Terminal 4 at Cancun Airport – BEWARE OF TRANSPORTATION SCAMS!

Transportation SCAMS at Terminal 4 Cancun Airport

The new terminal 4 at Cancun Airport is having a HUGE problem with the unauthorized taxi drivers scamming people as they arrive. This is the problem:

The design of the building leads people to think they should exit at “Friends & Family” exit (this goes into the DEPARTURES AREA ) instead of the correct exit at “Ground Transportation” (ARRIVALS AREA).

Antonio, your friendly CARM representative. Always look for the CARM logo when you exit!

The unauthorized taxi drivers (called ‘pirate taxis’) cannot enter the Ground Transportation where all of the authorized transportation companies are waiting for their pre-booked arrivals. They must wait for people to take the WRONG exit and then try to get you to go with them. Their spiel is usually the same. They ask if you need help finding your transportation company. Or they say they ARE your transportation company or even say,“I’ll call the office for you and have you talk to them. (they make a call on their own phone, actually dialing the number of  a friend who is part of the scam). The person on the phone goes as far as to ask for your confirmation number, and tells you that your CARM driver left, and it will be 2 hours before they can come back for you. But, you should take this taxi and CARM will reimburse you later FOR BOTH YOUR MISSED VAN AND THE TAXI”. They then charge you an exorbitant rate.  And you have been scammed.

It is important for you to know:

Day Trip to Playa del Carmen

We’ve seen the beaches in Cancun, ate at the popular restaurants, and we’ve been to the shopping centers here, so we decided to spend our day off this week in Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is located 1 hour south of Cancun. It is referred to as simply “Playa”. Since a few margaritas were in our future we opted to take the ADO Bus instead of driving ourselves.

ADO bus depot in Cancun

ADO bus depot in Cancun

The bus costs $48 pesos ($3.70 USD) per person each way. From the hotel zone you can take the R-1 Bus to the ADO bus depot. At the depot you can buy a ticket to almost anywhere. We only had to wait about 2 minutes for the next bus to depart Cancun. The bus was comfortable and quite. In 1 hour we were arriving to Playa del Carmen. The bus depot in Playa is right on the famous 5th Ave, very close to the ferry dock that goes to Cozumel. We did not need any other transportation while in Playa.
If you hover over the little blue square on the map you can see the ADO Bus Depot. From there we walked northeast on 5th Ave. Our first stop was 3 blocks away from the beach to this cool little area with a handful of food carts in a small park. For only 20 pesos we got lechon tortas (pulled pork & onion sandwiches) that were really tasty.

The shops on Playa’s 5th Ave. are super chic and you can buy almost anything you need. Silver, swimsuits,  cigars, clothes, hammocks, jewelry, in addition to souvenirs of all kinds. While we do get some of the aggressive sales tactics of the vendors on the street yelling “Come into my shop, I have what you need!” it is less aggressive than the markets in Cancun.

After we walked the entire length of 5th Ave and we were done shopping, we cut back to the beach. The beach is Playa is wide and perfect white powdery sand. The waves roll in with less force than in Cancun’s ocean side hotel zone. Playa’s beaches are full of beach bars  and restaurants with lounge chairs and umbrellas. There are relaxing cabanas where you can get a massage for about $18 USD for 30 minutes. By this time is was afternoon and we were ready for a cold beer on the beach. Beers are about 30 pesos each and that was just what we needed.

Beach at Playa del Carmen

Beach at Playa del Carmen

Females have the freedom to go topless on the beaches of Playa del Carmen. This is not the case in Cancun. Playa has many European vacationers [Read more…]