do have eSIM recommendations for every country from Airalo (most affordable in every Central American country) or Nomad (more data and longer validity in most countries in the region).

Why should you get an eSIM instead of a Central American local SIM card?

Most Central American countries require some sort of SIM card registration when buying a local SIM card, which requires capturing your personal details.

And in some countries, the bureaucratic hassle of obtaining a SIM card may be a reason enough to avoid the inconveniences and just purchase an eSIM on an app.

Below are the eSIMs I recommend:

CountryAiralo eSIMsNomad eSIMs
BelizeBelize/Cho! – 1 GB/7 daysN/A
Costa RicaCosta Rica/Hot Telecom – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 daysAvailable, but much more expensive than Airalo
El SalvadorEl Salvador/Cerrocom – 1 GB/7 daysTruphone – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days
GuatemalaGuatemala/Tikal Mobile – 1 GB/7 days & 3 GB/30 daysTruphone – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days
HondurasHonduras/Honnet – 1 GB/7 daysTruphone – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days
NicaraguaNicaragua/Nicarcell – 1 GB/7 daysTruphone – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days
PanamaPanama/Pancell Digital – 1 GB/7 days & 3 GB/30 daysTruphone – 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days & 5 GB/30 days

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Best International/Travel SIM Card for Central America

There are travel or international SIM cards covering individual countries of Central America or multiple ones.

Unfortunately, not all countries are covered (unless you go for SIM cards costing 50 USD, giving you 10 MB for Belize, for example 🙄).

I recommend SimCorner's travel SIM cards.

It has four country-specific travel SIM cards for the following Central American countries:

You can also consider SimCorner's South America Travel SIM card, also with 12 GB for 30 days, to be used in the following Central American (CA) and South American (SA) countries:

  • Brazil (SA)
  • Chile (SA)
  • Colombia (SA)
  • Costa Rica (CA)
  • El Salvador (CA)
  • Guatemala (CA)
  • Nicaragua (CA)
  • Peru (CA)
  • Puerto Rico (Caribbean)
  • Uruguay (SA)

For Honduras, you can use SimCorner's International Travel SIM card with 6 GB of data valid for 15 days.

This travel SIM card can be used in all the Central American and South American countries mentioned so far and about 100+ more, including Canada, Mexico, the United States – and many more in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East & Oceania.

Use discount code PHONETRAVELWIZ for extra savings!

SIM Card Prices in Central America

Earlier, we learned that mobile data rates are low in Central America.

Fortunately, the same can be said about SIM card prices in the region.

So, how much do SIM cards cost in Central America?

It is hard to say because various currencies are used throughout Central America.

But I will give it a try:

You can get a Central American SIM card for between 1 USD (in El Salvador and Honduras (25 HNL) to 23.80 USD (199 GTQ in Guatemala). However, you will often spend around 1.50 USD per SIM card per country (but the average is 4.80 USD). Tourist SIM cards are available too, at much higher prices (up to 50 USD (!), especially at airports.

HNL? GTQ? What do those symbols mean?

Those are just the ISO 4217 symbols for the currencies used in Honduras (Honduran Lempira) and Guatemala (Guatemalan Quetzal).

So, why not convert everything into US Dollars/Euros/(British) Pound Sterling/*insert your currency here*?

Currencies fluctuate every day – even every 15 minutes. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to keep track of all currency changes.

Instead, I want to keep track of SIM card offerings worldwide 🤓.

Worry not, Wise has a nifty tool keeping track of currencies worldwide in real-time.

So if you want to know how much 100 GTQ is in US Dollars, Euros, or (British) Pound Sterling, simply select the currencies on the Wise currency converter tool.

Moreover, 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!

Wise Signup Banner

With that out of the way, let's see how much SIM cards cost throughout Central America:

By the way: mobile operators marked in bold are the recommended mobile operators for said country

