Many wonder what Nicaragua has to offer in cellular phone service options. For those traveling from the US to Nicaragua, they may have trouble using their cell phones in Nicaragua regardless of the international plans they may have. Phone companies in the US like AT&T offer international rates but they usually charge enormous rates for usage and there is no guarantee there will be service from the AT&T roaming plan. Someone traveling to Nicaragua is better off getting a prepaid phone through one of the service providers in Nicaragua.
The two main companies providing cell phone service in Nicaragua are Movistar and Claro. These service providers have different plans ranging from $10 to $100. For Movistar the $10 plan gets you 112 minutes and the most expensive plan goes to $75 gets you 832 minutes. The expensive plans usually include unlimited text messages and some data as well. For Claro their $10 plan includes 73 minutes while the $100 plan includes 846 minutes but also 3 MB of data. For those who may travel to Nicaragua often and need to keep in contact with work, family, email from back home this is a great option.
One other advantage of getting a local cell phone plan is that the plans include low rates to call the US. If there is an emergency you do not need to worry about your minutes being used up with a short call to the US or Canada. However, minutes tend to get used up a little quicker if you are using one service provider and calling someone with the other service provider (which also proves true with a lot of cell providers in the US as well).
There are plenty of stores that have these prepaid plan cards and cell phones are available to you around Managua and most other major cities in the country. They may even be sold inside the convenience stores of some gas stations. Even if someone feels they do not need a phone to use while in the country we recommend to pay and get the prepaid phone just as a precaution in case there is an emergency while traveling around Managua and or any other part of the country.
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