Planning a trip to Guatemala and looking for the best way to stay connected? Don't waste money on high roaming charges and slow overseas data plans. This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for traveling to Guatemala in 2024.

Find out everything you need to know about buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala, where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per June 2024, the best e-sim cards for Guatemala, the best 4G/5G network in Guatemala, my recommendation, information about international sim cards and more.

Guatemala is a gorgeous country with a ton of adventurous things to do. It is probably my favorite country in Central America. I have been 3 times and fall in love more and more with the people, the food, the volcanos and the black sand beaches every time I go back.

For you it is reassuring to hear that wherever you travel in Guatemala you will find a pretty good 4G/LTE connection in all the tourist destinations in Guatemala. But only if you choose the right provider and sim card. More good news... there is 5G in Guatemala, but more about the best 4G/5G network and data speed in Guatemala later.

Traveling in Central America and Mexico? Check out my articles for buying a sim card in Mexico, HondurasEl Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. In my article about the best world travel sim cards I also mention sim cards for Central America when visiting several countries on one trip.

Depending on the length of your trip to Guatemala a prepaid sim card or an e-sim card is the best way to stay connected and save money on high roaming charges. One of the first things I do when planning my next trip abroad is figuring out what is the best way to stay connected and whether to order an e-sim card on the internet or buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival.

Having internet on your phone while traveling makes life so much easier. In the past I always used to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival but nowadays I mostly order an e-sim card on the internet.

E-sim cards are simply so convenient that I happily pay a couple dollar extra to be online as soon as the plane lands and have internet on my phone like at home without paying high roaming charges.

As Traveltomtom is on a mission to travel to every country in the world I get to about 30 - 40 different countries every year and therefore I use about 30 different sim cards per year. As I am already traveling full time since 2012 buying prepaid and e-sim cards became part of life and that is how Traveltomtom became the ultimate specialist in providing info about sim cards for tourists.

Therefore on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Brazil, USA, Miami, New York, Europe, Spain, Madrid, Barcelona, France, United Kingdom, Dubai, New Zealand and many more.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money!

Some links in this article about buying a sim card for Guatemala are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Claro prepaid sim card as they have the most extensive 4G/5G network and the fastest data speed in 2024. Most providers in Guatemala offer the same prepaid sim cards for tourists: for $13 USD you get 8 GB data + free social media apps for 30 days.

Of course Traveltomtom also recommends e-sim cards for traveling to Guatemala. Fact is that e-sim cards for Guatemala are more expensive than local prepaid sim cards. The advantage of e-sim cards is that you are instantly online and enjoy data on your phone on arrival and don't need to find a sim card shop in Guatemala.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions or Airalo.

A great alternative for local prepaid sim cards are world travel sim cards with data. These prepaid international sim cards work in multiple countries and are a great alternative for traveling to Central America.

You can order an international sim card on the internet before your trip and it will be delivered to your home address. Have a look at my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip the best.

Be aware that your phone needs to be unlocked if you want to use an international prepaid sim card, a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card. If you are unsure if your phone is locked or unlocked then ask your internet provider in your home country about it and get it unlocked before your trip to Guatemala.

Best e-sim cards for Guatemala

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Guatemala in 2024 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything online in just a couple clicks. No more visiting a phone store and swapping physical prepaid sim cards.

You order an e-sim card for Guatemala on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Guatemala e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Guatemala it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for guatemala 2024

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo in more than 50 countries around the world and never faced an issue. Here are the Airalo e-sim card plans for Guatemala for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $6.5 USD
  • 1 GB data for 15 days = $12 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $17 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $25.5 USD

Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Guatemala via Airalo.

The Airalo data-only e-sim cards for Guatemala are from Tikal Mobile. Data is only valid in Guatemala and Tikal Mobile operates on the 4G/LTE network of Claro and Tigo.

SimOptions

simoptions esim cards for guatemala 2024

SimOptions is another reliable e-sim provider that sells e-sim cards from pretty much every country in the world. Traveltomtom has used SimOptions sim cards for more than 5 years now without any issues.

