Visiting Panama soon and looking for the best way to stay connected? Don't waste money an high roaming charges this is a complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card on arrival at Panama City Airport. Find out where to buy a sim card for Panama, the best Panama e-sim cards, up to date prices as per August 2023, my recommendation, information about international sim cards for Panama and even have a vlog for you about my experiences buying a sim card for my trip to Panama at Panama City Airport.
As Traveltomtom is on a mission to visit every country in the world I get to a lot of new countries constantly. I always used to buy local prepaid sim cards, but these days I order a lot of e-sim cards on the internet.
Since I like to document all my travel tips for other travelers to save money I already wrote more than 200 sim card guides from all around the world: Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico City, Colombia, Bogota, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru, New York, Newark, USA, Miami, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Europe, Asia, Bali, Bangkok, Dubai, Israel and many more.
Of course you can also find a complete guide about the best sim cards for Panama in 2023 on Traveltomtom. I can already tell you that buying a sim card in Panama City center is MUCH cheaper!
Som people really can’t wait to get connected straight away on arrival so those people I recommend buying a Tigo prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport with unlimited data for $30 USD. But in general I do NOT recommend buying a prepaid sim card at Panama Airport.
If you wait till you reach Panama City center and you go to any of the 4 main mobile internet provider stores in for example the Multiplaza Mall you can find the exact same prepaid sim card for Panama with unlimited data for just $5 USD! That is 6x cheaper! For more info check out my article about buying a sim card in Panama in 2023.
Normally Traveltomtom also recommends e-sim cards, but the e-sim card plans for Panama are unfortunately rather expensive. In fact, international prepaid sim cards with global coverage are even better sim card deals for traveling to Panama. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling abroad in 2023.
Best e-sim cards for Panama
E-sim cards make it all so easy to get connected when traveling to Panama in 2023. You don't need to swap physical sim cards anymore and you keep your own phone number. You order an e-sim card on the internet, you receive a QR code in your mail, scan it, follow the instructions and you are connected in just 2 minutes.
Check out the following Panama e-sim card plans:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $18 USD
Click here to order a Panama e-sim card directly online through Airalo.
The above Pancell Digital e-sim card for Panama is a data-only e-sim card. Incoming and outgoing calls and sms are not supported and Pancell Digital operates on the 4G/LTE network of Tigo. Data is only valid in Panama.
There is another e-sim card provider called SimOptions. They have 2 data-only e-sim cards for Panama, which are valid in Panama only and 1 international e-sim card that is valid in up to 130 countries:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $19.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 15 days = $36.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Panama through SimOptions
E-sim cards are data-only sim cards, but the perfect solution for getting data on your phone abroad without any effort. However, make sure your phone is unlocked and your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Panama.
Where to buy a sim card at Panama City Airport
Seems like there is only one store that has the rights to sell prepaid sim cards for tourists at Panama City Airport and that is Travel Data Global, which you can better recognize by: Sim Card Internacional ‘Conexion en más de 150 Paises’.
Apart from these kiosks there is no other place where you can buy a sim card at Panama City Airport. You can find these kiosk all over the airport: land-side and air-side. Meaning as soon as you walk out of the plane, even before you go through immigration and picked up your bags you can already buy a sim card for Panama at one of these stores.
See my vlog about my arrival at Panama City Airport and my experiences buying a sim card below.
Although you will see prepaid sim card advertisement of the 4 mobile internet providers in Panama all around the airport there is unfortunately no Digicell, Mas Movil, Tigo or Claro store at Panama City Airport.
Prices prepaid sim cards at Panama City Airport
Since Travel Data Global has a monopoly for selling Panama tourist sim cards at Panama City Airport the prices are high.
For me it was a very easy and quick research as whichever sim card kiosk I went they sold everywhere the exact same tourist sim cards for ‘tourist’ prices.
Although around the airport you will see for example Claro advertisements offering: ‘Unlimited data for 1 week for $5 USD’, at the Travel Data Global shops they sell this exact same prepaid sim card for $30 USD.
At the Travel Data Global stores they also offer the exact same prepaid sim card deals for Digicell, Mas Movil and Tigo.
So if you would like to buy a prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport there is only 1 sim card deal available for a flat fare of $30 USD and you get 1 week of unlimited data. However, there is one Digicel prepaid sim card that costs $50 USD and that is unlimited data for 30 days.
Order a sim card for Panama online
You can also buy an international prepaid sim card for Panama online before your trip. I mentioned them already briefly when talking about the best e-sim cards for Panama. But in fact these physical prepaid sim cards for traveling internationally are even better deals. Order online and get a physical prepaid sim card delivered to your home address. These travel sim cards are automatically activated from its first use, plug and play!
Check out the following international sim cards for Panama:
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD
- 12 GB data for 1 year = $59.90 USD
- 24 GB data for 2 years = $79.90 USD
Click here to order an international sim cards for Panama directly online.
I am sure some of the above information for buying a prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport was helpful for your upcoming trip. Let me know if you have any more questions and leave me a comments below and I will try to help you out.
Want to be fuelled by wanderlust then I recommend you to check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my journey to visit every country in the world. As of August 2023 I visited more than 155 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Panama!