Data Roaming in Colombia & Alternatives to Get Internet: Which Option to Choose?

During a travel trip, the internet plays an important role and data roaming usually comes as the first connectivity option that people thank of. Here, learn more about data roaming in Colombia including services, costs, and alternatives so you can choose the best one for your trip.

Data roaming in Colombia helps all travelers to the country stay in touch and connected with family or friends back home. The article below will outline for you the cost, usage and alternative forms of data roaming. Let’s check out!

I. Phone Roaming in Colombia – Quick Facts for Tourists

Here are quick facts about data roaming in Colombia that travelers need to know:

  • Roaming services: Allows you to use your mobile phone in Colombia international carriers offer roaming services in this country.
  • Network big operators: Major network operators in Colombia include Claro, Movistar, Tigo and Avantel. They offer GSM and 3G/4G/LTE and cover most of the country.
  • International roaming: Describing the process of using your home country’s mobile network in Colombia.
  • Coverage area: Famous tourist areas and big cities have good network coverage. However, some places such as remote and rural areas may have limited coverage.
  • SIM card: If you plan to stay long-term in Colombia, a local SIM card is a relatively suitable choice. Tourists can buy at the airport, convenience stores, and network distribution stores.
  • Top up: Travelers can top up their SIM cards at convenience stores, supermarkets and carrier stores via scratch cards or electronic top up services.
  • Data plans: There are many data plans to suit the needs of travelers. These plans typically provide data, text messages, and calls valid for a certain period of time.
  • Regulations: Using a phone in Colombia while driving may be illegal and can result in fines.

II. Understand about Roaming in Colombia – How It Works

Data roaming in Colombia is switching from the current mobile network to another network to be able to use the Internet, text, and call in areas where the current network does not cover. You should turn on data roaming on your phone to be able to use waves and telecommunications networks abroad.

There are 2 types of data roaming based on the scope of use: international data roaming and domestic data roaming. If you’re traveling to Colombia from another country, data roaming helps you stay in touch with family and friends back home without having to buy a local SIM card.

Pros of data roaming in Colombia:

  • These carriers all offer roaming services to tourists coming to the country
  • Convenience: No need to buy a new SIM at each location or in areas where the network does not have coverage. This way avoids the risk of losing the SIM when removing it.
  • Many network providers: Travelers have a wide choice of service providers in Colombia.

Disadvantages of data roaming in Colombia:

  • Cost: International roaming charges, including in Colombia, can be significantly higher than normal data usage.
  • Data roaming has disadvantages in terms of data plan limits and internet access speeds.

III. Is the Roaming Rate in Colombia Expensive?

Yes. Currently, data roaming costs in Colombia tend to increase quite high. However, the cost depends on each network provider in Colombia. Tourists can refer to some of the information below to get the most accurate assessment and choose the data package that suits their needs.

  • Roaming in Colombia with Movistar: from $6.50 to 1 GB for 7 to 30 days
  • Roaming in Colombia Telefonica: From $19 to $54/plan for 5 to 20 days of use
  • Roaming in Colombia Claro: from $3.74 to $14.30/GB for 7 to 30 days of use

From the reference information above, the cost of using data roaming services can be very high and inflexible when used, visitors to Colombia should choose to use a local SIM card.

Note: Roaming rates and data plans in Colombia may change over time in the future. Travelers should contact their mobile network service provider for the latest updates.

IV. How to Activate Roaming Service for Colombia in Your Cell Phone?

To activate data roaming in Colombia, you need to follow these 4 simple steps on your phone:

Step 1: Choose the data roaming service provider that you trust the most and that suits your needs

  • First of all, tourists need to determine the correct data roaming service provider in Colombia to use
  • You can keep your data plan at home or purchase a data plan from your network provider in Colombia

Step 2: Start activating the data roaming function for your service provider

  • Different network service providers will have different activation methods (not all are completely different). You should refer to the service provider’s website for the most detailed instructions.
  • For example, Vodafone will perform data roaming as follows:
  • Download the Vodafone app to your phone (My Vodafone)
  • Click on “Roaming internationally”, select the country to go to
  • So you have completed data roaming

Step 3: Choose to purchase a data roaming package

Of course, you can’t use it without buying a data package. The cost of purchasing data roaming packages is often quite expensive. However, you should buy it so you don’t have to pay roaming costs.

