SIM Card for Your Mexico Vacation – The 2024 Guide

SIM Card

If, like me, you want to stay connected during your stay in Mexico, I’ll show you here all the best deals to easily get a SIM card!

Buying a prepaid SIM card for Mexico is often much more advantageous than using your original plan while roaming.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find all the up-to-date information on the best places to buy a SIM card in Mexico.

You’ll discover which is the best operator available in Mexico and in the Yucatan Peninsula, if it’s possible to buy e-SIM cards before your trip, as well as the best prices to stay connected in Mexico!

Why have internet in Mexico?

Having a SIM card upon your arrival in Mexico helps facilitate your entry into this new country. Indeed, having GPS to find your way to your hotel is often very useful.

Airbnb hosts may have sent you access instructions for the accommodation…

So, I always make it a habit to get a SIM card when I arrive in a new country.

Once on-site, you can use Google Maps to find your way, check restaurant reviews, book a taxi, and schedule excursions…

In case of an emergency, you’ll quickly have access to a phone to contact emergency services or seek useful information.

🌐 Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi connections in hotels and restaurants are rarely secure.

If you need to access sensitive information (bank accounts, etc.), it’s better to use a SIM card rather than a public Wi-Fi connection.

👉 Two ways to get a SIM card for your trip to Mexico:

  • Before your trip by ordering online in a few minutes.
  • Once in Mexico at a local store.

I’ll provide you with all the details and my recommendations below!

Buying an e-SIM card for Mexico in advance

If you wish to plan ahead for your SIM card, it’s possible to purchase an e-SIM card usable in Mexico.

An e-SIM card is a digital (virtual) SIM card; you don’t need a physical SIM card to detect phone networks.

You must have an e-SIM compatible phone to take advantage of this, which is the case for the vast majority of phones from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, as well as many others.

The advantages of a Mexico e-SIM card are:

  • ✅ Activation simplicity: You can buy it in advance and activate it in just two clicks on your phone as soon as you land.
  • ✅ Unlimited data plan: You’ll be able to browse in Mexico without worrying about exceeding your data limit.
  • ✅ Keep your original SIM card: An e-SIM card is a virtual SIM card, so you can use it while keeping your regular operator’s SIM card.

The major advantage of buying an e-SIM card before your trip is its simplicity; you’ll have it in just two minutes after a few clicks.

It’s a virtual SIM card, so its installation is very easy. You can buy it before your departure and use it once you arrive, right after getting off the plane!

👉 I recommend the options from Holafly, the leading e-SIM company offering reasonably priced e-SIMs.

Holafly Mexico

This way, you can obtain an unlimited plan of internet data for a specified duration.

These e-SIM cards are only valid in Mexico and provide only mobile data for unlimited internet access.

You can also use WhatsApp to make calls and send messages.

Holafly plans
  • 5 days: $19
  • 7 days: $27
  • 10 days: $34
  • 15 days: $47
  • 20 days: $57
  • 30 days: $69
  • 60 days: $87
  • 90 days: $99

Is my phone compatible with e-SIM cards?

Most recent phones are compatible with e-SIMs. Here are some compatible phones:

✅ Apple Brand:

  • iPhone 15 (mini, pro & pro max)
  • iPhone 14 (mini, pro & pro max)
  • iPhone 13 (mini, pro & pro max)
  • iPhone 12 (mini, pro & pro max)
  • iPhone 11 (mini, pro & pro max)
  • iPhone XS, XS Max & XR
  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Pro (3, 4 & 5)
  • iPad (7, 8 & 9)

✅ Samsung Brand:

  • Galaxy S23 (S23+, S23 Ultra)
  • Galaxy S22 (S22+, S22 Ultra)
  • Galaxy S21 (S21, S21 Ultra)
  • Galaxy S20 (S20, S20 Ultra)
  • Galaxy Note 20
  • Galaxy Z (Z Flip 4, Z Flip 3, Z Flip 5G, Z Flip, Z Fold, Z Fold 2, Z Fold 3, and Z Fold 4)
  • Galaxy Note 20 ultra
  • Galaxy A54

✅ Google Brand:

  • Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, 3A, 3A XL
  • Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, 4A, 4 XL
  • Pixel 5, 5A
  • Pixel 6, 6A, 6 Pro
  • Pixel 7, 7 Pro

✅ Huawei Brand:

  • P40, P40 Pro, P40 Mate, P40 Pro+
  • P50
  • Honor Magic 5 pro
  • Honor Magic 4 pro

✅ Sony Brand:

  • Xperia 10 III
  • Sony Xperia 10 IV
  • Sony Xperia 1 IV

✅ Oppo Brand:

Find X3 Pro
Find X5 Pro
Find N2 Flip
OnePlus 11

✅ Xiaomi Brand:

  • 12T Pro

👉 This list is not exhaustive and may expand rapidly. If your phone is not listed, you can check its compatibility by following these steps:

Go to Settings → Connections → SIM card manager.
If you see the option “Add cellular plan,” then your device is eSIM compatible.

