Planning a trip to Argentina and looking for the best way to get connected? This is the ultimate guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Argentina. Find everything about where to buy a prepaid sim card, the registration process, up to date prices as per August 2022, the best 4G/5G network in Argentina, my recommendation, a vlog with my experiences and even information about international and e-sim cards for Argentina.
When getting to a new country the first thing I do is buying a local prepaid sim card because it is the cheapest way to stay connected. As I am also trying to travel to every country in the world you can find more than 200 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, USA, New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Spain, Europe, Dubai and many more.
Why buying a sim card for Argentina
First off don’t let high roaming costs ruin your trip to Argentina. A roaming plan for $5 USD per day doesn’t sound too expensive but for $5 you can get 10 GB data for a whole month with an Argentina prepaid sim card. Also keep in mind that overseas data plans limit the max internet speed!
You think you can rely on WiFi? True, almost everywhere you can find public WiFi: restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. However, there is no guarantee! And what about ordering a taxi on the streets? Looking up things while on the road like nearby restaurants, bars, ATMs, emergencies, etc. Investing a couple dollars will make traveling so much more convenient.
Also keep in mind that connecting to public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network. In these cases the use of a VPN is recommended.
Therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying a prepaid sim card for Argentina.
Traveltomtom recommends a Claro prepaid sim card for Argentina. They sell a prepaid sim card in the Claro stores for tourists and have a great 4G/5G network in Argentina.
We also recommend international sim cards for traveling in Argentina. These global sim cards with data get extra interesting when traveling to multiple countries as their data is valid all over the world. Check out my comparison of the best travel sim cards with data in 2022 and pick the one that suits your trip the most.
However, the easiest way to get connected when traveling abroad is an e-sim card.
E-sim cards for Argentina
With an e-sim card you arrange everything directly online. No more swapping sim cards or visiting a phone store. You order online, receive a unique code in your email with instructions, you follow the instructions, apply the settings and you are all set. Check out the following e-sim card deals for Argentina:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $6.50 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
Click here to directly order an Argentina e-sim card online or find more info in the link.
There is also still the option of buying a prepaid sim card for Argentina online. These pre-registered international sim card will be shipped to your home address before your trip. You put this sim card in your phone on arrival in Argentina and it connects automatically.
This sim card costs $49.90 USD and gives you 5 GB data for 14 days. Click here to order this sim card for traveling in Argentina.
Mobile internet providers in Argentina
There are 3 mobile internet operators in Argentina: Movistar, Claro and Personal Flow. All of them have prepaid sim cards for tourists. However, getting one in Argentina is a little more complicated than in other countries.
Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Argentina
Buenos Aires Airport - EZE
The most convenient place to buy a sim card in Argentina is of course on arrival at the international airport of Buenos Aires, called Ezeiza (EZE). There is only one store that sells prepaid sim cards for Argentina, read more about it in my guide for buying a sim card at Buenos Aires Airport.
Official retail stores
All operators have multiple phone stores around Buenos Aires and other tourist destinations in Argentina. At the official retail stores of Personal Flow and Claro they sell prepaid sim cards or actually they give them for free and do the registration for free as well. Movistar does NOT sell or register prepaid sim cards at their official retail stores.
There are uncountable kiosks all over every city, basically convenience stores. These little shop, often open 24 hours, sell prepaid sim cards for Argentina for less than $1 USD. These kiosks have sim cards of Personal Flow, Claro and Movistar. But Traveltomtom does NOT recommend buying a prepaid sim card here, keep reading.
Prepaid sim cards need to be registered on your passport, so when buying a sim card in Argentina bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taking when buying a sim card at an official retail store.
However, in a kiosk you can buy a prepaid sim card without your passport. But don’t get too excited as these sim cards are NOT pre-activated and you will need to do the activation by yourself online on the operators website or go to an official retail store.
I told you buying a sim card in Argentina is a little more complicated. In my opinion buying a sim card at a kiosk is too much effort and therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card at an official retail store. Which means Movistar is NOT recommend as prepaid sim card in Argentina, as they only sell prepaid sim cards at their kiosks!
