Buying A SIM Card At Cartagena Airport (CTG): Best Plans And Updated Price

Cartagena airport or Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) is the main airport serving the city of Cartagena, Colombia. It is a popular destination for international tourists visiting Colombia.

If you are planning a trip to Colombia and wondering how to stay connected during your trip, getting a SIM card at Cartagena airport (CTG) is a common option. But, is this the best choice for tourists?

This guide will provide you with the answer, as well as information on major providers, current updated price ranges, and what you need to prepare for a smooth purchase. 

SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Cartagena Airport (CTG)?

Yes. Upon arriving in Cartagena, Colombia, many foreign travelers buy a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) so they may start using the Internet right away.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide:

  • Pros: Convenience, Instant Connectivity, Multiple Providers
  • Cons: Potentially, Higher Cost, Limited Options, Activation Challenges

At Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG), travelers prioritizing convenience and immediate connectivity should consider buying a SIM card. This includes:

  • Short-term visitors: They benefit from the ease of getting a SIM right away.
  • Limited Spanish speakers: Airport vendors might simplify communication.
  • Those arriving after regular business hours: The airport might be the only option.

Note: The airport is a convenient option for immediate connectivity, but research alternatives for potentially better deals on data plans.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)? 

Rafael Núñez International Airport
Rafael Núñez International Airport

You can buy a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) in two ways including:

  • Buy online before your trip and pick up at Rafael Núñez International Airport
  • Buy at Rafael Núñez International Airport upon arrival

1. Buy Online before your Colombia trip and pick up at Rafael Núñez International Airport

Those who want to arrive prepared might purchase an international sim card online for their journey to Colombia. These travel sim cards are actual prepaid sim cards that will be supplied to your home address and will activate automatically when they first connect to a network in Colombia. This means that once the plane touches the ground, you are online.

2. Buy At Rafael Núñez International Airport upon arrival

There are a few places where SIM cards are usually offered at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) airports.

  • Convenience store: A convenience store in the departure area sells Colombia prepaid sim cards to travelers, but there is no official Claro or Movistar tourist sim card outlet.
  • Kiosks: SIM Card kiosks are easily located in international airports such as Cartagena, thus Claro should be available there. If their kiosk is not available, find the retailers closest to the airport or opt for an eSIM.

Pro Tip: Using the airport's free Wi-Fi might offer you the connectivity you need to go to a local telecom shop or communicate until you can acquire a SIM card. 

III. How Much Does a SIM Card at Cartagena Airport Cost? 

A SIM Card at Cartagena Airport cost around $3,000 COP ($ 0.94 USD), which is typically more expensive than the one sold in the city center. The price of SIM cards varies depending on the network carrier, plan features and validity. 

Note that: The price has been adjusted as of the authoring of this article. For the most recent information, please contact the provider.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)?

You need to prepare the following things to get a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG):

  • A carrier-unlocked phone
  • A valid passport
  • Cash or other payment methods (vary by provider)

There, you can take the steps below to buy SIM card at CTG airport as a tourist:

  • Following customs and immigration, find the Currency Exchange kiosks or the Chatr booth.
  • Check out the available SIM card options. Each plan comes with a different amount of data you can use and will be valid for a specific period.
  • Select the option that best suits your requirements. Cash or credit card payments are accepted.
  • Show your passport for ID verification
  • As soon as payment is verified, the SIM card will be activated right away. The package already has it installed.
  • Put the SIM card into your phone and give it a minute or two to register with the network.
  • After that, you can start using the phone calls, texts, and data

Pro Tip: If you follow the steps and still cannot activate your SIM, you can ask for help from staff.

V. Best Tourist Rafael Núñez International Airport SIM Cards Options and Prices

Best Cartagena SIM Cards Options and Price for Travelers to Colombia

At Rafael Núñez International Airport, Colombia, the best tourist SIM plans are offered by major Colombia mobile network providers, which are Claro, Movistar, Tigo, Avantel, WOM, and ETB. Among them, Claro and Tigo are recommended for dependable 4G services.

Here is a breakdown of some tourist SIM plans sold at CTG airport: 

1. Claro 

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

Movistar offers a variety of prepaid packages starting at $6 USD, which includes 30 GB of data.

3. Tigo 

Tigo offers a simple prepaid plan for vacationers: 5 GB data for 7 days + unlimited calls/text for 10,000 COP (approx. $2.65 USD)​

4. Avantel

A reputable supplier offering affordable coverage and plan alternatives. Avantel provides prepaid plans like as:

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

5. WOM and ETB

WOM provides four major SIM-only options for tourists:

  • 1.5 GB, valid for 7 days for 5,000 COP (approx. $1.32 USD)
  • 4 GB, valid for 15 days for 10,000 COP (approx. $2.65 USD)
  • 9 GB, valid for 30 days for 20,000 COP (approx. $5.30 USD)
  • 30 GB, valid for 90 days for 60,000 COP (approx. $15.86 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 prices for inseparable 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
  • Internet usage rates: The Internet can be accessed by purchasing packages using your recharge balance, including browsing data.

