Traveling to Playa del Carmen soon and preparing for your Mexico holiday? Don't get stuck with high roaming costs and or slow overseas data roaming. Get yourself a prepaid sim card on arrival or simply order an e-sim card for your trip to Playa del Carmen. How and where? It is very easy!
This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for traveling to Playa del Carmen in 2024. Find out where to buy a sim card in Playa del Carmen, up to date prices as per January 2024, info about Cancun Airport sim cards, the best mobile data network and everything else you need to know.
Unfortunately at Cancun Airport there are no dedicated sim card shops for tourists. This was one of the reasons to write this blog to help everyone planning their holiday in Cancun and saving money on high roaming charges.
This sim card guide is specifically for Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum. If you would like more general info then check out Traveltomtom's complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for tourists in Mexico in 2024.
On my trips around the world I visited more than 155 countries as of January 2024 and I turned my passion for traveling into a full time job. Helping others to save money while traveling is why I started documenting all my travel tips and started writing sim card guides. That is why on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all around the world: USA, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Europe, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia and many more.
Playa del Carmen is a great base for all the amazing things to do in Yucatan peninsula. I totally recommend you to visit Isla Holbox for the island vibes, travel to Rio Lagartos for the Las Coloradas Pink Lake or hop over and explore Cozumel on a scooter. Looking for a great value boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen? Read my full review of Hotel Morgana.
Traveltomtom recommends a Telcel sim card for your trip to Playa del Carmen or in general for visiting Mexico. Telcel has by far the best 4G/5G mobile network coverage. A strong network and fast mobile data is recommended rather than saving $2 USD on a prepaid sim card, trust me!
Of course Traveltomtom also recommends e-sim cards for traveling to Playa del Carmen and in fact even more than buying a sim card on arrival in Cancun. With an e-sim card you are online as soon as the plane lands.
For much more detailed info check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Mexico in 2024.
Another great alternative to stay connected when traveling to Mexico are international prepaid sim cards. Check out my comparison of the best travel sim cards with data in 2024 and find the one that suits your trip the most.
International sim cards have coverage in multiple countries. There are e-sims as well as physical prepaid sim cards available.
Best e-sim cards for Mexico
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Mexico is an e-sim card. You arrange everything directly online and within just a couple clicks you are connected without swapping a physical sim card or visiting a sim card shop.
You order an e-sim card for Mexico on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Mexico e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival at Mexico City Airport 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 Mexico. For much more detailed information about using e-sim cards and an answer to all your FAQ's check out my guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Mexico in 2024.
Airalo is a reliable e-sim card provider and Traveltomtom has used them in more than 50 countries around the world. Check out the Airalo e-sim card plans for Mexico in 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $8 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $15 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $21 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $32.50 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.50 USD
Click here for more info or to directly order an e-sim card for Mexico via Airalo.
Airalo always has ongoing e-sim card promotion deals so worth checking. For example at the moment they give 50% on the 10 GB e-sim card plan for Mexico.
The above Chorro Fon e-sim cards are data-only and valid only in Mexico. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of Movistar, Telcel and AT&T.
SimOptions is another trusted e-sim card provider and they have international e-sim cards that are valid in up to 141 countries including Mexico:
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 14 days = $39.90 USD
Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for your trip to Mexico via SimOptions.
Last but not least Nomad and they have some great Mexico e-sim card deals as well.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $7 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $18 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $29 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Mexico from Nomad.
For much more detailed info check out my complete guide with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Mexico in 2024.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible you also still order a physical sim card for Mexico. For example: 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD. Click here to order this physical prepaid sim card for Mexico via SimOptions.
Mobile internet providers Mexico
There are three mobile internet providers in Mexico: Telcel, Movistar and AT&T. The last two I actually know from respectively Spain and the USA. All three claim to have extensive cell phone service all around Mexico, but they surely do in the tourist hotspots.
Where to buy a sim card in Playa del Carmen
All of the Mexican mobile internet providers have several shops around Playa del Carmen and it is not hard to find them. So where to buy a Mexican prepaid sim card with data in Playa del Carmen? The easiest way to find the by you preferred mobile internet shop is to use Google Maps. Just type in the shop name at the search bar and Google Maps shows you all the shops around you.
Also the bigger convenience stores as well as supermarkets sell prepaid sim cards in Playa del Carmen, but this is self service. I recommend you going to a mobile phone shop.
You don’t need to bring a passport for buying a sim card in Playa Del Carmen. Just bring Pesos! :)
Prices sim card in Playa del Carmen in 2024
Movistar sim card Mexico
Movistar Mexico offers one prepaid sim card for tourists in Mexico:
200 Pesos - $11.5 USD
- Minutes: Unlimited
- Texting: Unlimited
- Data: 3GB
- Valid: 30 days
- Valid in countries: Mexico, United States, Canada
- Free: all social media apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter.
AT&T sim card Mexico
AT&T Mexico has way more sim cards for tourists available. You can eat your heart out with unlimited texting and calling. The more expensive the package, the more data you get. Most packages are valid for 35 days. See the below chart.
All the data, minutes and texts can be used in Canada, USA and Mexico and all social media apps are free in Mexico: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter.
Telcel sim card Mexico
When I inquired for a Telcel sim card in Playa del Carmen things got a little more complicated! When buying a AT&T or Movistar sim card you don’t need to pay for the sim card itself, but at Telcel you have to pay an extra fee.
From another Telcel shop I already found out that a prepaid Telcel sim card cost 79 pesos and it comes with 50 pesos credit. Basically you pay 29 Pesos for a Mexican sim card of Telcel, which is about $2 USD.
Note that when I actually wanted to buy a Telcel sim card in Playa del Carmen they wanted to charge me 100 Pesos for the sim card. When I told him he was bullshitting and a sim card only cost 79 Pesos including 50 credit he felt pretty awkward! So be aware when buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen!
Same as the Mexico prepaid sim cards from Movistar and AT&T, you can use the Telcel data in USA, Canada and Mexico, just like unlimited texting and calling and social media apps are for free. However social media apps aren’t free when traveling to USA or Canada then your usage will be deducted from your data bundle.
Best sim card Playa del Carmen 2024
Summarising all the above we can see that prices are mostly all the same, though Movistar Playa del Carmen actually has the best prepaid sim card for tourists. So when choosing a mobile internet provider for your trip to Playa del Carmen I would also look at the cell phone service in Playa del Carmen. All three sim cards have a 4G network in the city, but as soon as you travel away from the city the signals gets weaker.
Click here for my guide about the best sim card in Mexico for tourists in 2024. In this article you can also find the Mexico 4G/5G coverage maps, showing you the best network in Mexico.
If you are keen on getting to know more about using e-sim cards then check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Mexico in 2024.
My experience buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen?
Eventually I chose to buy a Telcel prepaid sim card for my Yucatan trip. When I looked at the 4G/LTE network coverage maps I quickly found out that Telcel has the best network in Mexico by far and therefore it was an easy choice for me.
I rented a car and drove 2 weeks through the peninsula, see my Yucatan itinerary here. Great tourists destinations in Yucatan I loved were: Rio Lagartos, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Valladolid and Bacalar. In total I stayed in Yucatan for more than a month. More about traveling to Yucatan and Quintana Roo in my Mexico travel blogs.
Telcel often offers double data. In my case for 300 pesos ($17) I had free social media usage and 7 GB data. Perfect deal!
I hope the above information for buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen was useful. Let me know if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help you out with Playa del Carmen travel tips as well.
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 January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Playa del Carmen!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards for traveling to Playa del Carmen are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra costs to you.