Traveling to Puerto Rico can be an exciting adventure, but keeping your mobile data costs under control can be a challenge if you’re not prepared. Roaming charges can quickly add up, leaving you with an unexpectedly high bill at the end of your trip. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of data roaming in Puerto Rico, exploring the best strategies to stay connected without breaking the bank.

Data Roaming in Puerto Rico

I. Understand Data Roaming in Puerto Rico

Data roaming refers to the ability to use your mobile data services while traveling outside of your home network’s coverage area. When you’re in Puerto Rico, your phone will automatically connect to a local carrier’s network, and you may incur additional charges for data usage, known as roaming charges.

What are Roaming Charges

What are Charges of Roaming in Puerto Rico?

Roaming in Puerto Rico allows tourists and travelers to use their mobile devices while visiting the territory. Here is some information about roaming in Puerto Rico:


  • Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which means that U.S. mobile service providers generally treat it as domestic territory for roaming purposes.
  • As a result, if you have a mobile plan with a U.S. provider, you may be able to use your phone in Puerto Rico without incurring additional roaming charges.
  • If you have a mobile plan with a U.S. provider, roaming charges in Puerto Rico are typically the same as your domestic rates.
  • However, it is essential to check with your specific provider to confirm their roaming policies and any potential charges that may apply.

A few key points about roaming charges tourists may face in the Puerto Rico:

  • Check with your provider to confirm their specific policies and any potential charges.
  • Ensure coverage and compatibility with your provider and device.
  • Monitor data usage and connect to Wi-Fi when possible.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers.
  • Enable roaming in your device’s network settings before traveling.

It’s recommended to contact your home mobile service provider for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding roaming in Puerto Rico. They can provide specific details about charges, coverage, and any restrictions that may apply to your mobile plan.

The Importance of Staying Connected in Puerto Rico

While on vacation, staying connected is often a necessity. You may need to access maps, look up information about local attractions, or stay in touch with friends and family back home. However, using your mobile data without proper planning can quickly become a costly endeavor.

By understanding the roaming landscape in Puerto Rico and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy seamless connectivity without the worry of excessive roaming charges weighing on your mind.

II. Charges of roaming in Puerto Rico

1. How to Check Roaming Charges Before Your Travel To Puerto Rico

To avoid any unpleasant surprises on your next bill, it’s crucial to research roaming charges before your trip to Puerto Rico. Here are some steps you can take:

Contact your mobile provider

The first step is to reach out to your mobile carrier and inquire about their roaming policies and charges for Puerto Rico. Most carriers have dedicated international roaming sections on their websites or mobile apps where you can find this information.

Contact your mobile provider
Source: Claro

Research applicable roaming fees

Once you have the information from your carrier, carefully review the roaming fees for data usage, voice calls, and text messages in Puerto Rico. Take note of any additional charges or surcharges that may apply.

Call Customer Service

If you’re still unsure or have specific questions, don’t hesitate to call your carrier’s customer service line. They can provide you with personalized information based on your plan and help you understand the potential costs of using your mobile services in Puerto Rico.

2. Charges of roaming in Puerto Rico by US Mobile Operators

To give you a better understanding of what to expect, here’s a comparison of roaming charges in Puerto Rico from some of the major US mobile operators:

CarrierData Roaming Charges (USD/MB)Voice Roaming Charges (USD/min)Text Roaming Charges (USD/sent, USD/received)
Verizon$2.05 or pay-per-use plan$0.99$0.50, $0.05
AT&T$2.05 or pay-per-use plan$1.00$0.50, $0.50
T-MobileIncluded in most plans$0.25Included in most plans
Sprint$0.20 or pay-per-use plan$0.25$0.20, $0.20

It’s important to note that these rates are subject to change, and carriers may offer different roaming plans or packages that could potentially save you money. Additionally, some carriers, like T-Mobile, include roaming in Puerto Rico as part of their standard plans, which can be a significant advantage for frequent travelers.

