How to get mobile internet when traveling to Colombia

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If you want to post all the memorable moments in Colombia to social media including all the time you will spend when visiting Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, or Medellín, you probably have doubts about how to have mobile internet in Colombia. In this article, we will elaborate on some options you should consider to be able to access an internet service from your cellphone in this South American country.

We will discuss the eSIM or virtual SIM cards, the traditional SIM card, the international roaming service, the pocket WiFi, and the free access WiFi networks that will help you to connect to the internet in Colombia. Read on to find out more details!

esim colombia holafly
Buy an eSIM for Colombia in Holafly

How to get mobile internet in Colombia? Check out the virtual eSIM

Also known as a virtual SIM card, the eSIM is a tiny device, even smaller than a nano-SIM, that is incorporated into the hardware of your smartphone. And if you are looking for a brand that guarantees excellent performance and after-sales service you should visit Holafly’s online store. Once there, look for the eSIM for Colombia so that you can consider features such as:

Days of useAmount of DataPrice (USD)
15 days6GB$44 USD
Table 1: this is the rate that Holafly offers you in its online store to access the internet in Colombia.

Now that you know the price of the eSIM for Colombia and its capacity to connect to the internet, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this virtual SIM card.

Advantages of Holafly’s eSIM for mobile internet in Colombia

When you purchase the Holafly eSIM for Colombia through Holafly’s online store, you will have the following advantages:

  • You can set up your data plan by scanning a QR code that arrives in your email. Then you activate the eSIM when you land, and you will be connected to the internet immediately. In addition, these products have easy-to-follow instructions.
  • You will have the opportunity to share data with family and friends during your trip to this country. This feature uses the WiFi network generated by your cellphone to connect multiple devices at the same time.
  • You keep your usual WhatsApp number and from there you can call and send messages to your contacts as if you were in your home country.
  • You have 24-hour customer service. Although the eSIM is easy to use if you have questions or need to solve any problem you can contact this company by chat and email 24 hours a day.
  • Holafly sends you the eSIM immediately after your purchase. This is done via email, and you are connected immediately.
  • When you activate this eSIM you will have a dual SIM phone with your local card if you need it.

Disadvantages of Holafly’s eSIM

Now that you know the advantages of Holafly’s eSIM, and you know how to have internet in Colombia, we are going to tell you what you should know about the disadvantages of this virtual chip:

  • This eSIM only serves for cellular data, so you cannot make outgoing calls or send SMS. You must use WhatsApp to stay in touch.
  • Check that your cellphone is compatible with your eSIM. In addition, you must unlock it and check if it is one of these smartphones that are suitable for using Holafly’s eSIM: Apple iPhone SE (2020), XR, XS, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, and Pro 11 Pro Max,12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini, Samsung S20, Galaxy Z Flip, Note 20 Ultra, Fold LTE, Huawei P40, P40 Pro, Google Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a and Motorola Razr 2019. Some iPad models (iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 inches 3rd generation, iPad Air 3rd generation, iPad 7th generation, and iPad Mini 5th generation) are also supported.
  • When you consume the included data plan the eSIM will stop working, and you will have no internet connection.
  • When you set up the eSIM on your device you will only be able to use it on your device. If you delete the eSIM from your phone you may not be able to use it again even if you scan it again. You will not be able to scan the same QR code from two different phones.

SIM card Holafly, so you know how to have mobile internet in Colombia

If you want to have another alternative for you to learn about how to have mobile internet in Colombia it is worth knowing everything related to the SIM card. Holafly also offers these options in its online store with its data SIM card for Colombia which is characterized by:

Days of useAmount of DataPrice (USD)
30 days8GB$37.50 USD
30 days12GB$52 USD
Table 2: Rates of the SIM card plans that Holafly offers if you still don’t know how to have internet in Colombia.

Let’s take a look at the good and the bad when buying a data SIM card plan that Holafly offers you if you are traveling to Colombia.

Benefits of Holafly’s SIM card for use in Colombia

  • You keep your phone number for free incoming calls.
  • You only have to insert the SIM card in your smartphone when you land and then activate “Data Roaming”. This way you are connected. All cards come with easy-to-follow instructions.
  • You keep your contacts as well as your home number on WhatsApp.
  • You receive technical support in Spanish 24 hours a day. They provide support and assistance via email, chat, and WhatsApp.
  • This card also works in Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
  • If you choose free shipping you receive the SIM card in 72 working hours. If you need it urgently you can receive it in 48 hours or Express if you need it the next day before 16:00 hours, Colombia time.

The disadvantages of the Holafly SIM card on how to get mobile internet in Colombia

Although few, the disadvantages of this company’s SIM card for Colombia can be summarized as follows:

  • The card does not allow you to share data with other cellphones or tablets.
  • When you arrive at your destination in Colombia you are automatically connected to the local network. If this does not happen you must choose manually from your cellphone the Movistar or Claro operator.
  • Once you purchase the SIM card you cannot extend more data or more days.
  • Your smartphone cannot enable its tethering function. That is, with this SIM card you cannot share data from your cellphone with others.

