eSIM Ecuador: The Easiest Way to Get Data

Do you want to explore the beaches of the Pacific, the mountains of the Andes, the colonial architecture or the life of the Galapagos Islands, and you want to be online? Did you know that as a foreigner you can’t buy a local SIM card? But there are ways around this, as we’ll show you in the article below. However, if you want to avoid buying from a local operator and the bureaucracy involved, eSIM Ecuador is the obvious choice. Let’s take a look at which plans offer the best value.

eSIM Ecuador: how to choose the best one?

You have to keep in mind that eSIM is not the cheapest option in South American countries. In Ecuador it’s not so bad yet. But if you don’t want to look for a SIM card locally, or if they refuse to sell you one as a tourist, there is another option.

First, think about how much data you’ll need and how long you want it to last. Expect to use a bit more data than in your home country because you’ll probably be on the go more, looking up maps or translating something from Spanish.

You also need to consider where you are going. If you want to visit only the mainland or also the Galapagos Islands. And maybe if you will be in the surrounding countries or just in Ecuador. Not all eSIMs include these areas.

The best data eSIM for Ecuador

We already have an idea of how much data and for how long. So let’s take a look at which eSIM will be the best value for you.

Cheapest packages

For those who only need data as a backup, a 1 GB package will suffice. You can get it cheapest from eSIM4Travel for a nice $4.92 with a validity of 7 days.

At Mobimatter, you are looking at a price of $4.99 valid for 7 days in Latin America, connecting to the main network of the given destination.

For a similar price of $8, you can also get it from Maya Mobile, where it lasts 15 days and they do not specify whether it is valid for the Galapagos or for $8 from Airalo, where it also only lasts 7 days and does not apply to the Galapagos at all.

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Nomad $3 code MARE67aw

Average usage (5 GB of data)

In the 5 GB category, the same providers ranked again. Mobimatter offers LatAm package for $17.99 with 30 days validity.

Good package is again offered by eSIM4Travel for $26.33.

Maya Mobile comes in at $27, but only applies to Ecuador. If, for example, 15 days is enough for you, then you are a dollar lower. The third cheapest is the package from Nomad at a price of $28 with a validity of 30 days. Nomad, however, states that it may not work on the Galapagos. It uses the Movistar network to connect.

High data usage (10 GB or more)

If you need even more data, take a look again at Mobimatter. LatAm package with 10 GB costs $31.99.

Airalo, this time the Discover Global package for $59, which will even be valid in 130 countries around the world (including the Galapagos) and has an impressive validity of 180 days.

Maya Mobile has the cheapest package when it offers 15 days for $44, you’ll pay an extra dollar for 30 days. This brings you to the same price as Nomad. However, I recommend checking out Holafly, where you can have unlimited data for the price of 10 GB.

Unlimited data in Ecuador

Maya Mobile offers unlimited data including hotspot option, but you will pay extra for that. For ten days, it will cost you $49 without a hotspot and $72 with a hotspot.

You also get unlimited data through Holafly, where for example the standard 10 days will set you back $37, but they offer additional packages ranging from 5-30 days. Their eSIM is also connected through Movistar. It also covers the Galapagos, but you have to keep in mind that coverage is limited here. I’ve extracted a coverage map directly from Holafly via their customer service line.

esim ecuador
map of Galapagos coverage – the red highlighted areas are covered

Overview of the best packages for 14 days

ProviderGBPriceValidity
eSIM4Travel1 GB$4,927 days
Mobimatter5 GB$17,9930 days
Mobimatter10 GB$31,9915 days
Holaflyunlimited$4715 days
eSIM Ecuador best plans

Local SIM card in Ecuador

You can get a local SIM card at specialized operator shops, but also at convenience stores (ask for “SIMs prepago”). By law, you must be an Ecuadorian citizen to buy a SIM card. In practice, however, it’s easy to find a shop that will activate it in someone else’s name and then transfer it to you a few days later. The shop will still ask for identification, so bring your passport and provide an Ecuadorian address (you can use your hotel’s address).

Ideally, don’t buy a SIM card at the airport, where you’ll be offered “tourist chips” for which you’ll pay many times more! For example, at Tuenti you can get a “30 dias Plus” package with 4 GB for $20. Other operators tend to be even more expensive. However, it’s a legal way to get a SIM card.

You’ll have a choice between the three main operators, Claro, CNT and Movistar. You may also come across Tuenti, a virtual operator that uses Movistar’s network. Be careful with CNT, as their SIM only works in certain phone models, so we honestly don’t recommend using it too much.

You’ll have good coverage around the big cities, but if you’re heading out into the wilderness, don’t count on much signal. If you’re planning that kind of trip, we recommend going with Claro, which has the best coverage, even in rural areas. Movistar, on the other hand, is best if you’re going to cities, as it has the fastest internet there.

The SIM card will cost you around $5 and you can top it up as you go. There are many different packages to choose from that include both data and calls. The price depends on the number of GB you want – you can get 10 GB for $10 and 15 GB for $15. Some packages even include some extra data for social networking or nighttime use between 10pm and 6:59am.

esim ecuador
the most popular SIM cards from Claro

Summary

Buying a local SIM card in Ecuador can be a little complicated. If you want to make things easier, get an eSIM. The best packages are offered by MobiMatter, which also covers other Latin American countries. If you want unlimited data, it’s worth looking at Holafly. Both also include some Galapagos coverage.

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Kačka Kodytková
Kačka Kodytková
I'm a full-time corporate producer, but travel is my passion and I devote all my free time to it. I have traveled to over 35 countries around the world and my goal is to travel the rest by the end of my life 🌍. On my travels, I always try to find ways to save money while bringing back the most authentic experiences. I like to share my experiences with those around me, which is why I want to be online all the time. This led me to explore the world of eSIM and in 2023, together with my boyfriend, I founded esim.monster, a website that compares eSIM providers. I am also the co-author of lazytrip.eu, a website dedicated to travel. Here we share more advice, tips and experiences from our adventures. So, off to see the world! ✈

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