Skip to Content

Military Deployed In Cancun Hotel Zone, On Beaches, And Downtown To Keep Tourists Safe 

Share The Article

The ongoing turmoil between taxi and Uber drivers recently came to a boiling point when a judge declared that Uber is operating legally and can provide transportation in Cancun.  Taxi drivers were apparently infuriated by the ruling, arguing that Uber drivers should have to follow the same process as taxi drivers in order to operate legally.  Since the ruling, multiple incidents of aggression and harassment by taxi drivers have occurred, which has led to the military being deployed to the Hotel Zone, on beaches, and downtown to protect tourists from becoming victims of the continuing battle. 

Marines Patrolling the Marina in Cancun

The Legal Difference Between Taxis And Uber 

Taxis in Cancun are considered a form of public transportation and, as such, are required to have certain state concessions or licenses in order to operate.  Uber argues that it is a private company and shouldn’t have to meet the same requirements but rather should be able to operate with only a business license.  Taxi drivers and the unions that represent some of them claim that Uber gets an unfair advantage by applying the law in this manner. 

Taxis and Other Vehicles Outside of Cancun Airport

Brief History Of Uber Operating In Cancun 

Uber first began its entry into the Cancun transportation market in 2016, around seven years ago, and it has been an uphill battle for the company since.  After a little over a year of dealing with pushback from officials and taxi drivers, Uber stopped offering service in Cancun in December 2017.  It wasn’t until 2019 that Uber began operating again in Cancun after Uber Mexico was federally ruled to be a private company, but it wasn’t until this year that the company was officially deemed legally operating in Cancun. 

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Uber Navigation in a Vehicle Driving Down the Street

Recent Incidents Of Taxi Driver Aggression 

Even before the ruling regarding Uber was made on January 11, 2023, Uber drivers were facing attacks from taxi drivers.  The day before the ruling, taxi drivers were accused of throwing rocks at an Uber vehicle with tourists in the vehicle, which caused quite a scare for everyone but fortunately nobody was injured.  Then, a little over a week later, an Uber with tourists aboard was chased down by multiple taxi vehicles and blocked in near the Cancun Hotel Zone. 

Effects Of The Battle Outside Of Mexico 

As the news of attacks has increased over the last couple of weeks the situation is being discussed around the world.  The growing reports of attacks have even led the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the U.S. State Department to issue a warning to tourists traveling to Cancun and other parts of the state of Quintana Roo.  The warning is to inform American travelers that there is an ongoing issue between drivers of the two different forms of transportation. 

U.S. State Department Issues Warning For Cancun After Taxis Block Airport Access And Threaten Ubers

Alternatives For Getting Around Cancun 

Fortunately, when you visit Cancun, you don’t have to take a taxi or an Uber if you don’t want to.  To and from the airport and to other nearby cities you have numerous other options, including buses, shuttles, private transportation, and rental cars.  Once in the Cancun Hotel Zone, you’ll be able to walk to many restaurants, attractions, and beaches so there is little need for transportation once there unless you want to visit the downtown area or get to the Isla Mujeres ferry. 

Cancun Shuttle Area with people and shuttles around.

What The Future Holds For Uber Drivers In Cancun 

This likely won’t be the end of the story for Uber’s fight to be recognized as legitimate in Cancun.  Officials will eventually have to find a way to deal with the attacks. Solutions may consist of sanctioning taxi drivers for bad behavior or it could mean revisiting the ruling, but surely the issue will be addressed in some way.   

Uber vehicle in with driver looking at phone.

Until the battle ends, though, tourists can feel a little bit safer knowing that the military is out there in the downtown nightlife area, on the beaches, and in the Hotel Zone keeping an eye on things.   

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.


Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Increasing military to protect tourists from the taxi cartel…wow! Just wow! What isn’t corrupt in Mexico?


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

People, just STOP visiting Cancun! So many other beautiful places to visit other than this corrupt nasty beach town!


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

I was there in the beginning of January and the taxi driver's charge and outrageous amount of money to just take care around town. $60 just to take you from the airport to the main strip of hotels. Like a 15 minute drive.

One of the taxi drivers said gangs own the ride services and they're gonna do whatever they need to do to protect their money. Get a rental car, much cheaper than a taxi.

Frequent Traveler

Thursday 2nd of February 2023

@Jack, you can always negotiate. I have been there nine times since 2015, including a trip in December 2022. You were ripped off if you paid more than $30 for a ride from the airport to the Hotel Zone. I always hire a private shuttle company, and they charge $25-30 for the trip. I have never heard of anyone besides you paying $60 for the trip.


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Site is very important to the people stay off and respect it