SimOptions is also specialized in international e-sim card for Guatemala. These kind of e-sim cards are valid in up to 141 countries around the world:

  • 3 GB data for 15 days = $34.90 USD
  • 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD

Click here to order an international e-sim card for Guatemala.

Before ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala make sure your phone is unlocked and your smartphone is e-sim compatible.

There is another e-sim provider tested and reviewed by Traveltomtom and although they sometimes have great e-sim card deals it is not Traveltomtom's first recommendation. Personally I have faced some issues with Nomad e-sim cards and unless they are not improving on reliability and performance Traveltomtom is not recommending Nomad e-sim cards over Airalo and SimOptions.

Mobile internet operators

It is pretty straight forward if you want to buy a prepaid sim card in Guatemala because there are only 2 mobile internet providers: 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.

Both mobile internet provider sell prepaid sim cards for tourists but unfortunately as per June 2024 it is still not possible to get an e-sim for tourists. Only physical prepaid sim cards are available.

Where to buy a sim card for Guatemala

You can basically buy a prepaid sim card for Guatemala in every phone shop, pharmacies as well as convenience stores. Though I recommend tourists to get their sim card for Guatemala in an official Claro or Tigo store. 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 convenience stores. They are only offering Claro sim cards. The prices for sim cards for tourists at Guatemala Airport are much higher than in the city center.

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 buying a sim card at Guatemala Airport.

Antigua

If you go straight to Antigua from 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 both within 2 blocks from the main square.

sim card antigua guatemala

If you want to get connected as soon as you land, you can always opt for an e-sim card for Guatemala with just 1 GB data so you are set for the first hours/day. Check out Airalo for more info.

Guatemala City

Many tourists skip Guatemala City, but I like it a lot! Hang out in Zona 4 or visit Cayala. If you want to buy a local prepaid sim card in Guatemala city center then head to any of the modern shopping malls. Here you will also find phone shops and official Tigo and Claro stores. Buying a sim card in Guatemala City is easy and it is where you will find the best prepaid sim card deals for tourists.

Online

You can also buy a sim card for traveling in Guatemala on the internet. Get your sim card online and arrive prepared in Guatemala. As mentioned before the easiest way to stay connected is an e-sim card for traveling to Guatemala. Be online as the plane lands and no hassle to find a sim card shop on arrival in Guatemala.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions or Airalo.

However, not all smartphones are e-sim compatible. If you need a physical prepaid sim card then you can order an international prepaid sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions.

Registration process

For buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala you need a form of ID. For tourists that is a passport. A copy of your passport will be taken in the sim card shop and you receive a new prepaid sim card which is registered on your name and passport number. You will get a new phone number that starts with: +502.

Don't worry, your WhatsApp number stays the same! If you want to avoid changing phone numbers or register with a passport than order an e-sim card for Guatemala. 

Prices sim cards in Guatemala in 2024

All prices and information is updated as per June 2024. Prices below are in Guatemala Quetzales: $1 USD = 7.8 GTQ and 100 GTQ = $12.8 USD.

Unfortunately as of June 2024 you can only get physical prepaid sim cards when buying a sim card in Guatemala. There are no e-sims for tourists available.

Claro Guatemala prepaid sim card

claro guatemala prepaid sim card plans 2024

You can buy a Claro sim card anywhere and they cost 25 GTQ = $3 USD. You will have to top up with on of the following packages:

  • 4 GB data + free social media apps for 7 days = 30 GTQ - $4 USD
  • 6 GB data + free social media apps for 15 days = 50 GTQ - $6 USD
  • 10 GB data + free social media apps for 30 days = 100 GTQ - $13 USD

All Claro prepaid sim card plans include unlimited calling/texting in Guatemala and the USA.

In the official Claro phone stores you can buy more data packages that also come with a free prepaid 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.

sim card guatemala

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.

claro guatemala top up data packages

For more info see the Claro website.

Tigo Guatemala prepaid sim card

tigo guatemala prepaid sim card plans 2024

A Tigo prepaid sim card costs 50 GTQ ($6 USD) and I recommend tourists to top up with the following package:

  • 10 GB data + free social media apps + 200 minutes & sms for 30 days = 99 GTQ ($13 USD)

tigo sim card guatemala

Unlimited calling and texting in Guatemala is included. For more info see the Tigo website.

