Parque Nacional Corcovado, costa rica sim card

5 Best SIM Cards for Costa Rica

When traveling abroad, get a policy from one of the best travel insurance companies. You can get a 5% discount on Heymondo, the only insurance that pays medical bills upfront for you, HERE!

If you enjoy staying connected during your beach vacation or sharing travel photos on social media, then you must choose the right SIM card for Costa Rica.

Personally, I prefer having internet access while traveling as it allows me to instantly search for information, check maps, get directions, and work whenever and wherever I want without relying on Wi-Fi. For my trip to Costa Rica, I opted for the Holafly eSIM. It’s easy to install and comes with a fully digital configuration. Additionally, you can take advantage of Holafly discounts to get a Costa Rica SIM card with unlimited data without breaking the bank.

Holafly logo

5% OFF your international eSIM card

However, the Holafly eSIM is not the only option. In this guide, I’ll share the best Costa Rican SIM cards. I’ve selected the most prominent local cell phone companies in Costa Rica, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Furthermore, I’ll provide information on how to buy a SIM card for Costa Rica, whether it’s before your trip or while exploring the stunning landscapes of one of the most beautiful countries in Central America.

How do SIM cards in Costa Rica work?

SIM cards in Costa Rica operate very simply; you just need to insert them into your phone to start browsing the internet. Some even come with a few minutes and text messages at no extra cost, ensuring seamless communication as you enjoy the best things to do in Costa Rica.

Corcovado National Park, best sim card in costa rica

How do SIM cards in Costa Rica work?

On the other hand, if you opt for an international eSIM card, like we did, the process is a bit different. You need to scan the QR code received in your email with your mobile phone, and your data package will be activated. However, it’s essential to note that some phones may not be compatible with this type of Costa Rica mobile SIM card, so I recommend checking compatibility before making a purchase, which you can do via this link.

Costa Rica SIM cards price comparison

In the following table, you’ll find various prepaid SIM cards for Costa Rica, allowing you to compare their prices, duration in days, and the amount of GB offered by each. This way, you can choose the one that best suits your travel needs. The table includes options such as the Holafly eSIM and the SimOptions SIM card, along with SIM cards from the best local cell phone companies in Costa Rica.

CARD

4 DAYS

5 DAYS

6 DAYS

7 DAYS

10 DAYS

15 DAYS

20 DAYS

30 DAYS

Holafly eSIM

Unlimited/$27

Unlimited/$34

Unlimited/$37

Unlimited/$47

Unlimited/$57

SimOptions SIM card

5GB/$50

10GB/$25

Kolbi

5GB/$23

Claro

500MB/$2

1GB/$4

2GB/$5

3GB/$9
4GB/$11

5GB/$18

Liberty

300MB/$2

1GB/$4

1.2GB/$5

2GB/$4

BEST SIM CARDS FOR COSTA RICA

 

After analyzing the options, you’ll notice that the Holafly eSIM isn’t the cheapest, but it includes unlimited data. So, if you have high data consumption, it could be a more cost-effective option than purchasing multiple Costa Rica SIM cards with lower data limits. Additionally, the installation process is quick, and it offers 24-hour assistance in case you encounter any issues.

If you prefer a physical Costa Rica SIM card, I recommend opting for the SimOptions card. Its monthly plan provides a substantial data allowance at a competitive price, even when compared to other local telephone companies.

If your trip is shorter and you don’t require much data, local cell phone carriers in Costa Rica are excellent choices. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to wait until you reach your destination to install them, which will take a lot of your valuable vacation time.

Best SIM cards for Costa Rica

Choosing the best SIM card for Costa Rica depends on your preferences. If you prefer to have your phone ready so you can connect as soon as you arrive, I recommend the Holafly eSIM, which you can obtain directly from their website.

However, if you want internet access upon arrival but prefer a physical SIM card, an excellent alternative is to order a SimOptions SIM card. You’ll receive it at your home within a maximum period of 72 business hours.

If you are looking to minimize costs and prefer a local Costa Rican SIM card, I suggest exploring other options. In the next section, I will provide detailed information on each telephone company’s characteristics, along with the advantages and disadvantages of the services they offer.

1. Holafly eSIM, the best SIM card for Costa Rica

The Holafly eSIM is the best SIM card for Costa Rica, as long as you have a device compatible with eSIM technology.

