by: Robelyn Martinez Yambao
I am here to share today an easy steps in activating sim cards in Costa Rica. For foreigners who wanna use Costa Rican number in calling, texting and internet, you can buy sim card anytime. All you need is your money, passport and your unlocked phone.
Why they need your passport? For ticos, they use cedula number. That is the 10 digits number from their local ID. Since you are a foreigner and you don't have cedula number, passport is your ID number. My passport number is only 9 digits but the first and last digits are letters. How about your passport number, how many digits do you have? :)
Some phones from USA are not unlocked yet. My Philippine phone is already unlocked. That means your phone is an open line, you can use your phone with any sim card from around the world. If you are not sure that your phone is unlocked, visit your network provider to check your phone so they can help you unlock the phone. There are technicians here but service fee is higher than expected and sometimes they can't do it. There are also phones that are not open line so, check before you travel.
Where To Buy Sim Card?
You can buy anywhere at electronic shop, grocery store, convenient store, cellphone accessories, etc. What I've tried so far are Claro and Movistar. I don't need internet, I just want to use local number for text and call such as emergency use in local agencies like clinic, hospital and embassies. I just use internet at home and install whatsapp messenger for texting and calling Costa Rican friends. You will need to buy load to use it in calling, texting and internet. You can buy like 1k, 2k, 5k, 10k colones up to you how often you use the service and how much you consume the load.
How To Activate The Sim Card?
I bought Claro Sim card at Claro shop so, the staff helped me to activate it for me. I gave my phone and passport to the salesman and he encoded my information in their computer. I also bought 1k load after that, just pay him and they will transfer load to your number.
The second one was Movistar. I just bought this simcard at the grocery store only 500 colones. Then, I just followed the instruction at the website to activate my number. Here is the instruction:
Activar tu línea Movistar Prepago, es sumamente fácil, por lo que podés enviar un SMS al 1693 con la palabra: ACTIVAR (espacio) número de identificación (espacio) nombre (espacio) apellido.
Translation: Send a text message to 1693 with the word ACTIVAR (space) identification number (space) First Name (space) Last name.
After sending the message, you will receive a text message from 1693 saying: "Su nuevo numero es 12345678" translation "Your number is 12345678". Another message from Movistar saying: "Le informamos que su numero de telefono ha pasado a ser 12345678"
Then, after few minutes Movistar will send welcome message "Welcome to Movistar! Enjoy the experience with the best network in Costa Rica, the fastest internet and the promotions that you like the most! +info www.movistar.cr".
Okay guys that's all for today! I hope this is helpful for foreigners who are planning to visit Costa Rica. If you wanna know how to open bank account in Banco De Costa Rica visit my article link here: How To Open An Account At Banco De Costa Rica. Ciao!
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.