Don’t waste money on expensive roaming costs, buy a local sim card upon arrival in Mexico City. Staying online makes traveling so much easier: use Google Maps to find thing, translate Spanish to English, stay up to date with the latest travel restrictions, etc. For a couple dollar you and within just a couple minutes you are all set with a prepaid Mexico sim card for tourists.
In total I have now spent almost 5 months in Mexico divided over 3 different trip in the last 12 years. Mexico is more than just Cancun or Cabo San Lucas. The country has so much more to offer. In September 2020 I drove more than 4,000 kilometer through the country and discovered almost 20 different Mexican States. Buying a sim card at Mexico City Airport is convenient and after doing my research for best Mexico sim card I can tell you there is not much difference buying a tourist sim card at the airport or anywhere else.
Traveling in Mexico during COVID pandemic
Was it easy to travel around Mexico? Yes, totally! Do they take COVID serious? More than any other country. Mexico is well aware of the risks that COVID brings to the country, however they are open for every tourists and no PCR test is needed when visiting Mexico.
Read up on how it is to travel to Mexico during the Corona pandemic in my latest article. Read all about my experiences.
International Airport Benito Juarez
The Mexico City Airport (MEX) is very easy to navigate. There is basically one very long hall for both the International and Domestic Arrivals divided in Puerta (Doors) from 1 to 10.
Whenever you walk out of arrivals you will see the numbered doors straight away. In and between the doors you will find loads of shops, restaurants, banks and ATM’s, car rental companies and money exchange boots.
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Mobile internet providers in Mexico
There are 3 main mobile internet operators. Telcel is the biggest mobile internet operator in Mexico, followed by Movistar and AT&T.
At Mexico City Airport there is only an official Telcel store, there is no AT&T or Movistar store.
Where to buy a sim card at Mexico City Airport
There are a couple different shops selling prepaid Mexico sim cards for tourists:
- Puerta 3 - MOBO shop - only AT&T prepaid sim card
- Puerta 5 - MOBO shop - only AT&T prepaid sim card
- Puerta 5 - 2nd floor - Official TelCel store - only open from 9.00 - 19.00
- Puerta 6 - OXXO - only Telcel prepaid sim card
- Puerta 7 - MOBO shop - only AT&T prepaid sim card
- Puerta 7 - OXXO - only Telcel prepaid sim card
- Puerta 8 - 7Eleven - only Telcel prepaid sim card
Prices Mexico sim card for tourists
At Mexico City Airport you can only buy a AT&T or a Telcel prepaid sim card. The prices for the AT&T sim cards are fixed. You get them at all the MOBO shops.
AT&T prepaid sim card for tourists
See the picture below for the up to date prices.
All prepaid AT&T Mexico sim cards come with unlimited texting and calling to and from Mexico and the USA as well as free social media like: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp.
The best buy for AT&T at Mexico City Airport is:
- 200 pesos ($9) = 3 GB data - unlimited social media apps and sms + calling - 30 days.
Telcel prepaid sim card for tourists
The same counts for Telcel Mexico prepaid sim cards: unlimited texting, calling + social media apps.
Prices for the prepaid Telcel sim cards at Mexico City Ariport are roughly the same at OXXO and 7ELEVEN however OXXO charges 150 pesos ($7) extra to activate it for you. NOT NEEDED, you can easily do it yourself!
OXXO Mexico Airport Telcel prepaid sim card
If you are looking for a specific Mexico sim card package then head to the OXXO convenient stores as they offer a whole selection, see below.
Remember that Oxxo charges you 150 pesos ($7) extra just for putting it in your phone basically!
7Eleven Mexico Airport Telcel prepaid sim card
At the 7Eleven at the Puerta 8 they offer the following TELCEL prepaid sim card:
- 200 pesos ($9) = 3.2 GB data - unlimited social media apps and sms + calling - 30 days.
Best Mexico sim at Mexico City Airport
Telcel Mexico has by far the best network coverage, so that would be my number 1 reason to stick to Telcel over AT&T, but on top of that the most value for money is also given by Telcel.
For the best Mexico prepaid sim card for tourists at Mexico City Airport go to the 7Eleven shop at Puerta 8. They make sure for $9 you are connected to the internet in just 3 minutes.
Once you have bought the sim card you simply put it in your phone. Switch off your phone and restart it. Your new sim card is activated and will work immediately without changing any settings.
Portable WiFi device for travel in Mexico
If you don’t like to swap sim cards then try out a TEP Wireless portable WiFi device, also very handy if traveling to Mexico with a family. You can link up to 5 devices at the same time and all enjoy unlimited internet for just a couple $ per day. Click on the link or the banner below for more info.
How to get from Mexico City Airport to the city
Luckily Mexico City is blessed with Uber and some other taxi apps. Anywhere around the city your Uber fare from Mexico City Airport to your hotel should not be more than $8.
You can also take the metro, but I would not recommend that as an Uber is very affordable and they are always around 24/7.
Worried that you won’t have an internet connection upon arrival in Mexico City Airport? Don’t worry there is accessible free internet at Mexico City Airport that actually works pretty good. Definitely good enough to order an Uber.
But hey you won’t need this of course! As this whole blog is to help you buying a Mexico sim card straight on arrival! :)
Mexico sim cards and traveling around Mexico
As I have done multiple trips in more than 25 of the 32 states in Mexico I can tell you there is a lot of difference between the Mexico mobile internet operators. Don’t get fooled by more value for money. When traveling to off the beaten path tourist attractions in Mexico, good network coverage is all that matters.
If you stick to the standard places to visit in Mexico then all of the mobile internet operators in Mexico have fairly good network coverage.
Can I use my US sim card in Mexico?
Yes you can! For Americans there is no need to buy a Mexico sim card for tourists as US sim cards can be used in Mexico without any extra charges!
From my experiences traveling with Americans in Mexico, it is so SLOW it would creep the shit out of me. Often there is no network coverage and on top of that it can be considered 4G, more like 3G.
Therefore also my advice to Americans traveling to Mexico, just buy a sim card at Mexico Airport, it will save you a lot irritation.