Puerto Rico, December 14, 2006
It's worse than DC, and that's saying something
How much do you think it is for a taxi in Old San Juan. How much might it be to go the two miles from Plaza de Armas to Puerta de la Tierra? According to the door of a Puerto Rican taxi it is $1.75 for the first mile, $2 per mile there after. But then you didn't ask the driver.
According to the San Juan Taxi Mafia, any ride in Old San Juan, no matter the distance, is $10 at flagfall, increasing if you bring along luggage, no matter if the driver touches it or not.
To leave Old San Juan for any other destination in San Juan City, its $15 with the price jumping in $5 increments as you pass invisible zone boundaries. That means a trip to a center-city museum or a cool guayabera store is around $20 each way just for transportation.
While your wallet is smarting from the ridiculously overpriced short rides around San Juan, and you're feeling trapped in your hotel room as a result, here's small counterbalance: longer rides are somewhat more cost-effective.
A taxi ride across the island, say from San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport to Fajardo, the eastern seaboard port of departure for Vieques, is only $80, which you can share with as many people you can fit into the passenger van.