Kölbi SIM Cards and eSIM 2024: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

Learn about Kölbi, a reputable network connection provider in Costa Rica. We will show you the details about Kölbi SIM cards, and the most popular data plans for Kölbi travelers when visiting Costa Rica.


To prepare for your exploration in Costa Rica, you want to learn about local carriers’ cellular connectivity options. Among them, Kölbi is one of the main suppliers in Costa Rica that many tourists choose. Join us to learn in more detail how to activate the connection and how to buy a Kobli SIM card in this article.

I. Quick Facts about Kölbi

  • Founded: 2002
  • Full company name: Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad – Kölbi
  • Types of services: mobile phone networks, broadband Internet, fixed-line, and digital television
  • Mobile services: 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE, and LTE-A (4.5G) services
  • Customer support: 24/7 via phone call, live chat & email
  • Pros: Extensive coverage, affordable plans, competitive pricing, reliable network performance in urban areas
  • Cons: Low network speeds and limited international roaming options 

II. Costa Rica Kölbi Coverage and Speed in the Costa Rica

Kölbi is one of the major telecommunications providers in Costa Rica. This overview will examine Kölbi’s network footprint and the speeds customers can expect across the country.

1. Kölbi coverage in Costa Rica

Based on the map above, we can see that Kölbi’s coverage area in Costa Rica is very wide, including urban areas and rural areas. Kölbi’s coverage ensures residents and visitors in these areas can enjoy reliable connectivity. Kölbi’s 3G/4G network coverage is quite strong in urban areas and gradually decreases in rural areas.

Kolbi Costa Rica coverage map (Source: nPerf)

Overall, visitors can find Kölbi’s wide coverage in urban areas, ensuring convenient connectivity during the tour.

2. Kölbi speed in Costa Rica

Based on the images above, you can see that Kölbi’s speed is ranked 2nd in Costa Rica. This shows that Kölbi gives you convenient connectivity when traveling in this country.

Kolbi Costa Rica speed map (Source: OpenSignal)

With 18.9 Mbps of download speed and 6.1 Mbps of upload speed, this allows you to call family and friends, watch streaming, or play games comfortably during your trip to Costa Rica. 

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Kölbi for Travelers to Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, Kölbi offers a variety of data connection options for locals and international visitors. These include roaming, pocket WiFi, and Kölbi SIM cards. Below is a table summarizing the pros and cons of those options:

SIM CardsRoamingPocket WiFi
ProsAffordable and easy to use.Convenient as there is no need to change SIM cards or devicesEasy to use and set up
Provides fast and stable internet connectionData can be used immediately upon arrival in Costa RicaConnect multiple devices at the same time
ConsRequires changing SIM cardsHigh roaming chargesRequires carrying a pocket wifi device and a power bank
Data speed may be limited and poor qualityLimit the area that can be connected

Our recommendation: In short, using a SIM card is the most convenient choice for tourists when coming to Costa Rica. Kölbi offers a variety of SIM card packages to suit your personal needs and budget at affordable prices. Pop it in your phone and enjoy affordable calls, data, and texts while you explore!

IV. Best Kölbi SIM cards for Tourists & Cost

The table below shows some Kölbi SIM cards options for tourists to the UK and prices accordingly:

PackagesDataValidationPrice ($)Price (CRC)
Tourist Packages3GB7 days$105000
5GB15 days$157500
10GB30 days$2512500

For the most accurate details on Kölbi SIM cards now, please check Kölbi’s official website.

V. Does Kölbi Costa Rica support eSIM?

Yes, Kölbi provides eSIM for tourists in Costa Rica. eSIM has advantages over physical SIM cards including:

  • No need to change your physical SIM card
  • Reduces the risk of physical card damage or loss
  • Easy to order and activate online

You can choose to buy Kölbi eSIM on their official website or other reputable online suppliers like Gigago. Currently, Gigago offers Movistar’s eSIM, allowing travelers to experience faster connection speeds at an affordable cost.

