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joaquin torres

Travelled to 8 countries / regions

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I'm from Santiago use the airport frequently

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How to buy a SIM card at Santiago International Airport, Chile

  • I recommend having a SIM card with you in Chile as you travel because you can do things like getting Uber and use Google maps to help you navigate around town
  • While you can get a SIM card pretty much anywhere, buying it at Santiago International Airport is the most convenient way to do it since it's most likely the airport you use to arrive into Chile. To summarize: my recommendation is to get your SIM card from the Entel shop located on the 3rd level (the departure level). More details on the available options below
  • You can buy a SIM card at one of these four shops at the SCL airport, all located in the main terminal (there's only one terminal building at the SCL airport):
  1. Entel store: Entel is the largest telecom operators in Chile. Their store is located on level 3, the departure level near entrance door 1. Opening hours are 8am to 10pm everyday. This is what their store looks like:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)
  2. Movistar store: Movistar is the second biggest telecom operators in Chile. Their store is located on level 3 the departure level near entrance door 4. Opening hours are 8am to 10pm everyday. This is what their store looks like:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)
  3. Claro store: Claro is the third largest telecom in Chile. Their store is on level 3 the departure level as well, near entrance door 2. Opening hours are 8am to 10pm everyday. This is what their store looks like:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)
  4. Fotokina: they are not a telecom operator. This is a just a little gadget shop on the arrival level (ground level) where you can buy SIM cards from one of the telecoms. Its location is easy to find, it's in front of you as soon as you exit from baggage claim. They also have another store on the departure level too near entrance door 5. However, I don't recommend buying from them because they are extremely expensive compared to what you can get from the telecom stores. But, they are open 24 hours a day, so if you arrive after 10pm or before 8am they will be the only place that's open. This is what their store looks like:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)


  • Prices:
  • Rates change quite frequently and there are always different promotions going on, so use these prices as a rough guideline. As you can see below, Fotokina is far more expensive than anything else, so please buy directly from the telecom stores (Entel, Movistar, and Claro) if possible. Fotokina is just a reseller of SIM cards from one of the telecoms and then they charge a higher price to make a big profit
  • Entel:
  • CLP$8,000 (USD$10.5) for 6GB of data + 300 minutes talk time, valid for 30 days
  • CLP$5,000 (USD$6.5) for 3.5GB + 200 minutes, valid for 15 days
  • CLP$3,000 (USD$3.9) for 2.5GB + 150 minutes, valid for 7 days
  • CLP$2,000 (USD$2.6) for 1.5GB + 80 minutes, valid for 5 days
  • Movistar:
  • CLP$6,990 (USD$9.1) for 5GB + 250 minutes, valid for 30 days
  • CLP$3,290 (USD$4.3) for 3.5GB + 300 minutes, valid for 15 days
  • CLP$2,290 (USD$3) for 2.5GB + 200 minutes, valid for 7 days
  • Claro:
  • CLP$10,000 (USD$13) for 9GB + 500 minutes, valid for 30 days
  • CLP$7,000 (USD$9.1) for 6GB + 400 minutes, valid for 30 days
  • CLP$5,000 (USD$6.5) for 5GB + 300 minutes, valid for 15 days
  • CLP$3,000 (USD$3.9) for 3GB + 250 minutes, valid for 10 days
  • Fotokina:
  • CLP$15000 (USD$19.6) for 3GB of data, valid for 15 days
  • I don't think these stores accept credit cards (although this may have changed recently), so it's best to have some cash pesos with you before you go
  • Also, passport is not required to buy a SIM card
  • You can check the latest prices from the telecom's websites: Entel, Movistar, Claro under the Prepago (meaning Prepaid) section of their website


  • In terms of network speed and reliability, you won't have any issues with any of the telecom brands in Santiago area. Outside of Santiago, Entel will have bigger high-speed coverage than anyone else; Claro and Movistar have similar coverage outside of Santiago. There's another carrier called WOM, which is the fourth largest carrier in Chile but they don't have a shop in SCL airport. Don't bother with them as their coverage isn't great
  • Entel signal coverage map: User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)By the way, Entel is one of the only two carriers with signal on Easter Island. So if your trip includes a trip there, you should definitely consider Entel. The other carrier is Movistar
  • Movistar signal coverage:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)
  • Claro signal coverage:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)
  • WOM signal coverage:User submitted photo of Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL)


  • Other tips for buying a SIM card in Chile:
  • You should make sure that your phone is unlocked. Locked phones can only use SIM cards from your carrier, which means that you won't be able to use any Chilean SIM cards. To see if your phone is locked or not you need to contact your own carrier
  • If you plan to be in Chile for more than 30 days and want to use a SIM card for longer than 30 days, your phone needs to be registered with the government, even for tourists. If you don't, your Chilean SIM card will stop working after 30 days. The registration process is straight forward. You just need your passport, record of entry into Chile, and the IMEI number of your phone (which you can obtain by dialing *#06* on any mobile phone). With these information, you will need to find an actual company to perform the registration for you. You can find the process and list of companies on this official web page. Registration is free, although there are paid services that makes it easier for you (they cost USD$10-$20). Note that if you don't plan to use a Chilean SIM card, but instead uses roaming offered by your own carrier, then you do NOT need to register your phone
  • Phone theft is common in some parts of the country. If you have iPhone in particular make sure you keep it close to you. I've heard stories of tourists getting their iphones snatched on Santiago metro