How to Get Internet While Traveling to Colombia?

How to get internet in Colombia

Starting in 2024, telephone companies operating in this country are expected to begin implementing 5G technology. With this advance, mobile internet when traveling to Colombia will be much faster and will provide a better experience when browsing, uploading files or downloading them.

In this guide we are going to explain all the options that are available so that you can connect to the internet in Colombia. Each option has unique characteristics and requirements. No matter the type of trip you are taking to this country, you will surely find the option that best suits the device you want to connect to the internet.

Option 1. Buy online an eSIM for Colombia

The digitalization of services and electronic commerce make it possible to get internet to travel to Colombia easily and quickly. You can buy an eSIM online and in advance to get internet in Colombia, it is also possible to do so when you arrive at the destination and from anywhere.

The main requirement to buy an eSIM online is to have internet. Therefore, the ideal is to buy it before traveling. Among the stores that offer eSIM for Colombia are YeSIMMaya Mobile and MobiMatter. Each of them offer eSIM with data plans and number of days different from each other.

In order to use an eSIM for Colombia, you need to have a smartphone compatible with this technology. In each of the online stores mentioned above you will find a list of compatible devices.

Option 2. Carry a Colombian SIM card in your suitcase

In case your smartphone does not support eSIM cards, a physical SIM will also connect you to the internet on your trip to Colombia. You can get these cards online through stores like TravelSIM.

It is important that you make your purchase in advance so that you have enough time to receive it. Shipping usually takes between one to two weeks. It depends on the country you are in.

Option 3. Rent a portable WiFi with coverage in Colombia

A few years ago this option was one of the best. Portable WiFi is a device that emits a WiFi signal and allows you to connect to the Internet similar to how you do at home. It works through a SIM inside.

There are different online stores dedicated to renting portable WiFi for Colombia. Two of them are TravelWiFi and MioWiFi. Both offer unlimited internet connection in Colombia and the possibility of connecting up to 5 devices, whether smartphones, PCs or any device that can connect to a WiFi network.

The device rental process can be done online. In a few days you will receive the device at home before traveling to Colombia.

The inconvenience or disadvantage of this option is found in the shipping process and the conditions of use. For example, in case of loss of the device, you must pay a penalty to the company that rented it to you. The same thing happens if you are late with the return.

Option 4. Get an eSIM at a Customer Service Center

So far we have mentioned the most comfortable methods that provide you with security when traveling. If none of the three options fit your requirements, you also have the option to search when you arrive at your destination in Colombia.

When you arrive in Colombia you can get an eSIM, although most Colombian operators only allow purchasing eSIM cards in postpaid plans and with a contract. Availability is also often limited in some cities and stores. Therefore, for now it is not a recommended option and it is not certain that you will find it.

Option 5. Buy a prepaid SIM card in stores or authorized points in Colombia

Unlike eSIMs, SIM cards from Colombian mobile operators can be obtained in multiple places, from Customer Service Centers to technology stores and supermarkets. You can get prepaid SIM cards from Claro, Movistar, Tigo and Wom. After purchasing them, it is necessary to recharge a data package to start using their services.

The most recognized mobile operators are Claro Colombia (also called Comcel) and Movistar Colombia (Colombia Telecomunicaciones).

Option 6. Use your operator’s data roaming

Based on the plan or contract you have with your operator, they can enable the service to continue using your data when traveling to Colombia. This option is convenient and can be a lifesaver if for some reason any of the previous options fail you.

Its main disadvantage is the price and restrictions. Some companies charge about 10 USD for each day of internet access in Colombia and provide a low amount of data.

If you need to activate it, you can enter the account you have registered with your operator and enable the service. Most operators usually activate it automatically when they detect that you connect to mobile networks abroad. At that time you receive an SMS or message about the rates.

After having activated the service with the operator, you need to activate data roaming on your smartphone so that your device can connect to the internet.

Option 7. Connect to public WiFi networks in Colombia

Another lifeline for connecting to the internet in Colombia are the WiFi networks that you can find in different public places. They are available in cafes, shopping centers, parks, airports, among other places.

This option is free and offers you an unlimited amount of data, however, the quality of the service is not guaranteed and its availability is totally uncertain. At some points it is usually necessary to register to access the internet.

The main disadvantage is insecurity. Being public and often unprotected, anyone can connect and try to steal the data of people who connect to that network. If you have no other alternative in the area, we recommend that you use them with caution and avoid entering passwords or keys.