Pro Tips:

  • Don't buy a roaming package too early, buy it a day in advance because the package usually starts working immediately after purchase.
  • Based on the cost of your trip, buy the right roaming plan. If you are a heavy data user, try to buy an unlimited plan (if available)
  • On the contrary, if you use little data or only use it when absolutely necessary, choose a roaming plan with data limits.

Step 4: Turn on data roaming on your phone

  • On Android phones: Settings > Click on “Data roaming” > Turn on “International roaming
  • On iOS phones (iPhone): Settings > Mobile > Click “Data roaming

Note: To avoid incurring unnecessary costs during a wasteful trip, don't forget to turn off the roaming feature when not in use.

V. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to Colombia

Here are some tips to help you avoid data roaming fees when coming to Colombia:

  • You can use public wifi at train stations, airports or convenience stores if the place has a stable public wifi connection.
  • Turn off data roaming when finished using it
  • Turn off automatic app updates on your phone
  • Control and check your phone data regularly to avoid wasting it unnecessarily
  • Use a local SIM Card or eSIM: Check if the phone is unlocked or not for local SIM card; Check if your phone supports eSIM by checking the eSIM compatibility list.

VI. Colombia eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Colombia to Get Internet

In addition to roaming, guests can also stay connected, stay in touch with friends and family,  get the internet in Colombia by using travel eSIM Colombia.The highlight of eSIM is convenience, it is a type of electronic SIM. Replaces the small plastic SIM we often use on current mobile devices, with full functionality like a regular SIM card.

Colombia eSIM from Gigago – The ultimate alternative to data roaming

eSIM Colombia can be an alternative to data roaming in Colombia because the advantages of eSIM outweigh data roaming in terms of convenience and fees.

Gigago offers multiple data plan options for Colombia, with prices ranging from $8.90$35.90 . Their minimum 1 GB/7 days starts at just $8.90 . With this range of affordable plans, Gigago can accommodate any type of user and trip length in Colombia. Whether you only need occasional internet access or plan to stream extensively, Gigago has a Colombia eSIM plan to fit your needs and budget. The flexibility of their pricing makes Gigago a great eSIM solution for travel to Colombia.

VII. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Colombia

Depending on the operating system your phone is using, please refer to the data roaming method below:

Turn off international roaming on Android when traveling in Colombia

  • Open the “Settings” app on your Android device
  • Open to “Network & Internet” or “Connections”
  • Select “Cellular networks” or “Mobile networks” and select it
  • In options, tap “Data Roaming”
  • Turn the switch next to “Data roaming” to the off position

Turn off international roaming on iPhones

  • Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone
  • Scroll down, tap “Cellular” or “Cellular data”
  • Select “Data roaming.”
  • Turn off the switch next to “Data roaming”
  • A confirmation message may appear on the screen. Tap “Off” to confirm stopping data roaming.


Is data roaming expensive in Colombia?

Yes. However, it depends on your needs and the costs of different network providers give you many options.

What other options can I choose instead of data roaming service?

Of course, tourists can use public wifi, local SIM cards , pocket wifi and especially eSIM if you have a compatible phone.

Where can I buy Colombia eSIM?

Travelers can purchase eSIM at many different providers, including Gigago.

IX. Conclusion

In short, data roaming in Colombia is not too complicated but it comes with a fairly high cost. It helps tourists stay connected with family members and comfortably explore this country. If you have a compatible device, eSIM is the optimal solution to help tourists save money and stay safe.