Is there Uber in Mexico? Where You Can Uber in Mexico + Safety Tips (2023)
Wondering if there’s Uber in Mexico? You’re in the right place!
I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and have become an expert in all the different ways to get around the country from taxis to buses to ride-sharing services.
Ride-sharing apps like Uber have faced a lot of opposition in Mexico, which has made it challenging for these transportation services to operate in some parts of the country.
In this post, I’m sharing what you need to know about Uber in Mexico, including where you can use it, what to expect, and how to stay safe while using the service.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about Uber in Mexico!
What is Uber?
If you’re not familiar with the service, Uber is a ride-sharing app that allows you to request a private driver with the tap of a button on your smartphone.
Uber allows you to avoid the hassles of hailing a traditional taxi cab by connecting riders with drivers in real time.
Passengers can enter their destination into the app using Google Maps GPS and Uber will provide a fare estimate, allowing you to see how much your ride will cost before you even step into the car.
Uber is cashless, so all payments are made through the app using a credit or debit card. This makes it a convenient way to pay for your ride, especially if you’re traveling from another country and don’t have local currency.
In addition, Uber offers different service options, such as UberX, UberPool, UberBlack, and UberLux for budget or business travelers. Plus, Uber rates are generally cheaper than traditional taxi fares.
Is there Uber in Mexico?
Yes, Uber is available in over 60 cities throughout Mexico, making it a convenient and affordable option for getting around. Uber first arrived in Mexico back in 2013 and has been steadily expanding ever since.
While Uber is available in many parts of Mexico, there are still some areas where the service is not yet available due to opposition from local taxi drivers.
If the destination you’re traveling to is not mentioned in this guide, it’s important to research before traveling to find out if the service is actually available and operating.
Where can you use Uber in Mexico?
Uber is available in over 60 cities throughout Mexico. Major cities in Mexico where you can use Uber include:
- La Paz
- Mexico City
- Puerto Vallarta
- San Miguel de Allende
Map of Uber Cities in Mexico
Here’s a map of cities in Mexico where you can use Uber:
However, it’s important to know that in some cities and states, there are certain restrictions in place for Uber drivers.
For example, Uber drivers may not be able to pick you up directly from the airport or from the front of your hotel or resort.
In these cases, they may ask you to meet them at a pickup point a little ways away.
It’s always best to research the Uber situation in the specific destination you’re planning to visit in Mexico before your trip to make sure you’re comfortable with the Uber practices there.
Uber in Mexico City
Mexico City is probably one of the easiest places in Mexico to use Uber as there are very few restrictions and Ubers can pick up easily from the Mexico City Airport.
I’ve personally used Uber several times when visiting Mexico City and never had any issues–except for traffic!
Mexico City Ubers usually arrive within 5-10 minutes after requesting a ride and Uber is available 24 hours a day. Uber rates are also very affordable, making it a great option for getting around Mexico City.
Uber in Guadalajara Mexico
Uber is legal in Guadalajara and can be used without issue for pickup at the Guadalajara Airport and to get around town.
As in most cities in Mexico, taxi drivers are not fond of Uber but the service is still available and growing in popularity.
Uber in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Uber is available in Puerto Vallarta but Uber drivers are not allowed to pick up directly from the Puerto Vallarta Airport.
Instead, you’ll have to walk across a highway overpass and meet them at a pickup point across the street.
Aside from the airport, normal Uber rides are available to get around Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta.
Uber in Merida Mexico
Similar to Puerto Vallarta, Uber is available in Merida but Uber drivers cannot pick up directly from the Merida Airport (though some still do it anyways).
Most drivers will request that you meet them at a pickup point outside of the airport on the main road.
If you’re not comfortable with this, consider booking a private airport transfer for the most hassle-free option where they’ll meet you inside the airport.
Once you’re in town, Uber rides are easily available and Uber rates are very affordable to get around Merida.
Where CAN’T you use Uber in Mexico?
It’s important to know that there are some parts of Mexico where Uber is NOT available and the service has not been well-received.
Basically, in some parts of the country, the taxi unions and local transportation authorities did not take kindly to the new competition and started strong protests and opposition to block the service from operating.
Most notably, Uber is not available in the entire Riviera Maya region of Mexico, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel.
When Uber first attempted to start service in Riviera Maya, the taxi drivers protested by making a barricade on the main highway for an entire day, preventing tourists from getting to and from the airport.
Since then, Uber has pretty much been blocked from operating in Riviera Maya so you’ll need to use local taxis, private car transportation, or public transport (colectivos) to get around.
There are also other cases, like in Cabo San Lucas (Baja California Sur), where Uber is available and operating but it’s not technically legal.
Because Uber is not well-liked in these parts of Mexico, using the service can be more dangerous and should be avoided.
Here are some more details on the Uber situation in popular tourist destinations in Mexico:
Uber in Cancun Mexico
Uber in Cancun is a bit of a confusing situation. Cancun is listed on Uber’s website as a city where the service is available, however, it is not really operating.