Buying a SIM card in Mexico

The second way to get a SIM card in Mexico is to buy one once you’re there.

It’s easy to buy a SIM card and enjoy 4G/5G internet in Mexico. Unlike many countries, you don’t need to register with the operator using your passport.

What is the best prepaid carrier in Mexico?

There are several telecommunications companies in Mexico. The main ones are Telcel, AT&T, and Movistar.

I recommend the telecommunications company Telcel. It’s the most well-known in Mexico with the best coverage.

In the Yucatan Peninsula, you’ll have 4G coverage in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Akumal, Valladolid, Mérida, and a large part of Tulum.

Where to buy your SIM card once in Mexico?

Cancun Airport

There’s no official store to buy a SIM card at the airport. Some resellers charge excessive prices for selling a SIM card.

Cancun Airport offers free Wi-Fi.

Take advantage of it and wait until you’re in the city or ask your driver to stop at an Oxxo store on the way to buy your SIM card.

Oxxo Store

To buy a SIM card, head to an Oxxo store, there are thousands of them in the region, almost on every corner as the Mexicans say.

Oxxo stores offer SIM cards from the company Oxxo Cel. This is Oxxo’s virtual operator using the Telcel network.

Oxxo stores also sell SIM cards from the company TELCEL.

SIM Card

Oxxo Cel Plans

Ask for an “Oxxo Cel” SIM card at the checkout of an Oxxo store. The SIM card itself costs $29 MXN.

The SIM card must be purchased with a 50 MXN recharge.

So, you’ll have a total of 79 MXN to pay at the checkout.

The 50 MXN recharge allows you to enjoy 1.2 GB of internet + 1 GB of social media for 1 week.

Once this recharge is used up, you can top up your line by visiting an Oxxo store with one of the following 4G plans:

Oxxo Cel
Oxxo Cel
Oxxo Cel
  • 10 pesos MXN: 50 MB for 1 day
  • 30 pesos MXN: 150 MB for 3 days
  • 50 pesos MXN: 1.2 GB for 7 days
  • 80 pesos MXN: 1 GB for 13 days
  • 100 pesos MXN: 2.6 GB for 15 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, and Messenger
  • 150 pesos MXN: 4 GB for 26 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Messenger, and Instagram
  • 200 pesos MXN: 6 GB for 30 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Messenger, and Instagram

You can also buy a 5G plan :

Oxxo Cel
  • 300 pesos MXN: 8 GB for 30 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Messenger, Instagram, and TikTok
  • 400 pesos MXN: 10 GB for 30 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Messenger, Instagram, and TikTok
  • 500 pesos MXN: 12 GB for 30 days + Unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook, X, Messenger, Instagram, and TikTok

💬 Unlimited Social Media

Plans starting from 100 pesos MXN allow unlimited browsing on social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, X, and Messenger.

Instagram is unlimited on plans starting from 150 pesos MXN.

TikTok is unlimited on plans starting from 300 pesos MXN.

With these plans, you also have unlimited calls and SMS to Mexican, American, and Canadian numbers.

For others, use WhatsApp, which is included unlimitedly with Oxxo Cel plans.

Once the plan is finished, you can go back to an OXXO store to recharge with the plan you want, simply by providing the phone number assigned to you when you purchased the SIM card.

Buying a Telcel SIM card in Mexico

To purchase a Telcel SIM card, visit one of the many Oxxo convenience stores. They are also available at Telcel’s official stores and at numerous resale points.

Telcel offers various prepaid plans with different amounts of mobile internet data and varying validity periods.

📱 Unlimited Social Media

Telcel’s Amigos Sin Limite plans include unlimited access to social media platforms through applications like X, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat.

amigos sin limite

I can recommend the following plans, which include unlimited social media and unlimited calls & SMS to Mexico, the United States, and Canada:

  • Amigos Sin Limite 100: 1.3 GB valid for 15 days
  • Amigos Sin Limite 150: 2 GB valid for 25 days
  • Amigos Sin Limite 200: 3 GB valid for 30 days
  • Amigos Sin Limite 300: 4 GB valid for 30 days
  • Amigos Sin Limite 500: 6 GB valid for 30 days

You can find these plans on the Telcel website.

To recharge your SIM card, you can visit any Oxxo store, provide your phone number, and choose the plan of your choice.

Telcel 150
Telcel 200

Buying a AT&T SIM card in Mexico

To buy an AT&T SIM card, visit one of the operator’s stores.

Prepaid plans include data for watching videos as well as unlimited social media.

Visit the AT&T website for more information.

The main prepaid plans offered by AT&T include unlimited calls & SMS plus:

  • 50 MXN: 500 MB for 5 days
  • 100 MXN: 1.5 GB for 14 days
  • 150 MXN: 4.6 GB for 25 days
  • 200 MXN: 6 GB for 30 days
  • 300 MXN: 9 GB for 30 days
Plans AT&T

Buying a Movistar SIM card in Mexico

To purchase a Movistar SIM card, you can visit one of their stores or you can find SIM cards and top-up vouchers in all Oxxo convenience stores, which are located on almost every street corner.

