If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, having a few tips for how to take a taxi in Puerto Vallarta can be a lifesaver. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but I can at least help you save a few dollars!
When you arrive at the airport in Puerto Vallarta, you will have several different transportation options. Unless you are part of a big travel group, we do not recommend that you book a van or shuttle for transportation. Sure, this is one way to get to your destination safely, but so will a taxi for less than half the cost!
⇒Tip #1: Walk across the pedestrian bridge
If you have several large suitcases, have difficulty walking, or just simply want the easiest option, we recommend picking up a taxi right out front from the airport. They are a little overpriced, but they will do the job. Expect to pay $20-30 USD to get to the Old Town area.
If you are traveling on the lighter side, we have a great money saving tip for you!
Bypass all of the taxi ladies waving at you to book a ride with them, pass the people holding signs with various last names written on them, and exit the airport. (Take a deep breath as you have survived the most difficult part-exiting the airport without purchasing a timeshare or taxi.) Turn left and walk about 40 yards. At this point you will see a pedestrian bridge that goes over the highway (it is big and orange and a pedestrian bridge-you cannot miss it!) Cross over this bridge and there will be another set of taxi drivers that are substantially cheaper! A taxi to Old Town from here should be around 150-200 pesos, or $8-10 USD!
Boom-you just saved your first $10! (buy us a margarita for the good info?!)
Do know though that it takes about 5-10 minutes to walk from the airport to the taxi stands across the bridge. If your luggage is heavy, if you do not like walking, or if it is excruciatingly hot outside, it may not be worth all this trouble to save a few dollars.
⇒Tip #2: Always determine what the price will be before getting in the car
We can not emphasize this tip enough. The taxis in Puerto Vallarta do not work with a running meter like they do in the States. Rates are set from zone to zone. A trip from Zone A to Zone B costs X amount, no matter what. Check out this post for a map of the detailed taxi prices and the different zones across town.
Let us say you want to go to the Marina. Before you get in the taxi, walk up to the passenger side, stick your head in, and ask them how much it cost to get to the Marina. Use the post mentioned above as your guide for how much it should cost. Usually, the drivers will quote you a price that is reasonable, but every now and then a driver will try and get greedy!
If you do not negotiate the price before getting in the car, it is likely that you will be way over charged. It happened to us once and that was enough for us to learn our lesson. We arrived at our destination and the driver gave us a price that was twice as much as it should have been! Fool us once…
⇒Tip #3: Make friends
Want to make it to your destination safely and make sure you do not get ripped off? Make friends with the driver! It really does not take much. Just ask them a few questions about themselves and they will usually open right up and be happy to have a guest that has taken an interest in them.
Pretty much all bad experiences we have had during a taxi ride have been in a ride in which we did not try to get to know the drivers. Learn from our mistakes!
I usually ask them a few of the below questions to get the conversation started:
How long have you lived in Puerto Vallarta?
What is your favorite part of Puerto Vallarta?
How many hours do you work in one day?
Do you have a family?
Granted, I usually ask these questions in Spanish, but most of the drivers speak enough English to get the gist of what you are trying to say. (Actually, taxi rides are where I have learned a lot of my Spanish!)
The people in Puerto Vallarta are extremely friendly, but it all starts with you. If you make an attempt to get to know the local drivers, store owners, and workers, you will be shocked by how nice everyone here really is.
Taxis in Puerto Vallarta are safe as they are so often used as the primary means of transportation for people all across the area.
You can get anywhere in the PV area for 200 pesos ($10 USD) or less!
If you find an exceptionally good driver on your trip, consider hiring him as a personal tour guide! For a small price, they would be very happy to take you around town and show you all of the sites of the great city that they love!
There you have it. Three tips to using the Taxis in Puerto Vallarta!
Keep it Kinetic,
Greg and Hillary
Tips for Using Taxis Puerto Vallarta Tips for Using Taxis Puerto Vallarta Tips for Using Taxis Puerto Vallarta