Planning a trip to Argentina and looking for the best way to get connected? Get yourself an e-sim card or a local prepaid sim card on arrival to avoid high roaming charges. This is the ultimate guide with everything you need to know on how to stay connected when traveling to Argentina. Find out where to buy a prepaid sim card, the registration process, the best e-sim cards for Argentina, up to date prices as per March 2023, the best 4G/5G network in Argentina, my recommendation, a vlog with my experiences and even information about international sim cards for Argentina.
When getting to a new country the first thing I do is looking for the best way to get connected and as a full time nomadic travel blogger who is on a journey to travel to every country in the world I change countries constantly. Therefore on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Buenos Aires, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, USA, New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Spain, Europe, Dubai and many more.
Next time when planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest e-sim card and prepaid sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card for Argentina
First off don’t let high roaming costs ruin your trip to Argentina. A roaming plan for $5 USD per day doesn’t sound too expensive but for $5 you can get 10 GB data for a whole month with an Argentina prepaid sim card. Also keep in mind that overseas data plans limit the max internet speed! Data speed on roaming plans is very disappointing.
You think you can rely on WiFi? True, almost everywhere you can find public WiFi these days: restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. However, this is no guarantee! And what about ordering a taxi on the streets? Searching for things while on the road like nearby restaurants, bars, ATMs, emergencies, etc. Investing a couple dollars will make traveling to Argentina so much more convenient.
Also keep in mind that connecting to public WiFi is on an UNSECURED network. In these cases the use of a VPN is recommended.
Very important is too make sure that your phone is unlocked. Prepaid sim cards from another country or international or e-sim cards only work in unlocked phones. If you are not sure if your phone is unlocked ask your mobile internet provider from home.
Traveltomtom recommends a Claro sim card for Argentina. They sell a prepaid sim card for tourists in the Claro stores in Argentina and have a great 4G/5G network in Argentina.
If you are looking for the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Argentina then get yourself an e-sim card. Prices start from $15 USD and for those that do not need much GB's, this is a great solution.
We also recommend international sim cards for traveling in Argentina. These global sim cards with data get extra interesting when traveling to multiple countries as their data is valid all over the world. Check out my comparison of the best travel sim cards with data in 2023 and pick the one that suits your trip to South America.
E-sim cards for Argentina
With an e-sim card you arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. No more swapping sim cards or visiting a phone store! You order an e-sim card online, receive a unique QR-code with instructions, you follow the instructions, apply the settings and you are connected instantly.
Check out the following e-sim card deals for Argentina:
- 2 GB data for 7 days = $15 USD
- 6 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD
Click here to directly order an Argentina e-sim card online or find more info in the link.
The above e-sim cards for Argentina use the Movistar 3G/4G network.
There are also international e-sim cards that are valid in more than 70 and up to 120 countries in the world, but they are more expensive.
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24.9 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.9 USD
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.9 USD
Make sure that your phone is e-sim card compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Argentina and of course it need to be unlocked.
There is also still the option of buying an international prepaid sim card for Argentina on the internet. A pre-registered international sim card will be shipped to your home address before your trip. You put this sim card in your phone on arrival in Argentina and it connects automatically. Plug and play!
This sim card costs $49.90 USD and gives you 5 GB data for 14 days. Click here to order this sim card for traveling in Argentina.
Mobile internet providers in Argentina
There are 3 mobile internet operators in Argentina: Movistar, Claro and Personal Flow. All of them have prepaid sim cards for tourists. However, getting one in Argentina is a little more complicated than in other countries.
Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Argentina
Buenos Aires Airport - EZE
The most convenient place to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival in Argentina is of course at the international airport of Buenos Aires, called Ezeiza (EZE). There are two stores where you can buy a sim card for tourists. Read more about it in my guide for buying a sim card at Buenos Aires Airport in 2023.
Official retail stores
All operators have multiple phone stores around Buenos Aires and other cities and tourist destinations in Argentina. At the official retail stores of Personal Flow and Claro they sell prepaid sim cards or actually they give them for free and do the registration for free as well. Movistar does NOT sell or register prepaid sim cards at their official retail stores.
There are uncountable kiosks all over every city, basically convenience stores. These little shop, often open 24 hours, sell prepaid sim cards for Argentina for less than $1 USD. These kiosks have sim cards of Personal Flow, Claro and Movistar. But Traveltomtom does NOT recommend buying a prepaid sim card here, keep reading.
Traveltomtom encourages to buy sim cards for traveling to world online because of its convenience. Therefore international prepaid sim cards are a very easy way to stay connected when traveling to Argentina and even more popular are e-sim cards. However, particularly for Argentina the sim cards you buy on the internet are pretty expensive compared to other countries.
Registration process for Argentina prepaid sim cards
Prepaid sim cards need to be registered on your passport, so when buying a sim card in Argentina bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taking when buying a sim card at an official retail store.
However, in a kiosk you can buy a prepaid sim card without your passport. But don’t get too excited as these sim cards are NOT pre-activated and you will need to do the activation by yourself online on the operators website or go to an official retail store.
I tried to do the registration process myself on the internet last year, but it was too much of a hassle. Eventually I gave up and went to an official store only to found out there was an issue and I ended up waiting more than 1 hour to get everything fix. Precious holiday time that I had definitely wish I had spent differently!
