Honduras is one of the larger countries in Central America. The capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, as a plaza called Plaza Morazán, which you have to see. Visit Roatán to see the coral reef, and go to Utila if you love to scuba dive. As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Honduras.
What you may not want to do, however, is to roam with your provider in Honduras. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers want to buy a Honduran SIM card when exploring the country. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Honduras. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Honduras
Honduras has 3 telecom providers: Tigo Honduras, Claro Honduras, and Honducel. Both Tigo Honduras and Claro Honduras have 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
Honducel only has a 2G network, which is useless for data usage. Therefore, Honducel is not recommended for travelers and will not be discussed in this article. Moreover, Honducel’s market share is less than 1%. Honducel is a state-owned company that controls the landline market, which is why they are still in business.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Honduras? If you want to buy a SIM card in Honduras, I would recommend going with Tigo because they have the best coverage in the country and the fastest speeds. If you are on a budget, then Claro is an option if you want to sacrifice coverage.
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Just like most countries in Central America, you need to show your passport when buying a SIM card, so bring it with you when visiting a store.
With that being said, let’s see what Tigo Honduras and Claro Honduras have to offer to us.
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Tigo Honduras, just Tigo, is the largest operator in Honduras. They also have the best network, which is why I recommend them. 4G/LTE can be found in the major cities in the country. 2G and 3G can be found throughout the country, but do not expect high speeds in rural Honduras with neither Tigo or Claro.
A Tigo SIM card can be bought for 50 HNL ($2) in Tigo shops. The following data packs can be added:
- 40 HNL: 100 MB with free WhatsApp (no VoIP) and Facebook for 24 hours
- 40 HNL: 200 MB for 2 days
- 105 HNL: 500 MB for 7 days
- 200 HNL: 2 GB for 7 days
- 565 HNL: 5.5 GB for 30 days
You can also get affordable Tigo social media packs for the prices listed below:
- 11 HNL: Unlimited WhatsApp chat for 24 hours
- 15 HNL: Unlimited Facebook for 24 hours
- 17 HNL: Unlimited Instagram for 24 hours
- 120 HNL: Unlimited WhatsApp and 600 MB for 7 days
Claro Honduras, just Claro, is Tigo’s only real competitor in Honduras. They compete with somewhat slower rates than Tigo with worse coverage. Claro is a good option for those who are on a budget and are staying in the big cities.
Claro SIM cards are sold for 50 HNL in Claro stores. Top-up vouchers are sold from 25 HNL to 300 HNL in many stores, including kiosks, supermarkets, or gas stations. You can also recharge online.
The following Claro data packs can be added:
- 30 HNL: 100 MB for 1 day
- 40 HNL: “Unlimited” data for 1 day
- 50 HNL: 750 MB for 3 days
- 60 HNL: 1 GB for 1 day
- 70 HNL: “Unlimited data for 2 days
- 100 HNL: 1 GB for 7 days
- 190 HNL: “Unlimited” data for 5 days
- 190 HNL: 2 GB for 7 days
- 200 HNL: 1 GB for 10 days
- 250 HNL: 3 GB for 10 days
- 350 HNL: 3 GB for 15 days
- 380 HNL: 2 GB for 30 days
- 450 NHL: 5 GB for 15 days
- 480 HNL: 3 GB for 30 days
- 580 HNL: 5 GB for 30 days
- 850 HNL: 10 GB for 30 days
It is unknown whether you get unlimited data at high-speed or reduced speed. Claro states that restrictions apply, but they do not mention them anywhere on their site.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Honduras
Now you know everything about buying a SIM card in Honduras, 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 Honduras, but you can also roam with your provider in Honduras, use an international SIM card in Honduras, or use a mobile hotspot in Honduras. Let’s see what our options are.
Using Free WIFI hotspots in Honduras
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 Honduras, you can find many hotspots in the bigger cities. However, some of them will be slow.
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 Honduras
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 Claro from Ecuador, then you would be roaming with Claro Ecuador in Honduras.
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 Honduras, 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 Honduras, or allow you to use your plan’s allowance in Honduras. 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 Honduras, then you should go for it. Just note that your speeds will be lower as a roamer than if you were to buy a Honduras SIM card.
Using an International SIM Card in Honduras
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, and Surfroam.
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 Honduras, 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 Honduras
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 and Vision Global Wireless 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. Both 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 Honduras
Getting a SIM card from Tigo would do you well when considering a Honduran 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 are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots 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 Central America? Check out my Central America SIM card buying guide, covering other Central American countries, such as Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama. 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 Honduras
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 Honduras. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Honduras drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Honduras
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 Honduras. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Honduran hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Honduras
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 Honduras, 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 US dollars 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!