Antigua has modern telecommunications making it fast and easy to connect with individuals in the rest of Guatemala and beyond. Most cafes and accommodations include wifi and it is simple and inexpensive to buy a SIM card from a local service provider so you can always stay connected. Guatemala is also in the process of being connected via Starlink. The international dialing code for Guatemala is +502.
Internet and Wifi
Most cafes and accommodations will offer complimentary wifi, although the speed will vary. There are also co-working spaces that are popular with digital nomads and individuals that need a strong, reliable internet connection.
Co-Working in Antigua
We have gone ahead and selected some of our favorite cafes and co-working spaces in Antigua for you to check out and connect with other remote workers.
The strongest internet connection can usually be found at designated co-working spaces, although the above cafes offer a reliable connection in you don’t need to upload or download large files.
Antigua is in the process of being connected via Starlink, which will increase the internet speed in the city to rates that were otherwise impossible thanks to the use of low orbit satellites.
One thing to note is that the internet connection can be impacted by the weather. When there is a lot of rain, the internet speed can be reduced. Luckily, rain is only common during the late afternoons and evenings in the rainy season, giving you most of the day without having to be concerned with reduced speed for the majority of the day.
It is possible to use your cell phone while in Antigua. There are several options for staying connected with your cell phone while in Antigua. The first option is to use your home service provider’s roaming option. This will allow you to keep your phone number, although the connection will be slower and more expensive than the following options. Another option is keeping your phone on airplane mode and only using the phone over wifi. Wifi is plentiful in all of the cafes and restaurants and reliable.
Other options are to get a SIM card from either Tigo or Claro, the two main service providers in Guatemala (and Central America in general). Tigo and Claro both work quite well in Antigua and provide a nice backup for internet should you have problems with the wifi. Data in Guatemala is also relatively inexpensive. You can select one of several pre-paid data and phone plans when you buy your SIM card.
The process of buying a SIM card is relatively simple as well, although not every place where you can buy data for your phone sells SIM cards. You can find both Tigo and Claro SIM cards in the shops near the mercado. Please keep in mind that your cell phone needs to be unlocked in order for a Tigo or Claro SIM card to work. Once you purchase your SIM card and select your data plan you should be all set with a working phone.
Recharging Your Data
Should you run out of data before the end of your trip it is very easy to recharge your data. Simply go to any tienda (shop) with a Tigo or Claro sign (depending on your needs) and let them know that you want to recharge your data. You can do this by simply saying, “Puedo recargar mi (insert ‘Tigo’ or ‘Claro’ here) aquí?” and they should be able to help you out. If you’re not sure how much data you want you can ask to see a menu with all the options which all the stores should have. Make sure you keep your new phone number handy because they will ask for the phone number of the line that you want to recharge. Also keep in mind that you will need to pay in cash in order to recharge your data, even if the tienda accepts cards for other products.
Another option, if you have a newer generation phone, is the use of an eSIM. What is an eSIM? Basically, it’s a digital version of a physical sim card. You can check if eSIM is an option for you by going to settings > connection > sim manager. If you see eSIM, then it may be an option as long as your phone provider hasn’t locked you out of this option. There are quite a few options for eSIMs, but the one we use is Airalo. If you click on on this link, you’ll be able to get $3USD off of your first eSIM data pack. We will also include a video below to help you better understand what Airalo is and how to set up your eSIM.