Planning a trip to my favorite country in Central America and looking for the best way to get connected. Don't waste money on high roaming charges and slow overseas data plans. Here is your guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala with everything you need to know: where to buy a sim card for Guatemala, up to date prices as per July 2022, the best 4G/5G network, my recommendation and even information about international sim cards and e-sim cards for Guatemala.
Guatemala is a gorgeous country with a ton of adventurous things to do. I have been 3 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 to Guatemala, you will find a great 4G connection if you choose the right sim card. As of July 2022 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 world travel sim cards I also mention sim cards for Central America when visiting more than 1 or 2 countries.
Traveltomtom recommends a Tigo prepaid sim card as they have the most extensive 4G network and prices are the same compared to other mobile operators. For $13 you get 8 GB data + free social media apps for 30 days.
A great alternative are world travel sim cards. These international sim cards work in multiple countries. You can order them online before your trip and will be shipped to your home address. Have a look at my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2022 and pick the one that suits your trip the best.
However, if you want to make it easy for yourself then check out an e-sim card for Guatemala.
E-sim cards for Guatemala
The easiest way to get connected when traveling abroad is an e-sim card. No more visiting a store or swapping physical sim cards. You arrange everything online. Receive a code in your email, apply the settings, following the instructions and you are all set. Check out the following e-sim card deals for Guatemala:
- 1 GB for 7 days = $7.5 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days = $21 USD
Click here to order one of the above Guatemala e-sim card deals directly online or click on the link for more info.
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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 2019 Movistar Guatemala was bought by American Movil which is of the same holding as Claro, therefore Movistar Guatemala merged with Claro.
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 2022
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.
Unlimited calling and texting in Guatemala is included. For more info see the Tigo website.
Best 4G/5G network in Guatemala in 2022
The below Guatemala network coverage maps show the collected data from users around the country. A great indication for us to determine the best 4G/5G network in Guatemala. As of July 2022 there is still no 5G in Guatemala.
Network coverage Claro Guatemala
Network coverage Tigo Guatemala
From the maps above we can see that Tigo has a more extensive network than Claro, especially when we would zoom on these maps. Also up North when visiting Tikal it is recommended to get a Tigo sim card for Guatemala. That said, Claro has a much stronger 4G+ network, meaning their data speed in Guatemala should be a little ahead compared to Tigo.
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Best sim card for Guatemala in 2022
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 or get yourself an e-sim card for Guatemala.
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:
PAYG AIO20 - $39.90 = 12 GB data only - valid for 30 days.
Click on the link to directly order the above online sim card for Guatemala.
My experience buying a Guatemala sim card
Over the last years I visited Guatemala multiple times. I even crossed the La Mesilla border on foot once from Chiapas, Mexico. Within 1 minute walk from the border there was a Claro store and Tigo store. Buying a sim card in either Guatemala City, Antigua or wherever you arrive in the country is pretty easy.
Because I know that Tigo has the best network in Guatemala I have almost always gotten a Tigo sim card for traveling in Guatemala.
When crossing the border on foot at La Mesilla, the sim card prices were a little more expensive as they basically rip you off a little. 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.
In total I stayed in Guatemala for for a couple months combined 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 when you stick to the tourist destinations in Guatemala I would also recommend a Claro sim card for traveling to these places.
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 Guatemala promotes that their sim card can be used from Canada to Argentina I was NOT amused. Things that seem too 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 new prepaid sim card in the country you arrive.
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.
Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom for a ton of cool places to visit in Guatemala and get some wanderlust inspiration from my journey to visit every country in the world as of July 2022 I have been to more than 135 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Guatemala!