Taking a taxi ride in Mexico is an exhilarating experience. Mexican taxi drivers have a sixth sense for navigation and avoidance of collision. It must be something at the molecular level and unintelligible to non-taxi drivers.
Mexican taxi drivers belong to a secret organization. Each branch of the organization has a different colour for their cars. They all however follow the same code of conduct.
Mexican taxi drivers are generally:
NOTE: We have been ripped off by the odd taxi driver but we have also had taxi drivers charge less than the rate and actually have had them hand us back money after we have offered the fixed rate which is surprising.
Rates vary from city to city. In Merida for example ALL taxi rides are 30 pesos. In Campeche the driver works out the fee in his head based on the duration of the ride. From the ADO bus station to Campeche Main Square the cost was 20 pesos.
Here are the taxi rates for Playa del Carmen:
[Driving North] From Playa del Carmen to:
Hotel Royal Haciendas-Sandos Caracol
Le Reve-Azul Fives-The Tides-Petit Lafitte
Hotel Grand Princess
Hotel Mayakoba-Grand Velas
Hotel H10-Secrets Capri
Blue Bay-Tres Rios
Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Aeropuerto de Cancun
Cancun Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone)
[Driving South] From Playa del Carmen to:
Hotel Hard Rock
Barcelo, Bel Air, Escencia, Catalonia
Hotel Dorado Seaside, Palladium
Hotel Grand Sirenis
Yal Ku Lagoon
Prices subject to change.
Maximum four passengers.
Beyond Cancun or Tulum: 6 pesos per additional km
Taxis hired from certain taxi-stands or getting a taxi at night can be a little more expensive [check with the driver before departure].
A general tip of 10 pesos per ride or more if it is a long trip is the rule of thumb.
WHEN TO TAKE A TAXI
If you are traveling to Cancun Airport from anywhere in Cancun or up to Playa del Carmen you can take a taxi to the airport. You can take the bus from Playa del Carmen/Tulum to Cancun then take a taxi to the airport. The cost from the bus station to the airport is 60 pesos. The cost from Playa del Carmen is 100 pesos.
Playa del Carmen
You can walk everywhere in Playa and do not need a taxi unless you are in hurry or carrying a lot of stuff.
As big as Merida is if you stay in a hotel downtown then you are within walking distance to everything you may want to see. You can expect long walks and some of the streets are blistering hot on a sunny day. It is a rather long walk to the zoo so you may want to walk there and take a taxi back to your hotel. If you wish to visit Dzibilchaltun/Chichen Itza you need to take a bus or taxi.
Other than taking a taxi from the bus station or airport to a hotel downtown then you do not need a taxi unless you decide to visit the museum which is located 4 km outside of town or Edzna which is located 60 km away.
If you stay near the beach and wish to travel downtown or vice-versa then you will need to take a taxi or a collectevo [bus]. If you stay downtown and do not need to visit the beach then you only need a taxi to get to the bus station or airport. You need to take a bus or taxi to visit any ruin sites around Chetumal.
The ADO bus station is located within walking distance from town square. Take a right as you walk out the front door. You are within walking distance from everything and a short taxi ride [30 pesos] to the ruins, 6 pesos by collectivo [bus].
If you stay downtown you can walk to any destination however you need to take a taxi or bus to visit Chichen Itza.
WAITING TAXIS & PICK/UPS
There is a scam the taxi drivers use in Egypt where they will drive you to a location then sit there all day waiting for you. Obviously a miscommunication which you must pay for. Mexican taxi drivers do NOT pull this scam. Instead they will quote you a price up-front if you wish them to stay or return at a designated time. The cost is usually reasonable and comparable to renting a car for the day minus the aggravation. Sometimes it works out cheaper to use a cab for a whole day instead of renting a car.
WHAT WORKS BEST
The combination of taking inexpensive collectivo (bus) rides and taxi rides works out best and is far cheaper than renting a car. Of course you loose the freedom of a car however sometimes you get a good taxi driver that you can chat with and learn things about the area. Many taxi drivers use the opportunity to practice their English if you do not speak Spanish they are more than willing to talk to you should you desire the conversation.
If you do not speak Spanish then it is advisable to write down your destination on a piece of paper to show the driver. This will eliminate any problems occurring if you pronounce the name of where you are going incorrectly and end up in the wrong location. Also it is advisable to write down your hotel or residence where you are staying for your return trip.