Is It Possible to Buy Pre-Paid Cell Phones At the Airport?
You can bring an unlocked SIM phone to use in Costa Rica. In order for this service to work, you must have a phone that has a replaceable SIM/GSM card. Check with your cell provider first, but in general T-Mobile and AT&T use the SIM/GSM technology; Verizon phones do not have SIM cards and thus will not work. Purchase a Costa Rican SIM card at the airport (some grocery stores carry them as well).
An ICE prepaid SIM chip is $20 and is equipped with 250 minutes for domestic calls, which is the equivalent of about 65 minutes for international calls. There are also $10 and $5 SIM cards.
You can also buy a cheap, pre-paid phone once you arrive in Costa Rica. Pre-paid cell phones are now available at the airport through Kölbi (ICE), Claro, and Movistar. You can purchase pre-paid cell phones throughout Costa Rica, as these companies have shops in all the main towns.