CountryOperator 1SIM Card PriceOperator 2SIM Card PriceOperator 3SIM Card PriceOperator 4SIM Card Price
BelizeDigi Belize (formerly DigiCell)22.50 BZD with 10 BZD credit and 1 GB (10 days) | Tourist SIM card: 20 USD (40 BZD) with 5 BZD credit, 4 GB, 300 local minutes & 300 local SMS for 14 daysSmart! Belize15 BZD (with 10 BZD credit and 1 GB during promotions) | Tourist SIM cards: 20 BZD with 11 BZD credit, unlimited data & 25 local SMS for 24 hours | 45 BZD with 35 BZD credit, unlimited data & 130 SMS for 7 days
Costa RicaKölbi Costa Rica1000 CRC with 6000 CRC credit (2000 CRC/month over 3 months – valid for 7 days each month) and unlimited WhatsApp data for 12 months if you recharge at least 3000 CRCMovistar Costa Rica1500 CRCClaro Costa Rica790 CRC with 50 MB, unlimited WhatsApp data, 20 local minutes & 10 local SMS | 1500 CRC with 1500 CRC credit
El SalvadorClaro El Salvador1 USDMovistar El Salvador1 USDTigo El Salvador1 USD to 5 USDDigicel El Salvador1 USD
GuatemalaClaro Guatemala (including Movistar & Tuenti)10 GTQ (Kit Gama Básica) with 150 GTQ credit (7 days), 250 MB (30 days) & 300 SMS (30 days) | 10 GTQ (Kit Gama Smartphones 4G LTE) with 10 GTQ credit, 10 GB (15 days) & unlimited social media data (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram & WhatsApp – 15 days)  | 199 GTQ (15 GB Llamadas Ilimitada) with 15 GB and unlimited social media (Deezer, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Uber, Waze & WhatsApp) unlimited local minutes & unlimited local SMS all for 30 daysTigo Guatemala10 GTQ with 100 GTQ credit, 200 MB & unlimited WhatsApp data for 3 days if you recharge at least 25 GTQ
HondurasTigo Honduras50 HNL with 1 GB, unlimited WhatsApp texting, unlimited on-net minutes & 150 minutes to Canada and the United States for 5 daysClaro Honduras25 HNL with 200 MB and 75 local minutes for 7 days
NicaraguaClaro Nicaragua50 NIO with 1 GB (2 days)/2 GB (7 days) and unlimited Facebook, Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp data (2 days/7 days)Tigo Nicaragua (formerly Movistar)50 NIO with 375 MB and unlimited WhatsApp for 2 days (if you text SUPERCHIP to 7000)
Panama+móvil (Cable & Wireless)5 PAB with 1 GB and unlimited on-net minutes for 7 days | 15 PAB with 3 GB, unlimited WeChat and WhatsApp & unlimited on-net minutes for 30 daysClaro Panamafree, but a plan purchase is required (1 PAB to 15 PAB)Digicel Panamafree, but a plan purchase is required (5 PAB, 10 PAB, or 20 PAB)Tigo Panama (formerly Movistar)free, but a plan purchase is required (3 PAB, 5 PAB, or 10 PAB)

VoLTE & VoWiFi in Central America

Both VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFi calling) are available in Central America.

However, both features do not exist in most Central American nations.

Below is a (short) list of countries with VoLTE and VoWiFi, and which mobile operator offers the features:

  • Panama: +móvil (Cable & Wireless) & Digicel Panama (VoLTE & VoWiFi)

5G NR in Central America

5G NR is not available in Central America as of 2022, and none of the Central American governments have not made any indications of when they will auction 5G licenses.

Honestly, some Central American countries are still working on providing nationwide 4G/LTE coverage, so do not expect 5G NR to launch, or be extensive, anytime soon.

Mobile Data Prices in Central America

Central America is known for being a relatively affordable travel destination.

Sure, it may not be as cheap as South Asia or Southeast Asia, but it could be worse (like in North America or the Caribbean).

What is also quite cheap in the region are mobile data rates (if you are used to higher prices, like in Canada).

In fact, it is quite common to pay only 1 USD or 2 USD for a data plan featuring 1 GB of data.

And the more data you buy, the lower the effective price per GB becomes.

So, how much does mobile data cost in Central America?

1 GB, on average, costs 2.40 USD in Central America. The world average is 4.07 USD.

Cable.co.uk classifies Mexico as Central America. This is why the image above says 8 in Total number of countries in region. However, I use the World Population Review/Wikipedia definition of Central America, which excludes Mexico.

But in most countries, you will pay (much) less than that, so you will be in good hands in Central America.

So, how much can you expect to pay for 1 GB of data in each Central American nation?

I will show you in the table below:

CountryAverage Price of 1 GB
Belize2.97 USD
Costa Rica2.39 USD
El Salvador1.33 USD
Guatemala1.94 USD (median)
Honduras1.56 USD
Nicaragua0.94 USD
Panama4.49 USD

Central American Prepaid SIM Cards

I will be covering seven countries in this guide.

While I would love it if you read this whole guide, it has more than 8k words.

Moreover, you may not even visit all these countries, so I do not blame you for just wanting to focus on the country you will go to.

