Although I’ve spoken about different transportation options in Mexico through other posts I thought placing them all together would be most helpful for those planning to travel there soon.
- Driving: Car rental pricing depends on the level of insurance you decide to go with. Quintana Roo has many main highways that make it easy to get around driving. The streets don’t have many lights but you’ll encounter loads of bumps and roundabouts to prevent speeding. There are usually alternative routes with several expensive tolls but they save a significant amount of time, however, these straight roads can be very hypnotizing. Highways are well maintained, there aren’t many gas stations along the way but there are emergency workers that drive up and down the highways to help anyone who needs it.
- Uber: Many people in Mexico, especially other taxi drivers say Uber is “illegal” and this isn’t necessarily true, the taxi company is just upset that Uber is taking business away from them. If taxi drivers spot an Uber they are known to do crazy things like block off the car and get violent. I took Uber from where I was staying because it wasn’t a main street – the driver asked me to sit in the front seat next to him and to state I was his cousin if anyone stopped us along the route. As we got closer to my destination I could tell the driver was getting more nervous in hopes no taxi driver would suspect anything.
- Taxis: I did not find taxis in Mexico to be too expensive, however, they do sometimes try to rip you off so I would recommend initiating the conversation with bargaining. Another thing I would do is go on Uber to see what the rate was there to use it to bargain with the taxi drivers. One time another taxi driver even warned me to not allow them to charge me over a certain rate. The taxis are all white with different stripes corresponding to different regions of Quintana Roo so they are easy to identify in the streets as well.
- ADO Bus: This can be most closely compared to Greyhound in the USA. These buses go long distances with stops in between (ex. Cancun to Chichen Itza), have more comfortable seating, outlets and two large TVs usually playing a show. I took this bus back to the airport from Playa del Carmen without any hassle, once you arrive at the airport the driver also takes you to the appropriate terminal for your airline. There is space for luggage under the bus and set schedules online so perfect for all my backpacking buddies!
- Colectivos (vans/minibuses): These are great to go short distances but are much more difficult to maneuver if you aren’t connected to a local. They are the cheapest options and some also do go long distances but it is harder to identify the bus stops – most have writing on the front window that only indicate their first and last stop. You’ll also have to be attentive of how long the ride is so you can remind the driver where you’d like to get off because they won’t always make every stop. As I’ve stated in earlier posts I recommend using GoogleMaps here for an indication of when you are close to your destination. Although difficult to maneuver this is probably the most authentic travel experience so I’d recommend taking it at least once.