San Juan is the bustling capital and largest city of Puerto Rico. As a major tourist destination, the city sees millions of visitors every year who want to experience its vibrant culture, colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and lively nightlife.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know to find the ideal SIM card in San Juan. We’ll compare the major mobile network providers, outline where you can buy SIMs in the city, suggest eSIM options, share tips on what to prepare, and answer frequently asked questions.

I. Which Mobile Operator is the Best in San Juan?

San Juan is home to three major mobile network providers:

  • Claro – This Mexico-based telecom company offers prepaid and contract plans. It has excellent coverage around San Juan and other populated areas of Puerto Rico. However, it can be spotty in rural regions.
  • AT&T – A major American provider, AT&T offers prepaid and contract options. It has strong coverage in urban areas and along major highways of the island. Speeds are fast thanks to its robust LTE network.
  • T-Mobile – Another large American carrier, T-Mobile also provides prepaid and contract plans. It has good coverage around San Juan but can be inconsistent in other parts of Puerto Rico. Plans include free calling to the US.
ClaroExcellent around San Juan. Okay in rural areas.LTE speeds up to 60 MbpsReliable in cities and along major roads1GB for $10. 3GB for $20. 10GB for $50.$0.25/min local. $1/min international.$0.10 per text.7 days – 1 year options
AT&TStrong in San Juan. Good island-wide coverage.Fast LTE networkReliable especially in populated areas$30 for 5GB over 30 days$2.50 for 250 minutes. $5 for 500 minutes$10 for 1000 texts30 days
T-MobileVery good around San Juan. Fair elsewhere.5G network. Avg speeds 20-40 MbpsReliable in San Juan but spotty outside$35 for 5GB LTE data, unlimited 3G after$15 for 60 minutes. $25 for unlimited calling to US$10 for unlimited texts to US21 days

Based on coverage and speeds, Claro or AT&T are likely the best options for tourists staying mostly in the San Juan area. T-Mobile could work for travelers sticking to the capital.

Unlock more insights on Mobile Operators in Puerto Rico: Which One is the Best?

II. Best San Juan SIM Cards and Cost

For travelers spending time just around San Juan, here are two recommended SIM cards and prices:

Claro – Claro SIM Card with 1 GB Data

  • Cost: $10 USD for 7 days
  • Inclusions:
    • 1 GB of 4G LTE data
    • Unlimited calls to Claro numbers
    • 100 minutes of calls to other local networks
  • Where to buy: Claro stores, kiosks at airport

AT&T – AT&T Prepaid SIM Card with 5 GB Data

  • Cost: $30 USD for 30 days
  • Inclusions:
    • 5 GB of 4G LTE data
    • Unlimited calls and texts to and within US
    • Unlimited texts worldwide
  • Where to buy: AT&T store, airport kiosks

These SIMs from Claro and AT&T provide decent amounts of high-speed data along with calling and texting benefits at reasonable prices. With either, you’ll stay conveniently connected throughout your time in San Juan.

III. Where to Buy a SIM Card in San Juan

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Visitors to San Juan can purchase a SIM card from a provider upon arrival or choose to get it once in the city. Here are the options:

1. Upon Arrival

  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport – There are Claro, AT&T, and T-Mobile kiosks past customs in the arrivals area where you can easily buy a SIM card.
  • Cruise Ports – If arriving by cruise ship to Old San Juan, walk to nearby Paseo de la Princesa where you’ll find Claro and AT&T stores.
  • Hotels – Many hotels sell SIM cards or can direct you to nearby stores to purchase one. Ask the front desk when you check-in.

Get the inside scoop on Where to Buy SIM Card at Luis Muñoz Marín Airport

2. In the City

All major providers have stores throughout San Juan:

  • Claro – Plaza Las Americas Mall, Plaza Centro Mall, Avenida Ponce de León
  • AT&T – Plaza Las Americas Mall, San Patricio Plaza, Roosevelt Avenue
  • T-Mobile – Plaza Las Americas Mall, Galeria San Patricio, Paseo de Diego

There are also independent resellers around town that offer SIMs from various networks. Look for signs reading “Telefonos Moviles” or “Comunicaciones.” Bring your passport to register the SIM.

IV. eSIM for Travelers to San Juan – a Smart Alternative

Traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico? Looking for a convenient and affordable way to stay connected while you explore the beautiful Caribbean island? An eSIM is a smart alternative to a physical SIM card that allows you to easily purchase and activate mobile plans directly from your device.

What is an eSIM?
An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM embedded directly into supported mobile devices, like many iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. With an eSIM, you don’t need a physical nano-SIM card – you can directly download and activate mobile plans from carriers directly from your device settings.