Therefore, I created this index so that you can jump to the country you are interested in (instead of having to scroll for ages).

If you are done reading about a country and want to read another one, you can easily do so by jumping back to the index.

There will be a Jump back to the Index button at the end of each country section.

In this guide, I will:

  • introduce you to the mobile operators in each country
  • give my SIM card recommendation(s) for each country
  • give you eSIM recommendations
  • show you the coverage map(s) of the recommended mobile operator(s)
  • tell you how much SIM cards cost and where to get them
  • explain where to get top-up vouchers, how to top-up & how to check your balance
  • give you the recommended plan(s) by the recommended mobile operator(s)
  • provide a short recap of what you need to know about SIM cards in the country

With that being said, let's see what Central America has to offer to us


Belize Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Belize

In Belize, you have two mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Digi by Belize Telemedia Limited/BTL (formerly DigiCell)
  • Smart! by Speednet

I recommend going with Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell) or Smart! Belize. Digi has the best coverage and fastest speeds. If you do not mind sacrificing speed and coverage for lower prices, go with Smart!.

I recommend going with the Belize (Cho!) eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data valid for 7 days.

Belize Cho! eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

Below are Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell) or Smart! Belize's coverage maps produced by Speedtest:

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Belize

You can get a Belizean SIM card for 15 BZD (7.50 USD) from Smart! or 22.50 BZD (11.25 USD) from Digi (formerly DigiCell) in their stores. Tourist SIM cards are sold from 20 BZD (10 USD) to 43 BZD (21.50 USD). SIM cards are not Belize City-Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE).

Short-term visitors and travelers can also take advantage of the Digi Tourist SIM card or Smart! Tourist SIM cards.

The Digi Tourist SIM card costs 20 USD (or 40 BZD) and features 5 BZD credit, 4 GB of data, 300 local minutes & 300 local SMS – all valid for 14 days.

The thing is… this offer vanished from the Digi website when I updated this guide in April 2022.

If you know whether this offer is still available or not, let me know.

The Smart! Tourist SIM cards cost 20 BZD or 45 BZD. Below is an overview:

PriceCreditDataLocal SMSValidity
20 BZD11 BZDUnlimited25 SMS24 hours
45 BZD35 BZDUnlimited130 SMS7 days
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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Belize

Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell) and Smart! Belize top-up vouchers are sold in Digi stores and Smart! stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Digi SIM card, dial *100# and follow the instructions. For ePIN, dial *200.

For Smart!, call 120 and enter the VoucherCode.

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.

Recharging online with international debit and credit cards is possible for Digi and Smart!.

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *201#, call 100, or text bal to 100 with Digi. For Smart!, call 122.

Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell) has five data-featured plans. But the PrePaid Data Plans are recommended.

They are, as the name suggests, data bundles.

The following PrePaid Data Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *100#:

PricePlanDataValidity
1 BZDXS Plan130 MB6 hours 
2.50 BZDS Plan330 MB1 day
5 BZDM Plan680 MB3 days 
12 BZDL Plan1700 MB7 days 
20 BZDL+ Plan3000 MB15 days 
35 BZDXL Plan5500 MB30 days 
45 BZDXXL Plan 7500 MB30 days 
69 BZDWork From Home Data Plan 25 600 MB30 days 
Digi Belize PrePaid Data Plans

Smart! Belize has only one data-featured plan: Mobile Data. It is, as the name suggests, a data bundle.

The following Mobile Data are available, which can be activated by calling the Activation Code:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
1.25 BZD165 MB24 hours638
2 BZD340 MB24 hours638
4 BZD680 MB3 days 638
7 BZD1250 MB3 days 638
14 BZD2500 MB7 days 3282
25 BZD4500 MB15 days 3282
40 BZD7200 MB30 days 3282
60 BZD11 000 MB30 days 3282
110 BZD20 500 MB40 days 3282
160 BZD32 000 MB40 days 3282

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Belize

  • Both Digi Belize (formerly DigiCell) and Smart! Belize are recommended
  • Belizean SIM cards cost 15 BZD (Smart!) or 22.50 BZD (Digi)
    • Digi has the Digi Tourist SIM card for tourists costing 20 USD (40 BZD). Smart! has two Smart! Tourist SIM cards cost 20 BZD or 45 BZD
  • Unfortunately, SIM cards are not sold at Belize City-Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
  • Topping up can be done in Digi and Smart! stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Digi's PrePaid Data Plans range from 1 BZD to 69 BZD. Smart's Mobile Data plans range from 1.25 BZD to 160 BZD
  • Read my Belize SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Belizean SIM cards

Jump back to the Country Index. | Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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Costa Rica Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, you have three mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Kölbi Costa Rica by Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)
  • Movistar Costa Rica
  • Claro Costa Rica

I recommend going with Kölbi Costa Rica or Claro Costa Rica. Kölbi has the fastest speeds and the best 4G/LTE coverage experience. Claro has the best overall network performance and is the better option in select rural locations.

