Are you planning a trip to Santiago? Staying connected in Santiago is advantageous for navigating the city and accessing important information on the go. In this post, we’ll help you buy a SIM card in Santiago with valuable tips from locals!

How to buy a SIM Card in Santiago

I. Which mobile operator is the best in Santiago?

As Chile’s capital city, there are a variety of phone carriers and networks in Santiago. Based on key criteria, here is a table comparing major mobile operators following my recommendations:

Network AccessNationwide 4G/5G networkLarge 4G network, strong 5G expansionNational 4G coverage, building out 5GFocus on major cities and routes
CoverageWidest coverage nationallyNear-nationwide 4G, best rural 5G availabilityVery good nationwide 4G, expanding 5G to more areasPrioritizes populated regions
SpeedsFastest 5G speedsLeads for 4G/5G download and upload speedsCompetitive 4G/5G speedsCan be slower outside core cities
Experience AwardsWins most awards for qualityOften placed highly for consistencyRegular award contenderNo recent wins due to coverage gaps
PlansPostpaid $15-40, unlimited $25-50Affordable data bundles from $5Variety of postpaid/prepaid from $10-50Prepaid plans and bundle discounts from $10
BYOP/Prepaid OptionsBYOP $15-30, data bundlesAffordable prepaid, BYOP $10-20Large selection of BYOP/prepaid plansBYOP plans and bundle discounts available
Add-OnsRoaming packs, intl calling, extrasWiFi routers, content bundlesDevice insurance, stream packagesOTT bundles, content partnerships
Customer ServiceShops in most townsOnline support, and social media helpBranded shops in malls, agentsOnline support available
DrawbacksMost expensive unlimited plansFewest experience awardsSlower than competitorsSparsest network coverage

Key points 🤳

  • Entel has the widest coverage, fastest speeds nationally, and costliest unlimited plans.
  • WOM leads for rural 5G access and competitive plans/bundles while Movistar is reliable nationally.
  • Claro focuses on core regions but offers value.

Unlock more insights with our article Chile Mobile Operators: Which One is the Best

II. Best Santiago SIM Card and cost

After selecting your favored Santiago SIM Card provider, the following step is to select the appropriate plan. When choosing one, consider these factors:

OperatorPlanPrice (USD)DataCallsTextsValidity
EntelBasic 205500MB30 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
Basic 40101,5GB60 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
Basic 80153GB120 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
WOWPrepago 55600MB30 mins national30 SMS30 Days
Prepago 10101,5GB60 mins national60 SMS30 Days
Prepago 15153GB120 mins national120 SMS30 Days
MovistarM10101GB100 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
M201502GB200 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
M30203GB300 mins nationalunlimited30 Days
ClaroBasic 10101GB30 mins national30 SMS30 Days
Basic 20152GB60 mins national60 SMS30 Days
Basic 30203GB120 mins national120 SMS30 Days
(these rates may change at any time)

Entel and WOM tend to offer better value on prepay plans. Movistar provides generous minutes with data. Claro’s plans have fewer minutes for the price but texts are included. All last 30 days with no expiration as long as there is credit.

III. Where to buy A SIM in Santiago

If you are having difficulty in finding reputable places to buy a SIM, don’t worry! Here are the best places to conveniently grab local Santiago SIM cards:

1. Getting a SIM Card at Santiago International Airport

There are SIM stalls and stores located right after you exit the baggage claim and passport control areas in both the domestic and international terminals. These make it very convenient to buy a SIM upon arrival.

Visitors can visit major mobile operator kiosks such as WOW, Entel, or Movistar which sell different types of SIMs and adapters.

Santiago Airport
Santiago International Airport. Source

Are you planning to travel to Chile soon? Check our guide Buying SIM card at Chile airports: The Definitive Guide to get more useful tips! 

2. Getting a Prepaid SIM Card in Santiago

If you didn’t set up a SIM card at Santiago International Airport, you can also find SIM Cards at stores and authorized resellers.

  • Shopping Malls: Santiago has numerous shopping malls that often have dedicated stores or kiosks for mobile network providers. Check out malls like Costanera Center, Parque Arauco, or Mall Plaza to find these stores.
  • Street Vendors: In some areas of Santiago, you may come across street vendors or small shops selling SIM cards and prepaid packages.

For a convenient buying process, travelers should check carrier websites for specific retail store/kiosk locations using their hotel address. Maps will show the nearest outlet. Keep the purchase receipt safe in case you need to top-up credit or face any troubles later on.

