A lot of travelers visiting Uruguay opt to get a SIM card at Carrasco International Airport because it is convenient. How can I purchase a SIM card at Carrasco International Airport? This guide will outline where you can conveniently buy a SIM card at Carrasco International Airport, highlight the main carriers and available plans, provide tips on what to prepare in advance, total Overview of eSIM options, and answer to some frequently asked questions.

SIM Card at Carrasco International Airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Carrasco International Airport

There are a few options for purchasing a Uruguay SIM card at Carrasco International Airport:

1. The Antel Shop

  • Opening hours: Daily 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Terminal 1 – International arrival area, after passing customs
  • Language Support: Spanish and English
The Antel Shop at at Carrasco International Airport
The Antel Shop at Carrasco International Airport

The ANTEL shop located in the international arrival area sells SIM cards from Uruguay’s state-owned telecommunications company. Both prepaid and postpaid plans are available. Prepaid SIMs start from 150 Pesos (~$3.50). Recharge cards are also sold.

The staff speak English and can assist you in setting up your new SIM card promptly. Payment can be made by cash or credit card. This shop is recommended for ease and convenience when buying a SIM upon arrival.

2. XL Shop

  • Opening hours: Daily 5:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Terminal 1 – International arrivals
  • Language Support: Spanish and English

A second option is the XL shop located in the international arrivals terminal. XL is a private Uruguayan mobile carrier. SIM card packages and prepaid recharge vouchers are available for purchase here.

The sales assistants provide service in both Spanish and English. Cash and credit cards are accepted for payment. You can purchase SIMs quickly when you land before heading out from the terminal.

3. Airport Kiosks

There are also some small convenience kiosks in the international and domestic terminals that sell SIM cards from multiple Uruguayan mobile networks. These can be convenient if the main shops have long lines or are closed during late-night/early morning hours.

However, English language support may be more limited at the kiosks. Having some basic Spanish phrases can help if you need assistance activating your SIM card or adding credit. Prices also may be slightly higher than the telco shops. But they do provide flexibility in extended opening hours.

Carrasco International Airport (MDV)
Carrasco International Airport (MDV). Source

II. SIM Card Options and Costs at Carrasco International Airport

The main mobile operators in Uruguay that sell prepaid SIM cards are state-owned Antel and private companies Claro, and Movistar.

Below is an overview of prepaid SIM options, packages, and rates available for purchase at the Carrasco Airport:

Operator SIM Package Price Validity
Antel 1GB/1 day $150 1 day
Antel 40GB/7 days $1000 7 days
Movistar Preplan Super (3GB) $235 7 days
Movistar Dúo Semanal (6GB+12GB) $169 7 days
Claro Not available at airport N/A N/A
  • Antel and Movistar have SIM stores at the airport offering tourist packages
  • Antel offers 1GB for 1 day for $150 or 40GB for 7 days for $1000
  • Movistar packages include Preplan Super with 3GB for $235 valid for 7 days and Dúo Semanal with 6GB+12GB for $169 valid for 7 days
  • Claro SIMs are not available to purchase at the airport
  • SIMs from Antel and Movistar can be bought at their stores in the airport using cash or cards
  • Purchasing a SIM at the airport provides instant connectivity but packages have higher costs than in-city retail stores

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Carrasco International Airport

To get a SIM card at Carrasco International Airport early, keep the following requirements and tips:

  • Passport – Bring your passport as you will need to show this as ID for buying a prepaid SIM
  • Know your phone specifications – Confirm your device has either dual SIM capacity or is unlocked for swapping SIMs
  • Cash in local currency – Have some Pesos available for payment if your credit card has foreign transaction fees
  • Activate promptly – Some SIM cards require activation by adding credit or texting a code. Handle this before leaving the airport.
  • Download an eSIM – Alternatively, skip purchasing a physical SIM by installing an eSIM with international data plans easily.

Note: By being prepared with your device specs, payment method, and SIM activation sorted out, it makes navigating the airport shops quick and efficient on arrival.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Carrasco International Airport

At Carrasco International Airport, traditional SIM cards are available for purchase, however, users of contemporary smartphones may also download an electronic SIM, or eSIM, for free. Compared to juggling real SIM cards, this offers a great deal of ease, particularly if you are traveling to numerous countries.

Some key benefits of choosing an eSIM service over local SIMs when landing in Montevideo include:

1. Convenience

  • Skip queues and avoid language misunderstandings at telco shops. Easily sign up on your phone with online chat support.
  • No need to swap out SIMs across different countries. Remotely change plans through an app.
  • Built for travel with airtime across 140+ destinations. Local SIMs tend to have restrictions abroad.

2. Flexibility

  • Mix and match data packages or unlimited plans month-to-month. Adjust to your trip needs as you go.
  • Suspend unused months or data to optimize spending. Difficult to pause physical SIMs while traveling continuously.

3. Reliability

  • Consistent connectivity from providers focused on international coverage. Local network infrastructure can be spotty in rural areas.
  • Travel safely with 24/7 customer support and easy trip-tracking tools. Many SIMs lack English assistance channels.

Plan that may interest you

Uruguay eSIM 7 Days Plan
Uruguay eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $9.90
Uruguay eSIM 15 Days Plan
Uruguay eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $18.90
Uruguay eSIM 30 Days Plan
Uruguay eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $26.50

Get an eSIM from esimuruguay.com to avoid trouble and connect to fast 4G/5G networks in Uruguay from the comfort of your home. 


What are the shop opening hours to buy a SIM card at Carrasco International Airport?

The ANTEL and XL shops are open from early morning around 7 AM until late night at 10 PM daily. Smaller kiosks may also open 24 hours but have less selection.

Can I pay by credit/debit card for purchasing a SIM at Montevideo airport?

Yes, the ANTEL, Movistar, Claro, and XL shops accept major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard as well as debit cards. Smaller kiosks may be cash only.

Which mobile carrier has the best network coverage around Uruguay?

Movistar has the most extensive 4G and 3G coverage reaching all corners of Uruguay. ANTEL and Claro also provide reliable service in cities and most tourism areas.

Is activation required for Uruguayan SIM cards?

Some SIMs like ANTEL and XL activate automatically with included credit. Others like Claro require sending an activation SMS. Be sure to test your data before leaving the terminal in case activation is still needed.

Can I use 4G with prepaid SIM cards in Uruguay?

Yes, prepaid SIMs from all major Uruguayan carriers (ANTEL, Movistar, Claro, XL) get full 4G LTE data speeds, unlike in some countries. Just be sure your device supports the correct frequency bands.

Are eSIMs available as an alternative to physical SIM cards for Uruguay?

Absolutely. Many visitors are now using eSIM services from providers like Airalo, Dent, and KnowRoaming. These eliminate airport queues and confusion when handling physical SIMs across multiple destinations. Be sure to configure your smartphone’s eSIM functionality before departure.

VI. Final Words

Purchasing a local Uruguay SIM card at Carrasco International Airport is highly recommended. Major carriers like state-owned ANTEL and private companies Movistar and Claro all sell prepaid voice/data SIMs in the arrival terminals.

Alternatively, mobile eSIM providers can spare the hassle of physical SIMs by enabling travelers to instantly access data plans online across various countries. Download an eSIM in advance for seamless coverage in Uruguay and at your next destinations.

In closing, avoid roaming shock and stay conveniently connected as you explore beautiful Uruguay!