Note: Because plans and prices can change, it’s always best to double-check the latest details on the provider’s website or directly at the airport kiosks before making your purchase.

VI. Colombia eSIM for Cartagena – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Cartagena Airport (CTG) 

Colombia eSIM for Cartagena - an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)
Colombia eSIM for Cartagena by Gigago

eSIM is replacing traditional SIM cards, making connectivity more easier than ever before. If you plan a trip to Cartagena, consider using an eSIM as it offers several advantages that can make your trip smoother and less stressful.

You can switch to international networks easily by buying the eSIM package that suits you online. Additionally, you can store multiple virtual SIMs on your device at the same time. Getting your international eSIM plan online before you leave and activating it upon arrival will save you time searching for a physical SIM card locally at José María Cordova International Airport.

Among many Colombia SIM online resellers, Gigago is a trusted website offering convenient eSIM to stay connected throughout your trip. Here’s why Gigago is a great choice:

  • Fastest Option: Purchase and activate your eSIM online in minutes, no need to wait for deliveries.
  • Flexible Plans: Plans start from 1 GB for 7 days with $8.90 . Depending on the plan you choose, the prices can varying between $8.90$35.90 .
  • Easy to Use: This eSIM doesn’t come with a phone number, but you can top up data if needed. Installation is simple, just scan a QR code or enter a code manually.
  • Stay Connected and Save Money: Use the internet anywhere in Colombia and avoid expensive roaming charges. You can even keep your home SIM active for calls and texts.

For the above reasons, you can completely trust and choose Gigago Colombia eSIM for Cartagena for your trip to Colombia.

VII. Where to Buy a SIM card Outside Rafael Núñez International Airport? 

Outside Rafael Núñez International Airport, you can buy a SIM card for Colombia travel in reseller stores or official carrier stores at Cartagena city center.

1. Reseller stores in the City Center 

It’s uncommon for convenience stores and shopping malls in Cartagena to sell SIM cards directly but you might find some reseller kiosks, street vendors or phone accessory shops that sell SIM cards. However, the selection might be limited, and staff expertise on activation processes could be lower.

Some street vendors may also sell SIM cards with limited options
Some street vendors may also sell SIM cards with limited options

2. Official Carrier Stores in Cartagena

Colombian mobile network providers have plenty of stores throughout Cartagena city center. Here are some of the advantages of purchasing it from official stores:

  • Wider Selection of Plans: Official stores will have a complete range of prepaid plans offered by the carrier.
  • Expert Assistance: Staff at official stores are knowledgeable about the SIM card and can answer any questions you have. They are more likely to help you choose a suitable plan for your trip.
  • Guaranteed Activation: Official stores have the necessary systems and expertise to register the SIM card for you correctly.
  • Security: Official stores prioritize security and follow proper procedures for SIM card registration. 

Below are some suggested addresses to buy official SIM cards from Colombian providers:

  • Claro – Cartagena SIM Card Store: 44 Local 217 C.C. Centro Uno, Cl. 35 #8A, Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
  • Tigo – Cartagena SIM Card Store: Santa Mónica, Cartagena, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena Province, Bolívar, Colombia
  • Movistar – Cartagena SIM Card Store: Cra. 3 #6 – 13 Piso 1, Cartagena de Indias, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Advice: For a smooth experience with a wider variety of prepaid plans and expert assistance, head to official stores of Colombian mobile network providers located in Cartagena city center.

VIII. FAQs about Buying a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)

Should I get a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) or in Cartagena city center?

While convenient upon arrival, airport kiosks might have limited plan options and potentially higher prices. You should prefer buying at providers’ official stores in the city center for a wider selection of plans.

What is the best choice for mobile internet in Cartagena?

If your phone supports eSIM functionality then eSIM is the best choice. It is super convenient with broader variety of plans than finding a SIM Card locally.

What should I prepare to buy a SIM card at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)?

To grab a SIM card upon arrival at Rafael Núñez International Airport, just bring your unlocked phone, passport and money (cash or card). The staff there will help you to register and activate.

IX. Conclusion 

In conclusion, purchasing a SIM card at the Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) is a quick way to stay connected shortly after arriving in Colombia. For the best discounts, purchase a SIM card for Colombia from the official stores of the city’s major network providers. We recommend buying SIM cards from Claro, Movistar, or Tigo. Their broad coverage will keep you online wherever you go in Colombia.