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Roaming in Nicaragua: Rates and how to avoid it

Learn about the roaming rates that the main operators offer for Nicaragua, how to activate roaming and the best options to connect to the internet.

Carolina S.

July 11, 2024

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If you are thinking about visiting Nicaragua, either it is for work or simply waking around, you need to know what’s the best option to stay connected. While roaming Nicaragua is the first option to consider, there are other alternatives to get an internet connection.

In this post, we will discuss the roaming rates of the main operators available in Nicaragua. We will also discuss the prices and the best alternatives to avoid paying roaming fees on your trip to Nicaragua, such as eSIM, SIM cards, or Pocket WiFi.

What is a roaming service?

Most operators offer this service so that you can continue making calls, sending text messages, and using the internet on your trips abroad. However, you must be very careful when you travel because if you don’t know about the rates and how to deactivate your phone’s roaming options, you’ll come back home with a huge cellphone bill and, most likely, a headache thereafter.

boy running in nicaragua
A little boy running in Nicaragua. Source: Pexels.

The price is between $1 to $15 per MB. This means that sending a single photograph would be extremely expensive. Keep reading to see the rates of each operator for text messages, calls, and cellular data connection. But the best thing is that you’ll learn to avoid roaming to browse freely and without worries.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM card for Nicaragua)

Comparison of roaming rates in Nicaragua

In the following table, we will compare different types of roaming rates for traveling to Nicaragua with different operators around the world, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, Three, Rogers, Telstra, and more. The table compares both special rates and standard rates.

Cellular provider – RateCost (in US dollars/MB)
Holafly eSIM card$27/Unlimited data for 5 days
SIM card$34/5GB for 30 days
AT&T$2.05/MB
T-Mobile$15/MB
Verizon$2.05/MB
Vodafone$6 per day
O2$6 per day
Three$0,1/MB
Rogers$15/day
Telstra$3/MB
Optus$1/MB

Although Three and Optus offer you one of the cheapest roaming rates, the best option will be to take a data eSIM because you can use it for longer, avoid surprise bills, and have more GB of data to surf the web.

Roaming in Nicaragua by mobile provider

Now, we will see more details of Nicaragua roaming with some operators from the USA, the UK, and Australia. We will tell you the rates you must consider for incoming and outgoing calls, sending SMS, and getting mobile data. In addition, we will show you the steps to activate this service for each operator to stay connected in the country.

Roaming in Nicaragua with AT&T

Roaming in Nicaragua with AT&T is possible both to connect to the internet or to use it to make and receive calls. In short, the rates are as follows:

  • Calls: $3 per minute.
  • Send texts: $0.50/message
  • Send pictures and videos: $1.30/message
  • Internet: $2.05
  • International Day Pass: $12 per day.
att roaming
AT&R roaming information. Source: AT&T.

How to activate AT&T roaming in Nicaragua

To activate Nicaragua roaming with AT&T, you can call AT&T’s International Customer Service department, or dial 611 directly from your phone, or visit an AT&T retail store. Roaming works with SIM and United States eSIM!

For cellular data to work with AT&T roaming in Nicaragua, you must set it up through your smartphones’ settings. Go to Settings > Mobile/Cellular Networks > Data Roaming and activate the option.

Buy your virtual chip or Holafly eSIM for Nicaragua and enjoy your data.

Roaming in Nicaragua with T-Mobile

T-Mobile is one of the operators that offer roaming in Nicaragua at a very expensive price when compared to other operators. However, those customers of this operator who have a Simple Global Plan will be able to use roaming to this country at no extra cost. But those who have any other plan will have to pay the following rates:

  • Calls made: $0.25/min.
  • SMS: $0.50 per text.
  • Internet: $15/MB.
t-mobile roaming information
T-Mobile roaming information. Source: T-Mobile.

How to activate T-Mobile roaming in Nicaragua

To activate, you will only have to dial #RON# on your phone, and that’s it!

Roaming in Nicaragua with Verizon

If you are a Verizon customer and wish to use their roaming service in Nicaragua, then we show you more details below:

  • Calls made: $1.79/minute
  • SMS: $0.50.
  • Internet: $2.05/MB.
  • International Day Pass: $10 per day.
verizon roaming prices
Verizon roaming information. Source: Verizon.

How to activate Verizon roaming in Nicaragua

You can activate Verizon roaming through your phone. Go to “Settings” on your device, press on the “Mobile/Cellular Data” option, and then select the “Roaming” option. But you will also be able to choose the option you prefer through their website.

Roaming in Nicaragua with Vodafone

Vodafone is one of the operators that offers reasonable roaming prices in Nicaragua. This operator allows you to use your data and make calls in Nicaragua for just £7,39 per day with their Xtra Plans.

