Anonymous asked in TravelLatin AmericaCosta Rica · 10 years ago

will my american cell phone work in costa rica?

i am going on a vacation in costa rica in june and i need to know how to contact my parents

7 Answers

  • Eric
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on what cell phone carrier you are with. AT&T/T-Mobile will work, but Verizon/Sprint will not. Basically, if your phone has a removable SIM card in it, it means that it's a GSM phone and it will work. If it doesn't, it won't. CR uses a GSM system that runs on the 1800Mhz band. Any phone compatible with that band will work, but you must contact your carrier and have them turn on international roaming.

    If you're with AT&T/T-Mobile, you can get service in CR, but it will be expensive. As of 2010, the rate for outgoing and incoming calls is about $3/minute. That's the international roaming rate. If you sign up for an international calling plan, it lowers the rate to about $2/min.

    *The rates may have changed since I last looked.

    If you want to have a cell phone in CR, there is another way.

    I will paste an answer I gave to a similar question


    The smarter/cheaper way is... Leave the flashy AT&T/T-Mobile phone at home and bring an cheaper UNLOCKED quad-band phone (or tri-band if it works on 1800Mhz band) and buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport (small desk in baggage claim area by luggage carousel #1). They sell them for ¢2500 ($5), ¢5000 ($10), and ¢10,000 ($20). The local calling rate is about ¢40/min (about 7-8 cents/min) and the rate to the US is ¢160 (30 cents/min). Unlike AT&T/T-Mobile, INCOMING calls are free. People can call your CR cell phone and you don't get charged. If you plan to call the US, get the SIM for ¢10,000 (that's $20), it should last you a week.

    You can get unlocked cell phones at Amazon, Walmart, Ebay (make sure you buy from a US seller or it will take 3-4 weeks to receive from Asia-phones are good but take longer to arrive). Some good Motorola models are V180, V551, and Razr V3.

    FYI-3G is available on these prepaid SIM cards, but I would be careful about using an expensive smartphone in CR. You might attract the wrong attention. You don't want to be noticed by criminals/thieves.

    A brand new unlocked phone can be bought for under $60.

    Check this link:

    Or instead of having a cell phone, you can buy prepaid phone cards. A ¢3,000 ($6) card will give you about 18 minutes to the US. They are sold in pharmacies, stores, supermarkets, and even by street vendors. Make sure you get one with the code 199 on it. Those are international cards. Ones with 197 are for local calls only.

    Here's what they look like (the picture will be different but the code 199 should be on it):

    Any other questions, email me

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Free Government Mobile Phone -
  • 10 years ago

    You have to call your cell phone service provider and ask them if they have the service. My dad came to Costa Rica, and he had to activate his cell phone, but it worked rather well. It does get pretty expensive though. There is usually sufficient coverage if you are close to the metropolitan centers. The further away you go from urban centers, the less coverage you will have.

    All phones works in Costa Rica even if they are GSM or TDMA.

    for a phone to works here it must works on this bands

    GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900

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  • OC
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    It will work in most countries, however, you should contact your carrier if you go. If you have a smartphone with internet I would add Skype. You can telephone for almost free from all over the world to any phone. I used my an i-phone from Nicaragua calling my bank in the U.S. for over 1 hour through Skype which cost almost nothing.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I went to Costa Rica with my cousin who has AT&T( i have verizon) and her service was pretty good in san jose but very little to no service everywhere else we went. I would call AT&T and see what the service workers there say

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    REad your manuel well and talk to your carrier. Most of them work out of the country, but you get charged for international calls.

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