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Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

florida
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Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Does anyone know what type of cell phone I will be able to use while in Costa Rica? I will use mainly for calls within that country. I heard you can buy a sim card at a convenience store there and it will allow your phone to work if you have a phone that will use a sim card. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you

Mission, Canada
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1. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

I recommend you Google "Costa Rica cellphones" as I got a lot of helpful information, such as the following.

ticotimes.com/costa-rica/cell-phone-service-…

Gambrills, MD
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2. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Here's a short explanation of the article mentioned above.

You have two basic choices: use your current phone or get a different one. To use your current phone, it must be a GSM tri-band or quad-band. Basically this means your phone has to be from AT&T or T-Mobile. Also your phone has to be UNLOCKED by the provider, so you can use another company's SIM card. If you've had the phone a while you can ask the provider to unlock it for you. There are also places online that will unlock your phone for about $25.

If your phone isn't GSM or isn't unlocked, then you need to get a different one. This is actually quite simple. If you are going to travel again at some point, you will probably want an unlocked phone that you can use anywhere in the world. You can buy one off Ebay - just google "unlocked GSM phone" and you will get lots of hits.

Once you have your unlocked GSM tri-band or quad-band phone, then off you go on your trip. As the web site above suggests, you can buy a SIM card at the airport. The SIM will have to be activated, and it's better if you ask the seller to activate it for you. You will probably have to show your passport, and it takes a few minutes for the SIM to be activated via computer. Then you have a local phone number. If your phone is a "smart" phone you can ask for a data plan along with the SIM card; otherwise it will just work for calls and texting.

So to sum up, you need an UNLOCKED GSM tri-band or quad-band phone to buy a local SIM card. When you buy the SIM ask the provider to activate it for you. (I missed this step this past summer in Latvia, thinking I could figure it out myself. I couldn't , and neither could my hotel. I wound up going to another store, buying a new SIM and having the store activate it for me.)

florida
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3. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Thank you so much for all of this info!

florida
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4. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

“ Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Nov 02, 2012, 4:43 PM

Does anyone know what type of cell phone I will be able to use while in Costa Rica? I will use mainly for calls within that country. I heard you can buy a sim card at a convenience store there and it will allow your phone to work if you have a phone that will use a sim card. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you

Saint Simons Island...
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5. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Just returned from 10 days in Costa Rica and used much advice I received from this forum. Here is what I did:

1. Had my old iPhone 4 unlocked by ATT - this takes a few days to get the whole process accomplished and is done online and via iTunes - go to the ATT website and search for unlock

2. Went to this site and ordered a SIM card - https:/…

By ordering this in the states ahead of time (must send passport number) I was able to give my Costa Rica phone number to family before I departed. Was also able to read the directions.

3. When I landed in Costa Rica, I went to the Kolbi storefront located in baggage claim area before you go through customs to leave the terminal. I said I wanted to add two weeks of unlimited data to the card and paid about $20 for this, I think. The lady in the store was quite helpful. Do be sure you add the extra funds to the card before you follow the texting instructions for adding data. I recommend you do all of this while standing in the store so they can help. You text to 6060 the word semana for a week of unlimited data. There is another word for two weeks or a month but am not sure what it is. Store can help.

Everything worked perfectly! I used MyWi on my jailbroken phone to create a hotspot for my iPad so I could type more easily. Kolbi coverage was outstanding and even reached our sailboat most of the time.

Thanks to everyone who shared the above via TripAdvisor's Forums!

Sherbrooke, Canada
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6. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Thanks Paula. I guess I can also just buy the SIM card at that Kolbi store (as I don't need to know my number ahead of time).

Mission, Canada
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7. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

Thank you for your helpful feedback, Paula.

Mumbai, India
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8. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

This is great thread, and replies are very helpful thank you all of you for these valuable information !

casper
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9. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

So an Iphone from verizon wont work they told us it would work. It has a Sim card in it Just has to be activated and added a plan 5.00 a month to get .60 cents of calls

Detroit, MI
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10. Re: Cell Phone use in Costa Rica

The Verizon iPhone 5 and 4S are dual CDMA and GSM. It should work if activated properly by Verizon.