Mexico is an awesome destination for digital nomads, backpackers and vacationers alike. Its got heaps of different landscapes, culture and epic things to do. However, roaming charges can be expensive, buying a local sim comes with the risk of getting scammed and WIFI can be slow and unreliable. That’s where an eSIM for Mexico comes into its own. This way you can organise everything before you travel and head off with complete peace of mind that you can stay connected for your trip. 

Using the internet and more specifically our phones when we travel has become pretty much essential in 2023. From booking flights to searching for a bed in a hostel, planning an itinerary for your next stop or just keeping in contact with family. Our phones are pretty powerful when we utilise them in the right way, they can help us make the most of our trip, save our arses when we get lost and most importantly, upload those selfies to the ‘gram! That’s not to mention e-tickets, digital visas and booking UBERS from the airport.

So, let’s take a deep dive and have a more detailed look at what buying a prepaid eSim for Mexico entails. 

I’m on a boat yo!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

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In this post we’re going to give you to low down on these epic eSims by HolaFly, trust us, these bad boys are going to revolutionise the way you use the internet and your phone when you travel!

What is an eSIM and How Does It Work?

An eSIM is exactly what you think it is, it’s a digital sim card that replaces the need for a conventional plastic sim card that you physically have to insert into your phone. Instead, you download the eSim package in a similar fashion to installing an app and after a simple set-up, away you go! It really is that simple! The eSim phenomena is growing fast and with good reason.

Advantages of Having an eSIM vs a Traditional SIM

There are several benefits to a travel eSIM when compared to purchasing a traditional SIM when you arrive in a new country.

First up is the most important from a sustainable travel perspective. Each and every new SIM card you buy is yet another piece of single-use plastic that will be floating around in the ocean or piling up in a landfill. We just love any eco-friendly travel product that reduces our carbon footprint as we make our way around the world.

Then we come to the practicalities of getting a new SIM card in every country you visit. You’ve got to research what is required (some countries ask for ID or make it hard for foreigners), queue up at a store and figure out what plans are on offer in a different language and then there’s where to store your own SIM card for when you return home!

What’s more, eSIMs are fast becoming the norm, especially in Europe. More and more cell phones are compatible with the use of eSIMs and that continues to advance year by year from both the perspective of phone developers and eSIM companies.

Then comes the cost. Compared to getting stung with roaming data charges, you know where you stand with an eSIM. You pay for what you need and use what you want. No more nasty surprises when you get home from your trip!

Telling my Mum I’m not actually coming home!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Holafly eSIM in Mexico Advantages, Review, and Pricing

Holafly is a Spanish company built for travelers by Travelers. Besides the eSim Mexico package, they offer plans in more than 120 destinations including the USA, Turkey and Italy.. you can check our Holafly experience with the review of their esim Europe.

Holafly eSIM Advantages

Holafly being one of the most established networks when it comes to eSIMs has a wider reach than many other start-ups. They partner with a network of local carriers to provide reliable packages in each region, so if you’re going to buy an eSIM for Mexico, you can’t go wrong with Holafly.

Not only that but in our experience we’ve found that their app and website are super easy to use and make it quick and simple to get set up. In fact, you can be up and running in only 10 – 15 minutes. Their support is top notch too with 24/7 availability meaning wherever you find yourself in the world, they’ve got your back. There are not many other providers that can say the same.

Other benefits to using Holafly include the ability to keep using your WhatsApp number which is super useful especially when you’re working overseas. With the eSIM you pay for the “card” and for a data package. Unfortunately, eSIMs don’t include a local phone number so traditional calls can’t be made, but with Holafly’s integration with WhatsApp, you can still easily ring out.

Oh, one more thing! If you’re planning on continuing your journey south after Mexico, then Holafly is also an awesome option for an eSIM for South America too.

Need to know more? We’ve put together a more in-depth review of Holafly eSIMs covering all the different regions they are available in and comparing them to other providers.

How to Activate the eSIM

If you’re wondering how do I use an esim? You are in the right place, activating the eSIM on your phone is super easy. We’ve put together a little step-by-step guide here:

One of the most useful features of an eSIM is that you can activate it before you travel, meaning you’re all set when you arrive. Just install it on your phone before your flight and you can activate it whilst you’re in the air or as soon as you land.

For iPhone:

  1. Open your email – Have a different device available so you can open the QR code sent to your via email.
  2. Scan the QR code – Open your camera on the phone you’d like to install Holafly and scan the QR code on the other device.
  3. Follow the installation steps on your iPhone – Scanning the code will start the installation process. There will be a simple step-by-step configuration process to follow.

If you don’t have access to another device, you can use the provided “Activation Code” in your email by going to the “Mobile Data” selection on your settings menu. Select “Add eSIM” or “Add Data Plan” and then select “Use QR Code”. Then select “Enter Details Manually”.