Holafly eSIM, costa rica unlimited data sim card

1. Holafly eSIM, the best SIM card for Costa Rica

To get this eSIM, visit the Holafly website and make the purchase. Shortly after, you’ll receive an email containing a QR code. Simply scan the code and start enjoying your internet connection. The process is incredibly straightforward, and if you encounter any questions or issues, a 24-hour support chat is at your disposal.

One of the key reasons I opted for Holafly during my trip is that it is the only SIM card in Costa Rica with unlimited data —a significant advantage for staying connected on social networks, email, and even making calls and video calls. However, it’s important to note that the data cannot be shared with more than one device, so each travel companion needs to order their own eSIM card for Costa Rica.

DAYS

GB

PRICE

5 days

Unlimited

$27

7 days

Unlimited

$34

10 days

Unlimited

$37

15 days

Unlimited

$47

20 days

Unlimited

$57

HOLAFLY ESIM FOR COSTA RICA

Holafly has been our preferred choice for various trips, as detailed in my Holafly eSIM review, which will give you comprehensive information about its services.

Holafly logo

5% OFF your international eSIM card

2. SimOptions card, another one of the best SIM cards for Costa Rica

The SimOptions card stands out as another top-notch prepaid SIM card for Costa Rica. Offering a monthly plan with 10 GB of mobile data at a reasonable price, it proves to be a competitive choice compared to local telephone companies.

SimOptions, costa rican sim card

Personally, I like preparing everything in advance for my holidays, so SimOptions can be a great alternative to other Costa Rican SIM cards. Just remember to order the SimOptions card at least 3 business days before your trip so you can receive it at home before your departure. The installation process is very easy—simply insert it into your mobile device, and you’re ready to browse the internet.

If your phone lacks a dual slot, you’ll need to remove your local SIM card to insert the new one. However, if your device supports dual slots, you can have both SIM cards inserted simultaneously.

This option is particularly recommended for users whose phones do not support eSIM cards in Costa Rica.

DAYS

GB

PRICE

14 days

5GB

$50

30 days

10GB

$25

SIMOPTIONS SIM CARD FOR COSTA RICA

3. Kolbi, another good SIM card for Costa Rica

Kolbi is the largest telecommunications company in the country, offering some of the most well-known SIM cards in Costa Rica. Renowned for its reliable coverage, Kolbi ensures connectivity not only in cities but also in more remote areas.

Kolbi, a prepaid sim card for costa rica

The Kolbi SIM card in Costa Rica offers a dedicated plan for tourists, valid for one month. The plan includes 100 minutes of national calls, allowing you to use your phone without incurring additional costs.

While it’s great that their cards are available in numerous stores across the country, the Kolbi SIM card in Costa Rica might not be the most cost-efficient choice. SimOptions, for instance, offers a plan with the same duration and price but provides double the mobile data, which makes it a more appealing option.

DAYS

GB

PRICE

30 days

5GB

$23

KOLBI SIM CARD FOR COSTA RICA

 

4. Claro, an alternative Costa Rica SIM card

If you’re still exploring your options, consider Claro’s SIM card for Costa Rica. Claro offers various duration plans, providing a more personalized choice compared to other providers. Notably, it stands out for having some of the most economical prices available, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.

Claro, sim card costa rica airport

However, you should keep in mind that Claro’s coverage may not be as robust in certain areas of the country. If staying connected at all times is not crucial or if you’re not reliant on constant connectivity for work, Claro remains a viable choice. Plus, the widespread availability of Claro stores means you can easily purchase them wherever you are.

Keep in mind that the data plans might not suffice for heavy mobile data users, as the maximum offered is 5 GB for one month. Recharging is an option, but this should be factored into the overall cost when making comparisons. If you are a frequent mobile data user, opting for Holafly might prove to be more cost-effective.

DAYS

GB

PRICE

4 days

500MB

$2

7 days

1GB

$4

10 days

2GB

$5

15 days

3GB/9GB

$9/$11

30 days

5GB

$18

CLARO SIM CARD FOR COSTA RICA

5. Liberty, one of the cheapest SIM cards for Costa Rica

If you are looking for an economical choice, Liberty is a company worth considering when selecting a SIM card for Costa Rica. While their prices are budget-friendly, it’s essential to note that their mobile data plans are relatively low. So, I only recommend Liberty SIM cards in Costa Rica to users who have minimal data needs, such as sending a few messages.

