Dominica is an island country in the Caribbean. Dominica should not be confused with the Dominican Republic, which is a whole different country.
Dominica is tiny compared to the Dominican Republic. Additionally, they speak English in Dominica while they speak Spanish in the Dominican Republic. Those are ways to keep the two separate.
Roseau, the capital of Dominica, has the Old Market, the Dominica Botanic Gardens, and the Morne Bruce views. Calibishie has lovely beaches. Soufriere has awesome hot springs and volcanoes, and Trafalgar has cool waterfalls. Visiting Dominica can be eventful.
What may also be eventful is dealing with an expensive roaming bill you may get from roaming with your provider in Dominica. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a Dominican local SIM card.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Dominica. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Dominica
Dominica has 2 telecom providers: Flow Dominica and Digicel Dominica. Both providers have 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Dominica? If you want to buy a SIM card in Dominica, I would recommend going with either Flow or Digicel. Both operators have identical coverage.
Do note that the market share and coverage of both providers are almost identical and good around the coast, but subpar the more you go inland. Many locals have a SIM card from both operators so that they do not have to pay any off-net fees (a fee for calling a Flow Dominica number while being a Digicel Dominica customer and vice versa).
Like most countries in the Caribbean, you have to show your passport when buying a SIM card in Dominica.
The East Caribbean Dollar, XCD, is pegged 2.70:1 to the US Dollar, meaning that 2:70 XCD is 1 USD (or 1 XCD is $0.37).
With that being said, let’s see what Dominica has to offer to us.
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
Flow Dominica, just Flow, is the incumbent provider in Dominica. It used to have a monopoly until Digicel decided to enter the Dominican market. Sure, Flow’s market share has declined since then, but most locals have 2 SIM cards, so both providers are equally popular, you could say.
You can buy a Flow SIM card in Roseau (Flow Old St.) for 20 XCD. Recharge cards ranging from 5 XCD to 200 XCD are sold in various stores throughout the country, including supermarkets and gas stations. You can also top-up online with a credit card. Dial *120# to check your Flow credit balance or on the Flow app.
The following Flow prepaid bundles are available, which all come with unlimited social messaging (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat):
- 5 XCD: 1 GB, 25 minutes, and 25 SMS for 1 day. Activation: dial *244*0#
- 14 XCD: 3 GB, 200 minutes, and 200 SMS for 3 days. Activation: dial *244*1#
- 29 XCD: 4.5 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS for 7 days. Activation: dial *244*2#
- 100 XCD: 10 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS for 30 days. Activation: dial *244*3#
Digicel Dominica, just Digicel, is the other operator in Dominica, which decided to ruin Flow’s monopoly since 2003. Digicel used to advertise its 3G network as 4G/LTE in many countries it operated in, including Dominica, which was misleading. Luckily, real 4G/LTE was launched in 2019.
Digicel SIM cards can be bought for 25 XCD in Digicel stores in Roseau, Marigot, Grandbay, and Portsmouth. Top-up vouchers are sold in a variety of places on the island, but you can also top-up online with a credit card. To check your Digicel credit balance, dial *120# or use the My Digicel App.
Digicel has several LTE Go Plans you can choose from, which all come with unlimited on-net minutes and unlimited roll-over of unused minutes and data. Additionally, they come with an allowance for Digicel apps, which include the My Digicel App, D’Music, and PlayGo. D’Music can be seen as the local variant of Spotify. At the same time, PlayGo allows you to watch live sport, regional events, local news, shows, movies, and kids programs. These apps will be referred to as Digicel Data:
- 4 XCD: 300 MB for 1 day
- 12 XCD: 2 GB, 1 GB Digicel data, and 50 off-net minutes for 3 days
- 27 XCD: 4.5 GB, 1.5 GB Digicel data, and 100 off-net minutes for 7 days
- 80 XCD: 14 GB, 4 GB Digicel data, and 250 off-net minutes for 30 days
You can activate a Digicel LTE Go Plan online, by dialing *140# and selecting option 1, or on the My Digicel App. All LTE GO Plans auto-renew if there is enough credit. Unused data will roll-over to the new month, as long as the auto-renewal is successful.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Dominica
Now you know everything about buying a SIM card in Dominica, but what are your other options? Although buying a local SIM card is almost always the cheapest option, the cheapest option would be using free WIFI connections in Dominica, but you can also roam with your provider in Dominica, use an international SIM card in Dominica, or use a mobile hotspot in Dominica. Let’s see what our options are.