I recommend going with the Costa Rica (Hot Telecom) eSIMs from Airalo.

Costa Rica Hot Telecom eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

You have the following three options:

Below are Kölbi Costa Rica and Claro Costa Rica's coverage maps produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see the coverage maps of Movistar Costa Rica, head to my Costa Rica SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Costa Rica

You can get a Costa Rican SIM card for 790 CRC (1.20 USD) or 1500 CRC (2.30 USD) from Claro, 1000 CRC (1.50 USD) from Kölbi, or 1500 CRC from Movistar in their stores. SIM cards are also sold at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) but not at Liberia-Guanacaste Airport (LIR) anymore.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Costa Rica

Kölbi Costa Rica and Claro Costa Rica top-up vouchers are sold in Kölbi stores and Claro stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Kölbi SIM card, dial *888# and follow the instructions.

For Claro, dial *10 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.

Recharging online with international debit and credit cards is possible for Kölbi and Claro.

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *888# with Kölbi. For Claro, dial *30.

Kölbi Costa Rica has four data-featured plans. But the Planes Dominio Prepago (Prepaid Domain Plans) are recommended.

They are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Planes Dominio Prepago are available, which can be activated by dialing *888#:

PricePlanDataSocial DataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
5040 CRCDominio Prepago 12 GB3 GB 135 minutes30 SMS30 days 
8065 CRCDominio Prepago 24 GB3 GB 150 minutes30 SMS30 days 
12 095 CRCDominio Prepago 35 GB5 GB 2100 minutes30 SMS30 days 

1 for WhatsApp
2 for Facebook, Instagram, Waze & WhatsApp

Kölbi Costa Rica Planes Dominio Prepage Prepaid Domain Plans

Claro Costa Rica has two data-featured plans. But the Paquetes Prepago M@s (Prepaid M@s Packages) are recommended.

They are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Mobile Data are available, which can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 111 or by dialing *555#:

PricePlanDataSocial Data 1Local/International Minutes 2Local SMSValidityActivation CodeDeactivation Code
1000 CRCPaquete M@s 3300 MB500 MB10 minutes20 SMS3 days planmas3finplanmas3
2000 CRCPaquete M@s 71 GB500 MB20 minutes50 SMS7 days planmas7finplanmas7
3000 CRCPaquete M@s 102 GB500 MB30 minutes100 SMS10 days planmas10finplanmas10
4500 CRCPaquete M@s 153 GB700 MB45 minutes200 SMS15 days planmas15finplanmas15
6000 CRCPaquete M@s 15+4 GB700 MB70 minutes200 SMS15 days planmas15pfinplanmas15p
10 000 CRCPaquete M@s 305 GB 700 MB85 minutes300 SMS30 days planmas30finplanmas30

1 for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter & Waze – WhatsApp data is unlimited
2 to Canada, Central America, Panama & the United States

Paquetes Prepago M@s auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Deactivation Code to 111. The plans can also be deactivated on the app.

Claro Costa Rica Paquetes Prepago M@s Plans

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Costa Rica

  • Both Kölbi Costa Rica and Claro Costa Rica are recommended
  • Costa Rican SIM cards cost 790 CRC/1500 CRC (Claro), 1000 CRC (Kölbi), or 1500 CRC (Movistar)
  • SIM cards are also sold at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) but not at Liberia-Guanacaste Airport (LIR)
  • Topping up can be done in Kölbi and Claro stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Kölbi's Planes Dominio Prepago (combo) range from 5040 CRC to 12 095 CRC. Claro's Paquetes Prepago M@s (combo) range from 1000 CRC to 10 000 CRC
  • Read my Costa Rica SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Costa Rican SIM cards

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El Salvador Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of El Salvador

In El Salvador, you have four mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Claro El Salvador
  • Movistar El Salvador
  • Tigo El Salvador
  • Digicel El Salvador

I recommend going with Claro El Salvador. It has the best (overall) coverage and the fastest speeds – even though Tigo El Salvador has the most extensive 4G/LTE coverage.

I recommend going with the El Salvador (Cerrocom) eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data from Airalo valid for 7 days.

