Safety of rental car in Cozumel and Riviera Maya

Jul 5th, 2003, 08:15 PM
  #1  
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Safety of rental car in Cozumel and Riviera Maya

Finally made our reservations at the Iberostar Cozumel for our Sept. vacation. We would like to take a few trips back and forth to San Miguel and different snorkeling areas, plus see other sights on the island and also spend a couple of days along the Riviera Maya on the mainland. Have heard it's very expensive to take a taxi in Cozumel, especially from where we will be staying on the southwest side, and we can rent a car cheaper for our nine day stay.---Will our rental car and belongings in the trunk be safe if we park it at the resort, at dive or snorkeling areas(Dzul Ha, etc.), in the town of San Miguel, and also at snorkeling places and small towns in and south of Playa del Carmen? If we rent a car on Cozumel, and ferry it across to the mainland to sightsee,etc., it's $40. per car plus $5. per passenger on the Puerto Morelos car ferry, according to my research. Very expensive! Any other options? Comments very much appreciated!
Honeydoe1 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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I'd rent a car to use while on Cozumel, then take the 'people' ferry to Playa Del Carmen. From there you can take the Collecivo fans, which for a couple dollars will take you up and down Highway 307 between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The only drawback is you'll have to walk from the highway to wherever it is that you're heading.
JeanH is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Thanks, Jean. That sounds best so far. Only thing is that we'll be carrying our own snorkeling gear with us so we can try out some places in Akumal, etc. That could be cumbersome on the bus and hiking from the bus stop to where we want to go.---Is taxi service more reasonable along the Riviera Maya than on Cozumel?---Have you heard of or experienced car break-ins while in Cozumel? I've heard it may not be safe on some streets in San Miguel. I don't know about other beach or resort areas. I guesss I'm also concerned about the car not being damaged while renting it for a week.
Honeydoe1 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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We rented a car from Budget in Cancun and toured all down the coast. We parked the car in a recommended place in Playa del Carmen, ferried to Cozumel and used a rental there for free for the three days, as ours was not being used in PDC. Budget arranged it all. We had no theft or vandalism problems at small beaches in Cozumel or anywhere else. Not cheap but well worth the convenience. Snorkel at Akumel for sure! Cheaper to rent the car from an agency at home before you go, but you must have Mexican Insurance.
Rosalyn is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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I don't think you can take rentals on that ferry, better check that out before you reserve a car.
mayte is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Good tips from all of you. I'll check into all those things you advised. So many things I wouldn't have thought of!
Honeydoe1 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 09:13 AM
  #7  
TC
 
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You are not allowed to leave Cozumel island with a rental car. If you want to drive in Playa, you will need to rent a car on the mainland. Your belongings will most likely be safe in Cozumel. There is no more crime on the island than anywhere else - no especially unsafe streets that I know of. I would not recommend that you leave valuables (any thing you can't live without) in an unlocked car. Don't forget there are tourists on the island and they are more likely to steal from your car than the locals. Many are only on the island for one day from cruise ships. The biggest crime spree in the last few years has been from ex-patriot American teenagers living there.

As far as the price of a taxi, I don't know where you got the idea that it is very expensive - its quite cheap compared to anywhere else. I seriously doubt you would spend the cost of a rental car in taxi fares. A taxi from the southern hotel zone to town and back will cost about $20 USD round trip - a rental car will cost you $30 per day minimum - and a lot more if you rent from a US car rental company before you get to the island. Its always cheaper to rent from the local rental companies once you arrive in Cozumel - but not the ones located in your hotel lobby.

Take taxis and quit worrying, Honeydoe. This is supposed to be a vacation - relax!
TC is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 05:28 PM
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We rented in Play Del carmen and drove all over for 3 days - Akumal, Tulum - etc. We had NO problems and found it very easy to drive. I would not recommend the collectivos unless you are very young and very fit. The walks from the highway are quite LONG in many places and it is a very HOT walk in the sun. I never would have made it! I highly recommend a car - WITH AC!!
Dorgal is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for the tips. TC---I guess I may have misunderstood something I read from a message board. Someone said it cost $15. to $17.(plus tip I presumed) to take a taxi one way from the Iberostar Cozumel to San Miguel. If that's round trip then it looks a lot better.
Honeydoe1 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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Honeydoe - I think you are right. If I remember correctly the IB in Coz is way on the south end and a cab each way to San Miguel will be about $17. Here is a website with rates: http://www.cozumelmycozumel.com/Pages/Taxis.htm

So definitely rent a car.

We rented a car through Avis website (automatic jeep for $35 per day). We decided to keep it for an extra day and the extra day cost us $65. So definitely rent ahead.
Mariarosa is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 05:28 AM
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I should also say that we were staying at a small B&B in San Miguel and left the car parked in the street 3 nights without a problem. We didn't leave any valuables in plain sight - always took them with us. Also, even if they allowed you to take a car on a car ferry it is simply not worth it. Car ferries in general are meant mostly for carrying supplies, etc., and it may take precious time from your vacation to load and unload from the ferry. You can either rent a car in Playa or take a taxi to Akumal for the day (eat at Lol-Ha, swim, and snorkel).
Mariarosa is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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Thank you so much, MariaRosa, for your responses and referring me to that Cozumel website. What a great website!---We will probably be renting a car and I've decided we will not be taking it across to the mainland by ferry even it it is legal for a rental car.---I believe you responded to another of my messages a couple of weeks ago and you said you might be staying at Iberostar Cozumel in August. Since we will be there in Sept., I would love to hear how your vacation there went and any tips you might have for us. Please email me through my husband's work place as I prefer not to put my home email on this web page: [email protected]. ---Or I'll watch for your vacation summary on this Fodor's page. Muchas gracias por todo su ayuda!
Honeydoe1 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2003, 07:28 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Honeydoe! I'm going to the Iberostar Paraiso (north of Playa del Carmen), but was thinking of going to the one in Cozumel as a day-trip. I'm still not sure if I will when we go to Cozumel. I may just take a boat snorkeling trip.
Mariarosa is offline  
Jul 9th, 2003, 07:43 AM
  #14  
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From what I've read, I'm sure you'll enjoy the Paraiso. I was considering that or the Iberostar Tucan before we decided to spend our entire vacation on Cozumel since we really want to explore the reefs by the island.--Well, then, I'll send a blurb on this website when I get back(probably won't get to it until Oct.) and let you and all know our experiences in Cozumel. Have fun on your tropical vacation with warm waters,sunshine, embrella drinks;-) and good food!
Honeydoe1 is offline  

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