Visiting Honduras or just traveling around Central America? Either way, using your home phone there can work out to be expensive. A top tip for saving money and reducing roaming rates is to switch to a local SIM card to take advantage of cheaper deals, tariffs and plans. Honduras has some of the best SIM card deals in Central America and you can buy 1GB of data for as little as HNL55 ($3). So, find out how to cut down costs by comparing your SIM card options on finder.com.au.
There are two main providers in Honduras: Tigo and Claro. Both have been tried and tested by locals and travelers, and they can be trusted. Honduras has been voted one of the cheapest providers in the world, and one of the best in the Americas. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Honduras has a strong signal around the main towns and cities, but the further you head toward the countryside the weaker it will become. However, the overall coverage is good.
About Honduras’s telco operators
Honduras’s market leader is Tigo, followed by Claro. Both operators offer prepaid SIM cards that can be bought from supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores, official stores and at the airport. 2G, 3G and 4G plans are available on all networks for unlocked GSM phones. In Honduras, you will have to show your passport for SIM card registration. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your stay in Honduras.
Tigo is the largest provider in Honduras. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers and credit can also be picked up from the same retailers. Your passport must be shown to the retailer before the SIM card is activated. SIM cards can be bought for HNL50 and come with HNL25 credit. Credit can be purchased in the form of credit vouchers which can be picked up from most stores, or by using your credit card online. Top-ups can be added in amounts between HNL5 and HNL150. Dial *120# to check your balance.
The following “paceticos” data packages can also be added:
Dial #111# <call> to activate your preferred pack.
Tigo’s APN: internet.tigo, website: http://www.tigo.com.hn/
Claro is the second largest operator in Honduras. Claro has the best coverage on 4G/LTE and is very popular with the younger crowd who are looking for good data deals for social media. Most retailers will sell SIM cards, but it’s always better to buy them at official stores so they can be registered properly by using your passport. You can purchase credit from most retailers and you can use your credit card to add credit online. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for HNL50, ans they come with a balance of that amount. Credit can be added in several different denominations: HNL5, HNL10, HNL50, HNL100, HNL150, HNL200, HNL250 and HNL300. Dial *120# to check balance.
The following data packs can also be added
Dial *777# <call> to choose a bundle.
Claro’s APN: internet.ideasclaro.hn, website: http://www.claro.com.hn
Some top tips from finder.com.au staff:
- If you don’t know any Spanish, download Google Translate onto your phone before you travel. Although some locals can speak English, many cannot.
- Locals call a SIM card a “sim” or “chip”.
- Ask retailers to set up the SIM for you. This will save you a lot of time and trouble, but is also helpful to cover anything you might not understand.
- Make sure you get to the stores early before the crowds build.
TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through the SIM cards that have been tried and tested in Honduras.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
“Claro is a good company to use, calls are inexpensive (even international calls). Once you have their SIM card you can then buy prepaid minutes. They have one day a week on which if you buy time you get double the minutes.”
“You can buy SIM cards in many places (Supermarkets, Malls, little stores all over and in the TIGO and Claro Stores which are all over the city) , you will see the TIGO (Blue) or CLARO (Red) signs. Make sure your phone is unlocked and be sure to purchase the right SIM for your phone.”
Pros and cons of Honduras’s top telco providers
- Good value for money
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Can be used in other South American countries
- SIM cards could be compatible with your current phone
- Make sure SIM cards don’t already have existing plans uploaded
- No new devices offered with the SIM card plans
- Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
- Poor coverage can be found in some areas
Another important question
Q: What do I do if I lose my phone in Honduras?
A: Your phone is your lifeline, especially when traveling around Central America. Make sure you keep it safe and always make a note of where it is. The importance of having a direct link to family and friends via social media or through phone services can never be underestimated. If you do lose your phone, then retrace your steps and ask around. If you still have no luck then cancel any plans or payment methods associated with the phone, report it missing and make a note of the crime number to claim on insurance. Finally, find a cheap replacement to keep in touch with the outside world, and don’t let the new one out of your sight!