Best 4G/5G network in Guatemala in 2024

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. Best news is that 5G has also arrived in Guatemala and both Tigo and Claro now offer 5G data speed.

Claro 4G/5G network coverage map

claro 4g 5g network coverage map guatemala 2024

Tigo 4G/5G network coverage map

tigo 4g 5g network coverage map guatemala 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Guatemala in 2024.

From the updated network coverage maps we can see that Tigo has a more extensive network than Claro, especially when we zoom in on the Southern areas and far up north. However, Claro has a much more advanced 4.5G and 5G mobile network compared to Tigo.

Claro has the best 4G/5G network in Guatemala in Guatemala in 2024.

If you travel off the beaten path in Guatemala then a Tigo sim card is a good option but if you stick to the main tourist destinations in Guatemala then a Claro prepaid sim card will give you faster data speed.

Best sim card for Guatemala in 2024

Prices for prepaid sim cards in Guatemala are pretty much the same, but the 4G/5G network coverage of Claro and Tigo are slightly different. Claro has a much better 5G network than Tigo.

If you travel off the beaten path in Guatemala you will find better phone signal with a Tigo prepaid sim card, but if you stick to the standard tourist destinations and best places to see in Guatemala Claro prepaid sim cards will have faster data speed.

It is very hard to determine the best prepaid sim card for Guatemala, but Traveltomtom concludes that Claro is the best sim card for in Guatemala in 2024.

If you combine a trip to Guatemala with visiting Honduras and El Salvador then I would recommend you getting a Claro sim card as they have free roaming included. However, I tried it out myself but ended up buying a sim card in Honduras and El Salvador as well as the data speed outside of Guatemala is pretty slow.

Is buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala too much hassle, you can always buy an international prepaid sim card on the internet or an e-sim card.

Traveltomtom is an advocate for using e-sim cards when traveling abroad. They are very convenient and simple to use. However, fact is that e-sim cards for Guatemala are more expensive than local prepaid sim cards.

That said, e-sim cards are so easy to get that I often happily pay the higher price. Plus you are online as soon as the plane touches the ground and you don't need to buy a sim card on arrival in Guatemala.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions or Airalo.

Order a prepaid sim card for Guatemala online

international prepaid sim cards for guatemala 2024

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a sim card for traveling to Guatemala online before your trip then check out the following.

Arrive prepared in Guatemala with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Guatemala, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Guatemala:

  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $49.90 USD

Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions.

Traveltomtom has used both the Three as well as the Orange physical prepaid sim cards in the past and I was always satisfied. However, nowadays it is no secret that I rather use e-sim cards for traveling abroad instead of physical prepaid sim cards. 

If your phone is e-sim compatible then here is a last reminder that you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks. Order an e-sim card for Guatemala on the internet and arrive prepared. More expensive, but very convenient!

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Guatemala via SimOptions or Airalo.

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.

In the past Tigo used to have the best 4G/LTE network in Guatemala so I have almost always gotten a Tigo sim card for traveling in Guatemala. But on my last trip I bought a Claro prepaid sim card because of its extensive 4G/5G network and faster data speed compared to Tigo.

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 ($6.5 USD), the package for 30 days with unlimited social media, calling and texting + 8 GB data was 99 GTQ ($13 USD). A total price of $19 USD.

In total I traveled in Guatemala for a couple months combined over several trips. Even if I traveled off the beaten path I still found a phone signal everywhere I went. The internet speed has always been good and pretty reliable. I definitely recommend tourists buying a prepaid sim card in Guatemala. Whenever there are good e-sim card deals for Guatemala coming I would also recommend those.

tigo guatemala top up packages

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 very 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.

sim card guatemala city airport

Anyway after 2 weeks 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 or get an e-sim card.

I am sure some of the above tips for buying a sim card for Guatemala were helpful. If you have any more questions I am more than happy to help you out. Please leave me a comment below.

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 June 2024 I have been to more than 155 countries.

Enjoy your trip to Guatemala!