SIM card in Bogotá: Comprehensive Guide for Tourists from Locals

Having access to dependable and reasonably priced mobile internet is essential for a seamless and connected vacation. Purchasing a local SIM card makes staying connected easy when touring Bogotá and the nearby locations. All the important details you require to acquire a SIM card in Bogotá, such as the top providers, plans, costs, and locations for purchases, are covered in this blog post.

SIM Card in Bogota

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card in Bogotá?

In Bogotá, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport and in the city center.

1. At the airport 

  • Main Terminal Shops: Before the main terminal lobby, inside the security check, are the Movidstar, Tigo, and Claro stores. In Colombia, these providers have decent coverage. Movistar offers a tourist SIM card with 1GB of data for about 30,000 COP ($7 USD). 
  • Departure location: This location offers extra Movistar, Claro, and Tigo carrier shops that are perfect for hurried purchases.
  • Airport Kiosks: Prepaid SIM cards from different carriers are sold in independent kiosks and retailers located throughout the airport building. 

► Our Recommendation: During the periods when flights arrive, these places’ stores and kiosks are open and easily accessible. It’s advisable to shop around to find the best deals.

You can buy a SIM Card in Bogotá airport
You can buy a SIM Card in Bogotá airport

2. In the city center

  • Cell phone carrier stores: The three main Colombian cellular companies, Claro, Movistar, and Tigo Une, have locations all across Bogotá. You can look through their prepaid SIM card plans and select the one that most closely matches your requirements.
  • Malls: SIM cards are sold at a number of the Bogotá shopping malls’ kiosks or stores. If you’re already at the mall shopping, this might be a decent choice.
  • Convenience stores: SIM cards are sold at certain convenience stores, such as Éxito and Carulla. If you need a SIM Card in Bogotá immediately and don’t want to make the extra effort to reach a carrier store or mall, this is a convenient choice. 

Tips: Purchase a SIM card in the city center if you're looking for a variety of plan choices at reasonable prices. Purchase a SIM card in Bogotá Airport if you appreciate convenience. 

II. Best Mobile Network in Bogotá 

Although Colombia has a lot of mobile network operators, when choosing a SIM card in Bogotá, you may primarily find Claro, Movistar, Tigo, and WOM. These are the Colombian leading mobile network operators. 

Top mobile network operators in Bogotá
Top mobile network operators in Bogotá

The following table provides a comparative analysis of the top Colombian mobile network operators offering SIM card in Bogotá. This comparison table focuses on their performance in terms of Speed, Coverage, and Consistency. 

OperatorOverall ScoreSpeedCoverageConsistency
ClaroFairFast downloads (12.3 Mbps), fair uploads (7.2 Mbps)Strong (8.6)Fair (31.4%)
MovistarFairSlower downloads (9.8 Mbps) and uploads (6.7 Mbps)Good (4.2) but not bestFair (34.6%)
TigoFairFastest downloads (14.1 Mbps) and uploads (8.2 Mbps)Good (3.5) but not bestFair (33.4%)
WOMGoodFast downloads (13.0 Mbps) and uploads (6.4 Mbps)Weakest (1.4)Best (51.2%)

As you can see, Tigo has the highest downloads and upload Speed while Claro has the strongest Coverage and WOM is the best in terms of Consistency.

Please note: It is important to note that these are just average scores and that the actual experience may vary depending on your location and other factors.

III. Best Bogotá travel SIM Cards Deals and Price 

Here are Bogotá’s top options for mobile data plans, including their costs.

