Interested in Yucatan Peninsula?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Yucatan Peninsula each week.
Topics include Dining Scene, Mexico: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Almost every form of transportation can be found in the Yucatan. For those who are exploring the peninsula, driving is not difficult and roads are usually in good condition. However, caution should be taken when driving at night. There is also a good bus system than goes to and from most major towns and cities; the buses are air-conditioned and first-class buses can be borderline luxurious. Shuttle service is also available betwen certain cities and towns. In the cities, the tourism police are available if you need them - look for their brown and white uniforms. For more information visit: http://www.yucatantoday.com/eng-trans... and http://www.lonelyplanet.com.
Below is more specific information on particular Yucatan Peninsula destinations.
Once you arrive in
Cancun and you are tired of sitting at your hotel, you should catch a bus to get around the city. The bus costs 6.5 pesos, approximately $.60 compare to a cab of being $6.00 or more. The only thing nice abou the cab is that it is air conditioned (some of them anyway) but the buses are not. Also, the bus ride will be an experience that you will never forget! Remember to bring small change, in pesos, American coins are not accepted and larger bills are hard for them to change.
Buses run round the clock. If you miss one, don’t worry. Another will be along within minutes. As with most major cities, your bus fare is for one-way travel. Don’t have the exact fare? Don’t worry; the bus driver will make change. When you pay for your ride, you will be given a small paper ticket. Hang on to this, many times there is a discount at local shops.
Unsure of when to get off the bus? When you board, if you let the driver know where you are heading, he will let you know when the bus arrives at your stop. Buses that run up and down the hotel zone usually have “HOTELES” displayed on the windshield. The bus labeled WAL-MART goes you know where.
Within, to and from the hotel zone, it can be very expensive. Always ask how much you will be charged before the taxi trip starts. You can negotiate the price, make a counter-offer.
From the airport to anywhere: exclusive-taxis charge non-negotiable US$40.00 or MX$400.00 (pay in any of the taxi stands inside the airport). You can take a collective taxi ("colectivo") for much less, you just have to travel with other passengers, and do a small milk run. From anywhere to airport: feel free to negotiate, but expect about MXP$200.00 pesos.
Downtown cancun: cheap. Make believe you are a local, don't let the taxi drivers screw you over.
Taxis will not issue receipts, except if you buy within the airport taxi stand.
It’s better to rent a car or a scooter if you plan to move around a lot, it’s cheaper than taxis. Try to bargain if you rent scooters or cars just for a day. Take detailed pictures of the car or scooter before you rent it, since they often try to charge you for scratches afterwards! Booking online will often save you money but make sure that you are not paying for an insurance the car rental station will not accept (e.g. offered by Orbitz). Many car rentals (e.g. Executive Car Rental) have their own mandatory insurences and they do not advertise it. Parking is a pain in the hotel zone and you have to find a spot somewhere else in town. Park only in white labeled but not at red or yellow labeled streets. When you buy gas, keep in mind that Mexican gas stations tend to overcharge (or undeliver) gas, i.e.: they tinker with the meter and charge you 10% more liters than what’s actually delivered.
Bicycles, roller skates
In the hotel zone, there are some strips were you wont have any problem, but around "Punta Cancun" (northeastern point of the hotel zone) you can forget about it. The same applies for kid-strollers.
Playa Del Carmen is not a large town, and most of the development has taken place along the beach front. At the southern end the Playacar area is home to many large, all-inclusive resorts as well as a golf course, private homes and condos and some of Playa’s most intriguing Mayan ruins.
Playacar is just south of the dock and the main square, El Zocalo. Just west of the square is Avenida Juarez, where you will find a number of banks and post offices, the bus station and the police. Avenida Quinta, or Fifth Avenue, runs north from the square and is a common point of reference in direction. This is a pedestrian walkway lined with shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and hotels. The central part of Quinta gets very crowded especially during high tourist season and starts to get quieter once you have moved north past Avenida Constituyentes (Constitution). The bay between Avenida Constituyentes and Coco Beach boasts some of the loveliest beaches that Playa has to offer. There are a number of dive shops and hotels for those interested in taking in the water sports. Further north of Coco Beach the beach is less populated and makes a good place to relax away from the crowds.
Playa Del Carmen is small enough that almost any attraction in town is within walking distance. To get from the dock to Coco Beach is only about a twenty minute walk. If the weather is unpleasant, there are many taxis and the rates are more than decent.
West of Quinta the avenues are numbered in increments of five. The town away from the beach is less geared toward tourists and more residential. However, there are a number of excellent places in town to get authentic Mexican food, particularly along 30th Avenue. There are shops and markets as well for those willing to explore beyond the beachside resorts.
Getting around Cozumel on the roads is relatively easy in terms of the simplicity of the road system but drivers must always be highly alert and aware of all driving rules. Things which drivers should know include:
If you need a taxi to get somewhere from your hotel, you can either ask your hotel´s receptionist, who should have a cell phone or a radio to call the taxi center in the pueblo, or you can just stand out on the coastal highway and flag one down (this is often faster, especially in the high season, when there are more taxis around). To get a taxi in Tulum pueblo, either flag one down on the main avenue, or head straight to the taxi center, across the street from Don Cafeto near the beginning (north end) of the pueblo.
There are also buses that travel between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. There are various classes. The first class ones have air conditioning and don’t stop along the highway to pick up passengers, they head straight to their destination. The second class buses will sometimes make a lot of stops along the highway to pick up additional passengers, making the ride a little longer. There are terminals in both towns where you can purchase tickets (Tulum has one main terminal in the pueblo, and a smaller terminal near the ruins). The first class buses fill up faster, as they are much quicker. You can take the other buses in the same way as the colectivos, with similar fares.
The easiest (and cheapest) way to get around is by Colectivo. These are little white vans that go up and down the highway between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum every 10 minutes or so. The fares range depending on how far you want to go, but the most you should pay is 25 pesos (about $2.50USD), most of the time you pay 15 pesos. You just stand on the edge of the highway in the direction you would like to go, and if there is room in the van the driver will flash their lights. All you do is wave and they will pull over. Tell the driver where you would like to go, and he will drop you there. You pay him as you exit. You don’t have to worry about having exact change, as they usually do, but big bills are probably not a good idea. Collectivos are primarily used by locals, so flashing large amounts of cash is not wise. Also be aware, they drop you off only along the highway, so for some places that are a long ways off the road ie) Yal Ku Lagoon, Tulum Ruins, you may want to consider a taxi. They charge a lot of money, but some people prefer them as they take you directly to where you want to go.Get the price before you get in. They are usually set fares, and there’s not really any negotiating involved.
Bicycles may be rented in Tulum pueblo, or at Punta Piedra cabanas on the beach. They are an inexpensive way to get around to the ruins, Tulum pueblo, or to many of the area´s cenotes.