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Local transport

Local Transport

Colectivos & Combis

On much of the peninsula, a variety of vehicles – often Volkswagen, Ford or Chevrolet vans – operate shared transportation services between towns or nearby neighborhoods. These vehicles usually leave whenever they are full. Fares are typically less than those of 1st-class buses. Combi is a term often used for the Volkswagen variety; colectivo refers to any van type. Taxi colectivo may mean either public or private transport, depending on the location.

Bicycle

Bicycling is becoming a more common mode of transportation in some cities. Having said that, never assume that motorists will give you the right of way and be particularly careful on narrow roads. A few areas, such as Valladolid, Tulum and Chetumal, now have bicycle paths. In Mérida, a main downtown street is closed to traffic on Sundays for morning rides and on Wednesday nights a group of bicycle activists organizes mass rides. You can rent bikes in many towns for about M$25 per hour or M$100 per day.

It’s possible to purchase a bicycle in the Yucatán. Indeed, if you plan to stay on the peninsula for a few months and want to get around by bike or at least exercise on one, purchasing isn’t a bad option, as there are many inexpensive models available in the big cities.

You're best off touring on bike from December through March, when the weather is cooler and it stays relatively dry.

Bus

Generally known as camiones or autobuses, local buses are a cheap way to get around any large city, such as Cancún or Mérida.

They usually stop at fixed paradas (bus stops), though in some places you can hold out your hand to stop one at any street corner. Most carry change.

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is never entirely safe in any country and even in Mexico's relatively safe Yucatán region it's best avoided. Travelers who decide to hitch should understand that they are taking a small, but potentially serious, risk. Keep in mind that kidnappings for ransom can – and do – still happen in Mexico. People who choose to hitch will be safer if they travel in pairs and let someone know where they are planning to go. A woman traveling alone certainly should not hitchhike in Mexico, and even two women together is not advisable, especially when traveling near the Mexico–Guatemala border.

However, some people do choose to hitchhike, and it’s not an uncommon way of getting to some of the off-the-beaten-track archaeological sites and other places that are poorly served by bus. If you decide to do so, keep your wits about you and don’t accept a lift if you have any misgivings.

In Mexico it’s customary for the hitchhiker to offer to pay for the ride, especially if it's in a work or commercial vehicle. As a general rule, offer about M$30 to M$50 per person for fairly short rides and M$100 for longer trips.

If you're driving a vehicle through rural areas, it's not uncommon for Mexican townspeople to ask for a lift. Most folks in these parts are harmless and they are only asking for a ride because there is infrequent bus service, but by no means should you feel obligated, especially if the person gives off a strange vibe.