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Communicating & Internet Options in Lima


Communications- cell phones, calling services
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Internet- access points
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Cell Phones

There are many stores around the city that offer rentals of cell phones, for temporary usage during your stay. When you arrive at the airport, to the baggage area, there is normally a group of uniformed telecom representatives that are offering temporary cell phone rentals. This service is convenient and it is ok for short stays and minimal calling. However, if you plan to be making frequent calls or have an extended stay, it could be much less cost to wait and rent a phone from a service outside the airport. Also, most of the service plans offer the call-initiator to pay for the call, and do not charge the call-recipient. This is known as "Lo que llama, paga" or the one that calls, pays. Nextel is also an available cell phone service, which could be useful for calling among a group of people as Nextel offers calls through their radio line, only to/from Nextel phones. An example 2010 tariff for unlimited use of Nextel Radio is $25 per month (s/.70.00 soles). However, Nextel service is ONLY AVAILABLE in Peru's coastal zone, not in the mountainous or jungle regions.

Costs of buying a cell phone range from about $18 for a basic cell phone, on up to $170 for one of a Smart phone variety.

2010 case example- I chose the Movistar service which offers nationwide coverage, as does another called "Claro." The phones cost from s./49 soles or about $18. I chose a pre-pay phone (pre-pago) with texting and radio features, costing s/.149 or about $50.00. The purchase came with an offer of adding contacts with other Movistar phones, which gives discounted calling to those numbers beyond the available balance for making calls or texting to others. This offer is maintained by adding s/20 soles every month (about $7.00). The cost of calling to Movistar phones or other cell providers is s/.0.50 centavos per minute. It costs more to call fixed-telephone numbers.

Note- an airport cell phone rental service is charging US$9.99 activation, US$9.99 per month. Free incoming calls. To make a call, per minute rate- US$0.50 within Peru, US$0.99 international. Texting capable. (March 2010) This might be an option for a temporary stay with minimal calling.

Telephone Call service

All around the city, you will see signs for "Locutorio." This is normally a small business that has phone booths for making local or international calls. It is a relatively good way to place calls, likely less that using a rented cell phone. It is a nominal fee per minute to call locally. The word "call" is "llamada" in spanish, pronounced like "Ya ma duh." When you enter this service, simply ask to make una llamada locale or internacional. If you are making a local call, they will need to know if it is to a fixed land-line phone number or to which cellular service you will be calling to, such as Telefonica/Movistar, Nextel or another called "Claro." The attendant needs to know this, to be able to direct you to the proper phone to use, depending on where you are calling. (they use different calling services which charge differently depending on where you call, or to which service). Once in the booth, there is a meter showing the length of your call. Example 2010 costs are approximately- US$0.08 per minute local fixed, to US$0.10 to 0.20 cents per minute for an international call.

Long distance-international calling cards are for sale at most supermarkets, gas stations and bodegas.

Internet Calls

Across the city, there are stores offering internet service, normally referred to as an internet cabina or "cabina internet." These stores or cabins have computers available which are connected to net2phone or other voip service. The charge is normally by minute for the call or for a block of time, with pricing depending on the country being called. Also, the computer usually has a headset to use, which can make it better to hear as opposed to calling from a phone booth in a locutorio. If, for some reason, the headset is not working or the call does not connect, let the attendant know so they do not charge you for the call. The internet cabinas in Miraflores and San Isidro would be the likely place to find Skype available.


There is a postal company which offers international mail service, called SerPost. Look for their signs around the city, sometimes located within other businesses, like pharmacies (far-macia). Timing for a letter to North America, or other countries, is about 7 to 10 days on average. At you can check tariff costs for sending letters or packages.



As discussed above, there are many internet cabins, normally referred to as a "cabina internet." These are stores or cabins that have computers available for rent by the hour or half hour. From here, you can use the internet, type and print documents, etc. Depending on the location, the tariff may be 1 sol to 3 soles per hour or more (averaging about US$0.35 to $1.00 per hour). The attendant usually informs you when your block of time is over.

There are businesses like eateries that offer wireless hotspots. Wireless internet/Wifi OR high speed cable internet is now available in most hotels, and even smaller hotels, hostals (which can also be like a bed and breakfast). This broadband cable access a ethernet cable and is excellent for making voip calls from your laptop.

Starbucks Cafes offer wifi, as does Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's. Users have found that most all of the Starbucks locations in Lima have wifi, although the speed can vary and can be slow.

Miraflores- There are many places offering a wifi signal- Parque Kennedy, Sofa cafe at Larca Mar mall, Dunkin Donuts on western Av. Javier Prado, McDonald's. Other restaurants and cafes in Miraflores offer wifi.

San Borja- wifi is offered for a nominal fee at the national library or Biblioteca Nacional, along Av. Javier Prado. This wifi is reported to be very fast and throughout most of the building's public areas.

San Isidro- Hotel Los Delfines offers wifi in their lobby and coffee shop. This 5 star, high-rise hotel and casino is located across from the Lima golf club, on Calle Los Eucaliptos 555.

San Miguel- a wifi signal may be found at Plaza San Miguel at Ripley's and at a hair salon at that mall. The nearby McDonald's may also have wifi.

WiFi, country-wide, for extended stays or for convenience

The cell phone providers also offer wireless internet. You would need to purchase their plug-in modem, and pay a monthly charge. The provider "Claro" provides service around the country, including the mountainous and jungle regions. One plan is for 6 months, unlimited usage, up to 700 mbps speed, for s/.99.00 soles per month or about $38.00. The service works well with a laptop, aside from slowing down during times of high-usage. It allows for two-way texting to/from cell phones via the modem's interface but at an additional charge which you receive on the following month's statement. Faster speeds are available at higher cost. It is very convenient to have.

Life is an adventure, so too is travel.
Get out there and live!


Copyright 2009-2015 All Rights Reserved.

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