Traveling to Colombia, a vibrant and diverse nation, is an experience that promises unforgettable adventures. However, staying connected and avoiding exorbitant roaming charges can be a daunting task. This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with the essential knowledge to navigate data roaming in Colombia seamlessly, ensuring you remain connected without breaking the bank.

roaming in colombia

I. Understand Data Roaming in Colombia

If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful country of Colombia, there are a few things you need to know regarding cell phone roaming and data charges. Colombia uses GSM cellular networks, which are compatible with most mobile networks in North America and Europe. However, roaming charges can add up if you’re not careful.

What are Roaming Charges?

Roaming charges refer to any additional fees charged by your home mobile carrier when you use your cell phone abroad in a different country. This includes making calls, sending texts, and using data. When you roam, you’ll be connecting to another carrier’s network since you’re outside your home network coverage area. Roaming allows travelers to stay connected, but at a price.

Roaming Charges in Colombia

If you simply turn on your phone’s cellular or data connection in Colombia without any roaming plans in place, you could face hefty fees:

  • Most Colombian carriers typically charge around $3-5 per minute for incoming and outgoing calls when roaming.
  • Text messages may cost $0.50-1 each.
  • Data usage, especially streaming video or music, can rack up bills very quickly at $15-20 per megabyte without a roaming plan.

II. Roaming Charges in Colombia

1. How to Check Roaming Charges Before Your Travel To Colombia

Source: Movistar Spain Roaming Charge Checker

Contact your Mobile Provider

Before traveling to Colombia, it’s essential to contact your mobile provider and inquire about their roaming rates and packages specific to the country. Many providers offer international roaming plans or add-ons that can help you save money while staying connected.

Research Applicable Roaming Fees

In addition to contacting your provider, research the roaming fees they charge for voice calls, text messages, and data usage in Colombia. This information is typically available on their website or through customer service representatives.

Call Customer Service

If you need further clarification or have specific questions, don’t hesitate to call your provider’s customer service. They can provide you with detailed information on roaming charges, package options, and any applicable discounts or promotions.

2. Roaming Charges in Colombia by US Mobile Operators

Here’s a comparison of roaming charges for some major US mobile operators in Colombia:

AT&TWith AT&T Unlimited Premium PL and AT&T Unlimited Elite, there’s no charge for roaming in 20 Latin American countries including Colombia. Otherwise, AT&T charges $2.05/MB.No extra costNo extra cost
T-MobileGo5G, MAX and Plus plans give you up to 5GB of high-speed data in more than 215 countries and destinations at no extra charge. Otherwise, you can add an international data pass.No extra cost$0.25/min
VerizonVerizon charges $2.05 per megabyte unless you have activated Verizon’s TravelPass or their monthly international plan.$0.05 per received text message, $0.50 per sent text message$1.79 per minute

As you can see, roaming charges can quickly accumulate, especially for data usage. T-Mobile tends to offer more affordable roaming rates compared to Verizon and AT&T in Colombia.

It’s important to note that these rates are subject to change, and it’s always recommended to check with your provider for the most up-to-date information.

III. Best Ways to Avoid Roaming Charges in Colombia

1. Buy an eSIM from

One of the most convenient and cost-effective solutions to avoid roaming charges in Colombia is to purchase an eSIM from An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM card that can be easily installed on compatible devices, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card.

Benefits of Using an eSIM

  • No need to remove your existing SIM card
  • Instant activation and connectivity upon arrival in Colombia
  • Affordable data plans tailored for travelers
  • Seamless connectivity across multiple devices
  • Eliminate roaming charges from your home carrier

Plans that may interest you

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How to Purchase an eSIM from

  1. Visit and select the data plan that suits your needs.
  2. Complete the online purchase process.
  3. Upon confirmation, you’ll receive an eSIM activation code or QR code.
  4. On your compatible device, follow the instructions to install the eSIM.
  5. Once activated, you’ll have access to local data in Colombia at a fraction of the roaming costs.

Goodbye Roaming Bills, Hello

2. Buy a Local SIM Card

Another popular option is to purchase a local SIM card from Colombian mobile operators upon arrival. This approach allows you to take advantage of local rates, which are typically much more affordable than roaming charges.

Advantages of Using a Local SIM Card

  • Significantly lower rates for voice calls, text messages, and data usage
  • Access to local promotions and bundles
  • No need to worry about roaming charges from your home carrier
  • Easy availability at airports, mobile stores, and convenience stores

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3. Enable WiFi Calling

If you prefer to keep your existing SIM card and avoid roaming charges, enabling WiFi calling can be a viable solution. Many modern smartphones support this feature, allowing you to make voice calls and send text messages over WiFi connections.

How WiFi Calling Works

  • Your phone connects to available WiFi networks instead of using cellular data.
  • Voice calls and text messages are transmitted over the WiFi connection, bypassing roaming charges.
  • You can use your regular phone number and contacts as usual.

Setting Up WiFi Calling

  1. Check if your mobile device and carrier support WiFi calling.
  2. Enable the WiFi calling feature in your phone’s settings.
  3. Connect to available WiFi networks while in Colombia.
  4. Make voice calls and send text messages as you normally would, without incurring roaming charges.

IV. FAQs about Roaming in Colombia

Do I need to pay roaming fees if I use my cellphone in Colombia?

If you use your cellphone with your regular SIM card from your home country in Colombia, you will have to pay roaming fees which can be very expensive. Using data while roaming could cost you over $10 per MB in some cases.

Is there a way to avoid roaming fees in Colombia?

Yes, purchasing a local Colombian eSIM from a provider like is an excellent way to avoid roaming fees completely. With a Colombia eSIM, you can connect to local networks at local rates without any extra roaming charges.

Is using WiFi calling/WhatsApp possible with a Colombia eSIM?

Yes, voice and video calls over WiFi calling/WhatsApp are generally unrestricted and don’t count towards your monthly data limit when using an eSIM plan from This allows you to stay in touch back home for free.

What countries have free roaming with Colombia under the CAN agreement?

The CAN agreement between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia allows free roaming for postpaid plans between these countries. Only calls, SMS and data charged at domestic rates apply while roaming in these countries.

V. Conclusion

Staying connected while traveling in Colombia doesn’t have to be a financial burden. By understanding the various options available, such as purchasing an eSIM, acquiring a local SIM card, or enabling WiFi calling, you can enjoy seamless connectivity without the fear of exorbitant roaming charges. Remember to research and plan ahead, and you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes of Colombia while remaining connected with loved ones back home.