Zipping around the streets of Cozumel at any given time are around 750 taxi cabs, all with the goal of providing transportation to tourists as well as locals. Although the cost of taking a taxi can add up, prices are low if you consider each ride on an individual basis.
In Cozumel, you'll typically find taxis waiting for passengers outside of hotels, the ferry and cruise ship terminals, and just down the road from the airport. Regular taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport, so those who'd like to hire a taxi to take them to their hotel will have to walk about 200 yards from the airport and hail a cab on the main road or hire what is known as an Airport Taxi. In contrast, you can hire a regular taxi to drop you off at the airport. If you are unable to find a taxi on the street, you can call and have a driver pick you up at your desired destination. Do be aware that it is rare that operators will answer the phone before 7:00 a.m., so if you need a ride very early in the morning, call the night before.
...a number painted on the side...
Cozumel Taxi Union is the only taxi service concerning which we have detailed information. Give them a call at (987) 872-1130; you'll find them on Calle 2 Norte entre 5 y 10 num. 186 in the southeastern part of Cozumel.
Most drivers on Cozumel only speak Spanish. If you don't speak the language, you should write down the name of your desired destination and show it to your driver to ensure you are both on the same page.
Make sure you are aware of the fact that all licensed taxis on Cozumel have a number painted on the side of the vehicle. Make note of the number in case you need to complain about or praise your driver later on. This is also extremely helpful to have if you leave anything behind.
Rates for taxi rides in Cozumel are regulated by the government, so you won't find meters in the cabs, nor will you find there need to negotiate. Rates are posted at the airport, the cruise ship terminal, and at taxi stands, plus each driver should have a sheet with rates on hand and many hotels keep copies as well. Even with the rate sheet in hand, make sure to ask the driver to confirm by asking "Cuanta cuesta?" which means "How much?" just to make sure you are both on the same page.
Drivers accept both U.S. Dollars and pesos, but be sure to get as close to exact change as possible because they will rarely give change. A typical tip is 10 pesos, which comes out to about $0.80(USD), but you should feel free to tip more if you are given exemplary service.
Taxis are often the most recommended form of transportation for tourists in Cozumel, thanks to the low price of the service. As you consider all of your options, take this service under careful consideration moving forward with your travel plans.
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