Liberty, a local prepaid sim card for costa rica

For instance, their maximum duration plan spans 2 weeks and includes 2 GB of data, which is suitable only for those who use their smartphones sparingly. Similar to Claro, there might be areas where signal strength is not optimal, so if reliable coverage is a priority, exploring other cell phone providers in Costa Rica might be a better option.

DAYS

GB

PRICE

4 days

300MB

$2

6 days

1GB

$4

7 days

1.2GB

$5

15 days

2GB

$4

LIBERTY SIM CARD FOR COSTA RICA

 

Where to buy a SIM card for Costa Rica

You can buy a SIM card for Costa Rica either in your home country or upon arriving at your destination. Configuring your phone before boarding the plane allows you to travel without worries, and if any issues arise, you can address them from the comfort of your home, which can be extremely helpful.

Buy a SIM card for Costa Rica at home

If you want to fully enjoy your vacation, purchasing your Costa Rica mobile SIM card in your home country is the best choice. It allows you to focus solely on appreciating your destination, as your device will be ready for use as soon as you disembark the plane.

In this case, I recommend the Holafly eSIM or the SimOptions SIM card. These companies allow you to get your SIM card before embarking on your journey, ensuring a comfortable experience once you reach Costa Rica.

Buy a SIM card for Costa Rica upon arrival

Alternatively, if you prefer to purchase a SIM card for Costa Rica from a local provider upon arrival, you can do so at the airport or one of the official stores throughout the country. However, I advise against buying from unauthorized or unofficial stores, as these SIM cards may get deactivated prematurely or not contain the amount of data advertised.

Corcovado National Park, cell phone plans in costa rica

Buy a SIM card for Costa Rica upon arrival

The downside of this approach is that if you’re on an organized tour, you might have limited time to compare options at the airport. Additionally, depending on your arrival time, sales kiosks may already be closed. Personally, I prefer to focus on exploring attractions and immersing myself in the culture rather than dealing with errands that could have been sorted before leaving home, so I buy my SIM cards before my trip.

How to activate a SIM card in Costa Rica

Activating the Holafly eSIM card is a straightforward process. All you need to do is scan a QR code that you will receive via email —fast and simple. However, if you opt for a physical international SIM card, you’ll need to remove your current card and insert the new one unless your phone has a dual slot.

While most Costa Rica SIM cards start working automatically, some may require configuration and activation via SMS. This varies depending on the chosen telephone company. I recommend inquiring at the store during purchase and waiting until your phone connects to the internet to ensure activation.

Requirements for using a SIM card in Costa Rica

To purchase a SIM card in Costa Rica, you only need to present your passport and choose the data plan that suits you best.

Dolphins in Corcovado National Park, sim card companies in costa rica

Requirements for using a SIM card in Costa Rica

To access the internet using any of the mentioned SIM cards, make sure that you have an unlocked device. Additionally, for digital cards, verify your phone’s compatibility with the country’s network frequency. Failure to do so may prevent you from using any SIM card in Costa Rica, which makes this step extremely important.

I personally use the Holafly eSIM, and I always check compatibility through this link. Alternatively, you can seek assistance at the point of sale, where they will provide you with all the necessary information.

Costa Rica SIM card vs Latin America SIM card

If you’re planning to visit multiple countries in Latin America, opting for the Holafly eSIM for Latin America is a wise choice. These plans, ranging from 5 to 90 days in duration, come at a slightly higher cost compared to other SIM cards for Costa Rica. However, they provide coverage in some of the best countries to visit in Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay. Therefore, if your itinerary includes several of these countries, it will undoubtedly be a worthwhile investment.

Now that you know how to access the internet in Costa Rica, you can find the perfect option for your budget and trip duration. I’m confident you’ll find an alternative that suits your needs perfectly. If you have any questions or wish to share your experience using any of these SIM cards for Costa Rica, feel free to leave a comment below.

Enjoy your time in Costa Rica to the fullest!

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends










Submit

CHIEF ADVENTURER, TRAVEL GURU, AND MASTER PLANNER AT CAPTURE THE ATLAS
Hey there, I'm Ascen, your personal trip planner on a mission to help you craft the most incredible adventure of your life. While I'm based in Las Vegas, you won't find me there often. As a full-time traveler, I'm always on the go, exploring new destinations and capturing the world through my lens. From the enchanting shores of Almeria, Spain, where I grew up, to the far reaches of the globe, I'm here to provide you with detailed travel guides and practical tips to make your trip planning a breeze. Find out more about me here.
Don't miss out...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.