Be sure to ask the cab driver before you get into the car how much the fare will be to your destination. Most fares within the city of Cancun (excluding the airport) range from 40 to 60 pesos ($4-6). You should never pay 100 pesos or more for a ride within the city itself! Some drivers may try and take advantage of your situation late at night after the bars close--especially if they think you've had a few too many.
Some drivers may also try to convince men that they'll take them to the strip club outside of town for $50. That's insane... but I guess there's a sucker born every minute.
However, if your driver was courteous and drove safely, you should leave him a tip. 10 pesos is sufficient.
While not the cheapest way to get around Cancun, taxis are easy and plentiful. Just look for the green and white cars zigzagging up and down the strip. If you decide a taxi is the mode of transportation for you make sure you decide on a fare for your ride BEFORE getting in the cab. The taxis are unregulated and un-metered. If you don't discuss the cost prior to your trip you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. I heard horror stories of tourists being charged $100 US for a trip that was less than 1 km because they didn't settle on the fare first. Don't get gouged! Once you've decided on the fare sit back and your on your way. Also, not all of the drivers speak English, so this may be a good way for you to brush up on your Spanish!
Whenever we needed to get anywhere in Cancun, we took one of the numerous little green taxi's wherever we needed to go. I remember them being very inexpensive, about $2 american to get to our friends hotel, or to the center of town. ( Keep in mind this was in the early 90's before the spring breakers were headed here, prices have most likely gone up)
It is really helpful to have a shuttle pre-booked before you get to the airport in Cancun. One of the craziest things I have ever seen is coming out of the Cancun Airport, we were baraged by about 100 different people offering us shuttles to our moon palace. At first I almost took one of their offers not even realizing that we had one already booked. David's dad quickly stopped me, and we moved on to our actual shuttle. One last tip for you, is to make sure you tip the driver $1 per piece of luggage that he loads onto the shuttle.
As you may see in this picture, the Cancun airport is located a few miles south from the town (and the hotel zone) itself. Once you get there, you have 2 options to go to Cancun depending on where you'll be staying:
1) If you need to go to the hotel zone, you will have to take a taxi. They are very expensive, so the best you can do is ride a van which holds 7-8 people and will stop in several hotels (depending on where those people are going). The van is still expensive, but they shouldn't charge you more than $75 mexican pesos (7 USD) per person. THEY WILL TRY to charge you more, but then you should decline the offer and they will lower the price. They will still expect a "tip" after they drop you at the hotel, but you're not compelled in any way to give them any more money.
2) The second method is only in case you'll be staying at a hotel in downtown, which is highly improbable because there are no fancy hotels there, only hostels or modest hotels. This method might be more convenient when leaving from Cancun to the airport. There are buses (which say AIRPORT) that run along the main avenue in downtown Cancun (Tulum Ave). You can ride the bus across the street from the Government Palace, right in front of the CHEDRAUI or the COMERCIAL MEXICANA supermarkets. They will only charge you 4-5 USD per person (approx. $46-50 pesos) and the bus stop is only a few meters away from the main entrance of the airport (both the departure and arrival lounges). You can ride the same bus from the Airport to Cancun, but it will drop you in downtown and then you will have to take another bus that leaves you at the hotel zone, and that's somewhat tiring and uncomfortable when you're carrying all your luggage after a long flight, and the whole ride might take you over an hour. In this case the price difference between taking a van at the airport and riding the bus isn't that big, so the van is much more worthwhile and advisable.
Ofcourse there are people that dont like to be taken to the hotel in a bus with all the other sweety people. They like to take their own car with a chaufeur....called a TAXI.
If you are one of them make sure you make a prize before you start driving.....
If you like to know about renting a car, going by taxi and more....see the website below.
I found very little need to use a taxi in Cancún - walking or a bus generally got me where I wanted to go.
A few tips, however.
The taxis do not have meters - bargain the price before getting in. If you ask how much when you get to your destination, you are probably going to pay too much.
Some hotels have taxis waiting right in front. They usually have a fixed price to go to the airport or downtown. If you take one of those, once again you will probably pay too much. Walk down to Kulkutan Road (the main road in the Zona Hotelera) and hail a car.
We only used a taxi one time. Fare was $10 USD for about a 10 miles trip. Not cheap but we split the fare with another couple. Keep in mind that in the Cancun area the tip is included in the fare for taxis.
Ladies NEVER EVER take a taxi in cancun by yourself. You never know what could happen to you. I heard some horror stories and remember you are not covered by american laws there. Please for your own safety!!
This was agitating for us, but often we'd be getting out of a taxi only to be told that the driver doesn't have change. If we were lucky to be somewhere with other taxi drivers around, he'll try to get change, but it does get frustrating when we have to start going into restaurants or the hotel to break the bill. So as much as possible, keep extra 20s in Pesos. The cost of taxis are usually 40 Pesos around Downtown or 100 to 120 Pesos to get to the Hotel Zone or 60 to 80 Pesos up and down the Hotel Zone.
After this happened, we just kept asking before getting the cab (and haggling, they sometimes do end up dropping the price if you haggle about it, especially for the cost between Downtown and Hotel Zone or to the airport) if he has change. If not, you can usually find another taxi just steps away. They are really all over the place wherever you are. We definitely didn't want to get stuck having to tell the driver to keep the change or asking for someone to break the bill.
I've recently found out that many taxis in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and many others are accepting credit/debit card payments from all Visa, MasterCard and AMEX cards. Be sure to locate the little green and white cars and tell the driver you want to use this payment option. Definitively, this is great for safety because you don't have to even carry your cash on you!
Private tours by Carlos Flores Rodriquez from the US 011-52-1-998-860-5523. Hire Carlos for private tours around Cancun. Great driver, speaks English, great rates, knowledgeable about the area, He took us to Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Since you leave earlier than tour buses and you get there faster you have a lot more time at the ruins. We also stopped for lunch at a very good restaurant in Valladolid and shopped alittle before heading to Ek Balam. You pay him ( negotiable) $200.00 plus his lunch, plus $17.00 for toll road, ruins fee $5.50, tour guide $ 45.00 and tip.
It came out to about $350.00 for 4 people. $90.00 each. I liked it better than the rush of the bus tour. The Ek Balam site is special, you can climb this pyramid and the big tour buses don.t go there.
Never EVER take taxis on the Coco Bongo side of the street. Those cabs are much more expensive and quite abusive with tourists. (I saw how they were charging 40 dollars form there to the bus station)
INSTEAD go ACROSS THE STREET, those taxis have normal fares and are nicer people.
The group across the street and the coco bongo side are TWO completely different cabs in TWO different zones, so have this in mind, ok?
Have fun in Cancun!
Some guidebooks say that a ride to the airport from downtown Cancun costs about USD 40 but I did not find this to be true. Mytwo friends and I were able to get to the airport for a total of USD 15 (150 pesos) so this works out to be a better option than the ADO airport shuttle from the first class bus station which leaves every hour and costs about USD 3.5 per person.
If you take the bus from Cancun to Tulum, take a taxi to your hotel from the Tulum bus station in the center of town. It costs $3.00USD and is the quickest way to find your hotel.
Walking or asking for a ride from someone in your hotel saves you $3.00-5.00 each time. There is always bound to be someone who is going into town at the hotel you are staying at. Take taxis only when it is absolutely necessary like at night time or when you are going to visit a ruin site farther into the jungle.