Movistar also offers prepaid plans with unlimited social media. The main prepaid plans offered by Movistar include unlimited calls & SMS, plus:

  • 50 MXN: 500 MB for 7 days
  • 80 MXN: 2 GB for 12 days
  • 100 MXN: 2 GB for 15 days
  • 150 MXN: 3.5 GB for 26 days
  • 200 MXN: 5 GB for 30 days
  • 300 MXN: 8 GB for 30 days
  • 500 MXN: 14 GB for 30 days

For more information, visit the Movistar website.

Plans Movistar
Plans Movistar

Network Coverage of Local Operators

The three operators offer good network coverage in major cities. However, once you leave the cities, the signal may quickly drop.

Is there 5G in Mexico?

The deployment of the 5G network is underway in Mexico. The three operators are focusing on major cities to deploy this network.

Currently, the only operator offering 5G coverage in the Yucatan Peninsula is Telcel. 5G is available in downtown Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

5G Telcel coverage

4G Coverage

Mexican telecommunications operators provide maps showing 4G network coverage throughout the country.

Here are the coverage maps for the entire country and the Yucatan Peninsula:

Telcel

Telcel Coverage in Mexico:

Mexico Telcel coverage

Telcel Coverage in the Yucatan Peninsula:

Yucatan Telcel coverage
AT&T

AT&T Coverage in Mexico:

Mexico AT&T coverage

AT&T Coverage in the Yucatan Peninsula:

Yucatan AT&T coverage
Movistar

Movistar Coverage in Mexico:

Mexico Movistar coverage

Movistar Coverage in the Yucatan Peninsula:

Yucatan Movistar coverage
Summary of Operator Coverages

4G coverage in Mexico is very good in cities and tourist areas for all operators.

Outside these areas, Telcel has the best performance.

In the Yucatan Peninsula, all three operators perform reasonably well, although Telcel has the best coverage outside of cities.

Tulum has a unique characteristic in the Yucatan. While the downtown area is well covered, the hotel zone, with its eco-chic spirit, aims to be disconnected, and the network there is very poor, if not nonexistent, especially in the southern part.

If you plan to stay connected and reside in the hotel zone of Tulum, inquire about the quality of the Wi-Fi at your hotel in Tulum.

My Experience with SIM Cards in Mexico

❤️ My Experience

I myself opted for Telcel, which offers the best network coverage in the Yucatan Peninsula.

This operator is ideal if you often venture outside major cities.

With the “Amigos sin Limite” plan, social media usage via apps is unlimited, which is very convenient for posting Instagram stories or chatting with loved ones abroad on WhatsApp.

👉 To Summarize!

Two ways to buy a SIM card for Mexico:

  • Ordering in advance online

Order your Mexico e-SIM now!

  • Buying once on-site:

Local operators: Oxxo Cel, Telcel, Movistar, or AT&T

Is WhatsApp available in Mexico?

You can contact your loved ones for free using the WhatsApp application from Mexico.

You can connect to any Wi-Fi network and call your family or friends for free via the app.

Also, know that Oxxo Cel, Telcel, AT&T, and Movistar all include unlimited WhatsApp messaging.

🗺️ How to Use Waze in Mexico for My Road Trip?

If, like me, you plan to visit Mexico, especially on a Yucatan road trip, you may wonder if Waze is available in Mexico. The answer is YES!

Waze is indeed a very useful GPS app that indicates disruptions and fairly accurate travel times.

However, you need to be connected to the internet to have this information available… At least, at the time of route calculation.

This means that if you leave an area covered by the network, you will still be guided by the GPS, which will have loaded all the offline guidance information and maps.

Which Operator to Choose for a Road Trip?

If you plan a road trip in the Yucatan, Telcel (or Oxxo Cel) is the operator with the best coverage in the region.

I recommend this operator over AT&T or Movistar.

road trip

Credit Skype

If you want to call a landline or mobile number outside of Mexico, USA or Canada, it will not be possible to use your local SIM card purchased in Mexico.

Indeed, on these cards, only calls & SMS to Mexico, the United States, or Canada are unlimited.

Of course, you can use WhatsApp if your recipient also uses this app.

But if you want to call anumber over the telephone network, the cheapest option will be to use Skype software.

You can buy a consumption credit of $5 or $10 and then call directly a landline or mobile number not connected to the Internet.

Having Internet Without a SIM Card in Mexico

If, after all these tips, you don’t want to invest in a SIM card, know that it is possible to access the internet for free in many places.

Almost all hotels offer free Wi-Fi to their guests.

However, know that the reception varies depending on the distance from your room to the Wi-Fi router. For maximum power, go near the reception desk!

Restaurants and cafes also often offer free Wi-Fi to their customers.

If you are a Digital Nomad, you will find it easy to find cafes in major cities where you can stay for a few hours if you consume a drink or meal on-site.

☕ Working at the Café

During my travels, I love going to cafes to spend a few hours working.

working in café
5/5 - (2 votes)
Sian Kann Tours