cell-phone-cruiseOne of the main concerns of vacationing beyond transportation and lodging is how to stay in touch with family and friends while you’re in Rocky Point, Mexico. Now that the internet is all over the town, it is the best way to stay in touch via email, Skype, Facebook, MagicJack, and various Chat forums. If you have a laptop, I strongly recommend you get a MagicJack, which works everywhere you have internet – in every country. Laguna Shores Resort does have internet service so staying in touch with your loved ones is easy, but remember that you are in Mexico and the internet is not 100% guaranteed as is the case in most places you go online.

I have broken “communicating” into two categories to make it easier: those who travel to Rocky Point a few times a year; and those who travel once every couple months or more. To start, the very first thing you need to know is Mexico’s Country Code which is 52. Rocky Point’s City Code (area code) is 638. There are complete dialing instructions in every issue of The Rocky Point Times Newspaper and it covers absolutely everything including dialing 800#’s. Pick one up and keep it handy.

Vacationers who Rocky Point, Mexico often:

1. U.S. Phone with Mexico Plan or “Roaming”

My fiancé and I live in Rocky Point, at Laguna Shores Resort, full-time and travel to the States usually once a month. We both have plans though TelCel which provides us a local Rocky Point number and allows us to roam globally. The only problem is that we cannot use our Mexican phones from the border to Ajo, AZ anymore, which is where I travel to at least once a month. Once we hit Phoenix, our phones are usable again.

Wayne does a lot of business with clients that live in the U.S. and Canada and needs a reliable phone that provides a U.S. number. We do have MagicJack, but as some of you well know it is often a choppy or delayed conversation and fully dependent on the strength of the internet. So, it is not 100% reliable. Wayne opted for the “Viva Mexico” plan through AT&T (in the U.S.) and added a second line for me so I can communicate while I am in Ajo, AZ or anywhere else. I recommend the “Viva Mexico” Plan for anyone who travels to Rocky Point often. It works in the U.S. and Mexico and is very reliable and you can add extra lines as well as data and texting plans.

Be aware that if you use your data while you are here in Mexico you will be charged roaming charges. Curious as to the data roaming charges we decided to test it one day – using data as we normally do – by this I mean just downloading email, using Facebook and other apps, but not downloading videos, surfing the net or watching videos on YouTube and it came out to $10 USD for one day! So, turn off your data roaming while you are in Rocky Point unless your emails are urgent and you can’t download them using a wireless connection. Be aware of the text messages as well. When you are in Mexico an outgoing text will cost you .50-cents. We thought because we had unlimited texting that they were free in the U.S. and Mexico – not so. Even taking those two factors into consideration, it’s still a great plan at a great price if you vacation in Rocky Point often and want to stay in touch. Plans change all the time so check AT&T directly to see what the latest and greatest plans are.

I have not found any other carrier that works as well as AT&T though many report that they can use their Verizon phones – even Verizon pay as you go. Last time I looked, Verizon does not cover Rocky Point, Mexico, but sometimes the phones do work. If you have experience with any other carriers that work, please leave a comment so we can let others know.

2. AmigoKit from TelCel

TelCel offers a complete phone kit called the “Amigo Kit” which includes a phone and usually free minutes – or a credit of minutes. The complete package runs from $25-$30 USD, depending on the exchange rate. You usually get that amount back in free minutes. The phone is a basic (old school) phone and is a pre-paid phone which means you purchase a phone card, enter the code, and the minutes are added to your phone. You can use this phone to dial local cellular and land line numbers and a portion of your minutes can be used to call the U.S. You can also text as well. Your minutes do expire so I recommend you purchase small denomination cards so that you do not lose large amounts of minutes if you do not get back to Rocky Point as often as you thought. They usually give you many months before the minutes expire so next time you come to Rocky Point just pick up a $50 MN card and this will reactivate any minutes you have left from previous trips (that have not expired).

3. Yearly Plan with TelCel

TelCel also offers yearly “plans” just like your U.S. carrier. There are a variety of plans available so you can choose the one that is right for you. I had a Blackberry before my S4, so I had the “Blackberry Plan” which gave me unlimited data and I chose the lesser amount of telephone minutes because I don’t talk much on my cel – I text and email a lot. Wayne has a similar plan with his iPhone, but has an increased amount of minutes because he talks a lot! There are really so many different plans that you need to go in and consult with one of their representatives – they are very helpful in finding you the best deal and plan that is right for you. With a plan you can roam throughout Mexico and globally, but roaming charges are high so if you travel back and forth a lot you might want a U.S. plan that works in Rocky Point as well as a pay-as-you-go phone or a phone with a yearly plan. But those are pretty much your options – the rest is up to you.

If you have anything to add to this article – your experience with different carriers or updated plans, please leave a comment at rockypointtimes@yahoo.com so we can provide the latest information to visitors.