Using Free WIFI hotspots in Dominica
Using something free is always better than paying for something. However, sometimes, free stuff may be of bad quality. Sure, you do not have to pay anything for using a free hotspot (unless you are required to purchase a beverage or meal at an establishment), but it may be a challenge to find a free hotspot. Moreover, the connection may be so slow that it is practically useless.
In the case of Dominica, you can find many hotspots throughout the country.
Do note that public hotspots are unsecure. Hackers love to steal sensitive information on unprotected connections because it is apparently easy to do so. That is why I use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using a public hotspot, and I would encourage you to do so too.
What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your NordVPN subscription now!
Roaming with Your Provider in Dominica
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is Flow Cayman from the Cayman Islands, then you would be roaming with Flow Cayman in Dominica.
Roaming may be the most convenient way of using your phone abroad. You do not have to buy a new SIM card, which, in turn, means you do not have to swap SIM cards. As a result, your friends and family from home can easily reach you on your cell. With many providers, the only thing you need to do is to turn on the data roaming setting on your phone, and you are good to go.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Although roaming with your provider may be the most convenient way of staying connected in Dominica, it can also be the most expensive option. There have been many horror stories where people have racked up roaming bills up in the thousands and even more than ten thousand.
Luckily, many providers have affordable roaming plans, allow you to roam for free in some destinations like Dominica, or allow you to use your plan’s allowance in Dominica. For example, with Virgin Mobile Canada, you can use your plan’s allowance for 12 Canadian dollars per day. This may be affordable in some destinations for a small number of days, but it will be expensive for prolonged periods.
If you are unsure about the roaming options of your provider, I have written many articles about roaming with various operators around the world. I analyze them in-depth and give you my advice on whether you should roam with your provider or not. If yes, I also state for how long you should roam to take the most advantage of the offer.
One thing that should be avoided at all costs is to Pay As You Go roaming where you pay per minute, SMS, or MB. This is how many people get expensive roaming bills because the roaming prices for data are usually extremely high.
If you want to roam, make sure to get a roaming plan. Unless your provider offers extremely low Pay As You Go roaming rates, which is only a handful of providers, then you can consider doing so. Furthermore, if your provider lets you roam for free in Dominica, then you should go for it. Just note that your speeds will be lower as a roamer than if you were to buy a Dominican SIM card.
Using an International SIM Card in Dominica
International SIM cards are SIM cards that work internationally. Most SIM cards do work abroad, but then you have to roam with your provider. International SIM cards, however, let’s you use one SIM card in many destinations around the world for, often, the same price. This way, your friends and families can still reach out to you while traveling.
International SIM cards are, however, much more expensive than buying a local SIM card in many cases, but they are often cheaper than to roam with your provider. There are many international SIM card providers out there, but a few providers I can recommend are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
International SIM cards are useful for those who frequently travel for leisure or for business. That way, everyone can reach you on one number instead of a handful of local numbers scattered around the world.
Moreover, many destinations in the world require you to register yourself before you can buy a local SIM card. In some countries, the process is quick, while others require much more of your time. Furthermore, the registration process may be cumbersome in countries.
Finally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some. It can be a challenge dealing with a salesperson who does not understand you. They may try and sell you the most expensive option out there. Luckily, you know the prices of SIM cards and packs in Dominica, so you cannot be taken advantage of.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple destinations in one trip, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
Using a Mobile Hotspot in Dominica
A mobile hotspot is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Travelwifi offers Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI, starting from $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Dominica
Getting a SIM card from either Flow or Digicel would be your only when considering a Dominican SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots like Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide covering the other Caribbean destinations, such as Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French) & Sint Maarten (Dutch), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Dominica
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Dominica. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Dominica drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Dominica
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Dominica. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Dominican hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Dominica
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Dominica, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the local currency for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!