Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have three devices:

  1. iPhone 5 - nanosim, 4G/LTE
  2. MiFi - microsim, 4G/LTE
  3. iPhone 4S - microsim, 3G

Which providers in Buenos Aires / Argentina have the best prepaid options for these devices? They don't all need to be from the same provider, but that would make purchasing simplest. I need voice, sms, & data on both iPhones and only data on the MiFi (I can live without the MiFi).

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are 3 major carriers in Argentina

Claro, Movistar and Personal

  • All three offer prepaid cards you can buy on literally hundred of shops around the city (I am not sure were in Buenos Aires you are going, but if you are traveling to Capital Federal, then you will find shops on the streets, on every shopping mall, and big movie complex. There are some impromptu sidewalk shops across big avenues, but the discount you will get with them is not worth it).
  • The first thing they will sell you is the chip(SIM) which is around $30 ($6 USD).
  • Once the number is activated, which is instantly, you can charge your new number on any kiosk around the city. You will see signs with a legend like ("Cargamos Personal/Movistar/Claro"). You will be asked for your number and the amount you want to charge and they will send you the credit instantly.You should receive an SMS confirmation with your new credit. You will have to pay with cash on most of the Kiosks. If you want to use a CC go to a branded store or use the online option at the official website for the carrier.

    Personal Stores / Movistar Stores / Claro Stores

  • Make sure to ask the seller for current "deals". Quite often you will find 2x1 on all your credit (You will get $200 for $100) or unlimited SMS for 1 day, or free 500 SMS.

  • All three companies currently offer unlimited 3G for $1 peso a day ($0.20USD).

  • For Claro and Movistar (and probably Personal) you have free calls for clients of the same company.

  • Prices will vary A LOT depending on your plan. Make sure to ask the person selling you the chip which one is more convenient.

  • In Capital Federal is quite easy to find free WiFi. Almost every coffe shop, fast food chain or shopping mall will have open and free spots.

Finally if you are visiting Argentina with United States Dollars or Euros remember there is a huge differente between the official price and the paralel valuation.

$1USD can either be $4.90 pesos or $7.50 pesos depending which market you trade.

Hope it helps!

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the info, really helpful. Can you elaborate / point me to a link that explains more about the "official price and the paralel valuation." –  johndbritton Jan 24 '13 at 17:46
1  
Sure, here is a graph showing the current USD/ARS google.com/finance?q=USDARS&ei=BYIBUejREYbYkwPifw (going up fast) and here you will find what is called "Dolar Blue" in Argentina dolarblue.net. Here is a Wikipedia article explaining the Dolar Blue es.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%B3lar_blue is in spanish but you can use Google to translate it. I would suggest you open another question if interested because I can't fit a full explanation in a comment. –  JordanBelf Jan 24 '13 at 18:52
    
Thanks, created a new question. –  johndbritton Jan 24 '13 at 21:38
1  
It's also worth noting that it's next to impossible to find MicroSIM / NanoSIM cards. I wasn't able to find any shops that have the machine for cutting the cards, so I ended up going to a papelería and buying a box cutter to shave it down to size myself. It's pretty easy to do if you have a SIM already to use as a template. –  johndbritton Jan 27 '13 at 18:03
1  
For things that you don't easily find in the streets make sure to use MercadoLibre listado.mercadolibre.com.ar/microsim its argentinean ebay –  JordanBelf Jan 27 '13 at 23:17
add comment

According to the Prepaid Data Wikia on Argentina:

Claro:

1 hour $3 2 hrs $5 4 hrs $7 6 hrs $10

1 day $20 2 days $30 5 days $50 10 days $100

to activate send an SMS to: 454 with: 1h, 2h, etc

Movistar:

5 hrs $9

1 day $10 (upto 1GB)

7 days $59

to activate send an SMS to: 226 with: DIA

Personal:

1 day $10 (up to 1GB)

Special offer: 1 day $1 (first 10MB download at regular speed, next data at 64Kbps)

share|improve this answer
    
Oh wow, there's a prepaiddata wikia! +1!!!! –  Mark Mayo Jan 24 '13 at 2:42
    
@MarkMayo I know right! Best discovery ever I've made in recent months. Incredibly useful. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 24 '13 at 2:48
    
This information is out of date, I ended up going for a Movistar SIM and data packs are automatically charged at $1/day for unlimited use. They don't offer prepaid data packs that you have to subscribe to anymore. –  johndbritton Jan 27 '13 at 1:03
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.