How to Get a Peru SIM Card at the Lima Airport: 2023

**Updated August 18, 2023

The good thing is that SIM cards are relatively cheap in Peru. The downside is that you cannot currently buy a SIM card at the Lima airport in terms of the normal, cheap SIM cards that you can buy at any cell phone stand throughout the country. It used to be the case that you could get a normal SIM card after exiting arrivals at a Claro shop, but the shop permanently closed down sometime between 2022 and 2023. There’s 1 other shop that offers SIM cards, but they only offer minimum 1-month-long plans.

If you can wait, it’s much, much, MUCH cheaper overall to get a SIM card at any cell phone stand throughout the country outside of the airport. A typical SIM card is around S/5.00 (5 Soles, which equates to less than $1.50 US Dollars) for a prepaid plan that you can just top up any amount needed via an app. And yes, you can purchase a SIM card using your passport. For example, I have a prepaid SIM card saved for my parents. When they come to visit, I use the Claro app to continually top up their SIM card S/10 (10 Soles = less than US$3.00) for 3 GB of data that lasts 10 days.

With that in mind, you can see why the airport options below are not at all ideal and are the absolute biggest rip off:

  1. The Claro counter in the baggage claim area (pictured above – you can see baggage carousel #1 in the background for context) or in the little holding room before exiting to the arrivals area. These counters rent out temporary SIM cards (the cheapest of which is S/.80.00; 80 Soles). As a side note, if you’re looking for a Peru money exchange booth, stay in the baggage claim area, and click on the link for more information on options.
  2. The “be! smart” shop in the Departures area on the 2nd floor (pictured below – it’s by the entry to the Departure Gates behind Dunkin’ Donuts near the food court) offers Bitel SIM cards that come with a minimum 1-month plan (unlimited calls, text messages, Facebook, and more). There are only 3 plans available – S/80 (30 GB of data), S/100 (40 GB of data), and S/160 (unlimited data). Apparently, you don’t set up auto-payment, so the SIM will just expire on its own when the month is up. And they explicitly told me that they do NOT offer pre-paid SIM card plans at the airport.

As mentioned, my personal preference would be purchasing neither of the Lima airport SIM card options as it’s much cheaper to buy a prepaid SIM card anywhere else in the city. The downside to this is that you won’t have Internet leaving the airport to get to your hotel in Lima, so make sure you book some kind of airport transfer in advance because it’d be tricky using Uber without data.

  1. What are other options instead of a local SIM card?

    Here are options I've heard about from other travelers (these are not affiliate links): Airalo, GlocalMe.

  2. How do I get from Lima Airport to Miraflores?

    The easiest way to get from Lima Airport to Miraflores is by taking a taxi or Uber. Right after the baggage claim area, there's a small room you pass through before exiting to the arrivals area. In that small room, there are trustworthy taxi options, although these are normally double the price of an Uber. Usually, I call for an Uber once I get to the arrivals area because sometimes, they're already waiting there.

  3. Does Lima Airport Have WiFi?

    Yes! Lima Airport has WiFi and it's been completely free without any time limits since April 2021. See my post on “Is Lima Airport WiFi Free?” for more details.

  4. How Far is Lima Airport from the City Center?

    The Lima Airport is around 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) away from the City Center (west to east), but you may not actually be referring to the City Center. Most people don't stay in the City Center of Lima (where the Plaza de Armas is found) because it can be dangerous at night time. Instead, most people stay in the neighborhood of Miraflores (around 18 kilometers or 11 miles away; north to south), which is a very safe area to walk around at any time of day.

Have any questions about purchasing a SIM card at the Peru airport in Lima? Ask me! 🙂

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