Aruba SIM Cards: A Visitor Guide and Airport Map
To help visitors arriving at Aruba locate a prepaid SIM card, I put this guide together. This guide includes includes a comparison of the SIM cards available when arriving in Aruba, whether it’s better value to leave the airport to pick up a SIM card, and the costs involved for Americans, Canadians and others to roam into Aruba.
Both of the largest phone providers have counters in the arrivals area of Queen Beatrix airport. The locations of the shops are:
|Provider||Shop Location||SIM Cards Available|
|Digicel counter||Arrivals area, to the right after leaving customs||Starting from Afl. 36|
|Setar counter||Arrivals area, to the left after leaving customs||Starting from Afl. 35|
Depending on how long of a stay in Aruba, in general I found the best value SIM cards for visitors arriving in Aruba to be:
For visits of less than a week:
- Digicel 1.3GB for Afl. 29, valid for 7 days1
- Digicel unlimited data for Afl. 40, valid for 7 days2
- Setar 750mb for Afl. 19, valid for 7 days3
Prices listed are in addition to the initial cost of a SIM card.
For visits of around 2 weeks:
- Digicel 4GB for Afl. 65, valid for 30 days
- Setar 2GB for Afl. 32, valid for 14 days
For visits up to a month:
- Digicel 4GB for Afl. 65, valid for 30 days
- Setar 3GB for Afl. 49 or 5GB for Afl. 79, both valid for 30 days
- Setar local bundle 4GB for Afl. 49, valid for 30 days4
For visits of more than a month:
- Setar local bundle 4GB for Afl. 49
Purchasing a local SIM card, which may not be available at the airport, is likely better value than a visitor SIM card. Digicel include some data with their local SIMs, while Setar offer slightly cheaper bundles. Overall though I don’t consider the few florins saved to be worth the inconvenience of leaving the airport to buy a SIM card.
Prepaid SIM cards in Aruba use a credit system. Credit is purchased and added to a SIM card, that credit can then be spent on calls, SMS, or data. Spending the credit on a bundle of calls and data I found to be the best value for short-term visitors to Aruba.
Adding credit to an Aruban SIM card extends the validity of the SIM itself; bundles applied however need to be purchased again upon expiry.
Using data not included in a bundle (or when the bundle expires) is charged at a ‘default’ rate. For data, this can be quite high (e.g. Afl. 2 per megabyte with Setar). Calls made that aren’t included in a bundle are also charged at a ‘default’ rate, but I find this isn’t too bad for most use: Most calls a visitor will make (hotel, restaurants etc.) can be affordable at the ‘default’ rate. If spending significant time on the phone to a local, Digicel includes unlimited calls to Digicel numbers.
SIM Cards Available for Visitors to Aruba
When arriving at the airport in Aruba, both of the cell providers have counters where SIM cards can be purchased.
Overall I find Digicel a good option for those staying less than a week, or who are planning on visiting Curacao or Bonaire (as Digicel has roaming included on these islands). Otherwise, Setar likely offers better value.
Digicel SIM cards cost Afl. 36 at the airport and include Afl. 15 balance; Setar SIM cards cost Afl. 35 at the airport. If no bundle is active, calls and data will be charged at a ‘default’ rate. Bundles are good value, a top-up is required to activate, and further details are below.
Digicel data bundles include:
- 300mB for Afl. 7 valid for 1 day
- 1.3GB for Afl. 29 valid for 7 days
- 4GB for Afl. 60 valid for 30 days
- Unlimited data for Afl. 10 valid for 1 day
- Unlimited data for Afl. 15 valid for a weekend
- Unlimited data for Afl. 40 valid for 7 days
The unlimited data bundles also include a few minutes of calls to local numbers.