El Salvador Cerrocom eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you need more data or a longer validity, you can get El Salvador eSIMs from Nomad.

El Salvador eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Below is El Salvador's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see the coverage maps of the other mobile operators, head to my El Salvador SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in El Salvador

You can get a Salvadoran SIM card for 1 USD from Claro El Salvador, Movistar El Salvador, Tigo El Salvador & Digicel El Salvador in their stores or resellers, like convenience stores. SIM cards are also sold at San/El Salvador International Airport Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (SAL).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in El Salvador

Claro El Salvador (recommended option) top-up vouchers are sold in Claro stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Claro SIM card, dial *106*VoucherCode#.

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 (1/2) with (international) debit and credit cards.

Checking your balance can be done by texting SALDO to 72536 or CONSUMO to 4777 with Claro.

Claro has only one data-featured plan: Superpack de Internet (Internet Superpacks).

They are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Superpack de Internet are available, which can be activated by dialing *555# and following the sequence of the options:

PricePlanDataSocial Media DataOn-Net MinutesLocal MinutesOn-Net SMSValidityActivation Code
0.50 USD200 MB200 MBUnlimited 1N/AN/AN/A1 day*555# – 1 – 2
1 USD500 MB500 MBUnlimited 2N/AN/AN/A1 day*555# – 1 – 2
1 USDSuperpack Express $11 GBUnlimited 3Unlimited10 minutes 4Unlimited2 days*555# – 1 – 1
1 USDSuperpack Xtreme 2 Días1 GB2 GB 7 + Unlimited 5N/AN/AN/A2 days*555# – 2 – 1
2 USD1 GB1 GBUnlimited 2N/AN/AN/A5 days*555# – 1 – 2
2 USDSuperpack Xtreme 4 Días2 GB5 GB 7 + Unlimited 5N/AN/AN/A4 days*555# – 2 – 1
2 USDSuperpack Express $22 GB500 MB 8 + Unlimited 3Unlimited20 minutes 4Unlimited4 days*555# – 1 – 1
2 USD2 GB2 GBUnlimited 2N/AN/AN/A7 days*555# – 1 – 2
2 USD3 GB3 GBUnlimited 6N/AN/AN/A3 days*555# – 1 – 2
4 USDSuperpack Express $43 GB2 GB 9 + Unlimited 3Unlimited40 minutes 4Unlimited8 days*555# – 1 – 1
4 USDSuperpack Xtreme 8 Días3 GB6 GB 10 + Unlimited 5N/AN/AN/A8 days*555# – 2 – 1
5 USDPaquete Sin Vigencia 1 GB1 GBN/AN/AN/AN/ANo expiry*555# – 2 – 1
5 USD5 GB5 GBN/AN/AN/AN/A10 days*555# – 1 – 2
7 USDPaquete Sin Vigencia 2 GB2 GBN/AN/AN/AN/ANo expiry*555# – 2 – 1
7 USDSuperpack Express $74 GB2 GB 9 + Unlimited 3Unlimited50 minutes 4Unlimited16 days*555# – 1 – 1
10 USDPaquete Sin Vigencia 3 GB3 GBN/AN/AN/AN/ANo expiry*555# – 2 – 1
10 USDSuperpack Express $105 GB2 GB 9 + Unlimited 3Unlimited60 minutes 4Unlimited30 days*555# – 1 – 1
10 USD9 GB9 GBUnlimited 2N/AN/AN/A20 days*555# – 1 – 2
15 USD12 GB12 GBUnlimited 2N/AN/AN/A30 days*555# – 1 – 2

1 for Instagram & WhatsApp
2 for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram & WhatsApp
3 for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter & WhatsApp
4 also to Canada & the United States
5 for WhatsApp
6 for Instagram
7 for Instagram, TikTok & Twitch
8 forYouTube
9 for Spotify & YouTube
10 for Instagram, TikTok, Twitch & YouTube

Claro El Salvador Superpacks
© Claro El Salvador

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in El Salvador

  • Claro El Salvador is recommended
    • While Tigo El Salvador has the best extensive 4G/LTE coverage, Claro is still significantly faster (1.5x faster).
  • Salvadoran SIM cards cost 1 USD (Claro, Movistar, Tigo & Digicel)
  • SIM cards are also sold at San/El Salvador International Airport Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (SAL)
  • Topping up can be done in Claro (and Movistar, Tigo & Digicel) stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Claro's Superpack de Internet (combo) range from 0.50 USD to 15 USD.
  • Read my El Salvador SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Salvadoran SIM cards

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Guatemala Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Guatemala

In Guatemala, you have two mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Claro Guatemala (including Movistar & Tuenti Guatemala)
  • Tigo Guatemala

I recommend going with Tigo Guatemala. It has the best coverage and the fastest speeds in the country.

