ROATAN TAXI SERVICES
Ratan Taxi Rides can become an issue if you are unprepared. One of the challenges to traveling to Roatan is dealing with street hustlers. Unfortunately, this group far too often includes taxi drivers.
The worst thing a traveler can do when traveling to Roatan is to show up unprepared. It's both a safety tip and a good practice to know the going rate of taxi rides before visiting Roatan. Taxi drivers are unregulated, and if they smell an uninformed traveler, they'll have not problems asking you to pay a premium.
While Roatan Taxi drivers are by enlarged unchecked, many are unionized. And one of the largest unions is the Mahogany Bay Taxi Association (MBTA) which provides its services to the incoming cruise ships docking in Roatan. The Mahogany Bay Taxi Association publishes their rates online, and that gives travelers insight into what an appropriate rates should be. Below are five tips to making sure your taxi ride does not derail your Roatan vacation:
Go to our website and download the pricing scheme. It is a good idea to keep this handy so that you can show it to the taxi driver before he takes you on a "joy ride."
Use a certified taxi. Taxi's who belong to the taxi union are declared. They are also generally white with a yellow cab number on the door. Avoid getting into a civilian vehicle offering you a cab ride. Especially in high season, too many are happy to pose as taxi drivers.
Lean on a reliable source to "call you a cab." If you're staying at a hotel or if you've just arrived on a cruise ship, there are many travel agencies who are in place to support your needs while on the island. These establishments will know who to call.
Establish your cab ride today or get an estimate before you get in the car and drive away. You'll be less effective if you start this conversation after the taxi is in motion. Remember that your strongest bargaining power is when you are standing outside the cab asking questions about the estimated rate amount.
Try and use the same cab driver whenever possible. This is not always possible, especially in high season, but most of the time, cab drivers have time and know how competitive the market can be. So they are usually very interested in setting a return time for your pick up. Even if you don't plan on returning for a few hours, still make it a point to set a time for your return trip. Some cab operators will even hold off on charging you until they return as a sign a good fair.
Roatan taxi drivers are hard-working and honest. But it is important to come across as an informed tourist. Put another way round, it won't hurt you to be well informed, but it might cost you dinner if you're clueless.
Taxi fares are usually by the person when traveling outside of Zone A. But within Zone A, taxi's charge by the cab ride. There is a minimum of $20 per taxi inside of Zone A, and if a cab leaves Zone A, then they switch to a per person rating scheme. Taxi drivers usually call an audible on individuals traveling alone as they want to ensure that rates increase as distances increase, so don't try and be a wise guy if you're traveling alone. Be fair-minded and be prepared.
Roatan Taxi drivers Avoid traveling east. Most of Roatan's population lives on the west side of town, and most of the activities have developed in the west. West End and West Bay Roatan are high tourist attractions. So when traveling west, taxi drivers might be more lenient on what they'll charge because they usually know they can pick up another passenger their return. But when traveling too far east, this can be tricky, and Roatan taxi drivers try to capture their earnings on the one-way trip outbound towards the East End.
There is one road traveling the center of Roatan Island. So Roatan taxi rides are not computed based on mileage driven. Instead, rates are computed based on destination town or destination zone.
ROATAN WATER TAXI
There are other ways of getting around Roatan island. Especially if you're on the westside. Roatan water taxi is an excellent transportation option for a short transfer from West End to West Bay. The short boat ride is enjoyable, and on protected water, so you won't have to worry about waves or turbulent waters. One of the highlights of taking a water taxi in Roatan is getting a front row seat to the crystal clear Caribbean waters. The view of Roatan is also a new perspective as you can better appreciate the cost line of Roatan island from the boat. Roatan Water Taxi rides are usually on a small fishing boat, and this brings passengers closer to the water. The boats are stable and can accommodate groups of two to six passengers.
If you are traveling with a large group, consider taking a "Rapidito." These mini-buses can fit up to 12 passengers, and they will allow you to keep your group together as you get transported around Roatan.
ROATAN CAR RENTALS
Car rentals are also an option, but rates and deposits can be tricky to pin down. If you're considering renting a car in Roatan, we recommend calling well in advance and working out the details ahead of time. It is also advisable to establish a point of contact so that when you arrive, you'll have a specific person to ask for at the counter. Renta A Car companies are not as organized as they are in the US and many times the renter's service agreements is much different than the agreement for US based renters.
ROATAN MOTORCYCLE & SCOOTER
Finally, don't rule out the possibility of renting a scooter or motorcycle. We've all heard of "crazy drivers" in third world countries, but much of the narrative is miss-leading. The fact is, most vehicles travel at an average speed of 35- 45 miles per hour as the terrain and the road conditions do not allow for 75 miles an hour speeds. So motorcycles can out maneuver vehicles, and they don't have issues with finding parking. Remember that most of your community will be less than 20 miles, so the exposure is contained to a small area.