Setar has separate data bundles for locals and visitors. Visitor data bundles include:
- 250mB for Afl. 5, valid 1 day; 600mB for Afl. 12, valid 2 days
- 750mB for Afl. 19, valid 7 days
- 2GB for Afl. 32, valid 14 days
- 3GB for Afl. 49, valid 30 days
- 5GB for Afl. 79, valid 30 days
As a top-up is required, Setar is usually better value for those staying longer (more than a week) in Aruba. If staying more than 2 weeks in Aruba, it’s likely worth the saving to apply a local data bundle with Setar: E.g. 4GB for Afl. 49 with 30 day validity.
Calling Aruba and Calling Home
Calls with Digicel cost5:
- Aruba landlines and mobiles, Afl. 0.9 per minute
- Canada, Afl. 0.49 per minute
- USA, Afl. 0.67 per minute (cheaper to Hawaii, Alaska, and US Virgin Islands)
- UK, Afl. 0.72 per minute
- Netherlands, Afl. 0.67 per minute
Digicel include unlimited calls to other Digicel mobiles in their bundles. The unlimited data bundles also include a small number of minutes (10 - 50) to other Aruba numbers. Digicel also offers prepaid bundles for additional minutes of calls to popular destinations such as the US, Canada, Colombia and The Netherlands (e.g. 80 minutes for Afl. 30)6.
Calls with Setar cost7:
- Aruba landlines and mobiles - Afl. 0.79 per minute peak and Afl. 0.38 per minute off-peak
- Canada, Afl. 0.55 per minute
- USA, Afl. 0.63 per minute
- UK, Afl. 0.8 per minute
- Netherlands, from 0.65 per minute (extra for peak and for calling mobiles)
Are Better SIM Cards Available After Leaving the Airport?
It may be cheaper to purchase a SIM card itself after leaving the airport, but likely only buy a few florins. All bundle and rate prices in this article apply to SIM cards purchase at the airport and after leaving the airport.
Digicel sell their local SIM card for Afl. 25 and it includes 250mb of data already. All rates and bundles are the same8.
Setar have cheaper bundle rates available if using a local SIM. I find these are only worth the hassle of finding a Setar store if you plan on staying in Aruba more than 2 weeks.
Roaming into Aruba
- AT&T includes Aruba with their Roaming Passport for 70 USD per month9;
- T-Mobile includes Aruba in plans with Simple Global (unlimited 2G data)10.
For Americans not already subscribed to AT&T’s roaming passport, buying a Digicel or Setar SIM card is probably better value.
- Rogers11 and Telus12 charge 12 CAD per day to use your regular quota in Aruba;
- Bell charges 12 CAD per day for 500mb and unlimited calls to Aruba and Canada13.
Canadians should also consider getting a Digicel or Setar SIM card when arriving in Aruba.
- Vodafone charges £6 per day to use your plan in Aruba (free on plans that cover Roam-further destinations)14;
- EE doesn’t appear to have any data bundle suitable for use in Aruba15.
Buying one of the local SIM cards is cheaper for Brits, unless you already have the Vodafone plan that includes Roam-further destinations.
Roaming to Other Countries with an Aruba SIM
Digicel offers Roam Like You’re Home bundles where for a prepaid fee roaming rates are brought in-line with the ‘default’ rates for Digicel prepaid SIM cards. This option is only available to select countries (US, Netherlands, Cuba, and a few others). I don’t find this a worthwhile choice for visitors to Aruba who are then traveling on to these countries. Data still costs 50 US cents per minute; get a local SIM card in the next country instead.
I’ve heard Digicel offer true roam like you’re home (where you can use your bundle quota) when roaming in Bonaire and Curaçao. I can’t find any concrete information about this and haven’t tried it myself.
Setar charges per minute and per megabyte rates while roaming, except for receiving calls in other Netherlands Antilles countries. Roaming bundles are not currently available.
When I last checked, identification was not required to purchase or register a SIM card in Aruba.
Written by Chris who travels frequently for work and understands what it can be like to arrive somewhere new and unfamiliar.
I wrote Landing Last Minute to help the hurried traveler get necessary information about any destination.