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Taking a taxi can be a great way to see the Mexican countryside without the hassle of interpreting unfamiliar road signs or locating gas stations and parking options. However, the experience of taking a cab in the Yucatan can be far different from what many visitors expect. Drivers here are known for their ability to navigate through both impossibly tight traffic conditions and erratic local driving customs, as well as their willingness to negotiate fares. Uptight passengers need not apply.
One of the biggest advantages to hiring a cab is the price. Rates can vary greatly from place to place, but cabs will generally have either flat rate pricing (as is the case in the city of Merida) or fares that reflect the length of time and distance covered. Drivers are often willing to return later for pick-up or even wait around all day. Even though passengers are required to pay for this convenience, the cost still tends to be less than that of renting a car. Taxis also save vacationers the hassle of trying to find their own way around.
Visitors often find that paying for the cab is more convenient if they pay in pesos. Most taxi drivers will also accept U.S. dollars, but they generally round up to the nearest dollar due to the exchange rate. A standard tip of 10 pesos, or roughly $0.90(USD), is common throughout Mexico, but longer trips often garner more to reflect the riders' appreciation for the additional service.
Cars in Mexico tend to be small, and three people in a backseat can be quite a squeeze. Large families or groups should plan to take multiple taxis.
Nighttime trips may incur additional surcharges. Ask the driver before leaving.
Passengers leaving from the beach should bring a change of clothes, as wet clothing will not be permitted in most cabs.
Travelers who do not speak Spanish well are advised to write down both the name of their destination and their hotel to avoid any unwanted adventures that may result from mispronunciations.
Taxis are a fantastic way to explore the Yucatan due to their convenience and economic price. Friendly, knowledgeable drivers only enhance the experience and help visitors feel right at home while on their exotic vacation.
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