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Internet cafes, making telephone calls and staying connected in Mexico

Moving to Mexico

Where to find internet cafes in Playa Del Carmen

Internet cafes in Playa Del Carmen or “cybers” as they are referred to in Mexico, are found around town. You may want a place to print out flight reservations, surf the net or just email. These internet cafes can come in handy. Using a computer for a few minutes is not the only service they provide. Here are some of the services they offer:

  • Sending a fax and receiving one.
  • Making phone calls on a land line.
  • Making copies.
  • Printing out things.
  • Skype calls.

On the map below you can see where these are internet cafes are. Cost range from just 5 pesos for 15 minutes and up. At any rate it is affordable. Copies cost 1-2 pesos and a black and white printout can cost about 2 pesos.

Tip: Sometimes you need to print out a conformation that is in your email. Printing it out sometimes only prints the email page with all the ads and sidebars. Here is a trick for you. Copy what you need and open Microsoft office on the computer. Paste the information you need and print that out from there. Sometimes you can get help from the person at the desk but sometimes they are busy or not very knowledgeable about the programs.

Tip: If you cannot find the print button you can always press ctrl p and up will pop the print box. This works on most computers.

Tip: The @ sign is different on most keyboards in Mexico. You can use alt Q or alt 2 depending on the keyboard.

Making telephone calls in Mexico

Most of the internet cafes have “casetas“. This is a name for phone booths. You step into a glass booth and dial your number. Some have a digital screen so you see how much your call is costing while you are calling. Most international calls cost about 2 pesos a minute. These places can be handy if you just need to make a quick call to family members or that bank that has blocked your card because you are traveling.

It should be noted that some of these places are loud and the quality of the telephones vary. Some have low volume an most booths are open at the top and let a lot of sound in. If someone is talking on the phone next to you it can be loud.

Tip: If you are calling someone in Mexico it should be noted that most people do not use voice mail. It is viewed as inefficient and a text message is better or best of all to send a message. Most people use whatsApp. WhatsApp is a free app that allows you to send messages to your contacts, send photos, videos and now even phone calls over Wi-Fi and using your internet data on your phone. The phone calls on this app are still being worked on for quality but the messaging service is very good.

Pay Phones in Mexico

There are more pay phones then the few remaining in the United States of Canada. Most people do not use them  here and tourist do not really buy phone cards to use at them anymore. The one service they do function as is a collect call phone. If you have to call your credit card company or something you can use these for a collect call. The bad thing is that you will have to stand on a busy street and try to hear the conversation. That is why we recommend just using an internet café with caseta and paying for the call.

If you need to call the police, ambulance or have an emergency you can use any pay phone without charge.

Emergency numbers in Mexico

Here are some numbers for you to keep in mind. Emergency 911, Police 060.

Using your cell phone in Mexico

If you are coming for a short holiday and are brining your own phone, make sure you know what is included in your plan. Everyone does want to stay in touch while on vacation but you also don’t want it to cost as much as the vacation. A great use of your phone is just to use it with Wi-Fi here.

Caution should be taken with just leaving you phone on. If you get a phone call from outside Mexico and even if you do not answer it, you can end of paying $1 USD per call as a service that your phone company and the local Mexican company sent it through to you. That can add up fast.

Check you plan closely because some with say you have a special rate calling from Mexico but it is limited to certain areas of the country (usually just the big cities) and may not cover where you are on vacation, therefor making the plan useless for you.

How to dial phone numbers in Mexico

As of mid 2019 the way you dial land lines and cell phones has changed in Mexico. Below is a chart that shows what prefixes you will need for certain numbers. 

how to dial phone numbers in Mexico

Buying a phone in Mexico

If you are going to be in Mexico for a week or more and want to call numbers in Mexico you might want to buy a phone in Mexico. You can easily buy a basic phone for about $30USD and often they come with credit to use. You can buy basic phones in convenience stores like OXXO (the most popular convenience store). They also sell smart phones that you can buy a chip for and buy as much credit as you want and recharge it when you run low.

If you plan on living in Mexico you can go to an authorized dealer (like the Telcel store in Centro Maya Mall) and ask about buying a phone and getting a plan. This way you can get a nice phone and pay it off over the time of your contract. This usually only works for people that are heavy date users and for people that don’t have money upfront to buy an expensive phone outright.

If you have an unlocked phone you can use it in Mexico and just buy a chip here. There are several cell phone providers in Mexico but more people prefer Telcel. They have the best coverage especially in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Recharging your credit on your phone is fairly simple. You can do this online with official website of cellular service, convenience stores and even grocery stores. Some smaller stores will even do it for you and charge a commission of 1 peso. You can buy anywhere from 20 pesos and up. Most people usually put on 50 pesos-200 pesos at a time depending on how heavy of a user you are. Usually with more of a recharge the cell phone company give you a small gift credit. You can use your credit on your phone for phone calls, texting, and internet time.

Tip: to know how much credit you have left you can dial *133# and then your company will display on your screen your amount of credit.

Interesting fact: Unlike the other countries where a cell phone call in the country is all one rate, in Mexico there are local and long distance rates on cell phones.

