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SIM Cards in Uruguay: The Best Prepaid Plans | 2024 Guide

Uruguay – literally meaning river of [the] painted birds.

It is also known for being the smallest Spanish-speaking nation in South America, for having the longest national anthem (worldwide) & for hosting the first World Cup.

But besides all of these facts, is it worth visiting Uruguay? 100%.

Seeing The Fingers of Punta del Este yourself is always a good idea.

Punta Ballena is a cool peninsula with some fun attractions.

The Santa Teresa National Park is a fantastic trail too.

There is, of course, much more to do in Uruguay that I cannot list here (I am not a travel blogger… yet 😏).

What you should not do is roaming internationally in Uruguay.

That is because international roaming is simply too expensive.

But local SIM cards and local rates are almost always cheaper than international roaming (that is why I have a whole site dedicated to it 😉).

Just like in most South American countries, SIM cards in Uruguay are inexpensive.

You can get an Uruguayan SIM card for 60 UYU (1.50 USD) from Movistar and Claro in their stores. Antel sells SIM cards for 65 UYU (1.65 USD) with starter perks. Montevideo-Carrasco/General Cesáreo L. Berisso International Airport (MVD) sells SIM cards too.

Those prices are not bad at all, right?

What makes things even better is that the cost of data is low in Uruguay as well – double win!

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

Buying a SIM Card in Uruguay  Guide (logos of Antel, Movistar & Claro)

Original publication: 28th of December 2019. Last updated: 2nd of March 2024.


Table of Contents

What is the Best SIM Card in Uruguay?

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Uruguay, I recommend going with Antel or Movistar. Antel has the best coverage and has great network performance. Movistar is the fastest mobile operator in the country.

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So, who are all these mobile operators and what options are available for you?

Uruguay has three mobile operators offering prepaid services that are easily accessible to travelers:

  • Antel (Administración Nacional de Telecomunicaciones)
  • Movistar Uruguay
  • Claro Uruguay
Cellular Connectivity Illustration by Phone Travel Wiz

Anyone living in or visiting Uruguay can buy a Uruguayan SIM card without restrictions.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Where Can You Buy a Uruguayan SIM Card (+Prices)?

You can get a Uruguayan SIM card in Antel, Movistar & Claro stores. Some Uruguayan airports sell (tourist) SIM cards (at inflated prices).

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

  • Antel: 65 UYU
  • Movistar Uruguay: between 60 UYU and 300 UYU (seven starter packs)
  • Claro Uruguay: 60 UYU

Note that Uruguayan SIM cards can be more expensive than those listed above when purchased at an airport.

Use the Wise Currency Converter tool (free) for up-to-date UYU (Uruguayan Peso) to your currency (let's say USD – US Dollar) exchange rates.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

For your convenience, below are some exchange rates between UYU and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 UYU = 0.025 USD
  • 10 UYU = 0.25 USD
  • 100 UYU = 2.50 USD

But for any other currency, the Wise Currency Converter tool.

(Travel) eSIMs for Uruguay

In recent years, (travel) eSIMs have become extremely popular.

Especially after Apple made iPhones (14- & 15 series) sold in the United States eSIM-only, forcing its users to use eSIMs – even when abroad.

As a result, the adoption of eSIM technology by mobile operators worldwide rose impressively quickly.

Currently, no Uruguayan mobile operator offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.

In my Uruguay eSIM buying guide, I analyze various eSIM options of eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide.

Buying an eSIM for Uruguay Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Latamlink, Discover+, Ballena!, Alosim & Airalo)

Surprisingly, travel eSIMs can be cheaper than a Uruguayan SIM card or eSIM in specific scenarios.

Moreover, Latin (Central- and South) America-wide and global eSIM options are also available at competitive prices (without having to deal with expensive international roaming rates).

In this Uruguay SIM card buying guide (the one you are reading), I will stick to the local SIM cards and eSIM, but you can read my Uruguay eSIM buying guide for more information about travel eSIMs covering the country.

But here is a quick overview already + applicable discount codes if you are interested in purchasing a travel eSIM for Uruguay:

  • Airalo: Ballena! (Uruguay only), Latamlink (19 countries in Latin (Central- and South) America) & Discover+ (130 countries worldwide + up to 200 worldwide minutes & 200 worldwide SMS)
  • Alosim: Uruguay
  • Holafly: Uruguay & South America (14 countries in Central- and South America) – options include unlimited data
  • Nomad: Global (109 or 139 countries, depending on the variant)

Here are some discount codes to sweeten the deal:

  • Airalo: NEWMAY15 for 15% off (if you have never bought an Airalo eSIM before). Otherwise, AIRALOMAY10 for 10% off (for existing users) – only the first 3000 users can redeem either discount code)
  • Alosim: PTW for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Holafly: PHONETRAVELWIZ for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Nomad: ADU123 for 3 USD off (on your first-ever Nomad order only)

Once again, check out my Uruguay eSIM buying guide to learn more about these eSIM options.

