Whether you’re planning to move or visit Paraguay, you’re going to want a SIM card and cell phone service!
While there are now cell phone services like Google Fi that now work nearly worldwide, they can be costly, and aren’t available in all that many countries.
A local SIM card is usually a more affordable option.
For instance, here in Paraguay, 1 GB of data only costs about $4 USD a month!
Read on, and we’ll show you exactly how to get a SIM card once you touch down here in Paraguay.
Where Can You Buy A SIM Card in Paraguay?
Unfortunately, there is nowhere to buy a SIM card at Asuncion’s international airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Silvio Pettirossi).
Fortunately, there is internet available, so you’ll be able to order an Uber or Beat (cheaper) to your hotel or apartment.
To buy a SIM card here in Paraguay, you’ll need to visit an official store of one of the following three companies:
Tigo has the best coverage, but Claro and Personal are cheaper and have more favorable pay-as-you-go plans in our opinion (i.e. Claro and Personal offer 30-day plans, Tigo does not for some reason, so you will have to buy data more often).
Virtually every large mall in the country will have an official Tigo, Claro or Personal store (sometimes all three!)
So, to keep things simply, walk or take a taxi to the mall closest to you!
What Do You Need to Buy a SIM Card in Paraguay?
You’ll need to bring your passport and a bit of money with you.
Be sure to remember your passport because they won’t give you a SIM Card without it!
The SIM card is complementary with a minimum purchase of minutes (10,000 Guaranies; less than $2 USD)…so that’s what the cash is for!
The Process of Buying a SIM Card
Basically, you’ll sit down at a little booth, the agent will take your name and address (any address will do; you can use your hotel/apartment) make a photocopy of your passport (for some reason!), and that’s about it!
After paying, you’ll get your SIM card and a printed receipt, which will contain your new Paraguayan phone number!
What Types of Cell Phone Plans are Available in Paraguay?
If you don’t have your Paraguayan residency, the only plan you’ll be able to use is a pay-as-you-go plan.
This isn’t a huge issue – the plans are very reasonably priced – the only inconvenience is having to add more data to your phone at least once a month.
Pay-as-you-go prices are up to $4.00 USD/GB. It varies by company and by length of plan.
If you opt to go with Claro, you can get a 4 GB, 30-day plan for about $7.00 USD!
How to Add More Data to Your SIM Card in Paraguay
Adding more data to your SIM card here in Paraguay is straightforward. Any supermarket or corner store will offer this service.
You simply go to the teller and ask for a “recarga” for your phone. They’ll take your number, you’ll tell them the amount (eg 25,000 Guaranies) and that’s it!
In a few minutes after your purchase, you’ll get a text saying you’ve successfully added more data to your phone!
Is Cell Phone Coverage Reliable in Paraguay?
For the most part yes, cell phone coverage is reliable in Paraguay.
If you’re staying in any of Paraguay’s larger cities (Asuncion, Ciudad del Este or Encarnacion, for instance) you should have no trouble with any of the aforementioned companies (Tigo, Claro or Personal).
However, if you plan to venture to the countryside, we suggest purchasing a SIM card from Tigo. It is the biggest telecommunications company here and has the most widespread coverage.
Even in the larger cities, you may find your service is slower, or drops out at times. That’s normal for everyone. That said, for the most part, wherever you are in the larger metropolises here, you should have enough coverage!
That’s about all there is to it, folks!
Getting a SIM card in Paraguay is a simple process, and you’ll never be too far away from a supermarket or a bodega that can top up your data!
List them below and we’ll certainly answer them!
We hope to see you down here soon!