Taxi fares are always negotiable! Establish flat rate which your willing to pay from point A to point B before you get in. Low ball them and usually will accept. From airport to most hotels should be no more than $8-10 bucks, from airport they try to sell you $15-20.
The cab fare from the "Hoteles" to the airport (one way) is usually 80 Mexican pesos. This is the regular price. If you pay more than this, then you are paying a lot! It is approximately 2.5 kms from the hotel to the airport. The hotels are very close. You can even walk if you wanted to.
When arriving at PVR airport you will be confronted with a room full of drivers and little carels and they will try to pressure you to take their cab. This is NOT the place to get a cab. Continue through the doors and immediately on the right you will see a single little stand where you can get a lisenced cab. The price (as of Jan 2012) to downtown (zona vieja or zona romantica) Zone 2 was $260 MXN which as $14MXN to the $1US was less than $20. GREAT deal. You don't HAVE to tip the taxis, btw, unless they provide an extra service, but it's always good karma to round it up a little.
After arriving at the PV airport we walked through the area where the timeshare sellers stood. They kept yelling "taxi?" to get you to stop. Keep on going! Go to the taxi stands and try to negotiate your price to the hotels. We stayed at the Garza Blanca and it was posted $310 pesos ($31.00 US). We paid it and later learned to negotiate the price. The price coming back to the airport was $130 pesos ($13.00 us) The taxi ride from the Malecon to the hotel (or vice versa) was usually 80 pesos ($8.00 us). If you don't like to haggle, expect to pay more!
There is not much to say about the Taxis in PV except they are very easily accessable. From the hotels you will be paying about 2 USD more, but that is not a big deal! The taxi drivers are well spoken if you dont speak English and you can bargin with them a bit. They know the area very well and drive like they wish to be in the Indy 500! I actually gave one of the drivers a 2 dollar tip because he was able to drive crazier than my wife!!! Swerving around cars and doing about 70 on narrow streets made for a great adventure! Just haggle about 20% of what they want and you will be good-- they are everywhere so dont be afraid to walk a little to find a better price.
Before you even get into a taxi state your price. Don't let them tell you that it is more for more people (unless a van taxi). They have city set rates, but they will try & get you for a few bucks more. Your hotel should have the set rates at the front desk or with the bellhops.
The taxis are SMALL due to shallow streets. max of 4 guests per car.
Taxis are also more leaving the airport, but there are more than one company. Pit them against themselves & get the best offer. We paid 6 dollars less than anyone else in our taxi van.
Our friend booked airport/hotel transfers through costco. He paid $21.00 USD each way to/from Hotel Zone. I am not sure how much it would have been without the reservations, however cab fares to other locations were MUCH cheaper. The cab ride was approximately 10-15 minutes to the airport. When we got a cab for our canopy excursion we paid approximately $6-7 USD one way. this drive was twice as long as the ride to the airport.
Also, from hotel zone to downtown we paid 40 pesos ($4USD) each way.
We have long journeyed over the walking bridge across from the airport to avoid the added "airport" charge on top of our fare. BUT the taxi drivers have decided to rip-off the unaware. The published zone fee from this spot to Vallarta Centro and less to the "hotel zone" should be about 80 pesos.
These drivers are trying to charge the unaware 150 to 200 pesos. Don't go for it. Just go back across the bridge and pay the same LEGALLY! If enough of us don't pay the rip-off fee they will go back to a fair and legal fee.
HERE'S A HINT TO SAVE SOME MONEY RIGHT OFF THE PLANE. DO NOT USE THE TAXI DRIVERS OUTSIDE THE EXIT DOOR. GO THROUGH THE EXIT THEN MAKE A LEFT GO OVER THE FOOT BRIDGE TO OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET AND GET YOURSELF A DRIVER THERE. MUCH CHEAPER.
Taxis are abundant all over the Puerto Vallarta area. They are mostly late model Toyota Corolla's and such. They are generally not air conditioned.
I was staying at the Sheraton Buganvilea. I believe fare from the airport to the Sheraton was 80 pesos, or a little less than 8USD. I also took one from town one night, and I believe it was like 20 or 30 pesos from the Malecon area.
The drivers take great pride in their cars and when they are not hauling people around you will often see them washing and shining up their taxis.
Depending where you live, a plane for me would be the best way to get to PVR.....for most people it would be.
As for getting around PV, I would say the city bus or Cabs. the Bus is very inexpensive. For Cabs, make sure before you get in the cab to ask how much it will be. ( ex: to go from the Marina to Downtown, it costs 40-45 pesos. ) dont pay any more than that ....or they are ripping you off.
The major hotels post the taxi fares to the major attractions in the lobby. As you enter the cab, agree on the fare in advance. I read that you need not tip the driver unless they help you with your luggage. I felt the fares were very cheap compared to the northeast and gave the guy at least 10 pesos. Note that only once did we get in a cab with operating A/C!
The bus system in PV is very good indeed. About 15 -30 pesos to get where your going and you can flag them down anywhere on their path. Just watch out they dont hit you as they drive crazy like everyone else.
Also avoid begger children and singing clowns on the bus.
Unless you plan to travel great distances or visit remote beaches, taxis and buses are by far the best way to get around. Taxis are plentiful, clean and reliable, and fares are reasonable and fixed (always ask what your fare will be before you get in). Taxis are usually lined up in front of most hotels (as well as downtown and at the airport) and if they aren't, your concierge will summon one for you (the cost range from $30 pesos/$2.50 USD to $90 pesos/$9.00 USD). You can also rent a taxi for a couple hours at around 150 pesos per hour. This is a great way to see the area.
When in Peurto Vallarta the cab fares are all in zones. For example from the Royal Decameron Complex in Bucerias to downtown Peurto Vallarta, it is 150 Pesos but the fact of the matter is pertend not to want a cab and one or two bored cabbies will bring you there for 100. It's the same thing trying to get back to Bucerias from PV. It's like everything else in Mexcio:.....NEGOTIABLE!! :-)