Prepaid SIM cards are now available in Costa Rica, though you will need an unlocked phone with the right frequency.  Data plans are available as...

What Bands Work?

GSM phones must have a 1800 mhz band.  3G phones must have a 850 mhz band.

My Phone Does Not Meet the Required Bandwidth.  What Can I Do?

A quick search on Amazon, Best Buy or Overstock will give you more results than you can possibly have time to sift through.  Phones can be bought starting at around $30, which is a small investment when compared with roaming charges.

How to Buy a SIM Card in Costa Rica

Prepaid SIM cards are available for 2,500 – 5,000 or 10,000 colones (roughly $5, $10 or $20).  They are available at the SJO airport ICE office, any ICE office across the country or at authorized locations.  Many stores are authorized, so you should not run into any difficulty finding a store that sells them.

Refilling ICE Prepaid SIM Cards

Refilling is easy to do online.  The only challenge is the website is in Spanish.  This can be overcome by using Google Translate or Google Chrome as a web browser, which will automatically translate for you.

What if I Want to Use My Phone and Provider (NOT ICE)

You should contact your service provider and ask what your plan will cover.  Keep in mind anything data related, roaming charges can quickly add up to bills of hundreds of dollars.


Internet is readily available at most hotels.  Nearly all towns have internet cafes.  You can save a bundle on international calls by creating an account on  Most internet cafes will already have the program installed on their computers.


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