This article is all about Transportation in Cancun and you will get tips about Taxi fares, how to rent a car for a minimum price, or how to use the bus and colectivo systems. Enjoy your Cancun holidays!
Taxi in Cancun
The first rule you have to know before taking a taxi in Cancun is always agree the fare price before you get in the cab, because mexican taxis do not have meters. The prices in Cancun are set by zone, although it is hard to know what’s in which zone. Traveling between two zones costs $5, and if you cross two zones, the cost is $7.50. The minimum fare within the Hotel Zone is $5 per ride, making it one of the most expensive taxi areas in Mexico. Within the downtown (Cancun City) the prices are lower, between $1.50 to $2 per ride (not per person). You can also hire taxis by the hour, between $12 to $18 per hour, or by day with discounts. If the driver is also a tour guide for holidays in Cancun it will charge you more.
The trip from the Hotel Zone to the Airport is around $14, and you can use any local taxi, but from the Airport to the Hotel Zone you can use only federally chartered Taxis with a cost between $40 to $60.
If you want to hire a taxi to take you to Chichen Itza expect to pay about $30 per hour.
If you want to spend the holidays doing a lot of excursions out of Cancun like getting to Mayan ruins or isolated beaches, a car is a huge advantage. The roads in and around Cancun are excellent, and parking is readily available in most of the shopping centers. To rent a car you need to be over 21 years old and have a driving licence, your passport and a Credit Card. Avis, Hertz, and other internationally-known rental car companies have offices at the Cancun airport. Prices for cars are usually higher than in the U.S., but lower than in Europe. You will pay for the following things:
- The car – for a compact car you can pay daily around $50-$80 for booking at the airport, but for the same car pre-booked you will pay around $40.
- Insurance – we highly recommend full-coverage insurance. It can cost up tu $50 a day, but if you get into an accident, it will save you a lot of money, and a lot of hassle.
- Gas – the gas price in Cancun is 9.21 pesos a liter, about $2.71 a gallon.
- Highway toll – in Yucatan there are 2 fast toll highways: Cancun – Merida and Campeche – Champoton. The tolls are $25, but if you do not want to pay you can go on the old parallel road.
The Hotel Zone buses run 24 hours a day, have air conditioned and are rarely crowded. The local bus service is the most popular, fast and cheapest way to travel through Cancun. Destinations are displayed on the windscreen, but have route numbers. Routes R-1 and R-2 run up and down the Hotel Zone and to Downtown. R1 – Take this route to go downtown, or to Puerto Juarez, Wal-Mart, Plaza 2000, Mercado 23 and the Cancun bus station. R2 – Goes to Wal-Mart and Mercado 28.
There are 2 major bus companies that operate in the hotel zone: AutoCar – they have red buses, and Turicun they have white and turquoise buses. The white buses are the only ones that have air-conditioning so, on hot days, look for one of those buses.
The city buses can get you to everything on Kukulkan Boulevard: malls, nightclubs, and most of it’s hotels and restaurants. Bus stops are in front of most of the main hotels and shopping centers. To use the bus, simply go out to the street and look for a bus stop. Buses do not stop at each bus stop. You will have to flag them down. Just throw your arm in the air as if you are hailing a taxi in New York City and the bus will pull over.
When the bus stops, go to the front door and board the bus. If you aren’t sure that the bus is going to your destination, ask the driver as you board. Keep it simple though because your driver may not speak much English. Just say short things like “Cancun Palace?” and you’ll be alright. If the driver nods yes, then get on the bus and pay your fare.
The fare is only 8.5 Pesos (approximately 65¢ USD), per person, for each one-way trip payed to the driver directly.
Even if you tell the driver where you are going when you board the bus, don’t expect him to remember your stop. Be on the lookout for your stop, during your trip. To stop the bus, press one of the buzzers found throughout the bus and exit on the back door.
There are no set bus schedules but, during the day, buses will pass by every few minutes. R-1 buses run all night, but there are not many on the road, after midnight.
The colectivo buses are air-conditioned mini-vans that go from Cancun to Playa del Carmen – 35 pesos -, then from Playa del Carmen to Tulum – 15 pesos – and back all day. From Downtown you can take the colectivo in the parking of “La Comercial Mexicana” on Tulum Avenue. It is open from 8 to 22.
If you want to go to the airport you should know that no colectivo service returns to the airport from Ciudad Cancun or the Hotel Zone, so you must hire a taxi.
Riding on a moped or bycicle
In big resorts you can rent scooters or golf carts to travel around Cancun or you can try a bicycle from the hotel, because there is a cycle track all along the Hotel Zone. You can also cycle in Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Valladolid.
Moped rentals start at $25 for a day, and the shops require a credit card voucher as security for the moped. When you rent a it, you will get a crash helmet and instructions on how to lock the wheels when you park. Make sure to read the rental agreement regarding repairs or replacement in case of accidents.
If you have any information or tips regarding transportation in Cancun please don’t hesitate to write a comment. Thank you!