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Officials Push Back Against Alleged Tourist Rate For Taxis In Cancun

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If you’re wondering if there’s an official ‘tourist rate’ for taxis in Cancun and the surrounding region, the answer would be a simple No

It was recently reported by the Quintana Roo-based news agency Radio Formula QR that there is, in fact, no such extra rate for taxis for tourists in existence in Cancun. So if an extra fee is being added to your taxi bill by your driver who says that this is the Cancun “tourist rate,” know that this is a scam. 

Outside the main entrance of terminal 4 departures, Cancun International Airport. Cancun, Mexico.

No Tourist Rate In Existence In Quintana Roo, Says Director

To clarify, Rodrigo Alcázar Urrutia, director of the Mobility Institute of the state of Quintana Roo, noted that it is illegal for local public transport operators to charge someone a “tourist fee” in the Cancun region. This is because there’s actually never been an official fee put in place, so it doesn’t exist.

His statement comes following a series of recent complaints from people being charged a tourist rate by Cancun taxi drivers. Urrutia highlighted that according to municipal laws, there’s only one rate allowed to be charged by taxi drivers in the region.

CANCUN, MEXICO - JAN. 22, 2020: Cancun Iberostar Taxi at hotel in Hotel Zone, Cancun.

Tourists Being Overcharged By Taxi Drivers Isn’t Uncommon In Cancun

We reported just a few months ago that over 60 Cancun taxi drivers were sanctioned by local authorities due to malpractices such as overcharging tourists as well as purposefully misusing the taximeter in order to increase the taxi fare.

This happened in July 2022, and dozens of complaints about local taxi drivers continue to be registered every month.

Line of typical white taxi cars parked on street in hotel resort in Playa del Carmen - taxi is popular and cheap means of transport in Riviera Maya, Mexico

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While officials have been keeping up with this issue, recent complaints reveal that some drivers are still taking advantage of the situation by claiming that a “tourist rate” is the reason for an increased taxi fare. 

But even if it’s the busy winter holiday season in Cancun or the middle of the week during the low season, Quintana Roo’s Taxi Union guidance still states that drivers are still legally prohibited from randomly increasing taxi fares for passengers, whether it be locals or tourists. 

shuttles in Cancun Airport

Taxi Fare Meters That Travelers Should Be Aware Of

Speeding up the taxi meter is one of the common practices by drivers whose goal is to overcharge passengers, including tourists in Cancun. This is why it’s important to be aware of the taxi meter when getting into a cab and make a note if something seems to be working incorrectly.

The local Labor Secretary has also imposed a mandatory course for official taxi drivers in Cancun in hopes of combating the issue. And if caught doing any illegal overcharging, local drivers will be subject to fines and penalties, with the possibility of getting their license revoked if the case is very severe. 

Cancun Coastline aerial view during the day

Tourist Rates Around The World: Information For Travelers

It isn’t uncommon to get charged more in some cases as a tourist, whether you’re gallivanting around the Mexican Caribbean or jetting off to Europe. In some cases, you will be more of a target if you stand out as a tourist and how much you’re willing to pay. If you’re flashing wads of cash and fancy jewelry, some local taxi drivers will be more likely to get the most bang for their buck from you. When traveling, it’s always a good idea to speak some of the local language (at least a hello and thank you), and some basic knowledge will always help you avoid paying any exorbitant prices during your vacation. 

Cancun Sunset

How To Avoid Being Overcharged By Taxis

If you land at the Cancun Airport, you will most likely be hiring a taxi driver to take you to the Hotel Zone, downtown Cancun, or further south to Playa del Carmen. When doing so, it’s important to be aware of the local taxi rates to avoid being overcharged. Here’s a list of quick tips to help you out for your next adventure to Cancun:

  • Know a few basic phrases in the local language (hello/thank you)
  • Carry local cash: Have local currency (in this case, Mexican pesos) on you, as you will be less likely to be overcharged if paying in the local currency. 
  • Know the current taxi rate: Launched over the summer by the Mobility Institute of Quintana Roo, this app called IMOVEQROO was developed to help travelers check the going taxi rates for specific routes when hiring local transportation. 
  • If you’ve been overcharged, reach out to Quintana Roo’s local taxi union for help. Here are the numbers: (+86) 998-689-1166/998-888-6990/998-293-6267/998-221-8064. To help with translation, you can always ask at your hotel’s reception desk.
  • Follow the Cancun Sun and our sister site, Travel Off Path, for the top tips for today’s modern traveler!
taxi by hotel

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Eddy V

Saturday 29th of October 2022

Asking for the price before getting inside the taxi is a must, but yeah this problem is persistent in the whole riviera from cancun to to playa del carmen and even more in tulum where a less than 10 minutes ride, normal charge would be $20 usd in january 2022


Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Definitivamente puedo decir que hay una tarifa turística en Cancún y Playa del Carmen. He vivido aquí durante dos años y medio y todavía intentan cobrarme mucho más del precio normal. Me han intentado cobrar 500 pesos desde el centro hasta mi casa en Playa del Carmen. Una tarifa normal sería de unos 100 pesos máximo. Yo no estaba borracho o grosero. Mi error fue no obtener un precio antes de entrar.

Translation Using Google Translate: "I can definitely say that there is a tourist fee in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. I have lived here for two and a half years and they still try to charge me much more than the normal price. They have tried to charge me 500 pesos from the center to my house in Playa del Carmen. A normal rate would be about 100 pesos maximum. I was not drunk or rude. My mistake was not getting a price before I went in."


Friday 28th of October 2022

@Scott, taxistas están tiburones


Tuesday 25th of October 2022

It's a known fact that Locals pay less than tourists do in taxis. We know many Locals & have visited Cancun since late '80's


Friday 28th of October 2022

@Carol, you are so right,a taxi ride in the hotel zone costs a lot more than a taxi ride in the rest of Cancun