I recommend getting the Guatemala (Tikal Mobile) eSIMs from Airalo with 1 GB of data for 7 days or 3 GB of data for 30 days.

Guatemala Tikal Mobile eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you need more data or a longer validity, you can get Guatemala eSIMs from Nomad.

Guatemala eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Below is Tigo Guatemala's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see Claro Guatemala (including Movistar and Tuenti)'s coverage map, head to my Guatemala SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Guatemala

You can get a Guatemalan SIM card for 10 GTQ from Claro Guatemala (including Movistar & Tuenti) or Tigo Guatemala in their stores. For 199 GTQ (26 USD), you can purchase a Claro SIM card with additional perks. SIM cards are also sold at Guatemala City-La Aurora International Airport (GUA – Claro only).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Guatemala

Tigo Guatemala (recommended option) top-up vouchers are sold in Tigo stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Tigo SIM card, dial *333VoucherCode (so do not add a * or # between *333 and the VoucherCode).

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.

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *256# or texting SALDO to 256 with Tigo.

Tigo has two data-featured plans. But the Paquetigos de Internet (Internet Packages) are recommended.

They are combo bundles (yes, really – even though the name implies they are combo plans) with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Paquetigos de Internet are available, which can be activated on the Tigo en Línea (antes Tigo Shop y Mi Tigo) app:

PriceDataLocal/USA MinutesLocal/USA SMSValidity
5 GTQ300 MB 1N/AN/A1 day
10 GTQ800 MB 1N/AN/A2 days
10 GTQ1.5 GB 1, 2N/AN/A1 day
15 GTQ1.6 GB 1N/AN/A3 days
30 GTQ3.3 GB 160 minutes60 SMS7 days
30 GTQ4.5 GB 1N/AN/A7 days
33 GTQ3.3 GB 1150 minutesN/A7 days
40 GTQ4 GB 1, 2N/AN/A7 days
50 GTQ5 GB 2100 minutes100 SMS15 days
50 GTQ6.5 GB 3N/AN/A15 days
99 GTQ10 GB 3200 minutes200 SMS1 month
99 GTQ13 GB 3N/AN/A1 month
120 GTQ12 GB 2, 4N/AN/A1 month
199 GTQ18 GB  2,4N/AN/A1 month
499 GTQ45 GB 3N/AN/A1 month

1 +unlimited Facebook & WhatsApp data
2 +unlimited Call of Duty, Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, Free Fire, Pokemon Go & Roblox data
3 +unlimited Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp data
4 +unlimited Deezer, Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp data

Tigo Guatemala Paquetigos de Internet Packages

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Guatemala

  • Tigo Guatemala is recommended
    • While Claro Guatemala (including Movistar & Tuenti) is not bad at all, Tigo is just a far better option
  • Guatemalan SIM cards cost 10 GTQ (Tigo & Claro)
  • SIM cards are also sold at Guatemala City-La Aurora International Airport (GUA – Claro only)
  • Topping up can be done in Tigo (and Claro) stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Tigo's Paquetigos de Internet (combo – yes, really) range from 5 GTQ to 499 GTQ. (Claro's Superpack Todo Includio (combo) range from 10 GTQ to 100 GTQ)
  • Read my Guatemala SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Guatemalan SIM cards

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Honduras Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Honduras

In Honduras, you have three mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Tigo Honduras
  • Claro Honduras
  • Honducel

I recommend going with Tigo Honduras. It has the best coverage and the fastest speeds. Moreover, it is only marginally more expensive than Claro Honduras.

I recommend going with the Honduras (Honnet) eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data valid for 7 days.

Honduras Honnet eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you need more data or a longer validity, you can get Honduras eSIMs from Nomad.

Honduras eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Below is Tigo Honduras's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see Claro Honduras' coverage map, head to my Honduras SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Honduras

You can get a Honduran SIM card for 25 HNL from Claro or 50 HNL from Tigo in their stores. SIM cards are also sold at Tegucigalpa-Toncontín (Teniente Coronel Hernán Acosta Mejía) International Airport (TGU).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Honduras

Tigo Honduras (recommended option) top-up vouchers are sold in Tigo stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Tigo SIM card, dial *777*VoucherCode#.

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.

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *123# with Tigo.

Tigo has three data-featured plans. But the Super Recargas (Super Refills) are recommended.