You might find that your Uber app will work in Cancun, but I really wouldn’t recommend trying to use the service.
Uber has been blocked in the entire Riviera Maya region by the power of the taxi unions so it could be dangerous if you get caught using the service.
If you’re looking for Cancun Airport transportation, you’ll want to book a private airport transfer for the safest and quickest ride.
Uber at Cancun Airport is NOT available. In addition, official airport taxis from Cancun International Airport are known for being ridiculously overpriced and a hassle to arrange.
🚐 Related Reading: Cancun to Playa del Carmen Transportation Guide
Uber in Playa del Carmen Mexico
Uber is not available in Playa del Carmen and you won’t even find it on your Uber app.
As mentioned above, the taxi syndicates and transportation authorities have blocked Uber and other rideshare Mexico apps from operating in Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen has a very walkable city center or you can use taxis, private transportation, the ADO bus, or public transit to go further distances.
🚕 Related Reading: How to Get Around Playa del Carmen
Uber in Tulum Mexico
Uber is not available in Tulum and you also won’t even find it on your Uber app. To get around Tulum, you’ll need to use taxis or public transportation options while visiting.
Bicycles and scooters are also popular forms of transportation in Tulum. A rental car is also the best option if you don’t mind driving in Mexico and want to explore some of the many fun day trips near Tulum.
🚲 Related Reading: The Ultimate Tulum Transportation Guide
Uber in Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Uber in Cabo is also a tricky situation. There is Uber available in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, but it’s not technically legal.
You’ll still be able to use Uber and there are many drivers available, but at the same time, it’s risky if you were to get caught.
Your driver may even ask you to sit in the front seat to avoid any suspicion. Plus, they’re not able to pick you up directly from hotels so you’ll have to meet them at a nearby pickup point.
I would recommend not trying to use Uber in Cabo just to be safe. Regular taxis are widely available and are relatively inexpensive.
Uber Prices in Mexico
Uber prices in Mexico are very extremely affordable when compared to the United States and other cities around the world. I used to live in Chicago and was shocked by how cheap the prices are in Mexico!
Prices vary depending on the city but short distances around town can cost as little as $2-4 USD per ride. Long distances from the airport may cost around $15-30 USD.
And when compared to taxi fares in Mexico, Uber is generally much less expensive, which is the reason why it has faced so much opposition from taxi drivers.
In addition, UberPool is also available in many places to save even more money by sharing the Uber with passengers headed in the same direction.
How to Use Uber in Mexico
Uber works just the same in Mexico as it does anywhere else in the world. You simply download the Uber app, create an account, and then request a driver whenever you need one.
Payment is all done through the app, so you don’t need to worry about having cash on hand. And even when you’re in Mexico, the app will still be in English or your preferred language.
If you’re new to Uber, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to use the app:
- Download the Uber app from the App Store or Google Play.
- Create an account by entering your email address or phone number and choosing a password.
- Enter your payment information. Payment options include credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal in some countries.
- Enter your destination into the app. Uber will provide a fare estimate so you know how much your ride will cost in advance.
- Choose the type of Uber service you would like to request. UberX is the most affordable option, while UberBlack is the luxury option.
- Uber will match you with a driver in real time and you’ll receive a notification when they are on their way to your pickup point.
- Once you arrive at your destination, the fare will be automatically charged to your credit or debit card on file. You also have the option to rate your driver and leave a tip in the app.
Uber Alternatives in Mexico
In some cities in Mexico, there are these Uber alternatives available:
- Didi Pasajero: Didi is a ride-sharing app that is very similar to Uber but generally does not have as many drivers available. Didi is available in Mexico City and is a good backup to have in case you want to compare prices or can’t find a ride on Uber.
- Cabify: Cabify is another Uber alternative that is available in Guadalajara, Merida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla, and Queretaro, as well as other countries in Latin America. Like Uber, you simply request a ride through the app and pay through the app.
- Lyft: Lyft currently does not operate in Mexico.
Is Uber safe in Mexico?
When it comes to safety, Uber is just as safe in Mexico as it is anywhere else in the world. I actually feel safer taking Ubers in Mexico than street taxis, because everything is tracked on the app.
Of course, there are always risks when getting into a car with a stranger, but Uber does a pretty good job of vetting their drivers and you can see Uber ratings from other passengers before you request a ride.
In addition, all Uber rides are tracked by GPS so Uber knows exactly where you are at all times. And they have implemented these new safety features to ensure a safe ride:
- Trusted Contacts: This feature allows you to add a friend or family member on the app so you can quickly share your location, trip status, and other details.
- RideCheck: This feature will send you automatic check-ins and help notifications if your ride goes off course or is disrupted.
- PIN verification: This feature requires a PIN code from your driver to make sure you get into the right car.
Plus, fares are calculated based on distances and payment is handled directly on the app so you can ensure you’re getting a fair rate.
