For those of you who traveled in Mexico in the Good Old Days, you'll have memories (nightmares) of waiting for hours in "Larga Distancia" when you wanted to call farther than across town. Or perhaps you remember trying to locate a local pay phone that worked, and, last but not least, one of the nearly obsolete coins that they'd accept.
Fortunately, that's all changed. Throughout Mexico, you'll now find brightly painted Telmex/Ladatel phone booths that accept Ladatel prepaid calling cards. These cards are sold in small stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and newsstands. They come in dominations from 35 pesos to 100 pesos. Just slip the calling card in the slot and the digital display will show you how many pesos you have left on the card.
Calls across town usually cost 1 peso. To another town in Mexico, 1-4 pesos per minute. To the US and Canada, 10 pesos per minute.
Call Back Services
Once you've found a house in Mexico (with a telephone) you'll want to call back to the States or Canada to keep in touch with family and friends, or for business. However, international long distance calls are still quite expensive from Mexico. Although you can work out deals with Telmex (the lowest we've heard of is $ .45 a minute), Call Back services offer better deals.
Call Back services give you a number in the US that you first dial and then hang up after one ring. The company's automated service then calls you back. When you pick up the receiver, youll hear a US dial tone. You then dial your number, just as if you were in the US, using a US phone line. The charge goes directly onto your credit card.
We use a company called Koala Calling whenever we're in Mexico. Koala Calling offers excellent calling rates from Mexico with calling plans that have no monthly fees, no minimum usage requirements, and no call surcharges.
When we return to the states to visit family, we use Koalas service (with another special code and a number to call) to make calls to Mexico for the same price. The same codes allow us to make economical long distance calls within the US. This is very useful when Carl and I visit our respective families.