Uber in Merida Mexico: Your 2024 Local’s Guide

Using Uber in Merida is a great way to get around the Yucatan capital. It is a lot more comfortable and convenient than taking a bus, and the app is safer than using a random street taxi. 

I have been living in Merida for the last few years and use Uber constantly (and I am a young female traveller) so rest assured, you are in good hands here.

Using Uber in Merida

If you are not familiar with Uber, it is a ridesharing app that allows you to order a cab to your location. It often works out much cheaper than using street taxis and you can see both the fare and the route upfront.  

As such, you know that there will be no scams or surprises when you reach the end of your journey. It is a good idea to download the app and create an account before you travel to Mexico.

Then, when you arrive in the country and you want to order a car, you simply open the app, enter your pickup and drop-off locations, and it will find a driver. Nearby drivers are displayed as little car icons on the map. 

If you don’t want to be picked up immediately, you can reserve a pickup in advance. Other ridesharing apps like Didi and Indrive also exist in Merida and we will discuss those in this guide too.

There are usually plenty of Uber drivers in Merida so you typically do not need to wait too long for a ride if you are in and around the Centro Historico. Ubers do go out to the privadas and villages surrounding Merida like Dzitya, Las Americas, Los Héroes and Cholul, but you might need to wait a little longer in these parts.

An estimated price for your journey will be displayed on the screen and you can opt to pay via cash, card, or ApplePay. If the ride takes slightly longer because, for instance, you are stuck in traffic, Uber will automatically adjust the rate.

Using Uber in Merida: Parque de Santa Ana, Merida

Uber in Merida: Is it Safe?

Uber in Merida is very safe. Merida, on the whole, is widely regarded as being the safest city in Mexico and one of the safest cities in the Americas overall. 

So, this isn’t a part of Mexico where you have to be worried about getting into a car with a stranger. Perceptions of the Uber app differ around the world and while in some countries, Uber may be considered less safe than a regular cab, in Mexico, most people have the opposite view.

If you spend any amount of time in Mexico, you will note that most locals and expats prefer to take Uber in Merida over regular street taxis. There is much more accountability with an Uber.

When you order an Uber, you have the driver’s name, vehicle info, and license plate number. Of course, since they have created a profile on the app, Uber will also have their more personal details on file should they ever need them. (E.g. name, address, telephone number, vehicle registration info, etc). 

On the contrary, when you get into local taxis, you don’t know who you are getting in a car with, you don’t have their name or any past references. You also probably don’t write down their license plate number before you get in the car either. 

Things to Know About Using Uber in Merida

Uber in Merida is generally the much safer and better option. There are just a few things that you should keep in mind while using the app to make sure your experience runs smoothly. 

Check the driver’s information and rating

When you get into a car via Uber, you are not getting into a licensed cab, you are getting into a private vehicle. While Uber in Merida is safe, there are always additional precautions that are worth taking. 

First of all, always look at the driver’s profile when your fare is accepted. A good driver will have a rating of at least 4.5 and above, and you will also be able to read other short reviews by previous passengers. 

If they have completed hundreds or thousands of trips, have a good rating, and have been on the app for years, you can generally feel assured that you are in safe hands. If they are completely new to the app or have a poor rating, you can feel free to cancel and search for another driver. 

Uber will not charge you if you do this promptly. Your comfort and safety are paramount and that way, you are free to wait for a driver that you are more comfortable with. 

You will be able to see the driver’s location on the little map as they are en route to you. Sometimes, drivers accept your fare while they are completing a journey nearby, so you have to wait a little for them.

Uber will provide an estimated wait time and this will be updated accordingly. If your driver seems to be stationary for a long time or is doing something weird on the map and going backwards and forwards, you are also free to cancel and look for another driver.

Never get in a car with someone who is making you uncomfortable. 

Progreso, Yucatan

Always double-check the license plate 

When your vehicle arrives, always make sure that the license plate corresponds with what you see in the app. If it is different, you should refuse to get in the vehicle and notify Uber. 

