Planning a trip to my favorite country in Central America? Here is your guide to buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala. I will show you the best network, the fastest data connecting and of course the prices for staying connected.
Guatemala is a gorgeous country with a ton of adventurous things to do. I have been 4 times now and fall in love more and more with the people, the food, the volcanos and the black sand beaches.
For you it is reassuring to hear that wherever you travel in Guatemala, you will find a great 4G connection if you choose the right sim card. As of January 2021 there is still no 5G network in Guatemala available, although Tigo Guatemala is claiming it is coming soon…
Traveling in Central America and Mexico? Check out my articles for buying a sim card in Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. In my article about the best international sim cards for world travelers I also mention a sim card for Central America when visiting more than 1 or 2 countries.
Mobile internet operators
It is pretty straight forward when buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala there are only 2 options: Tigo and Claro.
As of January 2019 Movistar Guatemala was bought by American Movil which is of the same holding as Claro, therefore Movistar Guatemala merged with Claro.
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Where to buy a Guatemala sim card
You can basically buy a prepaid sim card for Guatemala in every phone shop and even pharmacies as well as convenience stores. Though I recommend tourists to get their sim card for Guatemala in a Claro or Tigo store. As that is where you get the best service and information.
Guatemala City Airport
There are no official Claro or Tigo stores at Guatemala City Airport, but you can buy a Guatemala sim card from one of the convenient stores. They are only offering a Claro sim card, but it is expensive.
They charge you 150 GTQ ($19) for 2 GB data and 100 minutes calling/texting for 7 days. Not worth it! So I would not recommend you buying a sim card at Guatemala Airport!
If you go straight to Antigua from the Guatemala City Airport then don’t worry. There are multiple shops all over Antigua to get your sim card for Guatemala. The official stores of Tigo and Claro are within 2 blocks from the main square as well.
Many tourists skip Guatemala City, but I like it a lot! Hang out in Zona 4 or visit Cayala or any of the super modern shopping malls. Here you will also find phone shops and official Tigo and Claro shops. Buying a sim card for Guatemala is easy!
When buying a Guatemala sim card bring a photo ID, preferably passport. You will need it!
Prices sim card Guatemala in 2021
Claro Guatemala sim card
You can buy a Claro sim card anywhere and they cost 25 GTQ = $3. You will have to top up with on of the following packages:
- 30 GTQ ($4) = 3 GB data + free social media apps for 7 days.
- 50 GTQ ($6) = 5 GB data + free social media apps for 15 days.
Both Claro packages include unlimited calling/texting in Guatemala and the USA.
In the official Claro store you can buy more extensive packages that come with a free sim card. I would recommend tourist the following Claro Guatemala sim card package:
- 199 GTQ ($25) = 15 GB data + free social media apps for 30 days.
This packages contains unlimited calling/texting in Guatemala and all over the Americas from Canada to Argentina. As well as free roaming!
There are even bigger Claro prepaid packages available, see below.
For more info have a look at the Claro website for more info about their prepaid packages.
Tigo Guatemala sim card
A Tigo Guatemala sim card costs 50 GTQ ($6) and I recommend tourists to top up with the following package:
- 99 GTQ ($13) = 8 GB data + free social media apps for 30 days.
Unlimiited calling and texting in Guatemala is included. For more info see the Tigo website.
Best mobile network in Guatemala in 2021
The below network coverage maps are from nperf.com, they collect data from users to show you where you find which signal.
Network coverage Claro Guatemala
Network coverage Tigo Guatemala
From the maps above we can clearly see that Tigo has the stronger network in Guatemala. We can also see that there still is no 5G signal available in Guatemala.
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Best sim card for Guatemala
Because Tigo has the better network and prices for Guatemala sim cards are kind of the same:
Tigo is the best sim card for Guatemala.
However, may you combine a trip to Guatemala with visiting Honduras and El Salvador, I would recommend you getting a Claro sim card as they have FREE ROAMING included.
Is buying a sim card in Guatemala too much hassle, you can always buy an international sim card online.
Buy a sim card for Guatemala online
Get your international sim card before your trip to Guatemala delivered to your home address. These sim cards are already activated, you only have to put them in your phone. Here are some great international sim cards you can buy online and that work in Guatemala:
- 12 GB data
- NO calls/text
- Valid for 30 days
My experience buying a Guatemala sim card
In 2020 I visited Guatemala two times. The first time in October 2020 I crossed the border on foot at La Mesilla from Chiapas, Mexico. Within 1 minute walk after the border there was a Claro store and Tigo store.
Because I knew Tigo has the best network in Guatemala I bought a Tigo sim card for traveling in Guatemala. For the sim card I paid 50 GTQ ($6), the package for 30 days with unlimited social media, calling and texting + 8 GB data was 99 GTQ ($13). A total price of $19.
I stayed in Guatemala for 15 days and traveled off the beaten path but still found a phone signal everywhere I went. The internet speed was good and reliable. I definitely recommend tourists buying a Tigo sim card for traveling in Guatemala.
A month later after my trip to Honduras and El Salvador I arrived back in Guatemala for another 2 weeks. Just because I wanted to experience how it was to buy a Claro sim card in Guatemala I went to the mall in Guatemala City and got myself a Claro prepaid sim card this time.
To my surprise I found out that a Claro prepaid sim card was valid all over the Americas. That means from Canada to Argentina! Since I was traveling to the USA next this seemed perfect. While in Guatemala I visited Quetzaltenango (Xela), Antigua and Guatemala City only. The data speed was good, reliable and I had signal at any time. Therefore I would also recommend a Claro sim card for traveling in Guatemala.
Also when traveling to the USA for the first 2 weeks I had no problem using my Claro Guatemala sim card in the USA. But after 2 weeks it suddenly stopped working. Contacting Claro in Guatemala they said this was due to fair use policy and I was cut off for another 2 weeks.
Regarding the fact that Claro Guatmala promotes that their sim card can be used from Canada to Argentina I was NOT amused. Things that seem to good to be true, mostly are…
Anyway I could not connect to my Claro sim card anymore and it became useless. When traveling abroad for a short term it is a great feature, but when traveling all over the Americas I still recommend tourists to buy a sim card in the country you are if you stay longer than 1 week.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card in Guatemala were helpful. May you have any more questions I am more than happy to help you out. Also with travel tips for Guatemala… just leave me a comment below!
Enjoy your trip to Guatemala!