For Android:

  1. Open Settings on your device – Press “Connections” and enter “SIM card manager”. Then click on “Add eSIM” to start the installation process.
  2. Open your email – Open your email on a different device to the one you will be installing Holafly on.
  3. Scan the QR code and follow the installation steps – Follow the on-screen steps to install your eSIM. When you arrive at your destination follow the instructions to connect to the internet.
Holafly

Holafly eSIM Pricing

Holafly offers competitive pricing across the range of eSIMs available in Mexico. You might just find that buying a local sim card vs an international is cheaper, but with the hoops you’ve got to jump through and the uncertainty of arriving without a connection, your money is well spent being prepared before you travel.

Holafly offers unlimited data across all its packages in Mexico, instead, you pay by the number of days you want to use the service. This means you never have to worry about running out of data or being caught out without access to the internet.

For those travelling for longer, their prices are especially competitive and if you’re planning on working whilst travelling, they offer superb value for money as well as a solid and reliable connection. An example is that their 5-day package will set you back $19, whereas a 90-day package costs $99. – this works out at less than $1.40 per day.

For us, the 30 – 90 day packages offer incredible value and we’d highly recommend investing in the longer subscriptions if you know you’re going to be in the country for a while.

Holafly costs for Mexico are:

  • 5-day: $19.00
  • 7-day: $27:00
  • 10-day: $34.00
  • 15-day: $47.00
  • 20-day: $54.00
  • 30-day: $64.00
  • 60-day: $84.00
  • 90-day: $99.00

 Is my cell phone compatible with the eSIM Card?

If you’re living in the Jurassic age, your phone might just not be compatible with a 5g eSIM for Mexico! Not every phone is … especially the Nokia 3210 you’ve had since high school! Basically, for your phone to be compatible with an eSIM it’s got to have this special microchip hardware installed, and unfortunately, a lot of older models don’t have this.

This even includes some iPhones that you might not think are that old, an iPhone 8 for example. In this case, you’re going to have to opt for an old-school SIM card in Mexico this time! * boomer alert! *

The following devices are eSim compatible

Apple

  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro
  • iPhone SE 2 (2020)
  • iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 3 (2022)
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max
  • iPad Pro 11? (model A2068, from 2020)
  • iPad Pro 12.9? (model A2069, from 2020)
  • iPad Air (model A2123, from 2019)
  • iPad (model A2198, from 2019)
  • iPad Mini (model A2124, from 2019)

Samsung

  • Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20+ 5g, S20 Ultra, S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ 5G, S21+ Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Z Fold3 5G, Z Fold4, Z Flip, Z Flip3 5G, Z Flip4
  • Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+, S23 Ultra

Google

  • Google Pixel 2, 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4, 4a, 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 5, 5a
  • Google Pixel 6, 6a, 6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro

* Google Pixel 3 devices from Australia, Japan, and Taiwan are not compatible with eSIM./ Google Pixel 3a from South East Asia is not compatible with eSIM.

Samsung

  • Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20+ 5g, S20 Ultra, S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ 5G, S21+ Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Z Fold3 5G, Z Fold4, Z Flip, Z Flip3 5G, Z Flip4
  • Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+, S23 Ultra

Need to stick to a traditional SIM card? We’ve got you covered too! Check out our guide to the best travel SIM cards and see which one suits your needs.

Other Options to Connect to the Internet in Mexico

Of course, getting an eSIM isn’t the only way to stay connected when travelling around in Mexico and depending on your needs, there might be other options that suit you more. We’ll have a look at each one and the pros and cons of them.

Pocket Wifi

Pocket Wifi isn’t actually all that different to using data, in fact, that’s exactly what it is, just in a different configuration. Think of it like when you use your phone to share your data, connecting your laptop to the internet via your mobile.

Rather than having your data on an eSIM inside your phone, your data instead is on a portable WiFi device that, as the name suggests, is small enough to fit inside your pocket. This device can then be used to connect almost anything compatible to the internet.

So you could take it out to the beach and connect your phone, laptop, or speaker to the internet. You can then take it back to your apartment and connect up your TV and stream a few movies.

The big problem is that with this versatility comes a much higher cost. Often you’ll be paying over $80 for the week and the amount of data you receive is limited. Some companies also require you to pay either a bond or insurance for their device in case you lose or break it.

Free Wifi

We all love a bit of free wifi and when you travel to Mexico you’ll be able to find it often in bars, restaurants, cafes and your accommodation. It’s a great way to stay connected to your social media and plan out a few activities for the day ahead.

The biggest issue with free wifi however is reliability. Mexico in particular is known for its substandard Wifi connection and you just never know from one hostel to another if you’ll actually have a useful wifi connection or one that drives you insane just trying to share a story to Instagram … let alone have a full-on Watsapp video call with your folks back home!

What’s more, sometimes free wifi connections can be compromised and insecure, meaning your information is at risk of getting stolen.

