Taxis in Puerto Vallarta


The familiar yellow taxi needs no translation, clearly stating its purpose in cities around the world. In Puerto Vallarta, things are no different, with this mode of transportation providing quick and easy transportation between points of interest at an economic value. Unlike with cities elsewhere in the world, Puerto Vallarta's officially sanctioned taxis work on a series of predetermined tariffs based on the length of the trip.

As a result, the city is divided into zones for the purpose of calculating fares, with the airport serving as the base of reference. These zones allow travelers to quickly calculate the cost of a taxi ride from practically anywhere in the city, as these rates are federally determined, non-negotiable, and always given in pesos. A taxi can accommodate up to 3 passengers and their personal effects for this flat rate, but larger vehicles such as vans are available for larger parties.


Airport Taxis

Special mention must be made for dedicated airport taxis, which can charge higher rates due to their convenient location. To summon an airport cab as you arrive in Puerto Vallarta, exit the baggage processing area to find the taxi kiosk situated near the doors leading out of the airport. Be sure to move quickly through the hallway separating the baggage area from the airport exit to avoid having your departure delayed by sales staff unaffiliated with the airport. Once you've confirmed your destination at the taxi kiosk and received your ticket, you can proceed outside to the taxi stand immediately in front of the building to begin your ride to the hotel.

City Cabs

Standard city cabs can be accessed from the airport using the foot bridge that provides passage over the highway outside the airport. There are steep ramps on both sides, so be careful when ascending and descending this foot bridge. At the bottom, you'll find the airport city cab station, where you can get a ride for a fraction of the cost of an airport taxi. When you get into the city cab, you'll tell the driver the name of the hotel at which you'll enjoy your stay and soon be on your way.

Zone 1A ($200mx City Cab Rate)

Zone 1 is spilt into two portions, 1 and 1A. Zone 1A includes Marina Vallarta, where condos such as Portofino and Shangri-La are located along with larger hotels including the Westin and Mayan Palace.

Zone 1 ($215mx City Cab Rate)

Zone 1 goes a bit deeper into the city, including most of the Hotel Zone and the northern end of the Centro area. It encompasses properties like Canto del Sol and Fiesta Americana along with Hilton Vallarta and the Sheraton.

Zone 2 ($286mx City Cab Rate)

To the south, Zone 2 covers the city from approximately the Malecon down to the Romantic Zone at the southern end of the city. There are just a few large hotels in this area, and so travelers arriving to this area of the city will likely be staying at smaller boutique style hotels. This means that they should be prepared with the specific name of the property, its general location in the city and the name of the neighborhood in which it is located.
To the north, Zone 2 describes destinations at a similar distance going in the opposite direction from the airport. This includes Southern Nuevo Vallarta, a recently developed network of resorts minutes outside the city proper, along with some of its most popular properties such as Dreams Villamagna and the Grand Luxe.

Zone 3 ($341 mx City Cab Rate)

Zone 3 fares can take travelers 15 minutes or more from the airport to the north, heading toward the resorts and accommodations at the northern part of Nuevo Vallarta. This section of the Banderas Bay is home to properties such as Bel Air and the Royal Decameron. Heading south of the airport past Old Town Puerto Vallarta, Zone 3 covers hotels and resorts in the area of Mismaloya and intermediate points on the outskirts of town.

Zone 4 ($900mx City Cab Rate)

Few travelers will find themselves going directly from the plane to locales as far north as Punta de Mita, but travelers with a specific destination in mind can find ready transport to areas an hour or more from the city center right outside the airport. There are also a few exclusive resorts that pride themselves on their isolation from the buzz of Puerto Vallarta proper, and may require a Zone 4 trip from the airport.

Within Town

Regardless of whether you choose and airport taxi or a city cab, prices for taxi rides from the airport area are slightly higher than those in the main areas of the city, as there are taxes and fees associated with operating on federal grounds and the taxi must also typically return to the airport empty. Fares within town start at around 60 pesos and can top out at 120 pesos or more, but the convenience, comfort and cleanliness these taxis provide is well worth the cost of service. Be sure to confirm the price of your trip before you and your driver pull off.

General Tips

When entering and exiting taxis, be sure to use the non-traffic side door of the vehicle. Look out for people and traffic before you embark or disembark, and try to have your money ready as quickly as possible, as taxi drivers will let you out where reaching your destination is most convenient and sometimes this can mean obstructing traffic. Also, tipping as a standard practice is not customary or required, but may be offered if a driver goes above the call of duty to assist.

Taxis in Puerto Vallarta offer a convenient and highly accessible method of transportation. The dedicated drivers who make up the city's taxi driver union are professional, knowledgeable, and committed to ensuring your vacation gets off to the best start possible.


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