Taking a tax is one of the easiest ways to get around Puerto Vallarta. Whether you’re going from the airport to your hotel or just out to dinner, you’ll likely take at least one taxi ride during your stay. But because you’re in a different country, it’s important to know how to use the PV taxi system and the methods of payment the drivers accept.
Does Puerto Vallarta take credit cards?
Taxis in Puerto Vallarta generally do not accept credit cards, and payments are typically made in cash, preferably in Mexican Pesos. One exception is at the airport, where you can buy taxi tickets with credit cards at designated booths. You can also make credit card payments if you use rideshare apps like Uber InDriver.
After arriving at the Ordaz International Airport, you’ll find booths where you can buy tickets for a taxi ride into the city. At these booths, you can use a credit card, like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. The attendant with then give you a voucher that you can give to the correct taxi company when you exit the airport.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about getting around by taxi, including how you can pay the driver for your ride.
Taking a Taxi in Puerto Vallarta
Before getting into details and pricing, it’s important to note that there are three types of taxis in PV. First, you have the basic yellow cab that can take up to 3 people. Then, there’s the large SUV, which fits up to 5 passengers. Finally, PV has federal taxis, which are the only taxis that can legally pick up and drop off at the airport. These taxis are entirely white.
You can hail a taxi on the street or line up at one of the many taxi ranks located around the city. Calling a taxi driver for a ride is also possible, although these prices can be higher than getting one curbside.
Rideshare is also available in the city. Uber is the most common, although InDriver is another app you can use to call cabs.
Are Taxis Metered?
Unlike taxis in other cities, the ones in PV are not metered. Instead, prices are zoned, which means you will pay a specific rate depending on where you want to go in Puerto Vallarta. The city has different zoning areas that are calculated depending on how far away they are from the center.
For example, there is Marina Vallarta (Zone 1A), the Hotel Zone (Zone 1), Downtown & the Romantic Zone (Zone 2), Southern Nuevo Vallarta (Zone 2), Mismaloya & South Zone (Zone 3) and Northern Nuevo Vallarta (Zone 3).
Because the taxis are not metered, it’s important to confirm the exact price with the driver before leaving. While most taxis stick to the zone pricing, it’s not uncommon for tourists to be overcharged, especially if you’re unaware of the pricing system beforehand.
How Much Does it Cost to Take a Taxi in PV?
Prices for the different zones have changed over the past few years. But generally speaking, you will pay around 50 to 60 MXN (roughly USD 3) to travel somewhere within the same zone. If you are entering a new zone, you will likely be charged an additional 10 MXN.
Using the official taxi from the airport, you can expect to pay anywhere from 300 MXN to 700 MXN (depending on where you are going or leaving from). This price will also change depending on number of passengers and bags.
The cost of using a rideshare app like Uber or InDriver will also depend on where you are going in the city. However, they do tend to be cheaper than using a licensed cab. The only thing that can make your trip more expensive is if you’re traveling during peak times. Uber surge pricing can add a few extra bucks to your total bill, so keep that in mind if you’re using the app.
Getting to and From the Airport
As I mentioned, only federal airport taxis are allowed to take passengers to and from the Puerto Vallarta airport. However, these taxis can be very expensive, and many visitors (and locals) have found ways to skirt the system.
For example, Uber and yellow taxis aren’t technically allowed to make airport runs. However, you can still call one by crossing the bridge from the airport. While I don’t condone doing anything illegal in Mexico, it is common for those who don’t want to pay full price for an airport taxi (the costs can be 2 or 3 times cheaper).
Unless you are using a rideshare service, you must take cash (Mexican pesos) with you for the local taxi driver. Getting around town or to the airport isn’t difficult, but it can take a while to understand the zoning areas and taxi rates. But a little preparation beforehand can help you navigate the city so you can enjoy your time in this beautiful city!
In conclusion, navigating through the destination of Puerto Vallarta by taxi is a simple and affordable way to explore the city, provided you understand the zoning system, have cash on hand to pay your fare, and are aware of payment methods. While credit card payments are typically not accepted by taxis, there are exceptions at the airport and via rideshare apps like Uber and InDriver. Whether you’re commuting to the Ordaz International Airport or heading out to explore Marina Vallarta or the Romantic Zone, prepare in advance and you’ll be able to make the most of your time in this captivating city. For more travel advice and guides to Puerto Vallarta, continue exploring our site and share this article with others planning their journey.