As you can see, roaming charges can vary significantly between carriers, and it’s crucial to understand your specific plan’s roaming policies and fees before traveling to Puerto Rico. By being informed and prepared, you can make informed decisions about how to manage your mobile data usage and avoid unexpected charges.

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III. Best Ways to Avoid Roaming Charges in Puerto Rico

While being aware of roaming charges is essential, there are several strategies you can employ to avoid or minimize these costs during your trip to Puerto Rico.

1. Buy an eSIM from

One of the most convenient and cost-effective options is to purchase an eSIM (embedded SIM) from a local provider like An eSIM is a digital SIM card that can be downloaded and activated directly on your compatible smartphone or tablet, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card.

How it works

Simply visit and purchase an eSIM plan that fits your data needs and budget. Once you’ve completed the purchase, you’ll receive instructions on how to download and activate the eSIM on your device.

After activation, you’ll have access to a local Puerto Rican mobile network, allowing you to use your phone’s data services without incurring roaming charges from your home carrier.


  • Avoid high roaming fees from your home carrier
  • Get access to competitive local data rates
  • No need to physically swap SIM cards
  • Convenient online purchase and activation process

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2. Buy a local SIM card

Another popular option is to purchase a local SIM card from a Puerto Rican mobile operator once you arrive on the island. This method requires you to have an unlocked phone compatible with the local network frequencies.

Where to buy local SIM cards

Local SIM cards can be purchased at various locations in Puerto Rico, including:

  • Mobile carrier stores (e.g., Claro, T-Mobile Puerto Rico, AT&T)
  • Convenience stores and supermarkets
  • Airport kiosks or vending machines

Steps to follow

  1. Ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network frequencies.
  2. Purchase a local SIM card and data plan from a Puerto Rican carrier.
  3. Follow the instructions provided to insert and activate the new SIM card.
  4. Configure your phone to use the new local number and data plan.

By using a local SIM card, you’ll avoid roaming charges from your home carrier and enjoy competitive local rates for data, voice, and text services.

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3. Enable Wifi Calling

If you’re not keen on purchasing a local SIM card or eSIM, you can still minimize roaming charges by enabling WiFi Calling on your smartphone. This feature allows you to make and receive calls and send text messages over a WiFi connection, bypassing the cellular network and avoiding roaming fees.

How to enable WiFi Calling

  1. Check if your carrier and smartphone support WiFi Calling (most modern devices do).
  2. Enable WiFi Calling in your phone’s settings.
  3. Connect to WiFi networks whenever possible during your trip to Puerto Rico.


  • Avoid voice and text roaming charges
  • Use your regular phone number and contacts
  • Communicate seamlessly over WiFi connections
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Here are some frequently asked questions about data roaming in Puerto Rico:

Is Puerto Rico considered international roaming for US carriers?

No, Puerto Rico is a US territory, so roaming charges for US carriers in Puerto Rico are typically treated as domestic roaming, which can be more affordable than international roaming rates.

Can I use my existing US phone number in Puerto Rico?

Yes, you can use your existing US phone number in Puerto Rico without any issues, as long as you have an active plan with a US carrier.

Do I need to enable international roaming on my phone?

No, you do not need to enable international roaming on your phone when traveling to Puerto Rico. However, it’s still recommended to check your carrier’s roaming policies and fees for Puerto Rico to avoid any unexpected charges.

Can I use Google Maps or other navigation apps without incurring data charges?

Yes, you can use navigation apps like Google Maps without incurring data charges if you download the necessary maps and data for offline use before your trip or when connected to a WiFi network.

V. Conclusion

Navigating the world of data roaming in Puerto Rico can be a challenge, but with the right information and strategies, you can stay connected without breaking the bank. By understanding roaming charges, researching your carrier’s policies, and exploring options like eSIMs, local SIM cards, and WiFi Calling, you can enjoy seamless connectivity while exploring the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

Remember, preparation is key. Take the time to assess your needs, research your options, and make informed decisions about how to manage your mobile data usage. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can focus on creating lasting memories and unforgettable experiences during your Puerto Rican adventure.

Safe travels and happy roaming!