They are combo bundles with data and minutes.

The following Paquetigos de Internet are available, which can be activated by dialing *111# or #111#:

PriceCreditDataWhatsApp DataOn-Net MinutesInternational Minutes 1Validity
26 HNL75 HNL1.5 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call N/A1 day
51 HNL150 HNL5 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call N/A3 days 
60 HNLN/A5 GB 2Unlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call 150 minutes 33 days 
102 HNL300 HNL10 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call N/A7 days 
120 HNLN/A10 GB 4Unlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call 2100 minutes7 days 
150 HNL450 HNL13 GBUnlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call N/A10 days 
220 HNL600 HNL20 GB Unlimited“Unlimited”, 10 minutes per call N/A15 days 

1 to the United States
2 + unlimited data for Clash of Clans & Free Fire
3 also for off-net use
4 + unlimited data for Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale & Free Fire

Tigo Honduras Super Recargas Refills Plans

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Honduras

  • Tigo Honduras is recommended
    • While Claro Honduras is not bad at all, Tigo is just a far better option. Stay away from Honducel by Hondutel
  • Honduran SIM cards cost 25 HNL (Claro) or 50 HNL (Tigo)
  • SIM cards are also sold at Tegucigalpa-Toncontín (Teniente Coronel Hernán Acosta Mejía) International Airport (TGU)
  • Topping up can be done in Tigo (and Claro) stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Tigo's Super Recargas (combo) range from 26 HNL to 220 HNL. (Claro's Todo Incluido (combo) range from 15 HNL to 220 HNL)
  • Read my Honduras SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Honduran SIM cards

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Nicaragua Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, you have three mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • Claro Nicaragua
  • Tigo Nicaragua (formerly Movistar Nicaragua)
  • CooTel Nicaragua

I recommend going with Tigo Nicaragua (formerly Movistar). It has the best coverage in the country. Claro Nicaragua can be faster in some locations, but you will still be better off with Tigo.

I recommend going with the Nicaragua (Nicarcell) eSIM from Airalo with 1 GB of data from Airalo valid for 7 days.

Nicaragua Nicarcell eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you need more data or a longer validity, you can get Nicaragua eSIMs from Nomad.

Nicaragua eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Below is Tigo Nicaragua's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see Claro Nicaragua's coverage map, head to my Nicaragua SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Nicaragua

You can get a Nicaraguan SIM card for 50 NIO (1.40 USD) from Claro and Tigo in their stores or resellers, like convenience stores. SIM cards are also sold at Managua-Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Nicaragua

Tigo Nicaragua (recommended option) top-up vouchers are sold in Tigo stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your Tigo 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.

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

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *72536# or *72536# or texting SALDO to 611 with Tigo.

Tigo has four data-featured plans. But the Megapacks are recommended.

They are combo bundles with data, minutes & SMS.

The following Megapacks are available, which can be activated by dialing *123 or #123#:

PricePlanDataSocial Media DataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net/International Minutes 3Local SMSValidityActivation Code
20 NIOMega 1 450 MBUnlimited 1N/A20 minutes20 SMS1 dayMEGA1
30 NIOMega 2700 MBUnlimited 1N/A30 minutes30 SMS2 daysMEGA2
50 NIOMega 42.2 GBUnlimited 2N/A80 minutes80 SMS4 daysMEGA4
70 NIOMega 53 GBUnlimited 2Unlimited60 minutes60 SMS5 daysMEGA5
100 NIOMega 74 GBUnlimited 2Unlimited80 minutes80 SMS7 daysMEGA7
200 NIOMega 15 6.2 GBUnlimited 2Unlimited150 minutes150 SMS15 daysMEGA15

1 for WhatsApp
2 for Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Spotify, Telegram, TikTok, Twitter & WhatsApp
3 to Tigo Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Panama – not Belize; no Tigo there) & the United States

Tigo Nicaragua Megapacks Banner
© Tigo Nicaragua

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Nicaragua

  • Tigo Nicaragua is recommended
    • While Claro Nicaragua is not bad at all, Tigo is just a far better option. Stay away from Honducel by CooTel Nicaragua
  • Nicaraguan SIM cards cost 50 NIO (Claro & Tigo)
  • SIM cards are also sold at Managua-Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA)
  • Topping up can be done in Tigo (and Claro) stores, through top-up partners & online
  • Tigo's Megapacks (combo) range from 20 NIO to 200 NIO. (Claro's Todo Incluido (combo) range from 20 NIO to 300 NIO)
  • Read my Nicaragua SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Nicaraguan SIM cards

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Panama Prepaid SIM Cards

Flag of Panama

In Panama, you have four mobile operators offering prepaid services:

  • +movil (Cable & Wireless Panama)
  • Claro Panama
  • Digicel Panama
  • Tigo Panama (formerly Movistar Panama)

I recommend going with +móvil or Digicel Panama. +móvil is regarded as the best mobile operator in Panama. Digicel has once won an award for being the fastest. Consider Claro Panama (and Digicel) for plans with unlimited 4G/LTE data.

