San Salvador - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

I kept my U.S.-based plan. Don't know anything about local phones. - Oct 2023

I kept my TMobile plan here; lots of other people use Google Fi. - Feb 2022

Local service here is $30/month and works in US and the region. - Aug 2021

Local providers are Claro, TIGO etc who come to embassy weekly to help embassy folks. Very convenient. - Jun 2018

Bring an unlocked phone, as iPhones are expensive here. If you are working for the embassy they will provide you with a phone. We use a local provider. - Mar 2018

Bring an unlocked GSM phone. The mobile phone service representatives come to the embassy cafeteria once or twice a week so that you can pay your bill or setup service. Although, I actually recommend paying for Tigo at one of their stores in the mall. I’ve had too many issues where the rep at the embassy did not credit my account in the system until days later, and I had to go without service. - Jan 2018

The US embassy provides all US employees with iPhones. For family members we have a few options, TIGO, CLARO, others. - Nov 2017

Local provider. - Jul 2016

Bring an unlocked phone. Tigo and Claro are the big providers here, with Movistar and Digicel trying to move into the market. Contract plans are cheap, as are rates to call the U.S. - Dec 2015

iPhone plan costs about US$30/month through the Tigo rep at the Embassy. - Mar 2015

Most people get Tigo and it is pretty cheap though customer service is terrible. - Oct 2014

Buy an open phone. - Jul 2014

Tigo is cheap and reliable. - Apr 2012

Everyone has TIGO.There are many complaints but it could be worse. - Jul 2011

Don't use Tigo! I don't know if you'll have a choice, but everyone here hates Tigo so much it's become a verb, i.e. "I've been Tigo-ed! "I don't know how available and reliable data plans are, but El Salvador is, across the board, 25 years behind the rest of the world. Your iPhone will not work here, but if it did, you'd only be able to watch the Thundercats and ALF on it. - May 2010

Cell phones are plentiful and cheap. The rate to call the U.S. with your cell phone is currently about $0.03 per minute. - Feb 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More