Buying a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG): Best Plans and Updated Price

The El Dorado International Airport (BOG) is an international airport serving Bogotá, Colombia, and its surrounding areas. Purchasing a local SIM card for your phone is strongly advised if you’re visiting Bogotá so that you can maintain consistent data and connectivity during your journey. This article will help you purchase a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG).

bog airport sim card

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)

It depends. Though easy, purchasing a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) isn’t always the greatest choice. Think about the following when making your choice:

  • Pros: Variety of selections, English support, quick activation, and convenience
  • Cons: Higher price, fewer options, possibly queuing in lines when buying

Who should purchase a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)?

  • Travelers with limited time: Ideal for instantaneous connectivity upon arrival, particularly when you require data for communication or navigation.
  • Tech-averse travelers: Value the convenience of activation and support from real people at the airport.
  • Last-minute organizers: forgot to set up a SIM card in advance and require instant access.

Remember: Generally, buying a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) is good for convenience but quite expensive and limited in plan options. So it is recommended to base on your personal priorities and needs to decide.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport?

El Dorado International Airport map
El Dorado International Airport map

At El Dorado International Airport, there are three typical methods to obtain a SIM card:

1. The Main Terminal 

  • Movistar Store: One of the major phone carrier stores, is situated past the security check and before you enter the main terminal lobby. In Colombia, Movistar has decent coverage. One gigabyte of data on a tourist SIM card costs about 30,000 COP ($7 USD).
  • Tigo Store: Adjacent to the Movistar store, there is another carrier store. A prepaid tourist SIM from Tigo will cost around the same as one from Movistar, and Tigo also has good coverage.
  • The Claro Store: is located inside the Bogota airport and is the third main provider in Colombia. Their data packages and prepaid SIM costs are on par with those of other providers.

2. Departures Area

Once you go through security and reach the departures area, there are more carrier shops including Movistar, Claro, and Tigo. Before your flight, you can purchase a SIM card at the Bogota airport.

3. Airport Kiosks

Around the terminal building, there are a few independent shops and kiosks that offer prepaid SIM cards from different providers. Compare prices by shopping around.

The Sim Market shop is the first one after passing through the last customs baggage check
The Sim Market shop is the first one after passing through the last customs baggage check

III. How Much Does a SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport Cost? 

You may get a SIM card for approximately $2.00 and add airtime or a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly data plan for between $2.00 and $15.00. Most pre-paid plans also allow you to use WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter for free, as long as you do not abuse videos or video calls inside the first two.

However, prepaid SIM cards at the airport are typically more expensive than those purchased in Bogota’s city center. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Carrier: Prices will vary between carriers.
  • Data package: The amount of data included in the plan influences the pricing.
  • Convenience: Some tourists may find it worthwhile to pay a little more for the ease of purchasing a SIM card directly at the airport.

► Our recommendation:

  • If you want the cheapest choice, acquire a SIM card in Bogota’s city center  
  • If you prefer the convenience of having a SIM card straight away, you can purchase one at El Dorado International Airport, however it may be more expensive.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport?

Here are the key things to prepare when buying a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport:

  • Unlocked phone: To use a foreign SIM card, your phone needs to be unlocked. Before leaving, make an unlock request with your home carrier. Learn to check if your cell phone is unlocked before departure to prepare yourself best.
  • Passport: You must present your passport for identification and registration when purchasing a SIM card at the Bogota airport.
  • Currency (COP) – Pesos: To pay for your SIM card, have sufficient Colombian Pesos (COP) ready. The arrivals section of the airport has currency exchanges and ATMs.
  • Space SIM card: If your phone does not support eSIM, make sure you have room for the nano or micro SIM card. Carry a SIM ejector tool so you can swap out cards.
  • Turn on the SIM: You might need to manually choose your new SIM card as your active SIM when you insert it and restart your phone. Observe the guidelines that came with the SIM.
  • Assign APN: To connect to mobile data, you might have to manually enter the carrier’s APN settings, depending on your phone. Inquire about APN information when you buy your SIM card.

V. Best Tourist El Dorado International Airport SIM Cards Options and Price

SIM Cards Options and Price for travelers at El Dorado International Airport

Let’s discover the most convenient and affordable prepaid SIM card options for tourists arriving at El Dorado International Airport:

1. Claro SIM Card

Claro offers a variety of prepaid and postpaid options. Claro offers several postpaid plans, including the following: 

  • 60 GB plan for 55,900 COP/month (approx. $14.80 USD)
  • 70 GB plan for 59,900 COP/month (approx. $15.86 USD)
  • 80 GB plan for 69,900 COP/month (approx. $18.50 USD)
  • 100 GB plan for 75,900 COP/month (approx. $20.09 USD)​

2. Movistar SIM Card

Movistar offers a variety of prepaid packages starting at $6 USD, which includes 30 GB of data. Movistar is the cheapest SIM card in Bogota.