1. Claro Colombia

  • 500 MB / 7 days for 7500 COP (≈ $2)
  • 100 GB / 30 days for 199000 COP (≈ $50)

Monthly packages:

  • 9 GB for 31000 COP (≈ $8)
  • 15 GB for 45000 COP (≈ $11) 
  • 25 GB for 59000 COP (≈ $15)

2. Movistar (Télefonica)

  • 6 GB for 16000 COP (about $4) 
  • 10 GB for 21000 COP (approximately $5)
  • 25 GB for 59000 COP (approximately $15) 

3. Tigo Colombia

  • 10 GB for 25000 COP (about $6)
  • 15 GB for 35000 COP (approximately $9)
  • 25 GB for 49000 COP (approximately $12)

4. WOM

  • 1.5 GB, valid for 7 days for COP 5.000 ($1.02)
  • 4 GB, valid for 15 days for COP 10.000 ($2.05)
  • 9 GB, valid for 30 days for COP 20.000 ($4.09)
  • 30 GB, valid for 90 days for COP 60.000 ($12.27)

IV. Things to know before buying a SIM Card in Bogotá 

A handy guide before buying a SIM Card in Bogotá
A handy guide before buying a SIM Card in Bogotá

Before purchasing a SIM card in Bogotá, keep a few things in mind.

1. Check internet usage

Verifying your previous online activity in preparation is usually a good idea. So that you don’t overpay for any plans and know which package you actually need.

2. Unlock your phone

You should also see if your phone is carrier-locked or country-locked. Certain providers are locked, particularly if you purchased your phone as a part of a contract. To avoid any surprises, get in touch with your local carrier ahead of time. Alternatively, just try inserting a different SIM card into your phone to see whether it works.

3. Make sure your passport is ready

Like in most other nations, Colombia requires identification before allowing you to register a SIM card in Bogotá. This precaution is meant to stop any unauthorized usage of the SIM card. 

4. Check your SIM card size

There are three sizes of SIM cards: Standard, Micro, and Nano. The majority of carriers feature sized-appropriate perforated cards. Check the size of the SIM card your phone needs, though, if you’re not sure. 

V. Colombia eSIM for travelers: Alternative to SIM card in Bogotá

Colombia eSIM for Bogotá
Colombia eSIM for Bogotá

Besides traditional plastic SIM cards, you should purchase eSIM for super convenient travel connectivity. You can purchase online, scan to activate, and stay connected throughout your trip.

If you are considering any carriers for SIM card in Bogotá, you can easily get a Colombia eSIM by going to the Gigago website, which offers a variety of data plans to suit your needs, starting from just $8.90. Gigago’s service is easy to use and dependable, making sure that you stay connected throughout your Colombian adventure. Here are the advantages of choosing Colombia Gigago eSIM for travelers:

  • Super Convenient: Get your eSIM and purchase it online. You just need to scan the code to install, and be connected the moment you land in Bogotá!
  • Nationwide Coverage: Stay online anywhere you travel in Bogotá and the whole Colombia with full network access.
  • Dual SIM Ready: Keep your home SIM card for calls and texts while using the Colombia eSIM for data.
  • Ready to Use upon Purchase: Get your eSIM information and activation code right after payment. You don’t have to wait for deliveries or worry about lost packages.
  • Smart Savings on Roaming: Get your cell phone connected to the internet without any roaming charges. 

Smart Travel Advice: You should set up your eSIM with Wi-Fi before departure. This way, you can simply activate your data plan as soon as you arrive.

VI. FAQs about SIM card in Bogotá

Is a local SIM card the right choice for my Bogotá trip?

Yes. A local SIM card can be a good choice for your Bogotá trip. It is a great way to save money on roaming charges in Colombia.

Should I buy my Colombian SIM card before traveling or after arriving in Bogotá?

You should buy your travel SIM card before departure. You can have a SIM card ready-to-use as soon as you land and compare plans and prices from different providers online beforehand.

Where can I buy a SIM card in Bogotá?

There are several places where you can buy a SIM card in Bogotá. For example, mobile phone kiosks located inside El Dorado International Airport or supermarkets, convenience stores and mobile phone carrier stores around the city.

Can I use the SIM card in Bogotá that I bought in another Colombian city?

Yes, you can absolutely use the SIM card you buy in Bogotá throughout Colombia, whatever city you travel to. Colombian mobile providers are national, therefore your SIM card can work as long as you have a signal.

VII. Conclusion 

Purchasing a SIM card in Bogotá is a simple step that can greatly improve your travel 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.