Let’s see now what the local operators offer you to learn more alternatives on how to have internet in Colombia.

Prepaid SIM cards from local operators in Colombia

Another alternative to have internet in Colombia is to go to local operators, such as Claro, Movistar, and Tigo. These companies will offer you SIM cards with their respective advantages and disadvantages as we will see below:

Advantages and disadvantages of Claro Colombia SIM cards.

Claro is one of the main internet and cellphone operators in Colombia and Latin America. Its SIM cards have advantages such as:

  • It offers wide coverage in Colombian urban and rural areas, except for some specific points.
  • Works with 4G browsing speed and is compatible with your cellphone.
  • It has several data packages.
  • These cards are toppable, you can add extra data if needed.

And perhaps its biggest disadvantage is that the provider is likely to charge you for technical support if you go to a store. And on the other hand, you will probably have to wait to resolve your issue through the chat on their website.

Advantages and disadvantages of Movistar’s SIM cards

Movistar in Colombia is another of the operators with the largest presence in this country. It also has good coverage, although Claro surpasses it in this aspect, especially in rural areas. 

Let’s look at the advantages of its SIM cards:

  • The ease of finding SIM card points of sale.
  • The wide range of data packages.
  • It is compatible with different cellphones.

Regarding its weaknesses, we find:

  • Its coverage is less than Claro’s in some areas.
  • Its prices tend to be the highest.

The good and not so good about Tigo Colombia

Tigo is the third-largest operator in Colombia and also has two SIM card options. One of its strengths is its good coverage in rural areas. Other advantages of their SIM cards are:

  • Their SIM cards are toppable and work with 4G speed.
  • They offer prepaid packages for 7 and 15 days.
  • You can buy them at many different spots in any city.

Their negative aspect is that it is very common that in some physical stores they overcharge you for their products, so you should ask for the price in several places.

How to have mobile internet in Colombia with roaming service

Another alternative on how to have mobile internet in Colombia is international roaming. By activating this service offered by your domestic operator you can have cellular data, SMS, and local and international calls. However, your operator will charge you different rates for each of these benefits.

Although international roaming is still a reliable option to connect to the internet wherever you want, it is not as popular as it used to be due to the rise of new and cheaper technologies. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of this service:

Advantages of roaming for Colombia

  • Wide variety of rates that can be adjusted to your travel budget.
  • You’ll have SMS, calls, and cellular data.
  • You do not need to sign a contract with your operator to use this service.
  • Furthermore, you usually get personalized technical assistance from your operator.

Disadvantages of roaming in Colombian territory

  • High costs per MB or GB of navigation and consumption.
  • Roaming plans or packages will most likely focus more on SMS and calls.
  • Upon your return, it is very likely that you will have to pay a considerable bill for this service.

You can use pocket WiFi in Colombia

This alternative to connect to the internet in Colombia is to use this portable electronic device. The pocket WiFi is a wireless internet connection device with which you can share cellular data with other devices around you.

On the other hand, buying or renting a pocket WiFi in Colombia, as in other destinations, can significantly affect your travel budget. Also, it is a device that you must carry with you at all times, so you do not run out of coverage and keep it with enough battery if you must use it for several continuous hours.

Search for public WiFi networks in Colombia

The last option on how to have internet in Colombia is to locate and take advantage of public WiFi networks. You will find them in some parks, shopping malls, airports, supermarkets, or commercial establishments.

However, most of these WiFi networks are quite unstable and insecure. In some cases, you will have order or buy something from the establishment to get the password, most likely at a coffee shop or fast food restaurant. In addition, you will have to stay close to the coverage area so that your navigation is not affected.

What is the best option on how to have mobile internet in Colombia?

After having seen the previous alternatives, we recommend that to have mobile internet in Colombia the best option is to choose the SIM or eSIM offered by the virtual store Holafly. With this pair of devices, your mobile data experience in this country will be the one that best suits your needs and travel budget. Do not hesitate to count on Holafly to connect to the internet in Colombia!

Frequently asked questions when connecting to the internet in this South American country

Can I keep my WhatsApp line?

What Holafly offers you is that you can keep your WhatsApp number without making any configuration. When you activate a new number on WhatsApp you always keep the old one.

What is included in the data plan of the Holafly SIM card?

It includes shipping of the SIM card for Colombia, a metal pin that you use to extract the SIM tray and insert the SIM card you are using at your destination countries. It also has simple instructions in case you need to configure the APN of your cell phone.

Can I switch between using the SIM card and the eSIM?

If you are using an Apple device you can have both your physical SIM and your eSIM at the same time. You must select the physical SIM for calls and SMS and the Holafly eSIM for mobile data. Just be careful that if you leave your physical SIM activated your operator may charge roaming charges when receiving or sending both calls and SMS.

How many times can I use the Holafly eSIM?

When setting up the eSIM on a smartphone you can only use it on this device. In case you delete the eSIM from your device you may not be able to use it again even if you scan it again. You also cannot scan the same QR code from two different cell phones.

If you would like to know more about how to stay connected to the internet for other destinations, then we invite you to read the following articles:

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