Best 4G/5G network in Argentina in 2022
Essential for determining the best prepaid sim card for traveling in Argentina is the mobile internet network coverage in Argentina. Therefore we will compare the 4G/5G coverage maps of the mobile internet operators below.
Is there 5G in Argentina?
Yes, there is 5G in Argentina, but it is very limit. And as of 2022 pretty much only available in Buenos Aires city center. From my own experiences I can tell you that I was hardly connected to 5G while visiting Buenos Aires.
Personal Flow 4G/5G coverage map
Movistar 4G/5G coverage map
Claro 4G/5G coverage map
From the above coverage maps we can clearly see that the Personal Flow 4G/5G coverage is pretty much non-existing in the Southern parts of Argentina. Therefore especially for those traveling to Patagonia a Personal Flow sim card is NOT recommended.
Based on the network coverage in Argentina Traveltomtom recommends a Claro sim card for traveling in Argentina. Claro has the best 4G/5G network in Argentina in 2022.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Argentina in 2022
Although not recommend for tourists, above are the Movistar prepaid data bundles. As you can see the top up options are also very limited. With a 2.5 GB data bundle being the biggest one. More info on the Movistar Argentina website.
Above you can see the data packages for Flow prepaid sim cards. Small data bundle available only for prepaid sim cards. More info on the Personal Flow website.
Luckily Claro has a wide range of internet data packs available for prepaid costumers, see the above. Personally I took the 10 GB data plan for 1,300 ARS. More info on the Claro Argentina website.
Another reason to choose Claro as your prepaid sim card for Argentina.
Best prepaid sim card in Argentina in 2022
For Traveltomtom it leaves no doubt that Claro is the best prepaid sim card in Argentina for traveling in 2022. They have the best 4G/5G network coverage in Argentina and the best prepaid sim card deal and service in the Claro retail stores.
When traveling to South Argentina then definitely don’t get a Personal Flow prepaid sim card. Their 4G/5G network coverage is pretty much non-existing in Patagonia and beyond.
Buying a prepaid Movistar sim card in Argentina is complicated. You will have to buy one first at a kiosk and then go to an official retail store to get it registered. Then back to the kiosk to get credit on your account. Like for real Movistar Argentina?
My experience buying a sim card in Argentina
Like I have dropped a couple times before the process for buying a prepaid sim card in Argentina is rather complicated. Only Claro stores sell a decent prepaid sim card deal with a big data plan. You can also choose to get your sim card registered in a Claro store and then go to a kiosk to add money on your account.
The in-store prepaid sim card deal from Claro costs 2,700 ARS which is a bit steep. You get 25 GB data but since I was only staying for a week and also wanted to know more about the kiosk and the top up options I got a free Claro sim card at an official Claro store. They registered my new Argentina sim card on my passport and I was good to go. I walked out of the store with a registered prepaid sim card and a new phone number.
Upon activation I got a text message and the very friendly guy in the Claro store showed me that I only had to click on the link and I went to my account page on the Claro website and directly saw all the top-up packages available. And the above picture is what it looks like.
Then I went around the corner to the first kiosk that I saw and I topped up my account with 1,300 ARS. I gave the guy in the kiosk my number and the money and within 5 seconds my account was topped up with 1,300 ARS. With that credit I was able to activate a 10 GB data bundle for 30 days. The topping up process went very smooth in the kiosk, activating the data plan took me less than a minute.
Here is a complete vlog about buying a sim card in Argentina with all my tips and experiences.
If all the above sounds like too much hassle remember that you can also still order a sim card for Argentina online. Much more expensive, but you are prepared and connected the moment you arrive in Argentina with this pre-activated international sim card for Argentina.
Also another reminder that the easiest way to get connected on your trip to Argentina is an e-sim card. Click here to check out all the e-sim card deals for Argentina.
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 August 2022 I have visited more than 135 countries, so still a long way to go.
May you still have questions then please leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out. I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Argentina were helpful.
Enjoy your trip to Argentina!