TRAVELING WITHOUT A CAR IN THE RIVIERA MAYA
One of the best features of the Riviera Maya is the plethora of activities that you can find in the area. Whether it’s lounging on the beach, indulging in food and drink, exploring Mayan ruins or visiting the various parks in the area, there’s no shortage of things to do. However, you still have to find your way there. Traveling without a car in the Riviera Maya is possible!
While renting a car is an option, driving culture is a little different in Mexico if you compare it to the one in Canada or the US. Besides, you may find it easier to commute around in other ways! Thus, here are a few of your options for getting around without a car in the Riviera Maya.
Taxis are everywhere in the Riviera Maya. They are all white, which makes them easy to spot – and they are often on the lookout for new passengers. If you are on the side of the street and hear a light honk, that is likely from a taxi driver inquiring if you want a ride! Just hail them down, and they’ll pull over for you.
Taxi fares are generally decided based on a zone model. For example, travel within downtown Playa del Carmen (Zone 1) will be 25 pesos. It will be a good idea to check with your hotel or a local contact to confirm the taxi rates as they sometimes change and are not posted widely. Tipping is also not generally expected when taking a taxi, so it is recommended to ensure you have exact change.
Rent a bike
If you want to get around a bit more quickly but don’t mind some exercise you might consider renting a bike! If you are in the area for a while, many shops have very reasonable rates for renting bikes for long-term use, or you can rent just for the day!
The rules of the road in the Riviera Maya are ultimately the same as anywhere else, but always ensure you keep a keen eye on your surroundings. You will also want to ensure you have a good sturdy bike lock so that you can keep your bike safe while you explore on foot.
If you want an authentic local experience, then consider checking out the colectivos – public taxi vans. They are sometimes a little cramped, but they are very inexpensive and can drop you off anywhere along their route. There is usually a primary stop where the various colectivos begin their routes in the city, and they have signs on the front of the van indicating where they are traveling to.
If you are staying at a resort and not in the city, worry not! Most colectivos traveling down the freeway stop in front of resorts – often to drop off or pick up employees but they are available for travelers too!
Make sure you have enough small change in pesos – some drivers will take US dollars however you will likely not get an ideal exchange rate, and other riders will appreciate you exiting the van quickly without having to wait for the driver to give you change.
Of course, if you prefer driving, there are a number of car rental agencies in the area that can get you set up with a vehicle of your preference!
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