Local SIM cards should work in cell phones that are not tied to a single network. Make sure your phone has triband network capabilities. Roaming rates can be high. Kiosks often have telephones that charge B$1 for brief local calls.
Dialing in to the Telephone Network
Numbers Líneas fijas (landlines) have seven digits; cellular numbers have eight digits.
Area codes Each department (region) has its own single-digit area code which must be used when dialing from another region or to another city, regardless of whether it’s the same area code as the one you’re in. The department codes are as follows.
|2||La Paz, Oruro, Potosí|
|3||Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando|
|4||Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Tarija|
Public phones Dialing landlines from public phones (often located in small convenience stores and kiosks, or local call centers known as puntos) is easy; ask the cashier for advice.
Placing calls To make a call to another landline within the same city, simply dial the seven-digit number. If you’re calling another region, dial 0 plus the single-digit area code followed by the seven-digit number, eg 02-123-4567. If calling a cell phone, ask the cashier for instructions; most puntos have different phones for calls to cellulars and landlines, so you may have to swap cabins if calling both.
International calls For international calls, you must first dial 00 followed by a country code, area code (without the first 0) and the telephone number.
|Bolivia international dialing code||591|
|International access code||00|
Most internet places have Skype installed, which you can use at no extra cost – you just have to pay for the time online. WhatsApp messages and calls can be a convenient (and free) way to communicate and even make hotel and tour reservations.
- Cellular SIM cards are cheap, include credit and are available from larger carrier outlets as well as small private phone shops.
- Make sure your phone has triband network capabilities.
Getting a local SIM
When buying a local SIM card, activate the number and check that the phone works before purchasing. To top up your call amount, buy cards (ask for crédito, ie credit) from the numerous kiosks or puntos (local call centers with public phones) in any city or town.