Although taxis are commonly used to get around in Cancun, not everybody who travels to the vacation destination has a great experience.
This usually has something to do with not knowing what to expect when taking a Cancun taxi, so doing a little research prior to your vacation can make the experience a little less confusing.
So here are 7 tips for taking a taxi in Cancun to help you navigate the process:
Expect It To Be Expensive
While taxis may be a fairly cheap way to get around in some places, this is not the case in Cancun, at least not when you’re traveling from the airport to the Hotel Zone or further.
A trip from Cancun International Airport to your hotel or to the downtown area can cost as much as $65 one-way.
While taxi rides within the Hotel Zone are quite a bit cheaper, a ride from the airport is going to be expensive.
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Watch Out For Fake Taxis
Fake taxis have become an issue in Cancun, and one of the biggest problems with them is that they are hard to distinguish from the real thing.
Often they use the same license plates and registration numbers as real taxis, so the only way to determine if they’re legitimate is to ask for their QR-coded ID.
While authorities have been carrying out inspections to weed out the fake taxis, it’s still something to watch out for because they can commit crimes like overcharging or worse.
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There Are Four Ways To Hire A Taxi
The days of having to wave a taxi down aren’t necessarily over, but there are other ways to hire a taxi that might be easier. Altogether there are four ways to hire a taxi in Cancun.
- Hailing a taxi on the street.
- Walking to a taxi rank.
- Contacting a taxi company on WhatsApp.
- Booking taxi service in advance.
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You Can Try To Haggle
While taxi rates are pre-set, it is not uncommon for taxi drivers in Cancun to charge different prices.
While you may not be able to haggle too much, you can, at the very least, set the price before getting in the vehicle.
This way, you won’t be surprised when you pull up to your destination and hear a different price than what you expected.
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Tipping Is Not Expected
You may be surprised to learn that taxi drivers in Cancun don’t expect tips and that tipping is actually uncommon.
The only exception is if the driver helps you load and unload your luggage into and out of the vehicle. If they do, then a couple of dollars for a tip is sufficient, but the amount is up to you.
Many Drivers Speak Minimal English
Not surprisingly, many of the taxi drivers in Cancun speak Spanish and maybe a little bit of broken English, so determining a price and relaying where you are going can be difficult.
This is one of the reasons booking a taxi in advance is such a good idea. You’ll be able to input your destination and get an exact quote on the full price for the trip.
There Are Other Options
The most important tip for taking a taxi in Cancun is that you don’t really have to take a taxi at all because there are other options available.
The city’s ADO buses are a great option and a cheaper alternative, at only a few dollars a trip, and there is a ticket station right outside of the airport.
Shuttles are another option.
Private transportation from the airport is also available but will vary in price depending on whether you book in advance, which will be less expensive, or wait to book transportation upon arrival. Private transportation is safer and more comfortable, though, so it may be worth the price.
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Tuesday 21st of March 2023
As a travel agent I always (underline always) book my transfers from the airport to the resort round trip in advance. The price is very reasonable as compared to taxi and there are very good transfer companies to use. I use YELP or Tripadvisor "Cancun transportation" to view the various shuttle companies along with the ratings. Over the years I have settled on one company with excellent ratings and use them often. It is nice to have my transportation waiting for me. You have the choice of private transportation or shared transportation which is less cost. Private takes you directly to your resort while shared of course has others that will be staying at resorts in the general area and the shuttle makes stops to drop others off. Upon return, the reverse occurs.
ADO bus is fine if you are on a budget and have the time but you may still have to do a taxi from the bus stop to your final location. When taking a taxi from your location to your destination such as perhaps 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, that is when you do as the writer suggests--always agree on the price in advance. If at a resort, ask the handlers at the front what kind of price to expect from a taxi to your destination to give you an idea of the validity of the quote from the taxi driver. In the hotel zone, no need for a taxi to go anywhere in the zone or inland to Walmart, just jump on the local bus. They run constantly, cheap, and very often.
Monday 20th of March 2023
Taxis/rides should be booked in advance Taxis in cancun are a mafia type of business agressive and expensive and if you leave something in the taxi you wont get it back it will be sold in 5min
W Von Harten
Monday 20th of March 2023
I found too, that looking at the options published by the Cancun airport website reveals some ride-share options that are not quite as steep. But you must reserve in advance. A friend of mine recently used the ADO bus from the airport, and went to the terminal in Cancun...then got a taxi to his hotel...much cheaper!