For Costa Rica, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $37.80 . What is great about Gigago’s Costa Rica eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $37.80$108.00 . Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Costa Rica, there is always an option for you with Gigago.


VI. Where can you buy a Kölbi SIM card and eSIM?

In Costa Rica, you can find many places that offer Kölbi SIM cards and eSIM. Go to city centers or the provider’s official stores to choose the most suitable SIM card packages for your trip.

1. Where to buy Kölbi SIM for Costa Rica

1.1. Upon arrival at the airports

Travelers may buy Kölbi SIM cards at:

  • Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose
  • Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia

1.2. Kölbi stores and authorized dealers

Kölbi has several official retail stores located throughout Costa Rica, primarily in major cities and tourist hubs. At these Kölbi stores, you can purchase Kölbi SIM cards, top-up credits, and get assistance with your account. You can also go to electronics stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other retailers throughout Costa Rica to buy Kölbi SIM cards.

2. Where to buy Costa Rica Kölbi eSIM

There are many ways you can get an eSIM for your trip to Costa Rica. And the most convenient way is to buy online on the official Kölbi website. Just choose the data package that suits your needs and pay online, you will quickly get it without spending too much time.

You can also choose a reputable online dealer to buy travel eSIM like Gigago. Consider the information and services you need to enjoy great connectivity in Costa Rica.

VII. How to Use and Activate Kölbi Costa Rica SIM/eSIM in Costa Rica?

Activating Kölbi SIM cards or eSIM is a straightforward process. Just take the following steps:

1. How to Use and Activate Kölbi SIM Cards in Costa Rica?

If you go with a Kölbi SIM card, here are the steps to get it up and running:

  • Pop your Kölbi SIM in your unlocked cell phone.
  • Turn on your phone.
  • Follow on-screen prompts to activate the Kölbi SIM – In most cases, it should be pre-activated.
  • If cellular data is not working after activation, check network settings.
  • Once activated, you can use your phone on Kölbi’s network anywhere in Costa Rica.

2. How to Use and Activate Kölbi eSIM?

To activate an eSIM in Costa Rica, please follow these general steps:

  • Ensure your phone is eSIM-compatible and carrier-unlocked.
  • Access a stable internet connection.
  • Choose the type of device.
  • Follow the instructions for your device.
  • Install the eSIM.
  • Start using the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using its services.

VIII. How to Top-up Kölbi Costa Rica SIM/eSIM

You can easily top-up your Kölbi SIM/eSIM card by following these steps:

  • Visit a Kölbi retail store or authorized dealer or online through the Kölbi website.
  • Provide your Kölbi SIM card number.
  • Choose from a variety of prepaid recharge denominations.
  • Pay by cash or mobile payment.
  • The top-up will be applied immediately to your Kölbi SIM account.

IX. Alternatives to Costa Rica Kölbi

While Kölbi is the national telecommunications provider, tourists can also consider Claro and Movistar SIM cards in Costa Rica. They offer similar voice and data plans with better connection speeds. 

However, if your phone is eSIM compatible, we recommend you explore the Gigago eSIM option, which allows you to easily activate a prepaid mobile plan directly on your smartphone without the need for a physical SIM card.

X. FAQs about Kölbi in Costa Rica

1. Is 4G/LTE available with Kölbi in Costa Rica?

Yes, Kölbi’s network supports 4G/LTE connectivity throughout most of the country for fast mobile data speeds.

2. Can I use my Kölbi SIM or eSIM outside of Costa Rica?

Yes, but roaming charges and limited functionality may apply when you use your Kölbi SIM or eSIM outside of Costa Rica.

3. Are there any special tourist packages or deals offered by Kölbi?

Yes, Kölbi offers various prepaid tourist packages with data, call, and text allowances tailored for visitors. 

XI. Conclusion

Staying connected is essential for every traveler’s great trip to Costa Rica. Kölbi’s SIM cards and eSIM will help you comfortably call and text with reliable 4G/LTE coverage throughout your journey. Take advantage of this convenience to enjoy your wonderful vacation in Costa Rica.