Getting Around Cancun by Taxi: What You Need to Know

Learn how to navigate Cancun by taxi with our comprehensive guide. Discover the city's zone system, rates, and tips for negotiating prices. Don't get overcharged on your next trip.

Getting Around Cancun by Taxi: What You Need to Know
A taxi driver waits for passengers outside a hotel in Cancun's Hotel Zone.

Cancun is one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year. While the city offers a variety of transportation options, including buses and rental cars, taxis are a popular choice for many travelers. Here's what you need to know about getting around Cancun by taxi.

Understanding Cancun's Taxi Zones and Rates

Taxis in Cancun operate on a zone system, with each zone having a set fare. However, keeping track of which zone you're in can be confusing. The Hotel Zone, where many of Cancun's resorts are located, is one of the most expensive areas for taxis in Mexico.

Additionally, taxi drivers in the Hotel Zone often charge discriminatory prices, with residents paying less than tourists, and guests at higher-priced hotels paying more than those at budget hotels.

To ensure you're paying the correct fare, rates should be posted outside your hotel, and drivers are required to carry official rate cards in their taxis. However, these rate cards are often in Spanish. If you're unsure about the fare, ask your hotel staff for assistance.

Paying for Taxis in Cancun

Taxi drivers in Cancun will accept both US dollars and Mexican pesos, although the exchange rate for dollars may not be as favorable. It's a good idea to carry a mix of both currencies, as some drivers may prefer one over the other.

If you're traveling within downtown Cancun, it's a good idea to settle on a price in advance or ask your hotel staff for assistance. While some taxis may use a meter, others may not. By agreeing on a price before your trip, you can avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

Most hotels in Cancun offer airport transportation services, but if you're taking a taxi, you'll be charged a set rate based on your destination. This rate is typically for up to four people, and additional fees may apply for larger groups.

Renting Taxis for City and Hotel Zone Tours

If you're interested in exploring Cancun's city center or Hotel Zone, you can rent a taxi by the hour. This is a great option if you want to visit multiple attractions in one day or if you're traveling with a group.

However, if you're planning a longer trip to destinations like Chichén Itzá or the Riviera Maya, expect to pay extra. Many taxi drivers in Cancun consider themselves tour guides and may charge additional fees for their services.

Taxis are a popular mode of transportation for tourists exploring downtown Cancun's colorful streets.
Taxis are a popular mode of transportation for tourists exploring downtown Cancun's colorful streets.

Tips for Taking Taxis in Cancun

When taking a taxi in Cancun, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure the taxi you're getting into is a licensed taxi with official logos and license plates. Secondly, always agree on a fare in advance or make sure the meter is on. Finally, carry small bills and change, as some drivers may not have change for larger bills.

Here are some safety tips for taking a taxi in Cancun:

  • Only take taxis that are licensed and have a valid permit.
  • Make sure the taxi has a working meter.
  • Sit in the back seat of the taxi.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • If you feel unsafe, ask the driver to pull over and let you out.

What other transportation options are available in Cancun?

In addition to taxis, there are a variety of other transportation options available in Cancun. These include:

  • Bus: The city bus system is a convenient and affordable way to get around Cancun. Buses run frequently throughout the city, and fares are very reasonable.
  • Rental Car: If you want to have the freedom to explore Cancun at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental companies located in Cancun, and prices are typically very reasonable.
  • Shuttle: Several shuttle companies offer transportation between Cancun and the airport, as well as between Cancun and other popular destinations in the Riviera Maya. Shuttles are a convenient and affordable option for groups of travelers.
  • Uber: Uber is available in Cancun, and it is a great option for travelers who want to avoid the hassle of hailing a taxi. Uber fares are generally comparable to taxi fares, and Uber drivers are typically very professional and reliable.


While taxis in Cancun can be more expensive than in other parts of Mexico, they offer a convenient and reliable mode of transportation for tourists. By understanding Cancun's taxi zones and rates, negotiating prices in advance, and taking necessary precautions, you can have a smooth and stress-free taxi experience in this vibrant city.