Some places in Merida such as the ADO bus station in Centro, or the Walmart on Paseo de Montejo are popular pickup points. Multiple people may be waiting for an Uber or a cab at any given time, which is why it is important to always check the license plate of any car you are getting in. 

Uber in Merida
Uber in Merida

Share your trip info with friends

When you get into your Uber, you have the option to share your trip information with your friends. This will give the person(s) that you choose to share this information with, a real-time view of where you are on your journey, your driver’s details, and the license plate number. 

Be aware of Uber’s safety features

Uber has started introducing a lot more safety features in recent years to appease concerns about safety on the app. These are worth keeping in mind for your own peace of mind too. 

Uber now offers you the ability to record the audio of your journey. If your driver makes you feel uncomfortable at any point en route to your destination, makes inappropriate conversations, disputes the prices, tries to trick you, or is unprofessional, you can audio record it. 

Your driver will not know that you are recording the journey on your app. When you arrive at your destination and the journey ends, the audio file is sent to Uber for review. 

Uber now also checks in on passengers if the driver deviates from the route, or spends a long time stationary on the journey. It will pop up with a message asking if you are okay, and you can dial the emergency services or reach the Uber emergency customer service team at the push of a button if needs be. 

Of course, you can also ask the driver to stop and let you out if at any point you begin to feel really uncomfortable. (I have been fortunate and have never had a bad experience in my 2+ years here).

Tixkokob

Approximate prices for taking an Uber in Merida 

Uber in Merida is very affordable and cars ordered via the app are generally a lot cheaper than street cabs. Journeys from one part of the city centre to another (e.g. Itzimna or Santiago to Parque Santa Ana or Santa Lucia) are usually no more than between $2.50 and $5 depending on the distance. 

If you travel a little farther afield during your Merida itinerary, for instance to the Dzibilchaltun ruins in the north of Merida, to La Isla mall, or to the Mayan World Museum, you are looking at a fare of around $10 USD. Fares from central Merida to the airport are usually between $10 and $15. 

Prices for using Uber in Merida can sometimes as much as double or triple during peak times (e.g. the 5-6 pm rush hour) or if there is a massive rain storm. Since the price difference is so phenomenal, you are usually better off waiting somewhere with a coffee and the price will level out in an hour or so. (You can also check if the price is better on other rideshare apps.) 

It is better to order an Uber in Merida in advance if you want to make a long-distance journey, rather than waiting until the last minute. Failing that, you can ask your hotel/accommodation to organise trusted taxi services for you.

Dzibilchaltun ruins, North Merida

Using Uber in Merida for long-distance journeys

There are a few interesting Mayan ruins, pueblo magicos, towns, and Yucatan beaches that make excellent day trips from Merida. For instance, you can go from Merida to Valladolid for the day, to Celestun, or to the ancient city of Mayapan.

Public transport and ADO buses serve most of these attractions and buses in Mexico are generally very comfortable and reliable. However, they often run on limited schedules so if the times are not convenient (or you prefer more privacy and comfort), you may prefer to travel via Uber. 

Some Merida Uber drivers are happy to accept longer distance fares. However, others are not as they cannot find a return fare and it is not always worth their while. 

Prices vary depending on the specific place you are going to and the time of day. But to give examples, an Uber from Merida to the beach town of Progreso is likely to cost you between 400 and 500 pesos. (Circa $20-$25 USD). 

From Merida to Uxmal, an Uber driver is likely to charge 700-900 pesos ($35-$45 USD). To Celestun, it is likely to be 1000-1200 pesos ($50-$60 USD). 

If a driver accepts your fare, you may be able to message them via the app to negotiate a rate for them to wait for you and then bring you back to Merida. Do keep in mind that otherwise, you will have to make alternative arrangements to get back to the city as Uber does not exist in other places in the Yucatan (except the coastal areas of Progreso, Chelem, and Chicxulub Puerto). 

There is a workaround for taking Uber from Mérida airport

You can take an Uber from central Merida to Merida airport. However, you cannot take an Uber from Merida airport as only regulated, licensed cabs are able to offer airport pickups. 

This is not exclusive to Mexico and the same applies in most parts of Mexico. For instance, Uber in Cancun exists, but it is banned at Cancun airport. 

