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How to Dial Phone Numbers


Dialling 800 numbers:

Step 1: Dial 01

Step 2: Dial 880 if you are dialling a US/Canada 800 number

  • Dial 881 if you are dialling a US/Canada 888 number

  • Dial 882 if you are dialling a US/Canada 877 number

  • Dial 883 if you are dialling a US/Canada 866 number


I have a US/Canada phone, but no international plan - what can I do? 

US or Canadian phones can be activated to work in Mexico for a low monthly cost if they are not "locked". You can purchase a SIM card and install it into your Canadian or US phone and you can get these at at the local convenience stores or of the big cell phone companies, Telcel, ATT, or cell phone resellers. You can add minutes on a pay-as-you-go plan, or you can pay by the month.


An example: 200 pesos/month will get you: unlimited calls, text, 500MB of data and an additional 1,500MB for the“basic apps” (WhatsApp, FB, Twitter).  Mexico Sim Card has a great website where you can customize the plan to your specific needs and buy it online.

Even if you are like us and don't use your phone to actually make calls, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process in case of emergency.  In early 2015, the Mexican government passed new laws regulating the telecommunications industry. These actions caused the average cell phone bill to plummet, and Mexicans currently enjoy some of the least expensive coverage in the world. Most major carriers provide plans that include calling and SMS across North America.

The Facebook-owned messaging app is one of the most popular methods of communication. The same numbers and rules for dialling can be applied.


DialingCode.com is a handy link as well so here it is.

In our case, we use a US phone with AT&T with an unlimited data plan. For us, it’s the way to go as we never worry about going over our data and getting a nasty bill, or having data slow down. With the ubiquity of Wifi connections, however, cellular data can be kept to a minimum. Pro tip: Adding phone numbers into your smartphone as contacts will allow you to dial them without having to enter country codes. 

Despite greater access, the calling process can still be puzzling at times. For starters, most people in Mexico write their phone numbers differently. They tend to memorize and repeat phone numbers (and other numbers too) in groups of two or three. Americans and Canadians remember their numbers in the XXX-XXX-XXXX format. In Mexico, you might hear XXXX-XX-XX-XX or XX-XX-XXX-XXX. We have included all of the different formats below so you can get used to the chaos. It’s amazing how just switching where the space goes in a number can be confusing.

How To Dial A Phone in Mexico – Note, the Puerto Vallarta Area Code is 322.


From a Landline to a landline in the same city in Mexico 
Prefix needed: No prefix, no area code
Complete dialed number: 123-4567

This is the simplest option anywhere. The caller pays $1.5 pesos per minute plus IVA. A house Telmex phone line will get the first 100 calls per month free. A business Telmex phone line pays for every call.


From a Landline to a cell phone in the same city
Prefix needed: 044
Complete dialed number: 044-32-21-234-567 (US Format: 044-322-123-4567)

When asked, a person will usually give you his/her cellular phone number with the area code (in the case above “322”). Thus, “Mi numero celular está ‘32 21 234 567’.


From a Landline to a cell phone in another town 
Prefix needed: 045
Complete dialed number: 045-32-21-234-567

This will be a long distance call from your landline and the calling phone will pay the entire cost of the phone call. The cell phone will not get charged for the long distance call.

For example, if the PV land line is (322)123 45 67 and you are calling a cell phone based in Merida, you will dial 045 999 123 4567 (Merida area code is 999). You will use the same protocol, even if the person you are calling happens to be in Progreso at the time if their phone is usually based in Merida.


From a Landline to a landline in another town (PV to Merida)
Prefix needed: 01
Complete dialed number: 01 (999) 123 4567

This is larga distancia automatica nacional (automatic national long distance) and you will dial 01 before the area code and the phone number. The caller will be charged about $4 pesos during the day and $2.50 pesos at night for this phone call (without a special larga distancia plan).


From a Cell phone in Mexico to a cell phone in Mexico
Prefix needed: None
Complete dialed number: 322-123-4567

To call a cell phone from another cell phone, regardless of where the person is located at the moment, just dial the area code and the numbers without a prefix. The caller pays, and the cost depends on the plan. The cheapest Telcel cost for this type of call is $1 peso per minute; an Amigo card charges $2.5 pesos per minute plus IVA for the same call (prices may have changed).


From a cell phone to a landline in the same town
Prefix needed: None
Complete dialed number: 322-123-4567 or 123-4567

You can either dial the area code and the 7 numbers or just the seven numbers.

From a cell phone to a landline in another town (PV to Playa del Carmen)
Prefix needed: 01
Complete dialed number: 01-984-123-4567


From a cell phone to a US or Canada cell phone or landline
Prefix needed: 001
Complete dialed number: 001-408-123-4567

To dial an international phone number from Mexico to the United States or Canada, dial the prefix 001, followed by the area code (408) and the phone number. There is no difference in dialing protocol for dialing a landline or a cell phone number.


From a US or Canada phone to a cell phone in Mexico
Prefix needed: 011-52-1
Complete dialed number: 011 52 1 322 1 23 45 67

You will dial 011 to make an international call. Then dial Mexico’s country code, which is “52”. Follow this with a “1” to indicate that you are dialing a cell phone in Mexico. Then dial the area code and number.


If you are in the city where you have contracted for and/or purchased your cell phone in Mexico, you will not be charged for an incoming phone call. If you bought your phone in PV, but are receiving this call on a weekend in Guadalajara, you will be charged something per minute (depending on your plan) for mobility (what we used to call ‘roaming’).


From a US or Canada phone to a landline in Mexico
Prefix needed: 011-52
Complete dialed number: 011 52 999 1 23 45 67

You will dial 011 to make an international call. Then dial Mexico’s country code, which is “52” and then the area code and number.

Dialing a Toll-Free Number in US or Canada from Mexico

Sometimes you really need to call a toll free US number from Mexico. It won’t be toll-free anymore but being able to do it still comes in very handy! Dial 001 and then dial 880 if your toll-free number begins with 800. Dial 881 for an 888 number. Dial 882 for an 877 number and dial 883 for all 866 numbers. For instance, if the number is 1-800-555-5555, you would dial 001-880-555-5555.

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