Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Taxis in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Taxis in Puerto Rico are not ubiquitous and are notorious for being expensive. I've come across most of them at the airport and tourist-frequented areas such as Old San Juan, as well as Plaza Las Américas. I had never taken a taxi in Puerto Rico, until the other night. We normally have friends who come pick us up, but this time we took a late night flight. Therefore, taking a cab was the best option. While waiting for our luggage at the baggage claim area, we were looking at a chart posted by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. It indicates the taxi fare rates between the airport and the different areas around metro-San Juan.

According to this chart, our fare should have been a total of $10. I thought it sounded too good to be true. A friend of mine once paid $30 to go from the airport to the Caribe Hilton hotel. This is a trip which just takes 10-15 minutes or so, without traffic. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical about the $10 fare. Once we got outside, we headed towards the taxi stand and we told them the area where we needed to go. We asked the guy how much and there was a pause. He said $25. When I asked about the fare chart, which said zone 1 would be $10, he just made a face and said "ahh, ese letrero no incluye maletas y ahora es muy tarde" (translation: that sign doesn't include luggage and it's really late now).

Word of advice for those of you who've never taken a cab in Puerto Rico, please haggle! You must negotiate a price before jumping in because taxis are not metered. I just tried Googling for information on taxis in Puerto Rico and I was amused at what I found. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company's Website provides information which is completely obsolete. Perhaps there's an updated version, but taxi riders beware! Another taxi driver ended up taking us home for a couple of bucks less, enough to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee. Next time, I'll definitely ask a taxi driver acquaintance for his phone number.


C said...

I recommend to have the taxi number and report to tourism company. I really hate when taxi drivers do that kind of things. THey ares supossed to honor the fares and use the meter system.

Anonymous said...

This post is about taxis in San Juan metro, not Puerto Rico.

San Juan =/= Puerto Rico

For example, I've taken taxis from the Mayagüez airport to San Germán (just under 20 miles) and been charged $25 for it. I don't think that's too bad.

adriana said...

Thank you both C and Kimmy-Kun for your comments. Will contact the Puerto Rican Tourism Company about the taxi situation.

Kimmy-Kun-- Thanks for pointing out that my experience was from the San Juan area. I'll change the title.