Are you planning your trip to Curacao and looking for best sim card for Curacao? This is a complete guide for finding the best way to stay connected when traveling to Curacao, the beautiful Dutch Antilles island. Find out where to buy a sim card for Curacao, the best e-sim cards, up to dat prices as per August 2023, the best mobile data network, my recommendation, a vlog about my arrival and buying a prepaid sim card at Curacao Airport and more about international sim cards for Curacao.
As I am on a journey to travel to every country in the world I constantly get to new countries and since I am a full time nomadic travel blogger for more than 10 years now I always have to find ways to stay connected. Often that is by buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival, but nowadays e-sim cards are a great solution too, depending on the length of the trip.
On Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from around the world: Aruba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, USA, Miami, Newark, New York, Panama, Colombia, Bogota, Europe, Netherlands, Amsterdam, London and many more.
Traveltomtom recommends a Flow sim card for Curacao. Their prepaid sim card plans with data give you more value for money and their 4G network is a more extensive compared to Digicel.
When you just need a little bit of data to check your email, stay connected on WhatsApp or get directions from Google Maps then an e-sim card is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Curacao. For $9.5 USD you get 1 GB data.
There are also international sim cards with data for traveling abroad. These sim cards are valid in multiple countries around the world. Check out my comparison for the best travel sim cards with data in 2023 and find the one for your upcoming trip.
Be aware that international sim cards, local prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards for Curacao only work in unlocked phones. If your phone is locked these sim cards are useless. If you are unsure if your phone is unlocked ask your mobile internet provider in your home country,
Best e-sim cards for Curacao
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Curacao is an e-sim card. No more visiting a store or swapping sim cards. Arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. You order an e-sim card on the internet, instantly receive a QR code, follow the steps and you are connected in just a couple clicks.
Check out the following e-sim card for Curacao:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.5 USD
Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Curacao.
The above data-only e-sim card from Dushi Mobile is only valid in Curacao. They use the 4G/LTE mobile network of Digicel.
There are also international e-sim cards for traveling to Curacao. These e-sim cards are much more expensive but are valid all over the Caribbean in 29 islands/countries:
- 1 GB data for 30 days = $29.90 USD
Why buying a sim card for Curacao
Almost every hotel has WiFi, so why do I need a sim card for Curacao, you might think. As soon as you leave your room you will be disconnected. That means you can’t stay in touch anymore, no more using Google Maps for directions and finding nearby bars, restaurants or even friends.
Or what about emergencies, using banking apps, etc. Staying connected makes traveling to Curacao so much more convenient and fun.
I stayed at Papagayo Beach Hotel and in the room I had good WiFi but on the beach and at the pool it was very slow so I used my 4G. Especially while chilling on the beach or pool it would be nice to scroll through social media apps, right?
Anyway, also keep in mind that being connected to public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network, the use of a VPN in these cases is recommended to protect your data.
Mobile internet providers in Curacao
There are two mobile internet providers in Curacao: Digicel and Flow. Both operators offer prepaid sim cards for tourists. But depending on where you buy them they are sold for a different price.
A prepaid sim card in Curacao is called a chippie.
Where to buy a sim card for Curacao
Hato International Airport Curacao CUR
The most convenient place to buy a sim card in Curacao is obviously at the airport on arrival. Both, Digicel and Flow have a kiosk for selling prepaid sim cards for tourists. Digicel sells its prepaid sim cards in the baggage claim hall between luggage belt 1 and 2.
The Flow kiosk will be the first thing you walk into when entering the arrival hall. Both kiosks are open for all arrivals of international flights and accept credit cards as well as local currency ANG, USD and Euros.
Willemstad city center
There is a Digicel store in the city center of Willemstad at the end of the Queen Emma floating bridge on the side of the cruise terminal. In the colorful historic center of Willemstad on the other side of the bridge there is a little fast food cafe called Cafe Italia and here they also sell Digicel prepaid sim cards for Curacao.
The Flow shop is a little outside the city center near the Mc Donalds a good 15-20 minute walk from the floating bridge.
As explained earlier there are also international prepaid sim cards for Curacao that you can order online. These sim cards will be send to your home address before your trip and are pre-activated. Even easier is ordering an e-sim card for Curacao online.
When buying a prepaid sim card in Curacao you need to bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taken in the store for the registration of your new Curacao sim card and you will receive a prepaid sim card with a Curacao number starting with +599.
If for some reason you don't want to give your passport for registering your sim card for Curacao then look into buying a prepaid sim card for Curacao or an e-sim card for Curacao online. For these forms of staying connected when traveling to Curacao you don't need any registration.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Curacao
Prices below are in USD and ANG, the Netherlands Antilles Guilder, which is the official currency of Curacao and is tied to the USD: $1 USD = 1.81 ANG and 1 ANG = $0.55 USD.
