CANCUN 101: TRANSPORTATIONHow to get to paradise faster…Take The Bus? Catch a Ferry? or Rent a Car? This week on #traveltiptuesday we talk about transportation options in Cancun.

1. Rental Cars:

If you are going to rent a car, its much cheaper and easier to reserve it online prior to your arrival. Cancun has all the major rental car companies available at their airport, so you don’t have to be pressured into booking a transfer with a shared ride van. You can easily drive around the area and its very safe. We rented a car for 2 days and drove from Cancun to Tulum in about an 1.5 hours vs the 2.5 hrs on bus, not to mention we were able to go on our own schedule. FYI you will have to purchase Mexican Insurance. Loyalty Rewards Cards such as Chase Sapphire, Amex and Citi Advantage will not cover your liability insurance on car rentals when it is outside for the USA.

2. Taxis:

Hailing a cab is quite easy in Cancun but here is a little tip. Ask for the fare upfront, this ensures you do not get a special “surprise” when you arrive at your destination. It is also important to keep in mind that the rates are negotiable for all rides. So ask upfront, talk-down your rates and enjoy your ride. Taxi fair from the hotel zone to city center should be no more than $20-$25 and to Playa Tortugas from the hotel zone it should be no more than $12-$15. This should give you an idea of what the fare rates are in the area.

3. The Bus:

Riding the public bus is by far the most inexpensive way to get around Cancun. Pickups are available at every hotel and it costs as little as $15 pesos to get a lift. The buses run from the Hotel Zone to Downtown Cancun and back. If you are feeling adventurous or on a budget hope on the bus and see the city for less.

4. Shuttle/Airport Transfer:

You can book these ahead of time with your travel agency or get them when you land. Buying a transfer when you arrive will give you some room to negotiate prices in your favor. We found that it is cheaper to take a shared transfer over a private one. Getting a cab after you arrive can cheaper than a private transfer, but hard to find one. Although we didn’t learn this until we had already paid in advance. So use our loss for your gain. If you do grab transfer service from one on the big companies go with Best Day or another comparable sized company.::July Update:: On our last trip in July we found it is most definitely cheaper to book your transfer ahead of arrival online. ::

5. Ferry:

There are several ferries in the area that will take you from Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel or Cancun to Isla Mujeres. You can easily take a cab or rental car to the dock and pay for your tickets at the boat. Isla Mujeres is $19 round trip from Cancun and Cozumel is $22 round trip from Playa Del Carmen. See Isla Mujeres Schedule here. | See Cozumel Schedule here.
::July Update:: The most cost effective way to get to Isla Mujeres from CUN (airport) is to take a transfer from the airport to Puerto Juarez for the ferry. Our tickets cost only $169 pesos for the round trip and was much faster than the transfer from Play Tortugas – not to mention the ferries here run from 5am until 10pm.::