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SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

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Baltimore, MD
posts: 19
reviews: 1
SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

We have an unlocked GSM phone. Is it better to purchase a SIMS card from from the Costa Rica phone co @ the airport, or rent a phone in order to be able to communicate (talk/text) with other members of our group while there?

Miami Beach, Florida
posts: 63
1. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

Hi twotropicaltravelers

It is better to purchase a SIMS card from from the Costa Rica phone company at the airport, or in Liberia. That is what we did during our last trip: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k6120…

Costa Rica
posts: 21,886
reviews: 26
2. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

I agree. Much cheaper to just use your own phone and buy a SIM card. Keep in mind that 5,000 colones (around $10) will buy you 80 minutes of calls.

You can buy a SIM card in the SJO airport before you exit. If you fly into Liberia LIR, there is no kiosk at the moment, but you can buy the SIM cards at many places all over the country. Supermarkets, little shops -- everywhere. Just look for the frog graphic and the name "Kolbi."

Chandler, Arizona
posts: 173
reviews: 6
3. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

I've never swapped out SIM cards while traveling abroad usually communicated with texts. How does it work exactly. Do you have a different phone number? If family in the states wanted to contact us, could they? my wife and I both have phones so could convert one and leave one as is. Thanks for helping with my lack of understanding.

Dave

Edited: 10:04 am, February 18, 2013
Costa Rica
posts: 21,886
reviews: 26
4. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

When you get your SIM card, you will be given a Costa Rican phone number. Note that Costa Rican phone numbers have 8 digits rather than 7. Your cell phone number will begin with "8." (Landline numbers begin with "2")

Once you get your SIM card and your new number, just call or text your family back home and let them know the number. Both calls in Costa Rica and international calls are inexpensive. If your family doesn't have a calling plan with an international option, they can buy an international phone card.

No need for two phones! Just one more thing to worry about......

Edited: 10:36 am, February 18, 2013
Miami, Florida
posts: 40
reviews: 2
5. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

Use a pre-paid SIM card with your own phone, that's the way to go, you won't be paying extra, you'll just pay what you need to. If you run out of money you can "recharge" pretty much ANYWHERE, and it just saves you a lot of hassle and money, if you got unlocked gsm phones, a prepaid SIM card is the best possible way. (You can find them ANYWHERE too!)

Chandler, Arizona
posts: 173
reviews: 6
6. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

Thanks Hattie, sometimes I overthink things.

Baltimore, MD
posts: 19
reviews: 1
7. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

Thanks to everyone for confirming what I thought based on previous posts to this forum. We leave Saturday-our fourth visit there, but first one with grandchildren!

Toronto
posts: 940
8. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

I just got back from Costa Rica, and for the first time used a local SIM card. We ordered it in advance from Costa Rica Cellular Connection (www.costaricacellularconnection.com) and had it delivered to our hotel. Normally, they will mail it to your home, but we left it too late and didn't have enough time.

All I can say is, I will never do anything else ever again. I picked it up at the hotel desk, swapped it into my phone and within seconds got a text message (in Spanish) letting me know that all was working and my account balance. CRCC sends you everything you need to know in a .PDF, with all instructions (in English), your phone number, your PIN, etc. It couldn't be easier. They have a toll free number for the US and Canada to order and for any questions.

I used it in my Samsung Galaxy S3 and used the phone as a hotspot for my iPad. Just to test it out, I also popped it into the iPad. Worked perfectly.

For $18.99, I got all the talk time I could ever have used, plus UNLIMITED DATA for 15 days.

I made one long distance call to U.S. for 7.5 minutes, and my balance dropped from 7,000 colones to 6,697.72 colones. About 60 cents! In reality, it was about $2.60, but Kolbi gave me 1,000 colones as a bonus for some unknown reason. In either case, it's very cheap.

Oh, did I mention 4G access?

I give CRCC the highest marks and will use them for all of my future trips.

Getting the card in advance saves time when you arrive, and for those who are technologically challenged, you can get it all installed and configured (when you geta data plan) before you leave home, so when you arrive you just have to turn on your phone.

If you have a Android phone and you are less than fluent in Spanish, get a free app called Translate. It will translate the Kolbi text messages for you.

Edited: 12:18 pm, February 19, 2013
SE Wisconsin
posts: 16
reviews: 57
9. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

I completely agree with the poster from Toronto. It's wonderful to have the equipment ready ahead of time in case there any questions or problems. We also had a great experience with Costa Rica Cellular Connection and would highly recommend them.

Williamston, North...
posts: 17
reviews: 27
10. Re: SIMS card purchase or cell phone rental?

I am confused and technolgy challenged but I to have a Samsung G3 and was told by my cell phone co. that I would not be able to use my phone in CR. I have looked into purchasing a TRAC phone and was told by their 1 800 number to wait and activate once I arrive in CR I think I need to give them zip code?. Please advise me what to do I just want alittle something to use in emergency