While everyone’s experience is different, I have never felt unsafe taking an Uber in Mexico and would definitely prefer taking an Uber over a taxi if available.
🚨 Do you need travel insurance for Mexico? Yes! Most insurance plans in your home country will not cover incidents abroad. I recommend using Travel Insurance Master, which is a handy travel insurance marketplace where you can compare policies. Get a FREE quote by clicking here!
Tips for Using Uber in Mexico
Follow these travel tips for using Uber safely in Mexico:
- Turn on the built-in safety features: Uber has recently implemented new safety measures in the app including Trusted Contacts, RideCheck, and PIN verification. Be sure to turn these features on in your Uber settings to help ensure a safe ride.
- Use UberPOOL to save money: When ordering an Uber, you’ll have the option of choosing between UberX and UberPOOL. UberPOOL is a ridesharing service that matches you with other riders going in the same direction, which can be a great way to save money on your ride.
- Always research Uber availability in the specific destination before visiting: Uber is not available in all cities in Mexico, so it’s important to research to see if Uber is available in the specific destination you’ll be visiting. Even if it says it’s available on the Uber website, it might not actually be operating or could be unsafe.
- Check the driver’s Uber rating: Before you request a ride, be sure to check the Uber rating of your driver. If they have a low rating, you can cancel the ride and choose another driver. I usually aim for a rating of 4.5 or above.
- Always check the driver’s license plate: When your Uber arrives, be sure to check the license plate to make sure it matches the one in the app. This is a good way to ensure you’re getting into the right car.
- Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees: When paying for your Uber ride, be sure your default payment method is a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. If you use a debit card, you’ll likely get charged extra currency exchange fees. I personally use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which has no foreign transaction fees and great perks for international travel.
- Leave a tip: Uber drivers do not expect tips, but if you had a good experience, feel free to leave a small tip in the app. Uber drivers are working off of low fares.
Uber in Mexico: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Uber in Mexico:
Uber is typically cheaper than a taxi in Mexico as fares are automatically calculated in the app based on distances. Taxis in Mexico typically do not use meters so the fare is at the discretion of the taxi driver or syndicate.
However, there can be exceptions depending on the city you’re visiting and the time of day. For example, Uber rates are sometimes higher during rush hour, peak times, or special events.
To get an accurate estimate of your fare, be sure to check the Uber app before requesting a ride.
Uber is good in Mexico as it’s a safe and affordable way to get around. Uber is typically cheaper than a taxi and you can see the Uber rating of your driver before you request a ride.
Uber is available in some cities in Mexico but not all, so be sure to do some research before visiting Mexico to see if Uber is available in the specific destination you’ll be visiting.
Mexico uses Uber as the dominant ridesharing service in the country. Lyft is not available in Mexico.
Uber drivers in Mexico do not expect tips, but if you had a good experience, feel free to leave a small tip in the app. Uber drivers are working off of low fares. Leaving a tip is optional and up to the rider’s discretion.
Uber is extremely inexpensive in Mexico and is usually cheaper than taking a regular taxi.
Uber rates are automatically calculated in the app based on distances, so you can always see how much your fare will be before you request a ride. Short rides can be as little as $2-4 USD per ride.
Conclusion: Uber Mexico Guide
I hope this Uber guide for Mexico has been helpful in learning more about this ride sharing service!
Where available, Uber is the best way to get around Mexico and is a safe, affordable, and convenient option.
Be sure to take some time to review the safety tips before using Uber and remember that Uber is not available in all cities in Mexico, even if it’s listed on the Uber website.
Do some research before your trip to see if Uber is available in the specific destination you’ll be visiting.
Overall, Uber is a great transportation option in Mexico and is one of the safest ways for getting around in Mexico in the cities where it’s available.
Traveling to Mexico soon?
These are the Mexico travel resources I use and recommend:
🏨 Hotels: I always find the best deals for Mexico hotels and resorts on Booking.com. If you prefer a vacation rental, check VRBO as they are often cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: I recommend using Skyscanner for the best Mexico flight deals. Be sure to sign up for their price alerts for your preferred travel dates.
🚗 Rental Cars: I like to use Discover Cars because you can compare multiple car rental companies and see detailed ratings for overall value, ease of pick-up, efficiency of agents, car condition, and overall time spent.
🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation for the quickest and most hassle-free option!
🤿 Tours & Activities: I always use Viator or GetYourGuide for booking tours and activities in Mexico. You can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund, plus they have excellent customer service if you were to have any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: After my Dad broke his hand in a taxi accident in Playa del Carmen, I always recommend buying travel insurance before your trip for added peace of mind! I recommend Travel Insurance Master for short trips or Safety Wing for digital nomads.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Don’t forget to add biodegradable sunscreen to your Mexico packing list! Regular sunscreen is prohibited when swimming in the ocean and cenotes in Mexico, so you’ll need to pack some biodegradable sunscreen for sun protection. I recommend Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is reef-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free.