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The Phone System in Cancun Mexico

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How does the Cancun Phone System work?

  • To dial USA/Canada from Cancun from a land line: 001-(area code) and 7 digit number
  • To dial Cancun from USA/Canada from a land line: 011-52 998 and 7 digit number
  • To dial Europe from Cancun from a land line: 00-(country code) and the number
  • To dial Cancun from Playa del Carmen from a land line: 01-998 and 7 digit number
  • In Mexico you can try to dial 800 US numbers from a land line by dialing 001-880 in place of the 800. It sometimes works but you might get an AT&T or Mexican recording that basically says, “no way... we will place the call but it is going to cost you at normal long distance rates.” If it rings normally and no recording comes on, you're in!.
  • If you are in Cancun and are phoning someones house or business from a land line you just dial the 7 digits
  • If you are in Cancun and are phoning a local cell phone you dial from a land line 044-998 followed by 7 digits
  • If you are in any Mexican city and are phoning a local cell phone you dial the area code followed by 7 digits. In Cancun you dial 998 followed by 7 digits.
  • If you are in anywhere in Mexico on a land line and are phoning a Mexican long distance cell phone you dial 045- followed by 10 digits
  • If you are a foreigner and live here, get a Vonage or MagicJack U.S. phone number and an Internet connection. This gives you a U.S. phone number here.

Tips for Internet Connected phones (Android/iOS)

Great programs

  • If you have a MagicJack, download the new App and your phone will make and receive US/Canada calls using your Internet connection.
  • Download Viber to make/receive free phone calls worldwide with other members (popular).

Tips and interesting stuff to know

Everyone here has a cell. Incoming cell calls are generally paid for by the person that is calling. An excellent idea! But to warn people that they are going to be calling a cell phone the numbering system had to be changed. In Cancun when you call a cell phone (that is also in Cancun) you need to dial 044 and the 998 area code first. That ‘044' lets you know that you are going to pay for the call. Ah, but this introduced a new problem. How do people outside of Cancun call you? It had to be compatible with the ‘standard' phone system. OK. So they decided that anyone outside of Cancun can call a Cancun cell by dialing +52 998 followed by the 7 digit cell phone number.... just like a normal Cancun phone. So a cell client in Cancun ends up paying for incoming ‘long distance' calls but not for incoming ‘local calls'.

When using a Telcel phone and want to check your balance FOR FREE, just dial *133# and hit send. Your balance will appear on your screen.

One more thing that is critical to know... never make a long distance phone call from a hotel room or a phone booth that is not marked Ladatel/TelMex . You can pay as much as USD 25 dollars a minute.

Go to an Oxxo or 7/11 type of store and get a Ladatel/TelMex prepaid phone card. The 50 peso (USD $4.00) card is popular. To phone Canada/US from Mexico is approx USD $0.50 a minute and perhaps only 2 pesos or so for a typical local call. Phone booths don't take coins. When using the Ladatel/TelMex prepaid card the phone will tell you how much money is left on the card when you insert it. When it gets to zero you end up with a nice souvenir. However, phone booths are becoming less and less popular because you get a cheap cell phone for about USD $30 and an instant Cancun phone number.


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