CALLING FROM MEXICO
Many tourist areas feature telephones in very convenient locations near
popular hotels and restaurants with the blue and white sign stating: "Simply
Dial O" to reach the U.S. or Canada. True, these phones are easy to
use, and they will usually get your call through. However the cost of these
convenient phones is usually very steep. That easy going "Baja-buzz"
you had going when you made that collect call home turns to a sobering reality
when you get the phone bill.
Most folks have a long distance carrier at home that allow for phone
calls from Mexico. These calls tend to be the most reasonably priced, and
are almost as easy to make as the more expensive type mentioned above. Before
leaving home, it's usually a good idea to make a quick call to your long
distance carrier to find out which access number you need to dial from Mexico
when calling home.
STEP ONE - Your first step in preparing to make a phone call from Baja is to buy a pre-paid phone card for sale at markets all throughout Baja for $5.
STEP TWO - Your next goal when you want to make a phone call is finding a public phone that will handle the type of call you want to make, without the sky-high charges. Look for phones that say "LADATEL" "TELMEX" or "TELNOR". We strongly recommend that you stay away from the phones market "Simply Dial O" unless it's your only hope on making a call.
STEP THREE - Once you have found a good phone, pick up the receiver and slip your pre-paid phone card in to the slot 'arrow up', as instructed.
For AT&T calls from Baja, dial: 001 (800) 462-4240. For Sprint (and Pacific Bell) calls from Baja, dial: 001 (800) 877-8000.
Once you have accessed your long distance carrier, dial the number you want to call, and when prompted, enter the calling card number from your long distance carrier. That's it!
For AT&T calls, expect to pay about $4 U.S. for a service charge, plus $2.70 for the first minute and $2.24 for each additional minute. This may sound somewhat expensive, but its a heck of a lot cheaper than those "Simply Dial 0" bandits. Keep it short, tell him or her that you miss them, then get back to the beach!
The good news is that, if you are only using the Mexican phone card to access your toll-free long distance company, the phone card you bought will not be debited, and you can use this card over and over again!
For more information on obtaining a telephone card for discounted rates from Mexico check out the web site of MEXCARD
CALLING INTO MEXICO
If you are outside of Baja and wish to call someone in Baja (or Mexico) it helps to understand how those 13 digit phone numbers break down. Here is an example:
Telephone number 011-52 (624) 141-2345.
"011" gives the person dialing access to the International telephone dialing system.
"52" sends that phone call to the country of Mexico.
"624" is the city code for the Los Cabos area.
"141-2345" is the local phone number.
Pretty simple, huh? For calls to the state of Baja California (the northern half of the peninsula) the area code is "6". Now go call someone!