Best South America SIM Cards: What You Need To Know

Visiting South America soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a South America SIM card.

Fortunately, South America is one of the best places to buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in South America. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!

In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in South America in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.

Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in South America. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.

That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate into a foreign language – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in South America.

Tourist couple with phone

Best SIM Cards In South America

South America is enormous, and you’ll find various mobile providers depending on the countries you’re visiting.

We recommend using a SIM card from Claro, Tigo, Entel, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)

That said, depending on your first destination, you might find other providers.

How To Buy A SIM Card In South America

You can either buy a South American prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, in mobile provider stores, in a convenience store or online.

Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind.

For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one. Each country has its own rules; you might even need to provide an address.

Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you’d rather be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a South American prepaid SIM card online.

Tourist with phone on the beach

How To Buy A South America Prepaid SIM Card Online

If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.

You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, OneSimCard works in more than 100+ countries and gives you data for $0.01 per MB. The majority of South American countries are covered in this plan. 

But, there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you’re planning on visiting are listed.

Another option is to purchase a prepaid SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 3 different packages.

  • 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – USA & South America
  • 12 GB, valid for 30 days for $26 – South America
  • 12 GB, valid for 365 days for $65 – works in 71 countries

Get 10% off your first order with our discount code: ABB10.

Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM plan for South America.

How To Buy A South American eSIM Plan

eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in South America.

Curious? Learn more about the best eSIM providers.

Airalo Latamlink

Airalo offers many eSIM cards worldwide, and they have regional plans for South America. I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and I love its convenience.

Read our complete Airalo eSIM review to learn more.

Here’s an overview of the options available in South America:

  • 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $15
  • 2 GB, valid for 15 days for $28
  • 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $39
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $60

The options mentioned above are part of Latamlink and include 19 countries.

Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries that are not mentioned on the list, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries.

Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:

  • 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
  • 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
  • 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
  • 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89

Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip.

In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks, and you need to select a network manually instead.

When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.

Holafly South America

Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.

I’ve also tried Holafly during my travels, and it worked fine. Overall, it’s important to note that Holafly is more expensive, but they offer unlimited plans for some destinations.

The Holafly South America eSIM works in 13 countries, and they offer the following plan:

  • 6 GB for 15 days for $44

Nomad South America

Another option worth considering is Nomad. They have a Global eSIM plan that includes several South American countries. 

Here’s an overview of the plans offered by Nomad:

  • 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $20
  • 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $48
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $54

Tourist with phone in the city

Final Thoughts On South America SIM Cards

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get a prepaid SIM card in South America or even an eSIM for South America.

I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in South America if you wish to have data on your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card.

Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.

Traveling to South America soon? Read one of the following blog posts:

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