3. Tigo Sim Card

Tigo prepaid sim cards are free, and to keep things simple, they only offer two Colombia prepaid sim card plans for tourists:

  • 5 GB of data for 7 days plus unlimited calls and texts costs 10,000 COP – $2.1 USD
  • 10 GB data for 15 days plus unlimited calls and texts price 20,000 COP – $4.2 USD

4. Avantel Sim Card

Avantel provides prepaid plans like as:

  • 5 GB for 30 days, 20,000 COP
  • 6 GB for 30 days x 3 months at 60,000 COP (about $15.86 USD per month)

5. WOM and ETB Sim Card

WOM provides four major SIM-only options for tourists:

  • 1.5 GB, valid for 7 days, 5,000 COP (about. $1.32 USD)
  • 4 GB, valid for 15 days, 10,000 COP (about $2.65 USD)
  • 24 GB, valid for 30 days, 50,000 COP (about. $10.30 USD)

The ETB prepaid cellphone prices are as follows:

  • Call fee to other ETB mobile numbers: 192 COP per minute.
  • Call rate to other cell networks in Colombia: 192 COP per minute.
  • Special pricing for indivisible numbers: 62 COP/min with service of 6,200 COP for 100 minutes, or 52 COP/min with service of 16,500 COP for 320 minutes.
  • National landline call rate is 192 COP/min.
  • International long-distance call rates vary based on the zone.
  • SMS rates for other ETB mobile numbers and mobile providers in Colombia: 110 COP

Note: It is recommended that you compare the plans offered by different carriers based on your data, call, and text requirements, and then choose the one that best meets your demands and budget. 

VI. Colombia eSIM for Bogotá – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)

Colombia eSIM for Bogotá - an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)
Colombia eSIM for Bogotá – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)

Consider an eSIM for your trip to Bogotá instead of traditional plastic SIM cards. These digital SIM cards offer super convenient connectivity. You just need to purchase and activate the eSIM online at home or with El Dorado International Airport free wifi.

To get a Colombia eSIM, you can consider Gigago – a trustworthy reseller. Their user-friendly service makes your trip stress-free. Gigago offers convenient eSIMs for Colombia, here are some Colombia Gigago eSIM options for you:

  • 7 days for $8.90
  • 15 days for $16.50
  • 30 days for $23.50 or $35.90

You just need to simply scan the code upon arrival and stay connected throughout Colombia with nationwide coverage. Plus, you can save on roaming charges and keep your home SIM active for calls and texts.

VII. Where to Buy a SIM card Outside El Dorado International Airport?

In addition to buying at Bogota airport, SIM cards are also available for purchase in downtown Bogotá. Here are the places you can buy one:

  • Operator stores: Major Bogotá carriers Claro, Movistar, and Tigo Une offer prepaid SIM card plans in stores throughout the city.
  • Shopping malls: Some Bogotá shopping malls have kiosks or stores selling SIM cards. 
  • Convenience stores: You can grab a SIM card at Bogotá convenience stores like Éxito or Carulla. 

For the best deals and selection: You can search for Colombia eSIM online before arrival. You'll find a wider range of prepaid plans at competitive prices.

VIII. FAQs about SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)

Can I buy a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport?

Yes, but they may be more expensive than what you’ll find in the city center.

Are there any alternatives to buying a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG)?

Yes, there are a few alternatives such as buying in Bogotá city center or purchasing an eSIM online.

Should I buy a travel SIM card before departure?

Yes. Planning ahead by buying a SIM card online before your trip will save you time and frustration upon arrival.  For the most seamless experience, consider getting an eSIM if your phone is compatible with this technology.

IX. Conclusion 

Purchasing a SIM card at El Dorado International Airport (BOG) is a simple process that can greatly improve your vacation experience. By following the ideas and recommendations in this blog post, you will be able to easily identify the best SIM card options, purchase them in handy locations, and stay connected throughout your trip to the beautiful city of Bogotá. Whether you use a standard SIM card or an eSIM, having dependable and economical mobile internet connectivity can help you make the most of your time in Bogotá, Colombia.