Best Costa Rica Sim Card For Tourist And How To Buy A Prepaid Sim Card in Costa Rica

Last updated on December 28th, 2020 at 10:51 pm

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In this guide you will learn about the best Costa Rica sim card for tourists. Whenever you travel from one country to another, one thing you shouldn’t forget to have is a prepaid sim card in Costa Rica. Why?

As one might expect, It’s hard to travel without Internet because you’ll need your GPS to track your location and destination. Besides reading guides from blogs prepare you beforehand. Also, your own SIM is important for communicating with locals.

Read here Budget travel in Costa Rica and Backpacking Costa Rica!

Read here Brazil sim card for tourist, Paraguay sim card for tourist, Uruguay sim card for tourist, Chile sim card for tourist, Argentina sim card for tourist, Ecuador sim card for tourist, Bolivia sim card for tourist, Peru sim card for tourist and Colombia sim card for tourist.

Also Mexico sim card for tourist, Belize sim card for tourist, Guatemala sim card for tourist, Salvador sim card for tourist, Honduras sim card for tourist, Nicaragua sim card for tourist and Panama sim card for tourist

COSTA RICA TOURIST SIM CARD

COSTA RICA PREPAID CARD BACKGROUND

First thing we have to say about internet and data connection in Costa Rica is great especially in the cities. There are a few places off the beaten path like mountains, beaches and forest where the connection will be weak.

Obviously the best thing you can do to connect online is getting a prepaid sim card in Costa Rica. It will be efficient and it will allow you to connect anytime. We recommend you to get outside the airport when getting to the city in an official phone shop.

There are 3 main phone operators in Costa Rica: Movistar, Kölbi and Claro. The fastest speed is Claro while Kölbi gets the most geographical coverage. It’s better to have both if you are depending on internet for your work.

GETTING COSTA RICA PREPAID SIM CARD IN THE AIRPORT

Getting a Costa Rica sim card is simple and easy. You can get your sim card in Juan Santamaria International Airport. Since it’s easier to check maps and it’s great to check internet while you are going to your hotel. You can purchase your Costa Rica sim card in the airport. This option it will be more expensive but it’s great especially if you are heading outside the city to the beach.

If you aren’t in a hurry you can wait until get to the city to get your Costa Rica prepaid card. There are kiosks and phone shops where to buy your Costa Rica tourist sim card.

WHERE TO GET YOUR COSTA RICA TOURIST SIM CARD

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You can get your Costa Rica sim card almost anywhere from the airport to cities. There are phone kiosks and local shops willing to sell an Costa Rica prepaid sim card. Just make sure that you present your foreign passport. If you are getting to Costa Rica by bus from Panama or Nicaragua you can also get your Costa Rica tourist sim card in the Bus Station or around in kiosks and street sellers.

BEST PREPAID SIM CARD COSTA RICA COMPARISON

We will focus in this prepaid sim card Costa Rica with Kölbi the most popular one in the country. We will tell you about Movistar and Claro the second and third largest in Costa Rica.

Kölbi Costa Rica

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Kölbi is the largest phone operator in Costa Rica. You will have the best coverage and we totally recommend this sim card if you are traveling in a few destinations in Costa Rica. You can get a Kölbi sim card for 1000 CRC =$2 USD in the airport or phone stores.

You can always top us depending the package that you prefer. There are short packages like 600 CRC with 200 MB data and 100 MB for social media for 3 days. If you prefer longer packages for 2500 CRC=$6 USD you will get 500 MB data and 400 MB for social media apps valid 10 days. For 4000 CRC=$7 USD with 2 GB data valid for 30 days.

MORE PREPAID SIM CARD IN COSTA RICA

Movistar Costa Rica

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Movistar is the second largest phone operator in Costa Rica. You can get a Movistar sim card for 1500 CRC =$3 USD in the airport or phone stores in Costa Rica. You can top up starting from 300 CRC with 200 MB data valid for a 1 day. For 600 CRC=$1 USD you can get 200 MB data and unlimited whatsapp for 2 days. For 2500 CRC=$4 USD with 650 MB data and 20 minutes calls and sms valid 7 days. And for 5900 CRC=$10 USD 2.3 GB data and 70 minutes and sms valid for 15 days.

Claro Costa Rica

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Claro is the third largest phone operator in Costa Rica. You can get a Claro sim card for 1500 CRC =$3 USD but with 1000 CRC credit with 50 MB data and 250 MB for social media. You can get for 700 CRC with 250 MB data and unlimited social media for 1 day. For 3500 CRC with 400 MB and unlimited social media, 60 minutes calls, 60 sms valid for 7 days. For 8500 CRC with 3.5 GB and 8500 CRC credit for 30 days.

COSTA RICA SIM CARD CONCLUSION

My Costa Rica Sim Card Conclusion is getting Kölbi if you are planning to travel around Costa Rica since the coverage is better and prices are similar to Movistar and Claro. Unless you can get a special package or a promotion with other companies I will go for Kölbi in Costa Rica. Claro would be my second option since it has the best prices and packages.

COSTA RICA POCKET WIFI

If you prefer Costa Rica Pocket Wifi a Hotspot can be the best option. You will avoid changing sim card and just landing in Costa Rica you will start getting data connection. Read here our full review of Tep Wireless Hotspot with all the details, prices, coverage and how it works.

The price is €7.95 to get wifi when traveling and it includes truly unlimited internet, which is never cut off, regardless how much you use with unlimited wifi and can connect up to 5 devices. If you use more than 1GB in a day, your connection speed will get slowed to 256kbs.

The connection speed will return to normal the next day. Click here, to buy your Tep Wireless Hotspot now. If you add the promo code GAMINTRAVELER you will get 10% discount!

BEST TIME TO VISIT COSTA RICA

In Costa Rica their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Costa Rica is  from December to April because of easier transport. 

Click here to know more about the weather in Costa Rica!

CASH AND ATM IN COSTA RICA

The currency of Costa Rica is called Colòn and as of now, $1 USD is worth 600 Colòn. Do not exchange your currency at the airport because you’ll get less than what you’ll get with the city’s exchange. Anyway if you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Costa Rica no need to exchange them.

Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in Costa Rica. Know real-time currency exchange here!

FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN COSTA RICA

Budget travel in Costa Rica
Image courtesy from Flickr

Breakfast will be the cheapest meal of the day and you can load up on Gallo Pinto, tortillas, eggs, fried plantains and some fresh fruit too for around $3-4 USD per person. At lunch you might want a chicken sandwich for $8-10 USD salad, burger and pizza with a fresh fruit drink for $3 USD. You can have a budget of $15-20 USD a day and it can already get you more then enough decent meals. Costa Rica is little bit pricey comparing to the other countries like Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America.

ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN COSTA RICA

There are dormitory rooms that you can rent the bed for as low as $8 USD a night if you want the cheapest option. AirBnb are also available, mostly for about $20-25 USD a night. Click here if you want to get $30 credit on your first booking in AirBnb.

Double room hostels can costs up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels costs more or less $80 USD a night.

Click here if you want to find the best deals with Booking in Costa Rica.

Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.

Feel free to use our links with discounts for BookingAgodaAirbnb and Klook. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys. 

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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