IV. eSIM for Santiago travellers – a smart alternative

Another option for Chile visitors is buying an eSIM which allows travelers to easily activate mobile plans right from their smartphone using just the device’s online connection. This process can be done from anywhere such as hotels, airports, or cafes without needing additional store visits.

  • Major operator website: Major operators such as WOW, Entel or Claro offer eSIM profiles that can be purchased from their websites with easy activation.
  • eSIM provider: Consider using eSIM plans from #1Chile eSIM which provides diverse eSIM plans for any traveling goals. Here’s what makes stand out:
  • Variety & Flexibility: Choose among a wide array of data packages that are best suited for your goals.
  • Multiple Network Coverage: They take care of the technical aspect by collaborating with main Chile mobile operators.
  • Top-notch Customer Service: They offer 24/7 customer support so you can get assistance if needed.
  • Affordable Prices: Their local SIM cards are competitively priced, offering excellent value for money.

Find the best options for your upcoming trip below:

Plans that may interest you

Chile eSIM 7 Days Plan
Chile eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $12.50

V. Things to prepare when buying SIM cards in Santiago

When buying a SIM card in Santiago, Chile, there are several things you should prepare to ensure a smooth process and to make the most out of your purchase:

  • A passport is the primary and essential document required. Mobile operators are legally obligated to verify identification before activating any SIM card for foreigners. Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Visa (if applicable) – In addition to your passport, you may need to show your Kazakhstan visa/entry documents as well, depending on the operator’s requirements. Having both on hand covers all bases.
  • Other passport photo – Some operators may also request a passport-size photograph during the SIM registration process. It’s good to keep one on hand.
  • Residence registration (if staying long-term) – If you are residing in Kazakhstan for an extended period on a work/student visa, carrying proof of your registered address can help with SIM verification and delivery.
  • ID verification documents – While not always needed, you may be asked to additionally verify ID with a driver’s license, or national identity card in some cases.
  • Travel itinerary print-out – This helps establish you are a temporary visitor and not an illegal immigrant, which some operators validate against.

Preparing these key documents on you makes the SIM purchase process smooth by addressing all potential verification requirements upfront in Santiago.

VI. Tips and Recommendations

Moreover, this article brings you a few tips to keep in mind when buying a SIM card in Santiago as a tourist:

  • Research Providers in advance: Before arriving in Santiago, research the major mobile network operators in Chile as I had mentioned, such as Movistar, Entel, and Claro. Refer to my comparison table to find the best option for your needs.
  • Ask About Tourist Plans: Some mobile operators in Chile offer special tourist plans that are tailored to the needs of travelers. These plans may include data, talk time, and messaging at discounted rates for a limited duration. You should ask the staff for your best choices.
  • Consider Dual-SIM Phones: If you have a dual-SIM phone, consider purchasing a SIM card from more than one provider to ensure coverage in different areas and to take advantage of the best rates and promotions from each operator.

Make sure you have checked the latest information and verify the specific details and requirements with the mobile operator’s website or customer service before purchasing a SIM card in Santiago. Those tips will guarantee you a fantastic trip in Santiago!


Are there any special tourist plans available for SIM cards in Santiago?

Yes, some operators offer special tourist plans with discounted rates for data, talk time, and messaging. Inquire about these options to find the best deal for your short-term stay.

What should I do if I lose my SIM card or need customer support?

Keep your SIM card and PIN in a safe place. If you encounter any issues or need customer support, visit an official store or contact the operator’s customer service helpline for assistance.

Are there any hidden fees or charges I should be aware of when buying a SIM card in Santiago?

Ask about any additional fees or charges associated with the SIM card purchase, such as activation fees or minimum balance requirements. Clarify any doubts before making your purchase to avoid unexpected costs later on.

VIII. Conclusion

Traveling and navigating are made simple with the use of a Santiago SIM card or an eSIM package. Choose an operator that meets your needs for duration, equipment, and budget to avoid hassles. Finish your homework before you leave so that setting up mobile data on your trip won’t cause you any stress.

To help you save time and money when selecting flexible short-term plans, we went over a number of acquisition alternatives that can be obtained online, at local stores, or at airports. If you plan properly, you can visit Santiago’s transit networks and attractions while effortlessly maintaining connectivity. Never be afraid to ask about for the best deals on the newest SIM cards that suit your demands.