Are you traveling to Chile soon and wondering what is the best way to stay connected on your trip? This is a dedicated guide helping you to choose the best sim card for traveling in Chile. You will find where to buy a prepaid sim card in Chile, up to date prices as per August 2023, my recommendation, a comparison of the best 4G/5G network in Chile, a vlog about my experiences and even information about international and e-sim cards for Chile.
As a full time world traveler and nomad the first thing I do when arriving in a new country is buying a prepaid sim card to get connected. Since I am also trying to visit every country in the world I get to a lot of different countries constantly and therefore on Traveltomtom you can find already more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Argentina, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Peru, Lima, Bogota, Colombia, Paraguay, Mexico, USA, New York, Madrid, Spain, London, Amsterdam, Dubai and many more.
Why buying a sim card for Chile
Let’s keep it real, we just want to stay connected when traveling as it makes our life much easier. Think about ordering a taxi through an app, looking for the nearest ATM’s, finding cool restaurants nearby, keeping in touch and what about emergencies, bank transfers, etc.
Don’t rely on WiFi, it is not reliable and although most places offer free WiFi also keep in mind that surfing the internet through public WiFi is on an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN is recommend.
So to not get stuck with high roaming charges Traveltomtom recommends buying a local prepaid sim card in Chile for traveling around the country. It is the cheapest way to get data on your phone abroad. A little more expensive but also more convenient are e-sim cards or international sim cards for Chile. More about that later!
Traveltomtom recommends a Movistar sim card for Chile. They have the best 4G/5G mobile internet coverage in Chile and a great sim card deal for tourists. But also have a look at an e-sim card for Chile from Airalo, they have a great e-sim card plan available.
Another way of staying connected that is worth looking into are international sim cards. These sim cards work in multiple countries and are great if you are visiting more countries in South America besides Chile. Have a look at my comparison of the best travel sim cards with data in 2023 and pick the one that suits your trip the most.
However, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Chile in 2023 is an e-sim card.
Best e-sim cards for Chile
Fix everything online within just a couple minutes. Order an e-sim card online, receive an e-mail with a QR code and instructions, scan the code, follow the simple steps and you are all set in no time. No more swapping sim cards and visiting a shop plus you get to keep your own phone number from home.
Check out the following Chile e-sim card deal:
- 7 GB data for 5 days = $11 USD
Click here to directly order this e-sim card deal for Chile or find more info in the link.
Where to buy a sim card for Chile
I would have loved redirecting you to a dedicated article for buying a prepaid sim card for Chile at Santiago de Chile Airport on arrival. To my big surprise there is no option to buy a sim card at Santiago International Airport (SCL). I asked around everywhere, but NOPE!
Therefore I recommend you to go to one of the big shopping malls in the city center of Santiago: Mall Costanera Center, Parque Arauco and Vivo el Centro are the best places to find phone stores of the mobile internet providers in Chile.
Mobile internet operators in Chile
There are 4 mobile internet providers in Chile and all of them sell prepaid sim cards for tourists: Movistar, Claro, Wom and EnTel.
The registration process in Chile for tourist sim cards is very easy as you do NOT need anything. No passport registration needed for a prepaid sim card. However, if you stay in Chile longer than 1 month your phone will be blocked automatically as of new laws in Chile. You will need to pay a tax to unlock your phone after 1 month, but any tourists coming for less than 1 month no need to worry about anything. Just walk into a phone store and buy your prepaid sim card for Chile.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Chile in 2023
In an Entel store you can only buy a prepaid sim card for 2,000 CLP ($2.3 USD) and it will give you 20 minutes calling time and 1 GB data for 15 days.
If you then want to add a data packages on it you will need to go to a kiosk to top up your balance and then convert it into data packages. There is NO service for prepaid sim cards at Entel stores.
A Wom prepaid sim card also costs 2,000 CLP ($2.3 USD) and gives you 1 GB data and 50 minutes calling time for 15 days. Same as Entel, adding data packages can only be done manually by buying credit from a kiosk.
These are for example the Wom data plans that you can activate on your number/account after you bought credit at a kiosk. Why so complicated Chile? Why not selling these packages straight at the desk in your stores?
For Claro counts the same, no service at their Claro stores for prepaid sim cards, only registration. A Claro sim card costs 4,000 CLP ($4.6 USD) and gives you 1 GB data and 50 minutes calling time for 15 days. With a Claro prepaid sim card social media apps are unlimited (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram).
Last but not least a Movistar prepaid sim card costs 5,000 CLP ($5.7 USD) and it gives you 40 GB data + 200 calling minutes for 30 days.
Compared to all the other mobile internet operators that is a WINNER! The registration and activation will be done in the store and it takes less than 5 minutes. Of course you can pay by either cash or card.
Best 4G/5G network in Chile in 2023
May be even more essential for determining the best prepaid sim card for traveling in Chile is the mobile network coverage and therefore we compare the 4G/5G network coverage in Chile per provider below.
Is there 5G in Chile?
Yes, there is a very extensive 5G network in Chile available and prepaid sim card users are able to connect to the 5G network. Just make sure your phone is set to 5G and it connects automatically.
Claro 4G/5G network coverage in Chile
Wom 4G/5G network coverage in Chile
Entel 4G/5G network coverage in Chile
Movistar 4G/5G network coverage in Chile
In many other Latin American countries Claro is the biggest mobile internet provider but here in Chile they have the smallest 4G/5G network. The WOM network coverage is also a little weaker than Entel and Movistar who have the best mobile internet network in Chile in 2023.
Best prepaid Chile sim card in 2023
Looking at all the above provided information it is a pretty easy conclusion that Movistar is the best prepaid sim card in Chile in 2023.
I always advice people to make sure to be connected as soon as they walk out of the store and the Movistar service selling prepaid sim cards in their stores is impeccable. Especially compared to Entel, Wom and Claro who will all redirect you to a kiosk after registering the sim card for adding a data package.
As Movistar is also having the best 4G/5G network coverage in Chile and offering a prepaid sim card for tourists for $5 USD with 40 GB data and 200 calling minutes for 30 days it is a very simple conclusion that I recommend a Movistar sim card for traveling in Chile.
If you would like to watch a vlog about my experiences buying a prepaid sim card in Chile then have a look below:
Buying a sim card for Chile online
Does the above sound like too much hassle or you simply would like to arrange everything before your trip to Chile then there is the opportunity to buy a sim card for Chile online. These pre-activated international sim cards work perfectly fine in Chile and will be send to your home address before your trip.
Check out the following prepaid sim card deals for Chile:
- 12 GB data for 30 days = $29.90 USD
- 24 GB data for 2 years! = $79.90 USD
Click here to order one of the above Chile sim cards or find more info and offers in the link.
Also another last reminder that you can arrange everything directly online by ordering an e-sim card for Chile.
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.
I hope all the above information about buying a sim card for Chile were helpful. May you have any questions then please leave me a comment below.
Enjoy your trip to Chile!