TELEPHONES & CELLULAR (An Introduction)
Using phones in Mexico can sometimes be tricky. There are different codes you need to use depending on if you are calling landlines or cellular phones and if they are local or long distance.
CALLS FROM CANADA/USA
To call Costalegre from a Canada/USA Land Line use the following procedure. Dial the International access code from Canada (011), then the country code for Mexico (52), then the local area code (315), then the local number. Note: In Jalisco area codes can be two or three digit numbers. (Guadalajara is 33)
NUMBER BREAKDOWN 011.52.315.355.5399 (Police Station in Barra de Navidad)
International Access Code from Canada/USA 011
Country Code for Mexico 52
Area Code (claves) 315
Local Telephone Number 355.5399
(To call a Costalegre Cell Phone from Canada/USA dial a "1" between the Country Code and the Area Code)
CALLS TO CANADA/USA
Long distance calls to Canada/USA are accessed by first dialing 00 then the country code which is 1 for both Canada and USA, then the area code plus the seven digit number. (Eg: Victoria International Airport 001-250-953-7500)
LOCAL CALLS IN MEXICO
In 1999 the phone numbering system was changed to match up with the rest of North America. Local telephone numbers will be seven digits, with a two or three digit area code. It will probably take a few more years before the whole country is converted. In Costalegre often only five digit numbers are listed, but from a pay phone you must dial all seven numbers. For example to call the tourist bureau in Barra de Navidad from Canada or the USA you would dial 011.52.315.355.5100, but locally you would only dial 355.5100. In some local areas, you only have to dial the last five digits.
LONG DISTANCE WITH-IN MEXICO
For National long distance with-in Mexico, you have to dial the national long distance code (01) before dialing the two or three digit area code, and then the number. For example to call the Hotel de Legazpi in Melaque from Puerto Vallarta dial 01.315.355.5397. For cellular telephones dial (01), then the ten digit number.
Any unlocked Smart phone may be activated with a Mexican number by purchasing a new chip at a local cellular store. There are various voice, text and data plans available. A data plan will allow you to access your emails and browse the Internet anywhere there is cellular coverage.
Many visitors buy a Pay-As-You-Go cell phone which can be purchased from $400+ Pesos. Usually 50 to 100 minutes are included in this No Contact deal. Make sure you are joining the same company network (Telcel, Movistar, etc) as your friends or relatives. You may re-charge your phone with minutes at any OXO or KIOSCO corner store or any cellular store, or on-line from the TelCel Website. TelCel cell phones work in Canada on the Rogers network.
To Dial a local cellular number from a Landline Phone within the (315) area code, dial (044), then the number. When you are outside of the area code (but still within Mexico), dial 045 and then the 10 digit phone number. Cell phone to Cell phone only requires the 10 digit number.
Telcel Customer Service (Mexico City) Weekdays 8am-8pm, Weekends 9am-6pm.
From the USA: 1.888.350.4035, From Canada: 1.877.837.5618.
CALLING TOLL-FREE NUMBERS
Some toll free numbers work from Mexico to the USA and Canada, but many do not. Those that do work are often not toll-free. You need to dial a different prefix. To call the following toll free prefixes, dial as follows: 800 numbers Dial 001-880 then the number. 866 numbers Dial 001-883 then the number. 877 numbers Dial 001-882 then the number. 888 numbers Dial 001-881 then the number.
MagicJack is an internet based Voice over IP telephone system. A hardware device is required for computer operation, and an App for smart phones is available. One device plugs into computer USB port, or another plugs into ISP modem (you need only one or the other). A regular handset phone is plugged into the hardware device. For a flat yearly fee MagicJack provides Canadian and USA telephone numbers. Calls can be placed from Mexico for free, and friends/relatives can easily call your home number which you answer in Mexico. For calls to Mexican phone numbers you need to pay an extra yearly fee for International calling. Then you can dial using this format: 011.52.1.315.355.6777.
MEXICAN PHONE CARDS
Pre-paid Mexican phone cards (tarjetas telefonicas) can be purchased at small stores and shops in $30, $50, $100 peso amounts. The are used for local calls at Pay Phones. Tel-Mex charges a peso per minute. These cards are highly recommended for local calls from phone booths. To use a prepaid phone card, pick up the receiver, insert your card and wait for the balance to show on the display before dialing. Normally there are instructions on the phone booth. When buying a phone card for payphone use, specify that you would like a tarjeta LADA. Note: Pay phones do not accept coins.
Fax numbers are dialed the same as phone numbers. Many fax numbers in Costalegre are regular voice telephones with a fax machine plugged in parallel. If a person answers, you have to ask them to start their fax machine. "Quiero enviar un fax por favor"
COSTALEGRE AREA CODES
The main area code for the Costalegre is 315, but it changes when phoning inland as La Huerta is 357 and Autlán is 317. Manzaillo to the South is 314, Puerto Vallarta to the North is 322 and Guadalajara is 33.