In case you are using pay-per-use rates, the rate for Nicaragua is £25.00 per 100 MBs, so keep that in mind!

vodafone roaming
Vodafone roaming information. Source: Vodafone.

How to activate Vodafone roaming.

Enter the My Vodafone app, click on the main menu, then on International Roaming. Select the country of destination and activate it.

You can do this from the Vodafone website if you are browsing on your PC.

Roaming in Nicaragua with O2

O2 UK users traveling to Nicaragua who want to use the operator’s roaming will have to pay only £6 per day for the Travel Bolt On Plan. This offers unlimited data, calls, and messages. It is very similar to what Vodafone offers for its customers on an eligible plan.

o2 roaming nicaragua
O2 roaming in Nicaragua. Source: O2.

How to activate O2 roaming in Nicaragua.

As we have already mentioned, the roaming service from O2 is generally deactivated by default. To activate it, you must text O2TRAVEL to 23336. If you don’t do this, you could be charged for standard roaming rates, which are £7.20 per MB.

Roaming in Nicaragua with Three

Three has a slightly less expensive rate by default than other operators. But, this carrier offers data for Nicaragua with a $45 data roaming limit, so this could be a disadvantage in case you want or need more data. See the details below:

  • Calling a UK number: £2 per minute.
  • Calling a local number in Nicaragua: £1.40 per minute.
  • Texts to the UK: £0.15 per text
  • Data: £10 per MB.
three roaming nicaragua
Three roaming information. Source: Three.

How to activate Three roaming in Nicaragua.

Their international roaming is automatically activated. There’s no need to make phone calls or to activate this service through the Three website.

Roaming in Nicaragua with Rogers

Roger’s roaming rats in Nicaragua are among the highest compared to other operators and other countries. To use your plan’s minutes, texts & data with this carrier, you must pay the following rates:

  • Call: $3 per minute
  • Text: $0.75 per text
  • Data: $15 with Travelling Internationally plan.
rogers roaming price
Rogers roaming information. Source: Rogers.

How to activate it

You can activate this service from your cellphone. Go to “Settings”, find the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu, and then activate the “Roaming” option.

Roaming in Nicaragua with Telstra

Telstra from Australia includes Nicaragua in their standard roaming prices. As you already know, that means you’ll pay for your consumption. Below, you can check more details:

  • Internet: $3/MB
  • Making voice calls: $3.5/min
  • Receiving voice calls: $3.5/min
  • Sending SMS: $0.75/SMS
  • Receiving SMS: Free
  • Sending MMS: $3/MB
telstra international roaming

How to activate Telstra roaming in Nicaragua.

Like other operators, to activate this service, you must go to My Telstra App, go to the customer options, then under the Services options. There, you will be able to check whether you have it activated or not.

Roaming in Nicaragua with Telus

With Telus, you’ll be able to enjoy a cheap rate in Nicaragua to connect to the internet. As for making calls, their rates are among the most expensive abroad. Here we tell you about it:

  • Internet: $10 per MB.
  • Calls: $3.50 per minute.
  • Send SMS: $0.75 per text.
roaming telus nicaragua
Nicaragua roaming rates. Source: Telus

How to activate it

You can activate or deactivate this service from the My Telus app. Or under your personal profile through your account.

Alternatives to roaming in Nicaragua

Activating roaming when you travel abroad is one of the simplest and most comfortable ways to stay connected to the internet, since it gives you the possibility to make calls, send texts and use the internet as if you were at home. It’s something ideal that is hampered by its inflated prices, especially to connect to the internet.

To work around this disadvantage, other alternatives have emerged, in some cases like your SIM and others not as convenient, such as Pocket WiFi. Now we will tell you about each of these options, their pros and cons.

eSIM for Nicaragua

The eSIM for Nicaragua is the alternative that is most like roaming when traveling abroad. This digital card includes the internet and the possibility of keeping your WhatsApp number. This is the best option for frequent travelers who don’t want to waste time looking for chips.

Among the advantages that it offers, we find the possibility of connecting to the internet as soon as you land at your destination. You can buy your Holafly eSIM for Nicaragua before traveling, and you’ll receive it immediately by email after the payment is confirmed. When you receive your QR code, all you must do is activate it from your eSIM-compatible device, and that’s it!

You may be interested in learning about the best eSIMs for Managua.

nicaragua holafly esim
eSIM data rate for Nicaragua. Source: Holafly

Prepaid SIM card

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua and look for SIM cards at this destination to connect to the internet, you can do so. This option has the advantage of a lower price than buying it in your country. As for its disadvantages, you make arrive at an inconvenient time when stores are closed, and you’ll have to wait until the next morning. There’s also the possibility that you need to queue and present additional documentation for your purchase.