Buying an eSIM for Uruguay Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Latamlink, Discover+, Ballena!, Alosim & Airalo)

The eSIM guide is as comprehensive as this SIM card buying guide, but it solely focuses on travel eSIMs (while the guide you are reading focuses on local SIM cards and eSIMs for prepaid users (where applicable).

Uruguayan Prepaid SIM Cards Explored

Below, I will guide you through Antel, Movistar Uruguay & Claro Uruguay, 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 said, let's see what Uruguay offers us.


Antel

Antel Uruguay Logo
© Antel

Antel, standing for Administración Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, is the largest mobile operator in Uruguay.

It is a state-owned company and has a market share of around 50%.

While Opensignal claims Movistar Uruguay is the best mobile operator in most aspects, Antel is practically the best option in the country.

One downside of Opensignal reports is that they have smaller sample sizes than Speedtest, affecting the final results.

Speedtest has not done a report about Uruguay in two years – but I can tell you that Antel is the best option in almost all cases.

Unless you only care about speeds and stay in urban areas.

In that case, Movistar Uruguay is a better option.

Antel uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28) & 1700 MHz (Band 4)

This is what you will learn about Antel:

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

Coverage – Antel

Antel has the best coverage in Uruguay.

The difference in (4G/LTE) coverage is night and day compared to its competitors.

All of urban Uruguay is covered by Antel – forests will have little to no reception.

Below is Antel's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

However, click here to see Antel's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – Antel

You can get an Antel SIM card for 65 UYU with 200 call credit and unlimited WhatsApp data in Antel stores (1/2). It is also possible to get SIM cards at Montevideo-Carrasco/General Cesáreo L. Berisso International Airport (MVD).

Antel Uruguay New SIM Card Bonuses
  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Antel has no eSIMs.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Antel

Antel top-up vouchers are sold in Antel stores (1/2), grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Uruguay.

Antel Uruguay SIM Card
© Antel

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

PriceData (Up To)Local Minutes (Up To)ValidityIncoming Call Validity
165 UYU0.76 GB22 minutes30 days180 days
200 UYU0.9 GB27 minutes60 days180 days
300 UYU1.4 GB40 minutes90 days365 days
500 UYU2.3 GB67 minutes120 days365 days

Note that a top-up up does not give free data or local minutes.

Instead, the table above indicates how much data or how many minutes you get with certain top-up amounts.

To top up your Antel SIM card, dial *77, select option 1, and enter the Voucher Code.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *77, select option 1, and enter 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 *611 or text SALDO to 226 to check your Antel balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the MiAntel (MyAntel) app (Android/iOS/Huawei AppGallery).

Antel Uruguay MiAntel App
© Antel

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Antel

Antel has five data-featured prepaid plans:

All Antel plans can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 226.

I will list all the prices in UYU (Uruguayan Peso).

To convert UYU to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Recarga por Suscripción (Subscription Recharge) – Antel

The Recarga por Suscripción (Subscription Recharge) is a combo plan with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

For 180 UYU, you get 1 GB of data and 22 local minutes for 22. Text ALTA TOTAL to 226 to activate Recarga por Suscripción.

PriceDataLocal MinutesValidityActivation Code
180 UYU1 GB22 minutes30 daysALTA TOTAL
Antel Uruguay Recarga Por Suscripción Recharge for Subscription
Recargas Ocasionales (Occasional Recharge) – Antel

The Recargas Ocasionales (Occasional Recharge) are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Text the Activation Code to 226 to activate Recargas Ocasionales:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
55 UYU3 GB24 hoursDIA
180 UYU3 GB7 daysSEMANA
Antel Uruguay Recargas Ocasionales Occasional Recharges
Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Ocasionales (Occasional Recharge and Balance Transfer) – Antel

The Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Ocasionales (Occasional Recharge and Balance Transfer) are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Text the Activation Code to 226 to activate Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Ocasionales:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
100 UYU0.4 GB30 days100
200 UYU0.9 GB30 days200
Antel Uruguay Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Ocasionales Occasional Recharge & Balance Transfer
Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Recurrente (Recharge and Transfer of Recurring Balance) – Antel

The Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Recurrente (Recharge and Transfer of Recurring Balance) are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Text the Activation Code to 226 to activate Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Recurrente:

PriceDataValidityActivation Code
100 UYU0.5 GB30 daysALTA MES 100
200 UYU1 GB30 daysALTA MES 200
Antel Uruguay Recarga y Transferencia de Saldo Recurrente Recharge and Transfer of Recurring Balance
Promocionales (Promotions) – Antel

The Promocionales (Promotions) are data plans (without 5G NR access).

