Puerto Rico is a beautiful Caribbean island known for its sandy beaches, colonial architecture, and vibrant culture. As a popular tourist destination, many travelers visit Puerto Rico each year. Using a local Puerto Rico SIM card for your mobile phone is the best way to stay connected affordably during your trip. This guide will provide updated details on Puerto Rico SIM card options, prices, and where to purchase.

puerto rico sim card

I. Should I Buy a New SIM Card for My Trip to Puerto Rico?

My Trip to Puerto Rico

Avoid High Roaming Charges

Using a local SIM instead of roaming avoids high roaming rates from your home carrier that can burn through your budget quickly. The savings more than offset the small cost of a local SIM.

The prepaid plans offered by local carriers like Claro and Liberty are very reasonably priced, often much cheaper than roaming charges from your home carrier. You can get a good data package for as little as $10-15.

Better coverage

Local networks have invested heavily in building infrastructure across Puerto Rico, including more remote areas. Their coverage will be more robust than roaming on a U.S. network. This ensures reliable connectivity wherever you travel.

Enhanced Travel Experience

Being able to use a Puerto Rican mobile network gives you a more seamless experience like a local. You can use your phone hassle-free for navigation, translation, booking taxis etc.

II. Puerto Rico SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

Puerto Rico SIM Card Types
Prepaid SIM CardseSIMs
Require physical nano/micro SIM card that must be swapped into phoneDigital SIM profile installed directly on phone, no physical card swap required
Usually have more data package options at lower price points than eSIMsMay have fewer data package options or higher prices than physical SIMs
Must visit local store to purchase and activate SIM cardCan sign up and activate online before travel for convenience on shorter trips
Simple setup just by swapping SIM cardCompatible with newer iPhone models and some Android phones with eSIM capability
Suitable for longer vacations where exploring local stores is convenientMore convenient than physical SIM for airport layovers or short trips where you don’t want to source a local SIM
Inexpensive data packages available directly from local providersDon’t have to carry or source physical SIM card during travel

In summary, prepaid nano or micro-SIMs are the most popular choice for tourists with unlocked phones visiting Puerto Rico. However, eSIMs present a solid alternative, especially for short term travel on the island.

Evaluate various mobile operators through: Mobile Operators in Puerto Rico: Which One is the Best? to find the best choices.

III. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Puerto Rico?

Consider these typical mobile data usages when determining how much you’ll need:

  • Light usage – for simple maps/translating, some browsing: 3-5GB
  • Medium usage – occasional video/music streaming, sharing pics, ride-shares: 10-15GB
  • Heavy usage – frequent video streaming, high photo sharing: 25-40+GB

Most Puerto Rico SIM card packages range from 1 GB to 40 GB over durations from 7 to 30 days. Unless you’ll be making heavy video calls home or streaming movies daily, 10 to 15 GB tends to suffice for average tourist usage over a standard week-long or two week trip. Monitoring your data speeds and limiting large downloads when not on WiFi helps minimize usage too.

Ultimately the amount of mobile data needed comes down to each traveler’s expected usage. But in most cases, around 10 GB for a one to two week stay provides adequate connectivity in beautiful Puerto Rico!

IV. How Much Does a Puerto Rico SIM Card Cost?

Puerto Rico SIM Card Cost

Puerto Rico SIM card costs depend on the data amounts included and validity period. But generally you can find prepaid nano and micro-SIMs for between $10 to $50 USD which include calling minutes, texts, and 1 GB up to 40 GB of 4G LTE data use over a 7 to 30 day validity period.

Here is a general overview of Puerto Rico prepaid tourist SIM card package pricing:

  • Basic (1-5GB data) – prices start around $10 USD
  • Standard (10-15GB data) – average $20-30 USD
  • Heavy Usage (25GB+) – around $40-50+ USD

When calculating total cost, remember to factor in any SIM card fees which average around $5 USD in addition to the data package rates above. Some providers, like Liberty Puerto Rico, frequently offer free SIM cards or discounted starter packs around $1 making them very budget friendly.

So in summary, Puerto Rico SIM cards present excellent value with packs offering sufficient data starting under $20 USD for a one to four week trip on the island.

V. Puerto Rico eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

As an alternative to physical nano/micro-SIM cards, travelers can instead use eSIMs while vacationing in Puerto Rico. eSIMs function as digital SIM profiles installed directly on your phone without a physical card to insert.

Some benefits of using a Puerto Rico eSIM include:

  • No need to source and swap a nano/micro-SIM
  • Can sign-up conveniently before departure
  • Supported on many newer phone models

When searching for a Puerto Rico eSIM, the main option will be esimpuertorico.com which provides unlimited data access through their virtual SIM profile.

DayPass Pricing:

  • $3 Daily (unlimited data)
  • $8 for 3 Days \n* $18 Weekly (unlimited data)

So while slightly pricier than prepaid SIMs with a set data allotment, Puerto Rico eSIMs offer an easy connectivity option for shorter trips or airport layovers without dealing with finding a physical SIM card on the island.

