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Compare prepaid SIM cards for Guatemala

Reduce your roaming rates by using a local telco deal.

Updated

Fact checked

Editor's choice: SimCorner

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  • Plans for 80+ countries
  • No roaming fees or extra costs
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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.

Compare international SIM cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
SimCorner
80+
1GB-Unlimited
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
Flexiroam X
150+
1GB-7GB
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Telco providers in Guatemala

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.

About Guatemala’s telco operators

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

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:

Time Data Price
1 day 75MB GTQ3
1 day 100MB GTQ8
1 day 800MB GTQ15
2 days 250MB GTQ10
3 days 400MB GTQ15
7 days 800MB GTQ30
30 days 1.5GB GTQ60
30 days 2GB GTQ99
30 days 4GB GTQ199
30 days 8GB GTQ299
30 days 20GB GTQ499

Dial *123# <call> to select the relevant plan.

There is also a data-only SIM card available:

Time Data Price Activation
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

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:

Time Data Price
2 days 1.5GB GTQ15
7 days 3GB GTQ30
7 days 3GB GTQ30
15 days 5GB GTQ50
30 days 7GB GTQ100

Dial *555# to select your preferred plan.

The following “Internet Móvil” SIM can be purchased for data-only SIM card options:

Time Data Price
1 day 1GB GTQ25
7 days 3GB GTQ100
30days 3GB GTQ199
30days 5GB GTQ249
30days 8GB GTQ299

You can only activate these packages online.

Claro’s APN: internet.ideasclaro, website: http://www.claro.com.gt/portal/gt/sc/personas/

Movistar

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.

Time Data Price Activation Code
1 day 40MB GTQ3 REDES
1 day 75MB GTQ5 UNDIA
1 day 250MB GTQ8 INTERNETPRO
1 day 800MB GTQ15 DIA
1 night
(10pm-6am)
1GB GTQ5 NOCHEM
2 days 200MB GTQ8 DOBLE
3 days 400MB GTQ15 TRIPLE
7 days 800MB GTQ25 MSEMANA
30 days 3GB GTQ90 MMES
30 days 5GB GTQ150 MMESPRO
30 days 10GB GTQ300 VUELAPRO
30 days 25GB GTQ500 FULLMES

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/

Some top tips from finder.com staff:

  • Spanish is the main language spoken, so if you don’t know any Spanish you may want to download Google Translate onto your phone before you travel. Although some locals can speak English, many cannot.
  • Locals call a SIM card a “sim” or “chip”.
  • Ask retailers to set up the SIM for you. This will save you a lot of time and trouble, but is also helpful to cover anything you might not understand.
  • Make sure you get to the stores early before the crowds get busy.

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

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.

Pros and cons of Guatemala’s top telco providers

All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked, GSM-compatible international phone. To double check you have this option, contact your service provider before you set off on your travels.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Can be used in other South American countries
  • SIM cards could be compatible with your current phone

Cons:

  • Make sure SIM cards don’t already have existing plans uploaded
  • No new devices offered with the SIM card plans
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
  • Poor coverage can be found on all networks in some areas

Another important question

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Sprint
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
SIMPLE Mobile
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
FreedomPop
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Yes
$0
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$20
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SteveDecember 12, 2018

    Are the sim cards provide by the Guatemala Telco providers compatible with the Samsung Galaxy 9+?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoyceDecember 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for leaving a question. Yes there are SIM cards that could be compatible with your current phone, most Telco providers have updated SIM cards that you can use for any type of phone. Just make sure your phone is unlocked. Hope this helps. Please feel free to contact us at any time if any other questions arise.

      Cheers,
      Joyce

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