In Nicaragua, operators Claro and Tigo are available. With these providers, you can get a local SIM card.

Free WiFi in Nicaragua

This option is available in most countries around the world. You’ll find WiFi spots in different places like malls, restaurants and cafés, however keep in mind that you might to order something to get the password and not to mentions the downside.

If you find this alternative to connecting to the internet attractive, you can install an app that will help you find places that offer this service.

Free WiFi in Nicaragua: Alternatives

Now we are going to tell you about some apps to install on your Android phone or iPhone, that will help you find WiFi hotspots in Nicaragua.

Wiman’s free WiFi network: according to the app, you’ll be able to find nearly 20,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country. The cities with WiFi zones included in the app are Managua, León, Masaya, Tipitapa, Chinandega, and Matagalpa.

Free WiFi in Nicaragua with Instabridge: it’s another app available for iOS and Android which compiles information on available WiFi hotspots in Managua.

Pocket WiFi in Nicaragua

Another way to connect to the internet on your trip to Nicaragua is through a Pocket WiFi or Mifi. There are two ways to activate this service. The first option is to rent the Pocket WiFi with a data connection already included. The other way is to buy this device yourself and to insert a SIM at the destination or to purchase the card before traveling.

Pocket WiFi in Nicaragua: Alternatives

Here we tell you about some companies that are dedicated to renting Pocket WiFi for your trips to Nicaragua.

Webspot: With this company, you’ll have a daily internet limit of 512 MB for about $8. That only includes the price for the service because they will also charge you about $10 to send the device to your home or the hotel in Nicaragua. For example, if you travel for 7 days, it will cost you a minimum of $79, and you will have 3.5 GB of available data to go online.

TravelWiFi: It’s another alternative for you to rent a Pocket WiFi and travel to Nicaragua. The cheapest rate that this company has is $8.95 per day. Likewise, shipping costs are not included, which adds up to another $10. In total, to travel for 7 days to Nicaragua, you’ll have to pay approximately $90. This doesn’t include extra expenses, for example, paying for a loss/damage insurance policy or accessories.

Comparison of alternatives to roaming in Nicaragua

We are going to make a comparison of the prices that you must pay if you decide to travel to Nicaragua for 2 weeks and activate the internet service through a router, SIM card, and the cheapest roaming.

FeatureseSIMSIM cardsRoamingPocket WiFi
Price$27$34$1 to $15/MB$160
DataUnlimited1G/ 7GB7.68 GB
Free shippingYesNoNo
Added costsNoNoNoYes
Can you share the internet with other devices?NoNoNoYes
Fee in case of loss?NoNoNoYes
User friendly?YesYesNoNo
Table N°2 Comparative chart – Alternatives to get internet in Nicaragua

Verdict: the best alternative to roaming in Nicaragua

Taking the chart into account and when deciding to buy an eSIM or rent the Pocket WiFi before traveling, you can see that the best option for normal use for your trip is the Holafly eSIM for NicaraguaWith it, you’ll avoid the complications that renting a Pocket WiFi entails. It won’t be necessary to return the product, nor is there a risk of loss, since the eSIM is digital, and you can buy it before starting your trip.

On the other hand, if you decide to take the risk and look for a local alternative, it’s also a cheaper option than a router and roaming in Nicaragua. However, you’ll have to look for it, and you expose yourself to not finding an attractive rate or an actual operator store, not to mention that they may be closed at the time of your arrival in Nicaragua.

Tips for roaming in Nicaragua

  • Deactivate your roaming if you’re not going to use this service. Keep in mind that almost all rates are activated automatically. This way, at the end of the month, you won’t be surprised with a very high bill.
  • Activating a consumption alert will not only allow you to monitor and control your data so as not to surprise you with high roaming rates but also distribute your consumption during your stay in Nicaragua.
  • Before activating your roaming, check if your operator offers discounts, deals, or special rates for the country you will visit. And if you want to sign up, you can consider their deals to opt for one of them.
  • Your cell phone may not work in your destination country. It is rare for this to happen, but if you have a basic and old device, this could happen. It will be useless to have roaming if your cellphone doesn’t work in your destination country. Furthermore, it should be noted that a cellphone connects to the internet thanks to the frequency bands in the country of arrival, and each band works with a certain type of cellphone, except for old or very basic cellphones.
  • We recommend that in public places, you use the WiFi connection they have for entertainment. However, it’s not recommended to provide passwords or data in these types of networks because they are unsafe.

We have already told you everything about roaming in Nicaragua when traveling and recommended an alternative. Now is your turn! Please let us know in the comments section which is the best alternative for you and why.