Planning your trip to Panama and flying to Panama City and wondering if you can buy a prepaid sim card at the airport to stay connected? Don't waste money on high roaming charges! This is a complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card on arrival at Panama City Airport.
Find out where you can buy a sim card at the airport, up to date prices as per February 2024, the best Panama e-sim cards, my recommendation, information about international sim cards for Panama, a vlog about my arrival and experiences buying a sim card at Panama City Airport and more.
As Traveltomtom is on a mission to visit every country in the world I get to a lot of new countries constantly. I always used to buy local prepaid sim cards but nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards to stay connected while traveling
Since I like to document all my travel tips I already wrote more than 200 sim card guides from all around the world: Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico City, Colombia, Bogota, Paraguay, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, New York, Newark, USA, Miami, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Europe, Asia, Bali, Bangkok, Dubai, Israel and many more.
Of course you can also find a complete guide about the best prepaid sim cards for tourists in Panama in 2024 on Traveltomtom.
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 people really can’t wait to get connected straight away on arrival. If you are like that then Traveltomtom recommends buying a Tigo prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport. For $30 USD you get a prepaid sim card with unlimited data.
However, my main recommendation is to NOT buy a sim card at Panama City Airport. I can already tell you that buying a sim card in the city center of Panama City is MUCH cheaper than buying a tourist sim card at Panama City Airport.
If you wait till you reach Panama City center and you go to any mobile internet provider phone stores in for example the Multiplaza Mall or Albrook Mall you can find the exact same prepaid sim card for Panama with unlimited data for just $5 USD!
For more info check out my article about buying a prepaid sim card in Panama in 2024.
In general Traveltomtom recommends using e-sim cards because they are simply super convenient. However, it is also no secret that e-sim cards for Panama are more expensive than local prepaid sim cards.
In fact, international prepaid sim cards with global coverage are even better tourist sim card deals for traveling to Panama. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling abroad in 2024.
Best e-sim cards for Panama
The easiest way to get connected when traveling to Panama in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a phone store and swapping physical prepaid sim cards. You arrange everything on the internet within just a couple clicks.
You order an e-sim card for Panama on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Panama e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Panama 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 Panama.
Check out the following Panama e-sim card plans:
- 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 = $32.5 USD
Click here for more info or to order a Panama e-sim card via Airalo.
The above Pancell Digital e-sim card for Panama is a data-only e-sim card. Incoming and outgoing calls and sms are not supported and Pancell Digital operates on the 4G/LTE network of Tigo. Data is only valid in Panama.
There is another e-sim card provider called SimOptions, which Traveltomtom has used uncountable times. They have 2 data-only e-sim cards for Panama, which are valid in Panama only and 1 international e-sim card that is valid in up to 141 countries:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $19.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 15 days = $36.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Panama via SimOptions.
Another trusted and reviewed e-sim provider is Nomad and Traveltomtom has used Nomad now in more than 10 countries. Nomad sometimes has amazing competitive e-sim card plans with cheap prices.
Here are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Panama in 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $11 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $28 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $45 USD
Click here for more info or to order a Panama e-sim card via Nomad.
The Nomad sim cards for Panama operate on the Tigo (Milicom) 4G/LTE network, they are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls and sms are not supported.
E-sim cards are data-only sim cards, but the perfect solution for getting data on your phone abroad without any effort. However, make sure your phone is unlocked and your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Panama.
Where to buy a sim card at Panama City Airport
Seems like there is only one store that has the rights to sell prepaid sim cards for tourists at Panama City Airport and that is Travel Data Global, which you can better recognize by: Sim Card Internacional ‘Conexion en más de 150 Paises’.
Apart from these kiosks there is no other place where you can buy a sim card at Panama City Airport. You can find these kiosk all over the airport: land-side and air-side. Meaning as soon as you walk out of the plane, even before you go through immigration and picked up your bags you can already buy a sim card for Panama at one of these stores.
See my vlog about my arrival at Panama City Airport and my experiences buying a sim card below.
Although you will see prepaid sim card advertisement of the 4 mobile internet providers in Panama all around the airport there is unfortunately no Digicell, Mas Movil, Tigo or Claro store at Panama City Airport.
Prices prepaid sim cards at Panama City Airport
Since Travel Data Global has a monopoly for selling Panama tourist sim cards at Panama City Airport the prices are high.
For me it was a very easy and quick research as whichever sim card kiosk I went they sold everywhere the exact same tourist sim cards for ‘tourist’ prices.
Although around the airport you will see for example Claro advertisements offering: ‘Unlimited data for 1 week for $5 USD’, at the Travel Data Global shops they sell this exact same prepaid sim card for $30 USD.
At the Travel Data Global stores they also offer the exact same prepaid sim card deals for Digicell, Mas Movil and Tigo.
So if you would like to buy a prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport there is only 1 sim card deal available for a flat fare of $30 USD and you get 1 week of unlimited data. However, there is one Digicel prepaid sim card that costs $50 USD and that is unlimited data for 30 days.
Order a prepaid sim card for Panama online
You can also buy an international prepaid sim card for Panama online before your trip. I mentioned them already briefly when talking about the best e-sim cards for Panama. But in fact these physical prepaid sim cards for traveling internationally are even better deals. Order online and get a physical prepaid sim card delivered to your home address. These travel sim cards are automatically activated from its first use, plug and play!
Check out the following international sim cards for Panama:
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD
I am sure some of the above information for buying a prepaid sim card at Panama City Airport was helpful for your upcoming trip. Let me know if you have any more questions and leave me a comments below and I will try to help you out.
Want to be fuelled by wanderlust then I recommend you to check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my journey to visit every country in the world. As of February 2024 I visited more than 155 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Panama!