Reliable Data Plans for Exploring Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico eSIM 7 Days
Puerto Rico eSIM 7 Days
From $5.00
Puerto Rico eSIM 15 Days
Puerto Rico eSIM 15 Days
From $8.90

VI. Where to Buy a Puerto Rico SIM Card?

You’ll find Puerto Rico SIM cards for sale both in-store across the island and online for delivery prior to your travels:

In Puerto Rico Stores

t-mobile stores

If you have an unlocked phone, you can conveniently purchase prepaid SIM cards from one of Puerto Rico’s many providers at retail outlets across the islands including:

  • Claro
  • Liberty Puerto Rico
  • Open Mobile
  • Boost Mobile

Store locations to buy SIMs across Puerto Rico include:

  • Airport kiosks upon arrival
  • Supermarkets (Walmart, Kmart, SuperMax)
  • Mall retailers (Claro, Open Mobile)
  • Independent phone shops

In-store SIMs average around $10-$20 USD for packages with calling, texting and 8 to 15 GB of data for a 30 day validity period. Just swap into unlocked phone and activate using passport for ID.

Learn more about how to buy SIM cards while traveling in the Puerto Rico: Where to Buy SIM Card at Luis Muñoz Marín Airport

Online Purchase/Delivery

Another option is to order a Puerto Rico SIM card online for delivery before you depart or to your accommodation upon arrival.

Purchasing online provides convenience without needing to search local stores. Just ensure your phone is network unlocked before ordering any prepaid SIM.

Leave your physical SIM behind, travel light with a digital SIM from esimpuertorico.com.

VII. How to Use Puerto Rico SIM Cards

Using a Puerto Rico SIM card is very straightforward on most unlocked phone models:

  1. Secure SIM – If you purchased locally, secure either a standard, micro or nano-sized SIM paying attention to what fits your phone’s tray. Or if using eSIM, setup cloud profile.
  2. Insert card (physical SIM only) – Following your device guidance and power off phone fully. Then open SIM tray gently with pin and insert card replacing any existing SIM. Reinsert tray and power phone back on.
  3. Connect – Upon restart, phone will read the SIM and carrier branding display. Connect via mobile data automatically or carrier’s local access number.
  4. Activate – Launch browser which should open payment portal to register your passport # and purchase data package under tourists section with payment details. Activate data bundle and restart device once again.

You’re all set! The Puerto Rico SIM card should now provide connectivity during your travels. Monitor data speeds in your device settings and use WiFi for large downloads to conserve allotment when available.

That’s all it takes to start enjoying your Puerto Rico SIM card’s easy, affordable connectivity while avoiding costly roaming fees abroad on trip.

Learn more: Using A Cell Phone In Puerto Rico – How Can I Do It?

VIII. Best Mobile Operators for Puerto Rico SIM Cards

Best Mobile Operators

Puerto Rico has three main mobile network operators providing prepaid SIM cards suitable for tourists:

1. Liberty Puerto Rico

  • Covers 99% of population with 4G LTE
  • Inexpensive SIM card options ($1 & free SIMs)
  • Packages from 5GB data for 7 days
  • Wide retail availability

2. Open Mobile

  • Reliable service and fast LTE speeds
  • Affordable data-focused plans
  • eSIM Compatible
  • Easy online signup

3. Claro Puerto Rico

  • Largest coverage and retail stores
  • Physical and eSIM options
  • Packs from 3GB over 30 days
  • Reliable service reputation

While each carrier has reliable coverage and value priced options, Open Mobile frequently ranks as a top choice thanks to excellent network quality and affordable prepaid SIM pricing for tourists. But you’ll find convenient connectivity across Puerto Rico with any major provider you choose locally or online.

IX. Tips for Saving Data for Puerto Rico SIM Card

To reduce mobile data consumption from your Puerto Rico SIM and stay under package allotments, follow these handy tips:

  • Connect devices to free WiFi whenever available at hotels, cafes etc to offload usage
  • Set email, social media, and other apps to only update when on WiFi in settings
  • Disable auto-play video and music streaming over connections
  • Download offline Google maps to limit navigation data usage
  • Switch on Airplane Mode when not actively needing internet access
  • Close browser tabs and apps fully when not in active use
  • Consider an unlimited data eSIM if very high usage expected

Saving mobile data is important for prepaid SIM travelers not wanting to purchase multiple data packages. Following the tips above allows you to easily control consumption while staying conveniently connected in stunning Puerto Rico.


Do I need to unlock my phone to use a Puerto Rico SIM card?

Yes, your device will need to be network unlocked by your home carrier before inserting and using another provider’s SIM abroad. Contact your provider to arrange an unlock prior to travel.

Can I use a Puerto Rico SIM in other Caribbean countries?

No, Puerto Rico SIM cards only provide service locally on the island itself. For connectivity in other Caribbean destinations you would need to purchase another nearby country’s local SIM.

Is registration required to activate Puerto Rico SIM card?

Yes, you typically must provide your passport number when registering a new prepaid SIM purchase in Puerto Rico through provider’s online portal.

Do Puerto Rico SIM cards work with iPhones?

Yes, newer model iPhones fully support using prepaid nano-SIMs and/or eSIM profiles from Puerto Rican providers while traveling. Just ensure your iPhone is unlocked domestically first.

Can I use a Puerto Rico SIM card long term?

Puerto Rico SIM cards are primarily geared toward short term tourist use on the island. However, some carriers like Liberty PR do offer monthly plan options that could work long term if required.

XI. Final Words

A local Puerto Rico SIM card is a must-have travel accessory to stay affordably connected and avoid painful roaming fees during your Caribbean getaway. With excellent prepaid SIM options available both locally and online, getting setup with calling, texts and ample data is a breeze. Just follow the guidance above to choose the right plan, pickup a nano/micro-SIM or eSIM, and activate hassle-free connectivity on your unlocked devices while exploring stunning Puerto Rico. Enjoy worry-free mobile access and enhanced experiences on the island with your new Puerto Rico SIM!