Movistar, Bitel and Claro: making calls in Peru
If you are preparing a long-term trip to Peru, having a Peruvian sim card is a must. Sim cards are readily available in Peru, so you are better off having a local number and being able to contact friends, call a taxi, etc.
Who are the main operators in Peru?
In Peru there are two main mobile phone operators: Movistar or Claro. Recently, a new competitor, Bitel has been moving up in the market and attracting new clients.
Where you can buy a sim card and how can you recharge the sim?
You’ll often find recommendations to buy a sim card at the airport. Unless it’s an emergency, I would suggest that you wait until you are not in a rush, and head to one of the offices in the city. Here, you will be able to find a better deal and also choose the best option that suits you best.
In all city centers you will find an abundance of mobile phone shops where you can purchase sim cards, both from Movistar and Claro. Claro will cost approximately 15 Soles ($4.5). If your phone has a sim lock, you can always buy a cheap phone including with sim for approximately 60-80 Soles ($22-29). With a minimum credit top-up of 3 Soles, you can start using it right away. Recharging is easy and can be done in most shops, markets, some restaurants, or anywhere you see the Claro or Movistar logo. Alternatively, you can recharge online!
Generally, the cost of calls and texts with Claro and Movistar are similar, but each company has special offers with varying features that may suit your situation better. An important thing to note is that it will be cheaper to text and call numbers on the same network. If you already have friends in Peru, make sure to ask who they’re with! Although, as everywhere in the world, you can also just use WhatsApp instead. Just make sure you bring your passport in order to activate the sim card in the store.
Mobile Data in Peru
Once you have purchased your Peruvian sim card, you can select the available plans of your provider. Since most people in Peru use WhatsApp and similar messaging services, most plans offer unlimited data to communicate with such services. If you are looking for mobile internet in Peru to stay connected, you can definitely find a cheap plan. You can get 3GB of data for 30 Soles(around 9$).
Tips about using city (area) codes
Like in every country, there are some rules about using city codes.
Calls: mobile to mobile or fixed (land) line to mobile
- Dial only the 9-digit phone number
Calls: mobile to fixed (land) line
- Dial 0 + city (area) code + 7 or 6 digit phone number. For example 0 84 (city code of Cusco)123456
Calls: fixed (land) line to fixed (land) line
- In the same area/city: just dial the phone number
- To another area/city: 0 + city (area code) + 7 or 6 digit phone number
Here are some the most popular city (area) codes of Peru
- Lima 1
- Cusco 84
- Arequipa 54
- Puno 51
- Huaraz 43
- Iquitos 65
Peru international code +51