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How To Use Uber In Cancun [& How To Stay Safe Doing So]

Learn how Uber in Cancun works, what it costs, and safety tips to protect yourself from scams and violence that is common while using Uber there.

Key Takeaways

  • Uber available in Cancun, while Lyft is not. Restrictions apply at the airport.
  • Uber fares are significantly cheaper in Cancun than taxis; payment in Mexican Pesos.
  • There are safety concerns with Uber due to local taxi union hostility; caution advised.
  • Alternatives include walking, official taxis, hotel and private shuttles; taxis pricier but available.

Is There Uber and Lyft in Cancun?

Uber is available in Cancun, offering a convenient option for transportation. However, Lyft does not operate in Mexico, including Cancun.

Rides are readily available in downtown Cancun and the Hotel Zone, but can be limited in areas like Playa Mujeres and at the Cancun International airport.

While Uber drivers can’t enter the airport due to restrictions, alternative transport options like buses, licensed taxis, and private ride services are available.

To use Uber in Cancun, simply use the app as you would in the US, but be mindful of local sensitivities and take extra caution while doing so.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I suggest not trying to call an Uber from the airport. Instead, I’ve found good luck with arranging a private airport transfer through my resort.

Going direct helps usually comes at a set price, and helps to avoid the hassle and frustration of negotiating fares or dealing with potential conflicts.

Once I’m in the city, I usually have the front desk call a cab for me. These cabs typically work directly with the resort, so they have reputations and standards to uphold.

Where things get a bit sketchy is when you call a cab from the street. These can be dangerous as well as ripe with scams.

Instead of dealing with these cabs, Uber is available.

How Much Does Uber Cost in Cancun?

Uber fares in Cancun can be significantly lower than taxi charges, with rides from hotels to the city center usually costing somewhere between 190 to 230 pesos with Uber, compared to 500 to 660 pesos charged by taxis.

Uber in Cancun is generally much more affordable compared to prices in the United States. The lower cost of living in Mexico is reflected in these cheaper Uber prices.

Payment for Uber rides in Cancun can be made via PayPal or credit card, and charges are in Mexican Pesos. However, prices can fluctuate based on factors such as season, demand, and driver availability.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

Taxi fares vary widely depending on the location, type of vehicle, and driver.

If you do take a taxi, I suggest trying to negotiate the fare ahead of time, but be aware of the potential to get overcharged once you reach your destination.

I’ve been in that situation many times before, having negotiated a price but then it changes when we get to the hotel.

It’s frustrating when it happens, but I travel enough to understand what is going on and not fall for the ruse.

Is Uber Safe in Cancun?

Using Uber in Cancun can be a safe option for travelers, especially since its legalization and the implementation of a new agreement allowing local taxi drivers to operate within the Uber app.

This has enhanced safety for travelers by incorporating Uber’s rating system, location tracking, and safety features, providing more security than traditional taxis, which have faced issues of unlicensed drivers and safety concerns.

However, despite its legality, Uber drivers and passengers still face challenges from local taxi unions, which have shown hostility towards Uber services.

Travelers are advised to exercise caution, order Ubers away from taxi stands, and consider sitting in the front seat to appear as if getting a ride from a friend.

Despite past incidents of violence and aggression from local taxi unions, using Uber remains a safer and more accountable option due to the app’s safety features.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

The last time I took an Uber in Cancun, I felt very safe when compared to taxis. Uber is fairly safe overall and in Mexico is no exception.

However, there is a notable tension between Uber drivers and taxi drivers, sometimes leading to harassment of Uber drivers.

While I haven’t personally experienced this, I am aware of riders that have.

To avoid potential conflicts, I suggest that you discreetly use Uber and avoid calling rides near taxi stands. Try to walk a decent distance from the taxi stands, both at normal pickup locations as well as the airport.

While you’ll probably have no issues, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Take an Uber in Cancun

To take an Uber in Cancun, simply download the app, create an account, and order a ride, as directed in the app.

If you have been using Uber in the US, the process is the same.

Enter your destination, and an Uber will come to your pickup location.

Be aware that some Uber drivers may avoid picking you up at places where taxi drivers congregate due to safety concerns.

Another thing that might surprise you is that Uber drivers might expect you to sit in the front seat in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

That’s because the legality of Uber is a gray area, as Uber has been fighting to become legal and comply with tough regulations in many cities like Cancun.

Uber drivers don’t want to be so easily identified as such, as they may be afraid of the police stopping them or taxi drivers getting aggressive with them.

If you are with a friend or family, one of you can sit in the back, while one of you should sit in the front.

That way, it appears as if the driver is simply transporting a friend or relative and not working for Uber.

Other Ways to Get Around Cancun

Besides Uber, there are various ways to navigate Cancun effectively:

1. Walking

The hotel zone is pedestrian-friendly, making it convenient for visitors to walk between hotels, restaurants, and attractions. This is an ideal option during pleasant weather conditions.

2. Taxis

For those unable to use Uber, taxis are readily available. As I mentioned before, I suggest having your hotel arrange a taxi for enhanced safety.

Apps like Didi offer a platform to book taxis, providing a similar experience to Uber but exclusively for taxis in Cancun.

Uber vs Taxi: Which is better for riders?

3. Hotel Shuttles

Many hotels offer complimentary or paid shuttle services to and from the airport. This shared transportation option is generally safer and more direct than taxis. Official shared shuttle services start at $12, as detailed on the Cancun Airport Transportation website.

4. Private Shuttles

For a more personalized experience, private shuttles can be arranged for airport transfers or day trips outside of Cancun. While offering convenience and flexibility, this option may be costlier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are taxis in Cancun’s Hotel Zone?

Taxis in Cancun’s Hotel Zone can be pricier than Uber but offer short rides within the zone for about $1–2 (20–40 Mexican Pesos).

Venturing out of the hotel zone into the city or downtown Cancun costs a few dollars up to $10, depending on distance, when using UberX.

How much is a taxi from the Cancun Hotel Zone to the airport?

Expect to pay around $25 at the lower end for a taxi straight from your hotel to the airport. It might be a bit cheaper when hailing one from the street, and it might be more expensive from certain hotels.

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