Roaming

If you’re either unfortunate or you’re rich AF and just don’t care, then old-school roaming might just be the way you go! Roaming is basically when you keep your SIM card from home and when you arrive at your destination, your carrier connects to a local network and charges you a hefty bill for the pleasure! No bueno!

Different providers have different prices when it comes to roaming charges, but generally speaking, roaming in Mexico does seem to be particularly expensive. Expect to pay something like $15 per MB or $5 a day depending on how much data you use. You’ll usually get a text message when you land from your provider explaining the charges. However, it’s always best to research them beforehand as some providers do offer packages that are substantially cheaper than their roaming fees.

Whilst roaming does have its place and can get you out of a bind in an emergency, it’s also just hella expensive! If you’re not the kind of person who likes a nasty surprise after a worldy of a trip, then make sure to switch roaming off and stick with an eSIM instead!

Stay connected on the road.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Other eSim Mexico Options

So far we have focused on HolaFly as the best eSim option for Mexico but there are other providers out there. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

GigSky

Established in 2010 and based in Palo Alto, California, GigSky is a mobile technology firm that specialises in providing e-SIM and SIM card data services to travellers across the globe. Distinguishing itself from the majority of eSIM providers, GigSky operates as an independent Network Operator, collaborating with over 400 carriers worldwide. This unique position grants them access to an extensive network infrastructure, ensuring more reliable service and fewer outages than many competitors.

GigSky offers competitively priced data packages accessible in more than 190 countries, along with a global sim option, several regional sim packages, and a bespoke “Land + Sea” package making it one of the best sim options for cruise goers.

GigSky offer a few different Mexico options including a FREE package that gies users 100MB for 7 days! They also cover Mexico as part of their North America package too – click the button below to find out more.

Jetpac

Jetpac eSim
Jetpac eSim

As our world gets smaller, needing an international sim while travelling becomes not just a luxury but an absolute necessity. Enter Jetpac, a game-changing travel eSIM provider promising seamless connectivity at low costs, across the globe, sign me up.

Singaporean-based Jetpac are fast carving out a chunky niche in the increasingly competitive eSIM market, by providing easy, instant access to network services in a digital format.

If you’ve just figured out how to add emojis and take a selfie, don’t panic, it’s simple to activate a Jetpac eSIM. Users need to sign up on the Jetpac website or app, choose a plan that fits their travel needs, and then scan a QR code to install the eSIM on their device. And it gets better, Jetpac eSIMs are compatible with a range of devices, including many models from Apple, Samsung, and Google.

We love Jetpac for its ease of setup and reliable connectivity. JetPac makes it a handy tool for international travel, ensuring continuous access to mobile data across multiple destinations. While they don’t offer local numbers, we love that most of their packs last for 30 days by default so you can just concentrate on how much data you need.

Sim Options

Homepage of SimOptions website
SimOptions

SimOptions is a reputable global marketplace that specialises in offering high-quality prepaid eSIMs for travellers in over 200 destinations worldwide. The platform has been dedicated to providing the best possible eSIM and international sim options at the most competitive rates for travellers since 2018. They rigorously test and select eSIMs to ensure that you receive the best connectivity and service wherever you travel.

As well as effectively acting as a broker from a number of the best eSIM providers, SimOptions also offer their own eSIM products too.

Basically, SimOptions is kind of like a market comparison website for helping you find the best sim for your travels. You simply type in your destination and they bring up the different eSIM options from a wide number of prospective providers and suppliers

Sim Local

sim local homepage
Sim Local

Irish based Sim Local specialise in providing eSIM services, primarily targeted at global travellers to help them stay connected without incurring expensive roaming charges. Based in Dublin and London, Sim Local sells local SIM cards and eSIM profiles through their retail outlets, vending machines, and online platforms.

Sim Local offers a variety of eSIM plans that can be activated instantly and are designed to provide a convenient and secure way to stay connected in numerous countries. Their services are beneficial for those who travel frequently, as they provide the option to switch between multiple eSIM profiles on a single device, depending on the user’s location and needs.

They also offer pretty comprehensive customer support and a range of payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, all processed securely via Stripe.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you’ve got all the information you need to decide whether a prepaid eSIM for Mexico is right for your trip. As you can see, when it comes to cost, practicality, usability and sustainability, Holafly offers an incredible service that is frankly hard to beat. They’re one of the top eSIMs for travel right now.

Sure, you can queue up in the market and risk getting scammed for a traditional SIM card. Spend a fortune on roaming charges. Or have the most frustrating video call with your Nan that leaves her thinking you’ve been kidnapped by the cartel on the free wifi!

But why put yourself through all that when you can organise your data before you fly and relax in the knowledge that you’ll be connected as soon as you land … and you won’t be left with any nasty surprises?

Avoid all the hassles and join the new eSIM technology. you will save a lot of time and money. and, if you want to save even more money, use my coupon code “THE BROKEBACKBACKER” to get a 5% discount.

Have you ever used Holafly or another eSIM company? What was your experience like?


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