Last updated on November 26th, 2023 at 07:17 pm
Looking to buy a SIM Card Medellin Airport? Claro, Tigo, and Movistar are the top SIM cards in Colombia and Medellín while Holafly and Maya eSIM are good eSIM alternatives.
When traveling to Medellín, Colombia, staying connected is crucial for both business and leisure travelers. Having a local SIM card not only keeps you connected but also saves you from exorbitant roaming charges.
Related Travel Guides – SIM Card Medellin Airport
- Best Colombian Food to Try
- Traditional Colombian Breakfast to Try
- Best eSIM in Colombia
- Travel Insurance that We Recommend for Colombia
- Atlas VPN vs Surfshark for Streaming in Colombia
Can You Buy a SIM Card in Medellín – SIM Card Medellin Airport
Yes, purchasing a SIM card in Medellín is straightforward. You’ll need a valid form of identification like a passport. Visit kiosks or stores in the airport or around the city to find SIM cards tailored for short-term or long-term use.
Where to Buy a SIM Card in Medellín
- Airport Kiosks: After clearing customs, you’ll find kiosks selling SIM cards.
- Shopping Malls: Visit malls like El Tesoro or Santafé Mall for more options.
- Local Mobile Stores: Stores like Claro, Movistar, and Tigo are spread throughout the city.
- Convenience Stores: Many small shops and kiosks sell SIM cards, though staff might not be well-versed in activation procedures.
- Online: Planning ahead allows you to purchase online, but you’ll still need to register in-person upon arrival.
Where to Purchase a SIM Card at Medellin Airport (Medellin Airport SIM Card)
Unlike many international hubs, Medellin Airport doesn’t have designated phone booths for SIM card purchases. However, travelers have options:
- Departure Hall Phone Store:
- Located on the second floor of the airport, this store primarily sells phone accessories and cases but also offers prepaid SIM cards for tourists
- Tech Port Business:
- Situated on both the first and second floors, Tech Port operates 24/7, selling Claro SIM cards outside the restricted area, ensuring access for all visitors
- Small Store Upstairs:
- An unassuming store that sells snacks and drinks also carries Claro SIM cards. It’s a handy spot for a quick purchase
- Identify the Logos:
- Keep an eye out for the logos of major providers like Tigo, Claro, or Movistar. Some stores, not specific to phones, may offer SIM cards
Features to Look for in a SIM Card
- Data Speed: Depending on your needs, make sure the SIM card offers the data speed you require.
- Coverage Area: Look for SIM cards that provide coverage in the areas you plan to visit.
- Price: Choose a SIM card that fits your budget and meets your data and call needs.
Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Medellín
In Medellín, the mobile communication landscape is primarily dominated by three major carriers: Claro, Movistar, and Tigo. These providers offer a range of services across various network types, including 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE, to meet the diverse needs of consumers. Each has its own set of frequencies and coverage areas, making it essential for users to choose an operator that best suits their specific needs for connectivity, be it in urban or rural settings.
- Network: Offers 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE services
- Frequency: 850/1900 MHz for 2G; 850/1900 MHz for 3G; Band 7 (2600 MHz) for 4G LTE
- Coverage: Extensive coverage, including in rural areas.
- Popular Plans: Offers a variety of prepaid and postpaid plans catering to different needs. Tourist plans are also available.
- Network: Provides 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE services
- Frequency: 850/1900 MHz for 2G; 850/900 MHz for 3G; Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz) for 4G LTE
- Coverage: Good urban coverage but less extensive in rural areas.
- Popular Plans: A range of plans that cater to various data, call, and text needs. Movistar also provides some tourist-focused packages.
- Network: 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE services available
- Frequency: 1900 MHz for 2G; 1900 MHz for 3G; Band 28 (700 MHz) for 4G LTE
- Coverage: Strong in urban areas, but less so in rural zones.
- Popular Plans: Known for budget-friendly prepaid plans. Tigo also offers various bundles that include data, voice, and text.
VoLTE & VoWiFi in Medellín
VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi) are technologies that improve voice call quality and allow for calls to be made over 4G and WiFi networks, respectively. Here’s how they work:
- Availability: Available from most major providers like Claro, Movistar, and Tigo.
- Benefits: Improved call quality and faster call setup.
- Activation: Usually activated by default but can also be turned on from your device’s settings.
- Availability: Not as commonly supported as VoLTE but is available from Claro and Movistar.
- Benefits: Useful for making calls in areas with poor cellular reception but strong WiFi.
