Telephone services & emergency numbers

Fixed-lines, mobiles & network providers

Telephone services & emergency numbers

With various codes for various different functions, using a telephone in Peru may seem more difficult than expected, but Peruvian networks and provision are decent. This page provides expats with the basics of how to go about making a phone call from a fixed land line and mobile.

Fixed-line phones

Depending on where you choose to live, your house or apartment may well already have a land line. You should check this with your landlord before your move, as well as if the phone bill is included in your rent. If not, you need to set a land line up yourself.

To establish a fixed land line (línea fija) in Peru, you are required to set up a plan with one of the several available network providers at a local branch, online or on the phone (although the last option may involve a long wait & must be carried out in fluent Spanish). 

Service providers offer a variety of options according to your needs, incorporating rates for international and long distance calls accordingly. The top telephone network companies in Peru are, Claro  (of América Móvil) and Movistar  (of Telefónica S.A). Both network providers offer similar packages, answering customers’ needs according to preference.

For example, Claro currently offers ‘Control 50’ which limits calls to other land lines, ‘Abierto 550’ for calls to popular fixed & mobile land lines, and ‘Control 70 plus’ for people who tend to call mobiles more than land lines. More details regarding their land line deals and prices can be found here .

Mobile/cell phones

Since April 2008, all mobile phone numbers in Peru are 9 digits long and begin with the number 9. A city code is not required to call a cellular number.

If you possess an unlocked GSM cell phone that includes the 850mhz and/or 1900mhz bands, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card once you arrive to use in your phone. You will be given a local 9-digit mobile number and then will be immediately able to make and receive calls in Peru.

It is generally recognised that Movistar  has superior service in Peru as it is in the 850mhz band, while Claro  has adequate service and is in the 1900mhz band.

As of March 2009, you can buy a SIM card for 15 Soles at many vendors, including the big department stores Ripley and Saga Falabella.

There are no charges for receiving calls and messages in Peru. Calling rates are ever decreasing, and both Movistar and Claro currently charge 50 cents per minute for newly purchased phones and/or SIM cards.

The amount of credit, or balance, can be checked (for Movistar) by calling 123 & following instructions or by sending a text to 600. Although it is recommended to check your balance online as it is less hassle and can be applied to other network providers.

Reception is mostly stronger on Movistar, which also includes 3G, while Claro has only 2G service.

Peruvian emergency numbers and dialling codes

Emergency services can be reached on the following numbers:

  • Police: 105
  • Ambulance: 117
  • Fire: 116

Peruvian telephone numbers are 9 digits long. Calls to Peru from elsewhere should include the country code +51.

  • Calls inside Peru: 0 xxx xxx xxx
  • Calls from abroad: +51 xxx xxx xxx

The International Access (Dial) Code used to call overseas while in Peru is 00. This is followed by the country code and the 9 digit number.

Land line numbers always include the operator code, the area code, and the unique number of the person or organisation.

To call cellular phones in Peru from abroad you only need to add the country code +51, not the city code.

To make a national phone call within Peru, however, you need to dial: 0 followed by the city code.

Area codes for the key regions and cities are listed below:

  • Lima: 1
  • Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Urubamba, Sacred Valley : 84
  • Puno, Juliaca: 51
  • Arequipa: 54

A full list of area codes in Peru can be found here .

Further reading

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