I recommend getting the Panama (Pancell Digital) eSIMs from Airalo with 1 GB of data for 7 days or 3 GB of data for 30 days.

Panama Pancell Digital eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you need more data or a longer validity, you can get Panama eSIMs from Nomad.

Panama eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps).

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above and below will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

If you plan on visiting the Caribbean, consider the Island Hopper eSIM with 1 GB of data (7 days) in Panama and 20+ Caribbean nations.

Island Hopper Caribbean eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

Below are +móvil (Cable & Wireless) and Digicel Panama's coverage maps produced by Speedtest:

If you want to see the coverage maps of the other mobile operators, head to my Panama SIM Card Buying Guide.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices & Availability in Panama

You can get a Panamanian SIM card for 5 PAB or 15 PAB from +móvil (Cable & Wireless). Claro, Digicel & Tigo (formerly Movistar) SIM cards are free if purchased together with a plan. SIM cards are also sold at Panama City-Tocumen International Airport (PTY – at inflated prices).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check in Panama

+móvil (Cable & Wireless) and Digicel Panama top-up vouchers are sold in Cable & Wireless stores and Digicel stores, kiosks, gas stations & grocery stores.

To top up your +móvil SIM card, dial *166*VoucherCode#.

For Digicel, dial *121*VouchcerCode#.

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.

Recharging online with international debit and credit cards is possible for +móvil and Digicel.

Checking your balance can be done by dialing *165# or *555# with +móvil. For Digicel, dial *120#.

+móvil (Cable & Wireless) has only one data-featured plan: Planes de Data Prepago (Prepaid Plans).

They are combo bundles with data and minutes.

The following Planes de Data Prepago are available, which can be activated by dialing *456#:

PricePlanCreditDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesValidity
5 PABTodo, Todito x 7 Días 25 PABUnlimitedUnlimited20 minutes7 days
7 PABTodo, Todito x 10 Días 35 PABUnlimitedUnlimited25 minites10 days
10 PABTodo, Todito x 14 Días 50 PABUnlimitedUnlimited30 minutes14 days
Cable & Wireless +movil Panama Planes de Data Prepago Prepaid Data Plans

Digicel Panama also has only one data-featured plan. Planes Prepago (Prepaid Plans).

They are combo bundles with data and SMS.

The following Planes Prepago are available, which can be activated by dialing *111#:

PricePlan4G/LTE Data3G DataPrime Apps Data 1On-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesValidity
5 PABPlan Ilimitado 7 DíasUnlimited3 GBUnlimitedUnlimited20 minutes7 days
10 PABPlan Ilimitado 14 DíasUnlimited6 GBUnlimited150 minutes50 minutes14 days
20 PABPlan Ilimitado 30 DíasUnlimited12 GBUnlimited120 minutesShared with on-net call allowance30 days

1 for Billo, BiP, D'Music & GoLoud

Digicel Panama Prime Bundle Apps
© Digicel Panama

Note that if your device supports the 4G/LTE frequency used by Digicel (700 MHz on Band 28), you will get unlimited LTE data (although subject to a fair use policy).

If not, the data allowance under the 3G data column applies.

Digicel Panama Planes Prepago Prepaid Plans

Recap of the Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Panama

  • Both +móvil (Cable & Wireless) and Digicel Panama are recommended
  • Panamanian SIM cards are free if purchased with a plan (Claro Panama, Digicel Panama & Tigo Panama (formerly Movistar)). +móvil sells SIM cards for 5 PAB and 15 PAB
  • SIM cards are also sold at Panama City-Tocumen International Airport (PTY – at inflated prices)
  • Topping up can be done in +móvil/Cable & Wireless stores and Digicel stores (+Claro stores and Tigo stores), through top-up partners & online
  • +móvil's Planes de Data Prepago (combo) range from 5 PAB to 10 PAB. Digicel's Planes Prepago (combo) range from 5 PAB to 20 PAB
  • Read my Panama SIM Card Buying Guide for (much) more about Panamanian SIM cards

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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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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).

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

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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

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

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