Editor's choice: SimCorner
- Plans for 80+ countries
- No roaming fees or extra costs
- Worldwide delivery available
This article contains links to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive a commission when you click or make a purchase using our site. Learn more about how we make money.
Want to see the heart of the Maya civilization? Or do you just plan to travel around Central America? Either way, using your home phone in Guatemala can work out to be expensive. A top tip for saving money and reducing roaming rates is to switch to a local SIM card to take advantage of cheaper deals, tariffs and plans. Guatemala has some of the best SIM card deals in Central America and you can get 1GB of data for as little as GTQ25 (US$3.40). So, cut down your costs by comparing SIM card options on finder.com.
There are three main providers in Guatemala: Tigo, Claro and Movistar. All three have been tried and tested by both locals and travelers, and they can be trusted. Guatemala is renowned for offering some of the best options in Central America at really good rates. According to OpenSignal’s country coverage map, Guatemala has good coverage in urban areas, but as you venture further inland, catching a good signal could be a little tricky.
Tigo is the market leader with the best coverage, followed by Claro and Movistar. All three operators offer customers prepaid SIM cards and you can buy them from supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets as well as at the international airport. 2G, 3G and 4G plans are available on all networks for unlocked GSM phones. You can purchase a SIM card by showing your passport, and your telephone number is already active when inserted into the phone. To add credit, there are several kiosks around various towns and cities, and scratch card vouchers are stocked in stores and supermarkets. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your stay in Guatemala.
Tigo is the largest provider in Guatemala. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers and credit can also be picked up from the same retailers. Your passport must be shown to the retailer before the SIM card is activated. SIM cards can be bought for GTQ50, which comes with GTQ20 credit and 200MB of data. Credit can be purchased in the form of credit vouchers which can be found in most stores, or by using your credit card online. Top-ups can be added in amounts between GTQ10 and GTQ100. Dial *120# to check your balance.
The following “paceticos” data packages can also be added:
Dial *123# <call> to select the relevant plan.
|1 hour||200MB||GTQ10||Text HORA to 404|
|1 day||500MB||GTQ15||Text DIA to 404|
|3 days||1.5GB||GTQ35||Text 3DIAS to 404|
|7 days||1.5GB||GTQ65||Text SEMANA to 404|
|30 days||1.5GB||GTQ149||Text BASICO to 404|
|30 days||4GB||GTQ199||Text AVANZADO to 404|
|30 days||5GB||GTQ249||Text PROFESIONAL to 404|
|30 days||8GB||GTQ299||Text PREMIUM to 404|
|30 days||20GB||GTQ499||Text DESCARGAS to 404|
Tigo’s APN: broadband.tigo.gt, website: http://www.tigo.com.gt/
Claro is the second largest operator in Guatemala. Claro has the best coverage on 4G/LTE and is very popular with the younger crowd who are looking for good prepaid deals. Most retailers will sell SIM cards, but it’s always better to buy them at official stores so they can be registered properly by using your passport. You can purchase credit from most retailers or you can use your credit card to buy credit online. Prepaid SIM cards are available for GTQ30 and come with that same amount of credit, 150MB of data and 30 domestic SMS. The first time you top-up by GTQ10 or more, credit will be quadrupled. Credit can be purchased in varying amounts between GTQ5 and GTQ200.
The following data superpacks can also be added:
You can only activate these packages online.
Claro’s APN: internet.ideasclaro, website: http://www.claro.com.gt/portal/gt/sc/personas/
Movistar is Guatemala’s third most popular telco provider. It has the best 4G/LTE coverage in the country but speeds can sometimes suffer. You can buy credit and SIM cards in official outlets, supermarkets and drug stores. Be careful when buying SIM cards from street stalls as they can repackage old numbers that might already have set plans on them. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for GTQ30 and come with that amount of credit, 20 minutes call time to the US and 250MB data. There are often promotions on credit amounts, where you can get double, triple, quadruple or even more each time you top up. Check the latest deals with the retailer at the time of purchase. Text “SALDO” to 777 to check your balance. Scratch cards can be purchased to top up in the following denominations: GTQ5, GTQ10, GTQ15, GTQ27, GTQ50 or GTQ100. Credit can also be added through recharging the phone via credit card machines or online.
The following data packs can also be added by dialing *123# <call> and choosing a package by its code in the right hand column below, or texting that code to 700.
Movistar also has an all-inclusive roaming deal where you can pay GTQ50 to roam for 24 hours in the following South American countries: Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. There are other providers and countries included in this deal, such as the UK and the US, so check the website or ask in a store to be sure. Dial *123# and choose option 4 to activate.
Movistar’s APN: internet.movistar.gt, website: http://www.movistar.com.gt/
TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through the SIM that cards have been tried and tested in Guatemala.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
“You can buy SIM cards all over the country from any of the three providers Movistar, Claro and Tigo. The closest shop to the airport is at the Los Proceres mall about a five/ten minute taxi ride from the airport. Otherwise wait til you get to Antigua and within walking distance you should be able to find a store.”
“Buy a cell phone and a local SIM, or make sure yours is unlocked, because international calls are super cheap, about ten cents a minute including calls to the USA.”
Each month, we pick the best prepaid plans for 5 different categories to help you find the right mobile plan.
Four million Americans are set to receive this card — follow these tips when using it to keep more money in your wallet.
Find the right Amazon credit card for your needs.
Find the right hotel credit card for your financial and travel needs.
Scuba diving can affect your life insurance rates, but you can still get coverage with affordable premiums if you get certified.
Get quotes from top travel insurers and learn about what a comprehensive policy will (and won’t) cover on your upcoming trip to Nicaragua.
If you don’t have credit history or your existing credit report needs a rebuild, a credit card could be a beneficial tool to establish a good credit score. Find out what credit cards to use to improve your credit rating today.
The lone network operator for Tuvalu is Tuvalu Telecom but it provides SIM cards and Wi-Fi hot spots.
Two 4G/LTE networks cover just the main islands of Vanuatu.
Zambia’s best SIM card providers offer a multitude of data plans and other bundles.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.