Roaming with your unlocked smartphone in Costa Rica

Roaming with your unlocked smartphone in Costa Rica

So you decided to visit this green paradise called Costa Rica.

Among other things when you travel, is a necessity to stay connected. Whether it is updates on Facebook and Instagram or simply checking your emails, having data plan on your smartphone is convenience which can come with a hefty bill from your service provider. Some data roaming add-ons can cost you up to or more than $100. Also, not all of the hotels in CR include Wi-Fi connections.
There is a solution how to get inexpensive and very reliable service while visiting Costa Rica. There is only one requirement – your phone has to be unlocked. Before arriving to San Jose (or other major city), find nearest location of a Movistar CR kiosk or store, so you can go from your hotel and purchase SIM card and plan, link below.
If you are planning to stay one week or less, plan called “Semana” will be perfect for you. Cost of the plan is c.2500, which is less than CA$6, also you will need to pay for SIM card, c.500 (CA$1). Your total bill will be just c.3000 for 1 GB of data, which will last exactly one week. If your stay is planned longer, choose “Mes” for c.9500 with SIM card, it will give you 3GB of data (slightly over CA$22) and will work for 30 days. No phone calls included with these plans but Skype, Facetime or similar will work just fine. These basic plan include what they call “light LTE”, so don’t expect to have same speed as LTE in Canada, however speed was decent. All of described above was tested in January 2017, only some remote areas didn’t have reception, so overall performance of cellular network of Movistar was good.

More details about prepaid plans can be found here. If you having difficulties dealing with Spanish on their website, use Google Chrome with enabled translation.

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