- Activation: Must be enabled from your device’s settings and may require a compatible phone and firmware.
5G in Medellín
The 5G network is still in the initial stages of rollout in Medellín, with limited areas having access to this next-generation service.
- Availability: Currently available in some parts of Medellín, mainly in the city center.
- Speed: Significantly faster than 4G, with speeds potentially up to 20 times faster.
- Operators: Claro and Movistar are the pioneers in rolling out 5G networks in the city.
- Supported Devices: Ensure your device is 5G-compatible to utilize this service.
- Future Expansion: Plans are in place to expand coverage throughout the city and into rural areas over the coming years.
SIM Card Registration in Medellín – Medellin Airport SIM Card
Registration is a requirement in Colombia. Provide an ID at the point of purchase, and you’ll be set to go within a few minutes
Roaming in South America with Medellín SIM Cards
Check with your provider about the availability and costs of roaming in other South American countries.
Medellín Mobile Speeds, Mobile Internet Prices & Insights
Medellín offers good mobile coverage and internet speeds. Prices are generally reasonable but vary between providers. Special tourist packages are also available.
Currency in Medellín
The currency used is the Colombian Peso (COP). It’s advisable to have some cash on hand as not all places accept cards.
Best SIM Card in Medellín
SIM Card Price
Claro in Medellín offers SIM cards for around 20,000 COP, which comes with a similar amount of initial credit.
Data packages start at 30,000 COP for 10 GB of data valid for 30 days.
Claro allows you to top up 20,000 COP for 2 GB and 1000 minutes, or 50,000 COP for 5 GB and 5000 minutes, both valid for 30 days.
Claro is renowned for its extensive coverage and reliable network in Medellín, making it a strong choice for both tourists and locals. From budget-friendly options to data-heavy plans, Claro offers a variety of packages to cater to different user needs.
SIM Card Price
The SIM card from Movistar costs around 15,000 COP, including an initial credit of 10,000 COP.
Data packages start at 35,000 COP for 12 GB, valid for 30 days.
Top-up options include 20,000 COP for 3 GB and 1500 minutes, valid for 30 days.
Einfrastructure in Medellín. It’s a reliable option for those looking for quality service and don’t mind paying a little extra for it.
SIM Card Price
Tigo offers SIM cards for 20,000 COP, which comes with 15,000 COP of initial credit.
Data packages are competitively priced, starting at 25,000 COP for 8 GB valid for 30 days.
Top-ups are flexible, starting from 10,000 COP for 1 GB and 500 minutes, valid for 30 days.
Tigo provides a balance between cost and quality, offering reasonable data packages and a solid network coverage. It’s a popular choice among budget-conscious travelers and locals.
Comparing eSIMs in Medellín
Holafly Medellín eSIM
Unlimited data for $64 USD (30 days)
Holafly specializes in unlimited data plans, a good fit for business travelers or those who need constant connectivity.
Maya Mobile eSIM Medellín
- 1 GB for $5 USD (30 days)
- 10 GB for $24 USD (30 days)
Maya Mobile offers an eSIM solution that is both affordable and easy to use. With a straightforward setup process, this option is particularly beneficial for short-term visitors to Medellín who need basic data access without the hassle of changing SIM cards. This could be an excellent choice for tourists or business travelers looking for convenience.
Airalo Medellín eSIM
1 GB for $5 USD (30 days)
10 GB for $24 USD (30 days)
Airalo offers affordable eSIM options that are easy to set up, ideal for short-term visitors who require basic internet access.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Medellín
In summary, Claro and Movistar offer competitive data packages suitable for both short-term and long-term visits. However, if you are in Medellín for a brief period, consider eSIM options like Airalo for flexibility and convenience.
FAQs on Medellin Sim Cards
Q: Is it necessary to have a Colombian SIM card in Medellín?
A: No, but it makes staying connected easier and often cheaper.
Q: Do I need to unlock my phone before using a Colombian SIM card?
A: Yes, make sure your phone is unlocked to accept foreign SIM cards.
Q: What about prepaid vs postpaid?
A: Prepaid is generally more flexible and recommended for short stays.
Feel free to use our links for discounts. Using our links will help us continue with the maintenance of the website and will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love, guys.
Our Final Thoughts and Recommendations
For the most cost-effective SIM card options in Medellín, Claro and Tigo’s prepaid plans are strong contenders. If you prefer eSIMs, Holafly and Maya offer flexible and competitive options.