Beginning of March 2019 I traveled to Yucatan, Mexico for the first time in 11 years. After my first world trip in 2008 I never made it back to this part of the world. Upon arrival I wanted to buy a prepaid Mexico sim card at Cancun Airport, but it was such a mess that I decided to wait and find a Mexico sim card in Playa del Carmen.
On my trips around the world I visited almost 100 countries and turned my passion for traveling into a full time job. As a full time travel blogger I want to have internet access at all times and don’t want to waste money on roaming costs. The first thing I do when I land in a country is to find the best sim card for tourists. So far I did this for countless countries around the world, like: UK, France, Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand and many more. So when I landed in Cancun I straight away started my research for finding the best prepaid sim card in Mexico for tourists.
Playa del Carmen is a great base for all the amazing things to do in Yucatan peninsula. I could 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.
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 three 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.
You don’t need to bring a passport for buying a sim card in Playa Del Carmen. Just bring Pesos! :)
Best sim card in Playa del Carmen for tourists
Movistar sim card Mexico
Movistar Mexico offers one prepaid sim card for tourists in Mexico:
200 Pesos - ($10)
- 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 $1,5 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!
Telcel Playa del Carmen sells multiple Mexico sim cards for tourist, see the chart below.
When looking at the above it is easy to see that Telcel Mexico has multiple prepaid sim cards on offer so Im sure you can find something that suits you.
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.
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.
For a complete guide to the best sim card in Mexico for tourists, click on the link. In this article you can also find 4G coverage maps showing you the best network in Mexico.
What Mexico prepaid sim card did I buy in Playa del Carmen?
Eventually I chose to buy a Telcel prepaid sim card for my Yucatan trip. When I looked at the 4G coverage maps I quickly found out that Telcel has the best network 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, Mahahual, 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.
On top of that in March 2019 Telcel was offering double data. So for 300 pesos ($15,50) I had free social media usage and 7GB 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 and above all safe travels.