Security tip on having a phone in Mexico

Common sense can pretty much eliminate this scam but you should know about it. Some of the scammers are pretty efficient in scaring people into giving them money. This is how it goes: you receive a phone call from a “relative” or about a relative. They will often try to get you to give them details without you thinking about it (for example a woman is crying on the phone and barely auditable, then you ask if it is “xxxx” your family member. Now they have your family members name. Then the person tells of how they are in trouble and need money.) They may get some details and then call back at a later time. There are  dozens of variations of this scam.

 Scammers call land lines and cell phones and just out of the amount of calls can get someone to believe that it is a real phone call. If you receive a call that sounds odd, hang up or think about it before you say anything. Knowing your friends and family schedule and if that even sounds plausible is the best defense against these phone scammers.

How to make a phone call to Mexico

If you need to call Mexico from another country the country code is 52. So you would dial 011 to get out of your country and then 52 +the number. This works for land lines.

If you need to call a cell phone in Mexico  from outside the Mexico you need to add 1 after the country code. Mexican cell phone users do not pay for the incoming call but you will pay more for calling a Mexican cell phone from outside of Mexico. So for example, you would dial 011-51-1-xxx-xxx-xxxx for a cell phone number.

How to make a phone call from Mexico

If you want to dial home you can follow this patter or numbers. You need to dial 00 to get out of Mexico, then the country code, then the area code and then the phone number. So it would look like this: 00 + 1 + area code + 7 digit number.

In the example above the country code is 1. That is for the United States and Canada. The country code for the UK is 44.

How to make 800 numbers from Mexico

You might need to call your credit card company or just an 800 number, 877, 888 or 866 number from Mexico. These calls are not free but you can call them from all phones in Mexico.  Sometimes they provide an international collect call number but this is only available from a pay phone or land line plus you will need to contact and talk with the operator. So this might be more trouble then it is worth.

You can easily call 800 numbers from Mexico. You do however need to change to code a little to make it work. Here is the little trick.

If a number is 800- replace it with 880. For 866 numbers replace it with 883. A 877 number replace it with 882. For 888 numbers replace it with 881. You just dial the rest of the number and then you get through to the office. So for example a 1-800-111-1111 number would be dialed 001 (to get out of Mexico) 880-111-1111.

Restaurants to rooftops and places where you can log on

Many restaurants in 5th Avenue have Wi-Fi and also coffee houses. You just need to ask for the “clave” or password. It is fairly easy to log on while on 5th Avenue but there are some spots that have more to offer so here they are.

Chou Chou Café is one of the nicest cafes in town with the best coffee. It has large windows of natural light and tables to work on. This café is not air conditioned but has fans and high ceilings. Besides having great coffee they also have good food. Chou Chou Café is located on 20th Avenue between 20th and 24th Street.

Inti Beach Club is one place on the beach where you can work online. They have seating not in the sand so you can bring your laptop and work. There are covered areas for inclement weather and food is served here.

Mayan Bistro is just off 5th Avenue and is a great place to take lunch while you log on and enjoy the open air restaurant. There is seating in the back with umbrellas next to the pool. It will not be a busy as a restaurant on 5th Avenue and you will have a more relaxed atmosphere. Good Wi-Fi is available. The Mayan Bistro is on 22nd Street between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue.

Office working rental space in Playa Del Carmen


This office rental space has the fastest internet connection and is set up by people that know what people want. Monthly rent is available, meeting rooms and private offices too.

Nest is on 10th Avenue between 38th Street and 40th Street.

Mura Café Cowork

This is a new coworking space that recently opened. It is on 5th Avenue between 34th and 38th Street in the Plaza San Pedro area.  Here is a link to their Facebook page

Do you have some tips for using internet cafes or making calls in Playa Del Carmen? Leave us a comment in the box below.

6 Comments on Internet cafes, making telephone calls and staying connected in Mexico

  1. Hi! Do you know if there is a place in the airport to buy a SIM card?

    Thank you!

    • Mr.Yucatan // February 25, 2016 at 6:17 AM //

      We do not remember anyplace at the airport. We can check again today because we will have somewhere there. Your best bet is to get one once you get to where you are going. It is easy to buy them in Oxxo convinence stores. There are some along the highway from the Cancun Airport.

  2. Good tips for calling home and thanks for the locations of the internet cafes! Good guides as usual here on your site.

  3. Great information!
    Are there any unlimited monthly pre paid internet sim cards to get? If so what do they cost for a month or 2 weeks and what would the speed of download be?

    • Mr.Yucatan // February 15, 2019 at 8:01 AM //

      There are Telcel and other cell phone companies that offer sim cards for your phone. Usually you need a plan to get unlimited and that is not really possible to do as a tourist. The best is doing pay as you go. Telcel is the best company because their coverage is the best. It might be better if you check to see if your current provider has some international rooming or data plan you can do. A good amount of data in Mexico on a sim card will cost around $55 USD.

  4. Tammy Daniluck // May 22, 2019 at 10:26 AM //

    Can anyone tell me how much internet speed is available in Selvamar? Playacar? Are most internet coming by satellites, fiber optic(FIOS), regular cable, or ‘dial up’? We need reliable high speed in order to rent a home.

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