Although they are promotions, this limited promotion has been going on for more than a year.

However, it is subject to change at any time without notice, so be aware of that.

Text the Activation Code to 226 to activate Recargas Ocasionales:

PricePlanDataValidityActivation Code
180 UYURecarga 50 GB50 GB5 days50GB
230 UYURecarga 70 GB70 GB7 days70GB
280 UYURecarga 90 GB90 GB10 days90GB
Antel Uruguay Recarga Promocionales Plan

APN/Internet Settings – Antel

  • Name: LTE
  • APN: antel.lte

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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Movistar Uruguay

Movistar Logo New
© Movistar

Movistar Uruguay, just Movistar, is the second-largest mobile operator in Uruguay.

It is a combination of the former Telefónica Móvil and BellSouth.

Movistar, as a brand, is active in Central America, South America & Spain.

Movistar uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 850 MHz & 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28), 1700 MHz (Band 4) & 1900 MHz (Band 2)

This is what you will learn about Movistar:

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

Coverage – Movistar Uruguay

Movistar has extensive coverage in populated areas of Uruguay.

Its 4G/LTE reception is mostly limited to urban areas.

Below is Movistar's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Movistar Uruguay

You can get a Movistar SIM card for between 60 UYU to 300 UYU in Movistar stores. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Montevideo-Carrasco/General Cesáreo L. Berisso International Airport (MVD).

Movistar SIM Card
© Movistar
  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

The 60 UYU SIM card includes no starter perks. Then you have SIM cards from 69 UYU to 300 UYU with data, minutes & SMS.

Below is an overview of Movistar SIM cards:

PriceSIM CardDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSOff-Net SMSValidity
69 UYUChip XD 250 MB250 MBN/A25 minutes 1N/AN/A7 days
80 UYUPrepago Total 200 MB200 MB200 minutes5 minutes200 SMS5 SMS7 days
100 UYUPrepago Total 250 MB250 MB250 minutes8 minutes250 SMS8 SMS7 days
150 UYUPrepago Total 450 MB450 MB450 minutes10 minutes450 SMS10 SMS15 days
229 UYUChip XD 1 GB1 GBN/A100 minutes 1N/AN/A30 days
300 UYUPrepago Total 1 GB1 GB1000 minutes15 minutes1000 SMS15 SMS30 days

1 also for on-net use

Movistar Uruguay SIM Card Starter Packs

Movistar has no eSIMs.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Movistar Uruguay

Movistar top-up vouchers are sold in Movistar stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Uruguay.

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

Top-UpWhatsApp DataValidity
20 UYU – 49 UYUN/A7 days
50 UYU – 74 UYUUnlimited (10 days)10 days
75 UYU – 99 UYUUnlimited (10 days) 15 days
100 UYU – 199 UYUUnlimited (10 days) 30 days
200 UYU – 249 UYUUnlimited (10 days) 60 days
250 UYU – 1000 UYUUnlimited (10 days) 90 days
Movistar Uruguay WhatsApp Gratis Free WhatsApp Banner
© Movistar Uruguay

You can top-up your Movistar SIM card on the Mi Movistar Uruguay (My Movistar Uruguay app – Android/iOS)

Note that the Android app is geo-restricted.

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.

Text SALDO to 222 to check your Movistar balance.

Movistar Uruguay Mi Movistar Uruguay App
© Movistar Uruguay

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Movistar Uruguay

Movistar has two data-featured prepaid plans: Paquetes de Internet/Internet Packages (combo) & Paquetes Dúo/Duo Packages (combo).

All Movistar plans can be activated by dialing *222# or texting the Activation Code to 888.

I will list all the prices in UYU (Uruguayan Peso).

