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Costa Rica SIM Card: How much does it cost and where can I buy it?

Forget about high Roaming rates and expensive Pocket Wifi with the Costa Rica SIM card with data

Mark Robins

July 28, 2023

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If you’re traveling to Costa Rica, you’re probably thinking about how you’ll connect to the internet on your trip. Paying for data roaming can be extremely expensive, and you don’t want to return home to a surprise phone bill. So don’t worry. You can now buy a Costa Rica SIM card, which gives you fast internet at a cheap price. You pay one upfront price, and there are no additional costs!

Also, if you have an eSIM-compatible phone, you should consider this alternative to physical SIMs. This new technology allows you to stay connected abroad faster and easier. You don’t need to install a physical chip in your phone!

International eSIM for Costa Rica

>>Buy an international eSIM for Costa Rica<< Get 5% OFF. Code: MYESIMNOW5

Where to buy a prepaid SIM card in Costa Rica?

SIM card Costa Rica
San Rafael, Costa Rica. Source: Pexels.

There are two main ways to buy a SIM card for Costa Rica:

1. Buy before you travel from an online store.

2. Buy once you arrive in Costa Rica

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

Buy before you travel

We recommend buying your SIM card before you leave for Costa Rica. This will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your trip the moment you arrive, rather than searching for the internet when you arrive.

  • Free phone number and incoming calls

If you buy your prepaid SIM card locally, it usually includes a phone number from which you can have data and also receive calls. Just be aware that buying them locally can be a difficult task.

  • Keep your number on WhatsApp

With a new SIM card, you won’t lose your existing WhatsApp number. So you’ll still have your contacts and conversations. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to send photos and videos of your travels back home, for loved ones to see.

  • Data in other destinations

Some international stores offer SIM card services with coverage in multiple countries. For example, Holafly has a virtual SIM card for South America which has coverage in Costa Rica and other countries of the continent.

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

Buy your SIM card in Costa Rica

We recommend buying your SIM card before you go, but there is one main advantage to buying at your destination:

  • More options

Buying your SIM in Costa Rica, you’ll be able to choose between multiple brands and all the packages they offer. So you’ll definitely find the right option for you. We recommend buying from Claro, Movistar, or Kolbi, which are the best data providers in the country. These providers have stores around the country.

Holafly online store

eSIM for Costa Rica
Unlimited data eSIM for Costa Rica from Holafly.

SIM cards are a more traditional option but as we said if you have an eSIM-compatible phone you should take this alternative. Holafly is an online store that offers eSIM for Costa Rica and 190 other destinations in the world.

The eSIMs are nothing more than digital versions of the physical SIM cards, so their purchase and installation will take you only minutes no matter if you do it before your trip or once you are in Costa Rica. This is because you receive the eSIM in the form of a QR code through your email. You scan this code and you can proceed to install it on your phone.

These eSIMs work the same way as a traditional SIM but without having to do a physical installation. Holafly is also covered by Telefonica de Costa Rica TC one of the best local carriers. If you travel to other countries, you can also use one of their regional digital SIM cards with multi-country coverage.

How much does a virtual SIM card cost to travel to Costa Rica?

Holafly can offer unlimited data plans for up to 20 days, covering your time in Costa Rica. Check out which option would be best for you. In case you need your plan for more days, you can re-purchase this package through a top-up. It will be installed immediately in the eSIM you have configured.

Digital SIM card for Costa Rica

Days of useAmount of mobile dataPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data$27.00
7 daysUnlimited data$34.00
10 daysUnlimited data$37.00
15 daysUnlimited data$47.00
20 daysUnlimited data$54.00
Table 1. Digital SIM card rate with unlimited data for Costa Rica from Holafly.

You will be able to use a portion of your unlimited data to share with nearby devices via hotspot, up to 500 MB per day for this feature.

Virtual SIM card for Latin America

Are you traveling to multiple countries in Latin America? If so, make sure to check out Holafly’s Latin America virtual SIM card so that you can connect throughout the continent with just one card.

Days of useAmount of mobile dataPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data$27.00
7 daysUnlimited data$34.00
10 daysUnlimited data$44.00
15 daysUnlimited data$54.00
20 daysUnlimited data$64.00
30 daysUnlimited data$87.00
60 daysUnlimited data$144.00
90 daysUnlimited data$214.00
Table 2. Holafly’s Latin America digital SIM card tariffs for Latin America.

Frequently asked questions about the prepaid Costa Rica SIM card

What other options offer me internet in Costa Rica?

You can activate data roaming and use data provided by your current provider. But be aware that this will be very expensive. If you plan on using this option, you can expect a hefty phone bill when you return home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates a WiFi connection for your phone). This option is also expensive and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A SIM card for Costa Rica is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet.

How much does data roaming cost in Costa Rica?

Data roaming in Costa Rica is very expensive. The exact cost depends on your operator but you can expect to pay between $7 and $15 per MB. So if you watched a movie on Netflix, you could be charged $100s. That’s why we recommend buying a prepaid SIM card for Costa Rica.

What is the best SIM for tourists in Costa Rica?

You need a SIM card with a good connection and fast internet. A bonus is having a SIM card from a company that offers free delivery and free customer support. Also, whenever you have access to them, do not hesitate to use virtual SIM cards like the ones Holafly can offer you.

What do I do if my SIM card does not work in Costa Rica?

The installation process is usually straightforward, in fact if you buy locally the operator’s staff should be able to help you. In case it does not work the recommendation is to contact your provider’s customer support services.