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Rent car or rely on taxis while visiting


CalamariKid
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My wife and I will be visiting the region for about a week in November. This will be our first time to vist the area. For reference,we’ve rented a spot at a home near the Lake Chapala Society. I’m planning on not renting a car, but taking at taxi from Guadalajara and, if need be, hiring a local taxi to get around, though we plan on doing a lot of walking around.

I’m looking for advice on the practicality of relying on taxis as opposed to renting a car - are taxis widely available in the area?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, CalamariKid said:

are taxis widely available in the area?

Thanks!

Only when you don't really need one...when you do, say after they roll up the sidewalks at 8:00...nada!

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We were only interested in Chapala or Jocotepec because the central parts are flat with sidewalks wider than 2 feet. walked all over Chapala  for the 2 weeks we were here and stopped for the afternoon at the Superior Grill and Cafe Paris where we met a lot of people that gave us good info. Spent 2 days with RE agents who drove us around including Ajijic  and Jocotepec. Seeing Ajijic with them confirmed my previsit research, which included but not limited to talking on the phone with people that were in this area, that we didn't want to live there. Now many years in Chapala in the same house in a primarily Mexican barrio. Feet on the ground beats driving or cabbing.

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Use drivers.  Do you want to have to try to find a place when addresses makes no sense in Mexico.  Or be concerned about traffic and one way streets with no arrows.  Driving in Mexico is NOTHING like driving up north.    A driver will take you anywhere, any time you want to go.

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1 hour ago, Yo1 said:

Or be concerned about traffic and one way streets with no arrows.

What would be the concern? One way signs are only suggestions, watch how the Mexicans obey them and as long as you're only going one way...

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To OP:

Coming for a week and staying in central Ajijic without a vehicle is fine. There is not enough time to do long distance exploration trips.

Hop on the bus and go to Chapala, walk on their malecon and the main street up and down. That will give you basic idea what the town is about.

Talk to a real estate person to show you few areas around  Ajijic  where foreigners like to live.. ( You might be a customer in the future.) There are lots of real estate offices around.

 You might need a taxi to get your supplies home from the stores. (Walmart, Superlake  tianguis etc)

But other than that enjoy your few days in Ajijic. You might need few days to walk around to get acquainted.

On your following trip (if you decide to come again) you will be much wiser and know if you need to rent a car or not.

That is what I would do on my first short trip.

 

 

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azmaggie, I would be hesitant to call a one-time poster about renting anything this important, without a little more public information. eg: are you a business. Do you do this full time. Where. What kind of cars. Insurance. Website. References. etc. etc etc.

Always looking for reasonable rental vehicles.

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Since you don't know the area driving a car will be very confusing to you.  Ride the buses and get a feel for the area, walk the streets in Ajijic, San Antonio and Chapala.  From where you are the plaza is a short distance and there is a taxi stand there where you can get a taxi.  Ask here for taxi driver recommendations.  A good driver will take you anywhere you want to go with a simple phone call.  Usually if they are busy and can't come they will send someone else.  Using taxis will be a lot cheaper than renting a car  and they will have a world of useful information for you.  Once you have a taxi driver they will pick you up at the airport and take you back.  Taxi drivers from the airport sometimes do not know Ajijic and have trouble finding the address where you are staying.  

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On all our pre-retirement visits (4) to Ajijic my wife and I rented a car at the airport and drove all over the place from Guadalajara centro to Manzanillo on the coast and back.  Looking back I would do the same again.  Also, we walked many miles around the streets of Ajijic, San Antonio, Rancho del Oro and even up into the mountains.

Driving is a little different here and can be somewhat stressful at times.  If you feel confident driving in unfamiliar surroundings do consider renting a small car...

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On 9/25/2019 at 6:36 AM, CalamariKid said:

My wife and I will be visiting the region for about a week in November. This will be our first time to vist the area. For reference,we’ve rented a spot at a home near the Lake Chapala Society. I’m planning on not renting a car, but taking at taxi from Guadalajara and, if need be, hiring a local taxi to get around, though we plan on doing a lot of walking around.

I’m looking for advice on the practicality of relying on taxis as opposed to renting a car - are taxis widely available in the area?

Thanks!

Do you have a secure place to park a rental car...I would use a cab or bus

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8 minutes ago, Cincy said:

Driving is a little different here and can be somewhat stressful at times.

Just remember that the largest vehicle has the right of way and you will be fine. You probably think I'm pulling your leg...but I'm not.

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It really all depends on how far afield you want to travel on this first trip.  Everything from Ajijic east to Chapala is very walkable and the buses are frequent and cheap to travel between the towns.  First time here we didn''t have a car, second time rented at the airport and paid too much.  Third time we had our own.

Driving in Mexico is very different from driving in the U.S. starting with the bad roads and unpredictable drivers.  After you are here a while you realize the Mexicans are really quite skilled for the most part if having a bit of a Nascar mentality.

If you want to take longer trips, say for example to the mountain towns of Mazamitla or Tapalpa you'll definitely want to have a car.

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