To convert UYU to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise
Paquetes de Internet (Internet Packages) – Movistar Uruguay

The Paquetes de Internet (Internet Packages) are combo packages with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

The following Paquetes de Internet are available:

PricePlanDataOn-Net MinutesValidity
180 UYU5 DÍAS5 GB100 minutes5 days
220 UYUGIGANTE 2020 GB50 minutes7 days
260 UYU10 DÍAS5 GB100 minutes10 days
270 UYUGIGANTE 3030 GB50 minutes7 days
300 UYU15 DÍAS5 GB100 minutes15 days
320 UYUGIGANTE 4040 GB50 minutes7 days
350 UYU20 DÍAS5 GB100 minutes20 days
350 UYUXL50 GBN/A7 days
Moviestar Uruguay Paquetes de Internet Plan
Paquetes Dúo (Duo Packages) – Movistar Uruguay

The Paquetes Dúo (Duo Packages) are combo packages with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

The following Paquetes Dúo can be activated by texting the Activation Code to 888:

PricePlanData By Day 1Data By Night 2On-Net MinutesValidityActivation Code
190 UYUDúo Semanal6 GB 12 GB50 minutes7 daysALTA DUO 7
210 UYUDúo Música6 GB 312 GBN/A7 daysApp only
210 UYUDúo App10 GB20 GBN/A7 daysApp only
230 UYUDúo Pro20 GB40 GB100 minutes7 daysApp only
290 UYUDúo XL30 GB60 GBN/A7 daysDUO XL

1 for day time data is from 09:00 – 22:59
2 for night time data is from 23:00 08:59
3 + App Mi Movistar (Música)

Paquetes Dúo auto-renews. Auto-renewal can be deactivated on the Mi Movistar Uruguay app.

Moviestar Uruguay Paquetes Dúo Plan

APN/Internet Settings – Movistar Uruguay

  • Name: Movistar INTERNET
  • APN: webapn.movistar.com.uy
  • Username: movistar
  • Password: movistar

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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Claro Uruguay

Claro Logo New
© Claro

Claro Uruguay, just Claro, is the smallest mobile operator in Uruguay.

Claro, as a company, is active in Central America and South America.

Claro uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 1900 MHz
  • 3G: 1900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28) & 1700 MHz (Band 4)

This is what you will learn about Claro:

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

Coverage – Claro Uruguay

Claro has good coverage throughout Uruguay.

Its 4G/LTE reception is mostly limited to urban areas.

Below is Claro's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

SIM Card Price – Claro Uruguay

You can get a Claro SIM card for 60 UYU in Claro stores. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Montevideo-Carrasco/General Cesáreo L. Berisso International Airport (MVD).

Claro SIM Card
© Claro
  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Claro has no eSIMs.

Support Me on Ko-Fi Orange

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Claro Uruguay

Claro top-up vouchers are sold in Claro stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Uruguay.

To top up your Claro SIM card, dial *611# and follow the instructions.

Claro Uruguay Top-Up Benefits
© Claro Uruguay

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 *611#, *888, or text SALDO to 888 to check your Claro balance.


Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Claro Uruguay

Claro has only one data-featured prepaid plan: Packs Ya (combo). It includes data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.

I will list all the prices in UYU (Uruguayan Peso).

To convert UYU to your currency (let's say USD) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

The following Packs Ya are available:

PriceDataSocial Data 1FreeFire DataWhatsApp DataOn-Net MinutesValidity
50 UYU10 GBN/AN/AUnlimitedN/A1 night (0:00 – 6:00)
60 UYU1 GBN/AN/AUnlimitedN/A1 day
75 UYU1 GBN/AN/AUnlimitedN/A3 days
115 UYU 2 GBN/AN/AUnlimited50 minutes3 days
130 UYU2 GBN/AN/AUnlimitedN/A5 days
170 UYU3 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimitedN/A5 days
220 UYU5 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimitedN/A7 days
270 UYU 10 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimited50 minutes 27 days
280 UYU6 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimitedN/A15 days
350 UYU10 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimitedN/A30 days
600 UYU25 GB500 MB500 MBUnlimitedN/A30 days
1000 UYU40 GB1 GB1 GBUnlimitedN/A60 days

1 for Claro Música, Facebook, Free Fire, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube
2 for 50 minutes to Claro + 25 minutes to any destination

Claro Uruguay Packs Ya Plan

APN/Internet Settings – Claro Uruguay

  • Name: Claro UY
  • APN: igprs.claro.com.uy
  • Username: ctigprs
  • Password: ctigprs999

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Uruguay

Getting a SIM card from Antel or Movistar would do you well when considering an Uruguayan SIM card.

Going to other places around the world? You should also check out my SIM card buying guides for other destinations worldwide.