You can use Uber in Guadalajara and Uber in Mexico City to take cabs from the city’s airports but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. 

If you are flying into Merida International Airport (MID), you can take the local bus from the airport terminal to ADO Centro for less than $1 USD or you can take an airport taxi. 

A Merida airport taxi should cost you no more than around 240 – 300 pesos ($12-$15 USD). There is mixed information online about walking down the road from Merida airport and ordering an Uber at the junction.

My partner and I have done this multiple times and honestly, it is fine. As long as you are outside of the restricted zone, you are not doing anything illegal or dangerous and no, you are not putting yourself or the driver at risk of a fine.

You basically just need to turn right when you leave the airport and walk five minutes until you arrive at the intersection of Av. Internacional Benito Juarez. You will usually see a cluster of locals doing the same.

The only thing is that it is a bit of a pain to do this if you have a lot of luggage, so only you can weigh up whether it is worth the effort for you, or you prefer to just hop into a cab right outside the airport door.

Try and pay in cash if you can

If you can, always try and pay for Uber in Merida in cash, otherwise you might find that you are always subject to cancellations.

If you have selected to pay by card, drivers may accept your fare and then after leaving you waiting for 10-15 minutes, they cancel. Or they may message you to ask you what payment method you are using and if you respond with “card/tarjeta”, they abruptly cancel the journey. 

This is usually because drivers want the money in their hands there and then, rather than having to wait weeks for card payments to be processed. A lot of Merida Uber drivers will use a Merida rental car for the day and will need the money ASAP because they are living hand to mouth. 

This is understandable to an extent but it can be very annoying if you are trying to get somewhere fast and multiple drivers have cancelled on you.

If you can, always try and pay with cash. It is useful if you keep plenty of small bills (50 and 20 peso notes) and coins with you as drivers often don’t have enough change to break large 100, 200, and 500 pesos notes. 

Uber in Merida
Uber in Merida

Other Rideshare Apps in Merida Mexico

Uber is one of the most popular ridesharing apps in Merida and Mexico on the whole. It can be a great way to get around during your Merida itinerary

However, it isn’t the only rideshare app that exists in the Yucatan. You can also use Didi and Indriver which are local alternatives. 

Didi ridesharing app

Didi is essentially the Mexican version of Uber. It functions in very much the same way and offers a lot of the same safety features but it is often cheaper to use than Uber. 

Most locals tend to prefer Didi over Uber. If you are ordering a cab to take you somewhere, you can enter the journey details via both platforms to see which works out cheaper. 

If you want to use Didi, you may find that you need to change your country location to Mexico in your phone and Apple account settings. My only comment is that there often seems to be fewer drivers on Didi.

inDrive ridesharing app

The third and final ridesharing app that exists in Merida is inDrive. A lot of locals use this app, but since it offers fewer safety features, it is generally better to stick to Uber or Didi unless you are travelling with a group of locals. 

When you use Indriver, you enter your pickup and dropoff locations just as you do with Uber. Then, you enter the amount that you would like to pay for the journey. 

Local drivers then respond with their best offers and essentially “bid” for the fare, so you can choose which one you want. This is usually the cheapest option of the three but I have personally found that a lot of inDrive cars don’t have working seatbelts, or the drivers speed and drive erratically.  

Using Uber in Merida in 2023
Using Uber in Merida in 2023

Final thoughts on taking Uber in Merida Mexico

You dont need to worry about using Uber in Merida or elsewhere in Mexico. The ride-hailing app is a popular way to get around the Yucatan capital and Uber rates are usually far more competitive than licensed cabs.

After you have taken one or two journeys, it will likely become second nature to you, and become a convenient way to get from A to B.

If you are going to be visiting Merida and the Yucatan for the first time, you might also enjoy reading this article on the best things to do in Merida, or this post on the best time to visit the Yucatan. 

As I mentioned, I have been living in Merida for the last few years and I am happy to help out with any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything and I will do my best to get back to you ASAP.

Safe travels! Bien Viaje! Melissa xo


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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