As I mentioned before Digicel and Flow sell tourist prepaid sim cards at the airport at different prices than in their stores anywhere else on the island.
At Curacao Airport Digicel sells 2 different prepaid sim card plans for tourists:
- 7 GB data + 30 minutes anywhere for 7 days = $30 USD
- 20 GB data + 60 minutes anywhere for 14 days = $50 USD
In the city center of Willemstad you can also get a prepaid sim card for $14 USD with 2 GB data for 7 days in the Digicel store.
If you go to the Digicel website you can find much better prepaid sim card plans and data packages. But when I asked about it in the store they said they do NOT sell them to tourists. But they are available for topping up. Pretty disappointing!
At Curacao Airport Flow sells 3 tourist prepaid sim card plans:
- 1.5 GB data for 7 days = $18 USD
- 3 GB data + 100 local minutes + 10 sms for 7 days = $20 USD
- 9 GB data + 300 local minutes + 30 sms for 30 days = $30 USD
In Flow stores around the island they also sell a prepaid sim card for much cheaper and you can get 3 GB data for 7 days for $15 USD.
The same procedure here for Flow as for Digicel. They do NOT allow you to buy any of the prepaid sim card plans on the Flow website, but once you have a prepaid sim card you can use these data packages for top up.
Best 4G/5G network in Curacao
After comparing the prices for prepaid sim cards in Curacao lets also compare the mobile network coverage in Curacao and see which provider has the best 4G/5G network on the island.
The network coverage is probably even more important than the prices when traveling around the island. A prepaid sim card that has no network connection is useless.
Is there 5G in Curacao?
No, as of August 2023 there is no 5G in Curacao. Depending on where on the island you are, a 4G/LTE connection is the fastest data speed you can find.
Digicel 4G/5G network coverage map
Flow 4G/5G network coverage map
When comparing the mobile data network coverage maps of Flow and Digicel, we come to the easy conclusion that Flow has a slightly better 4G network in Curacao. However, there is not much difference.
Data speed in Curacao
In the more remote parts of the island the data speed obviously significantly drops. But in and around Willemstad, Jan Thiel and Mambo Beach area I enjoyed pretty fast data speed. Above is an example of a speed test I did in the city center of Willemstad. Although it says Oranjestad (the capital of Aruba) the speedtest was taken at the Queen Emma Bridge. It was almost too good to be true!
Best sim card for Curacao in 2023
Based on my comparison of the prepaid sim cards and the e-sim cards for Curacao I can easily conclude that an e-sim card for Curacao is the cheapest and easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Curacao.
E-sim cards for Curacao start from $9.5 USD, prepaid sim cards in Curacao start from $14 USD. But when buying a sim card at the airport prices are almost doubled. However, if you are a heavy data user just like me then an e-sim card is more expensive than a local prepaid sim card.
Since Flow gives you a little more value for money (more Gigabytes for the same price) and Flow has a slightly more extensive 4G network it is an easy conclusion that Flow is the best prepaid sim card in Curacao in 2023.
Unfortunately Flow does not have a store in the city center of Willemstad and the Flow sim cards at the airport start from $18 USD for just 1.5 GB data. I told you an e-sim card for Curacao is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Curacao.
My experiences buying a sim card for Curacao
Upon arrival at the Hato International Airport of Curacao I stumbled first on the Digicel kiosk and later on the Flow desk where they tried to sell me a prepaid sim card for Curacao. As I found the prices for staying connected a little bit outrageous I used the free WiFi of the airport to order an e-sim card for Curacao. It is simply much cheaper and since I was staying only for 4 days I thought 1 GB data would be enough. All went well and it worked pretty good.
However, the next morning I already used almost 1 GB data. I loved staying at the Papagayo Beach Hotel and the WiFi in the room was actually really good. However, on the beach, at the pool and in the restaurant the WiFi was very slow and that is how I used 1 GB data already in 1 day. So when I was visiting Willemstad I saw on Google Maps that there was a Digicel store in the city center near the Queen Emma Bridge.
In the store they tried selling me the same Digicel tourist sim card for Curacao as at the airport with 7 GB data for 7 days for $30 USD. When I asked for the local prepaid sim cards a little discussion followed but I was finally offered a prepaid sim card for $14 USD with 2 GB data for 7 days.
See more about my experiences about buying a sim card for Curacao in my vlog below.
As I only traveled to Curacao for 4 days this was actually an ok solution, but it still does not make any sense to me that tourists are not able to buy any of the prepaid sim card plans they offer on their websites and that counts for both operators, Digicel and Flow. On the last day I topped up with a Digicel scratch card for a couple extra Gigabytes and it was much cheaper than the initial data plans you can buy at Curacao International Airport.
I am sure some of the above tips for staying connected when traveling to Curacao were helpful. If there is anything you would like to know then please leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Curacao!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards for Curacao are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you.