Venezuela has an international country code of 58, three-digit area codes (including an initial ‘0,’ and phone numbers of seven digits.
Area codes starting with ’04’ – for example, 0412, 0414, 0416 – are for mobile phones, while area codes beginning with ’02’ – for example, 0212 (Caracas), 0261 (Maracaibo) – are for land lines.
The majority of the nation uses a single emergency number 171 for police, ambulances, and firemen.
Venezuela’s international phone number format is +58-(area code without a ‘0’)- (phone number)
- To dial to another area code: (area code starting with ‘0’)-(phone number)
- To dial to another country: 00-(country code)-(area code)-(phone number)
- Directory enquiries/information (in Spanish): 113
- Emergency service for mobile phones: (in Spanish): 911 (Movistar), 112 (Digitel), *1 (Movilnet)
Prepaid cards, which cannot be recharged, are used by public payphones and are widely available at shopping malls, petrol stations, and kiosks, among other places. Phone boxes are prevalent in cities, however they do not take coins. The overwhelming majority are operated by the previous state monopoly, CANTV, but some boxes, especially in rural regions, are managed by Digitel or Movistar. Prepaid cards from CANTV may only be used in their booths.
Today, the omnipresent ‘communication centers,’ or clusters of phone booths placed inside metro stations, malls, or like a regular shop on the street, are more popular. Most of these communication centers are run by CANTV or Movistar, and they provide inexpensive phone calls from regular phones in cozy booths with seats. All of your calls are recorded, and you pay when you leave the shop.
Many street sellers, known as buhoneros, also provide phone calls via portable (antenna-based) land lines put up at makeshift booths. Calls are billed per the minute.
Movilnet, a subsidiary of CANTV, operates mobiles that begin with the 0416/0426 code and utilize the CDMA 800 MHz system and GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz. Telefónica Movistar, previously Telcel, uses both CDMA and GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz) and starts with 0414/0424. Digitel is another GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 900 MHz) network provider whose phone numbers begin with 0412. It is possible to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM card for Digitel’s GSM phones, but you must first ensure that your phone is unlocked. When purchased from an authorized merchant, a pay-as-you-go Digitel card is immediately operational. The card costs about 20 VEF (new bolivares). Top-up coupons worth ten VEF. A text message costs 0.3 VEF when sent from overseas. Please keep in mind that you cannot send text messages from your Movilnet phone to virtually any European network. A Digitel phone can send a text message to nearly any European network (tested), while Movistar can send a text message to almost any European network but is not as dependable as Digitel for this purpose.
You may use your phone when traveling with a foreign SIM card. For information on roaming to Venezuela, visit www.gsmworld.com or contact your operator. For European customers, Movilnet and Movistar will need quad-band phones, while Digitel will accept any European phone. Tourists from countries other than Europe should verify their phones to see whether they are compatible with the following bands.
Internet cafés, which are often integrated into the aforementioned ‘communication centers,’ are becoming more widespread, and even small towns typically have at least one location with more or less good connections.
Venezuela’s state-owned postal service is sluggish, unreliable, and seldom utilized. Although post offices are few and few between, they are still your best option for mailing postcards back home. Courier services such as MRW, Domesa, and Zoom are the most popular for sending inside Venezuela. These almost always ensure next-day delivery.