Why use an eSIM from

  • Hassle-free activation: No need to hunt for a carrier store or wait for a physical SIM to arrive. Plans can be purchased and activated instantly from your device.
  • Flexible plans: eSIM plans from international esim providers like allow you to choose flexible data packages valid for 7 or 15 days, so you only pay for what you need.
  • Local rates: eSIM plans provide data, calls and texts on the T-Mobile network at local Puerto Rican rates, which is much more affordable than roaming charges from your home provider.
  • Compatibility: All major flagship phones like iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel now support eSIM, so it works for most travelers.

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Puerto Rico eSIM 7 Days
Puerto Rico eSIM 7 Days
From $5.00
Puerto Rico e SIM 15 Days
Puerto Rico e SIM 15 Days
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V. Things to Prepare when Buying SIM card in San Juan

Things to Prepare when Buying SIM cards in Sofia

Purchasing a SIM card in San Juan is quick and straightforward, especially at airport kiosks. However, having these items prepared will make the process smoother:

1. Unlocked Phone

Your phone will need to be unlocked to use a foreign SIM card. Contact your home provider in advance to request your device be unlocked.

2. Passport

Bring your passport as you’ll need to show it to register the SIM card in your name as required by law.

3. Cash

Have cash on hand like USD or local currency. Many SIM kiosks don’t accept credit cards. ATMs are available at the airport.

4. PATI (Tax ID Number)

Some providers may ask for a Puerto Rico tax ID number (PATI). As a tourist, you likely won’t have this. Explain you’re a visitor and give your passport number instead.

5. Proof of Local Address

You may be asked to provide a local address. Your hotel address will suffice if asked when registering your SIM card. Arriving prepared with these documents and cash will help make obtaining a San Juan SIM card a breeze!

VI. Tips and Recommendations

Tips and Recommendations

Here are a few final tips for choosing and using a SIM card in San Juan:

  • Purchase your SIM card upon arrival at the airport to have connectivity right away throughout your stay.
  • Go for a major provider like Claro or AT&T that has strong coverage around San Juan. Avoid T-Mobile if venturing outside the capital.
  • Pick a prepaid SIM with at least 1-2 GB of data to cover maps, social media, texts, and light web browsing. Top up if needed.
  • Contact your provider to ensure your phone is unlocked. Also enable your phone’s eSIM if you prefer an eSIM for convenience.
  • Understand your SIM’s inclusions – some plans only cover calls or texts domestically or internationally.
  • Conserve data by connecting to free WiFi whenever possible around San Juan.
  • Keep your SIM card if returning to Puerto Rico within the validity period. Top it up to reuse.

Following these tips will guarantee you stay connected and make the most of your time in spectacular San Juan!

Reliable Data Plans for Exploring Puerto Rico


Which mobile operators can I buy a SIM card from in San Juan?

The main mobile operators in Puerto Rico present in San Juan are Claro, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Claro is the main local operator, while the others also operate networks in Puerto Rico as they do in the mainland US.

Where can I buy a Claro SIM card in San Juan?

Claro doesn’t officially sell SIM cards, but you can bring your own unlocked device to a Claro store in San Juan to get it activated on their network. They may charge a small fee. Stores can be found by searching online.

Do I need to show any documents to activate a Claro SIM?

When getting a device activated at Claro, you may need to show a valid photo ID like a passport or driver’s license. Copies are usually accepted.

Can I use my U.S. number in Puerto Rico?

If you have a U.S. number with a major carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint, you don’t need a new SIM or plan – your existing service will work in Puerto Rico with no roaming charges since it’s considered domestic travel. Only Verizon Prepaid requires a $5 per day TravelPass.

Will my non-U.S. phone work?

Claro and Sprint use GSM/UMTS (AT&T/T-Mobile compatible). Claro’s network will work with unlocked GSM phones. Sprint is CDMA but also uses LTE band 13 – compatibility depends on your specific phone model. Best to check on your provider’s website.

Can I get wifi calling on my Claro number outside Puerto Rico?

No, wifi calling only works within Claro’s Puerto Rico network. But your Claro number will work for calls/texts when roaming on other carriers in the US like AT&T at standard roaming rates.

VIII. Conclusion

A SIM card is an essential for enjoying your time in San Juan to the fullest. After arriving, head to a Claro or AT&T kiosk at the airport to purchase a prepaid SIM with data, calls and texts included. Topping up is easy if more data is needed.

With a local SIM in your unlocked phone, you can now map out sights, share photos, and stay in touch with loved ones back home without worrying about expensive roaming charges. Equipped with this guide, you can easily obtain a SIM in San Juan and focus on creating memorable moments in this incredible Caribbean destination.

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