Mexico Internet Access & Telephone Service

One of the best options for calling home are the Telmex public phones that are widely available in Mexico. You should first buy a pre-paid Lada telephone card, which can usually be found at new stands, pharmacies and grocery stores. These cards will work for both local and international calls.

You will likely see other public pay phones that will accept credit cards for international calls. Some of these offer a decent rate but others are high priced scams so some care should be exercised before inserting your credit card into them.

  1. credit: 44603071@N00 on Flickr

You will likely see other public pay phones that will accept credit cards for international calls. Some of these offer a decent rate but others are high priced scams so some care should be exercised before inserting your credit card into them.

To direct dial to the U.S. from Mexico, dial 001 then the area code and number (without an additional 1 before the area code.)

To dial long distance within Mexico dial 01 then the 3-digit area code, usually starting with the number 9 (except for Mexico City) and then the local number.

Most phone companies like AT&T and MCI will have a domestic toll free number you can access and allow you to charge your calls to your regular carrier from back home.

For AT&T calling card service, call 01-800-288-2872 or 001-800-462-4240 from either a private phone or a Ladatel public phone. When prompted, enter the telephone number you’re calling as follows:

To call the US or Canada, dial the area code and 7 digit number.

To call other countries, dial 01 + country code + city code + number

After the tone, enter your AT&T Calling Card (not the international number) or credit card** number. If you’re calling collect, hold for the AT&T Operator.

To make an MCI Calling Card call from Mexico, dial 01 800-021-8000 or 001-800-674-7000 and follow the voice instructions.

Many other carriers offer a similar calling card service. You should check with your service regarding dialing procedure before you travel.

Some cell phones from the U.S. will work in some parts of Mexico and you should check with your service regarding dialing procedure before you travel. One word of caution: Unless you’ve used it before in Mexico, don’t count of your cell phone working there even if your service tells you that it will. I’ve followed my company’s directions on using my cell phone in Mexico and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

  • Tip: Buying a cell phone?
  • If you decide to buy a cell phone or Sim card to use in your phone, you’ll need to take your passport with you to the Telcel office.

If you’re planning frequent trips to Mexico and feel like you want a cell phone but don’t want to switch your regular cell phone over or upgrade to include Mexican service, Telcel offers several prepaid plans that don’t carry any activation or monthly service fees.   They market what they call an Amigo Kit that includes a phone, a card with prepaid minutes, a battery & charger and a Sim card for a very reasonable fee.  Or if your phone will accept a Sim card, you could simply buy that (from Telcel) and a pre-paid card and you’re good to go. Adding time to your phone is as simple as buying an additional prepaid card and activating it on your phone.

If you look, you won’t have any problem finding internet access in all but the smallest villages in Mexico. For a partial list of internet cafes all over Mexico, click here for the Mexico Internet Cafe Guide.