Buying a prepaid sim card in Argentina is a little more complicated than usual. In my opinion the online sim cards for Argentina are pretty expensive and buying a sim card at a kiosk is too much effort. Therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card at an official retail store.
That automatically means Movistar is NOT a recommended mobile internet provider to buy a prepaid sim card in Argentina. Movistar only sells prepaid sim cards at street kiosks and the registration you will have to figure out yourself.
Best 4G/5G network in Argentina in 2023
Essential for determining the best prepaid sim card for traveling in Argentina is the mobile internet network coverage in Argentina. Therefore we will compare the 4G/5G coverage maps of the mobile internet operators in Argentina below. Have a quick look and thank me later, especially if you are traveling to Patagonia.
Is there 5G in Argentina?
Yes, there is 5G in Argentina, but it is very limit. As of March 2023 5G is pretty much only available in central Buenos Aires. From my own recent experiences traveling to Argentina I can tell you that I was barely connected to 5G while visiting Buenos Aires.
Personal Flow 4G/5G coverage map
Movistar 4G/5G coverage map
Claro 4G/5G coverage map
From the above coverage maps we can clearly see that the Personal Flow 4G/5G coverage is pretty much non-existing in the Southern parts of Argentina. Therefore especially for those people traveling to Patagonia a Personal Flow sim card is NOT recommended.
Based on the network coverage in Argentina Traveltomtom recommends a Claro prepaid sim card for traveling in Argentina. Claro has the best 4G/5G network in Argentina in 2023.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Argentina in 2023
The below prices are updated as per March 2023 and displayed in Argentinian Pesos. The Argentina Peso is one of the more volatile currencies in the world and in the last years it devaluate multiple times. Get your Argentinian Pesos on the Blue Market Currency Exchange. For more info read below about my experienced buying a sim card in Argentina.
Although not recommend for tourists, above are the Movistar prepaid data bundles. As you can see the top up options are also very limited. With a 2.5 GB data bundle being the biggest one. More info on the Movistar Argentina website.
Above you can see the data packages for Flow prepaid sim cards. There are only small data bundle available for prepaid sim cards. More info on the Personal Flow website.
Luckily Claro has a wide range of internet data packs available for prepaid costumers, see the above. Personally I took the 10 GB data plan for 1,300 ARS. More info on the Claro Argentina website.
Another reason to choose Claro as your prepaid sim card for Argentina.
Best sim card for Argentina in 2023
For Traveltomtom it leaves no doubt that Claro is the best prepaid sim card for Argentina in 2023. They have the best 4G/5G network coverage in Argentina and the best prepaid sim card deal and also excellent service in the Claro retail stores.
When traveling to Patagonia in the South of Argentina then definitely don’t get a Personal Flow prepaid sim card. Their 4G/5G network coverage is pretty much non-existing in Patagonia and beyond.
Buying a prepaid Movistar sim card in Argentina is complicated. You will have to buy one first at a kiosk and then go to an official retail store to get it registered. Then back to the kiosk to get credit on your account. For real Movistar Argentina? Who wants to do that? Big no-go!
Normally I would advice you to buy a sim card for Argentina online to avoid all this hassle, but the international as well as the e-sim cards for Argentina are expensive. Although it is a very convenient to get you instantly connected without having to go anywhere, it would not be my first choice.
My experience buying a sim card in Argentina
Like I have dropped a couple times before the process for buying a prepaid sim card in Argentina is rather complicated. Only Claro stores sell a decent prepaid sim card deal with a big data plan. You can also choose to get your sim card registered in a Claro store and then go to a kiosk to add money on your account.
The in-store prepaid sim card deal from Claro costs 2,700 ARS which is a bit steep. You get 25 GB data but since I was only staying for a week and also wanted to know more about the kiosk and the top up options I got a free Claro sim card at an official Claro store. They registered my new Argentina sim card on my passport and I was good to go.
I walked out of the store with a registered prepaid sim card and a new phone number, but there was NO data or credit on it yet. In the Claro store itself I could NOT add credit!
Upon activation I got a text message and the very friendly guy in the Claro store showed me that I only had to click on the link in the sms and I got redirected to the account page logged in with my mobile number on the Claro website. Then I directly saw all the top-up packages available, the above picture is a screenshot of what it looked like on my phone.
Then I went around the corner to the first kiosk that I saw and I topped up my account with 1,300 ARS. I gave the guy in the kiosk my number and the money and within 5 seconds my account was topped up with 1,300 ARS. With that credit I was able to activate a 10 GB data bundle for 30 days. The topping up process went very smooth in the kiosk, activating the data plan took me less than a minute.
Here is a complete vlog about buying a sim card in Argentina with all my tips and experiences.
If all the above sounds like too much hassle remember that you can also still order a sim card for Argentina online. Much more expensive, but you are prepared and connected the moment you arrive in Argentina with this pre-activated international sim card for Argentina.
Also another reminder that the easiest way to get connected on your trip to Argentina is an e-sim card. Click here to check out all the e-sim card deals for Argentina.
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 March 2023 I have visited more than 150 countries, so still a long way to go.
May you still have questions then please leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out. I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Argentina were helpful.
Enjoy your trip to Argentina!