We recently had a reader ask:
Is it safe to take a taxi from the airport into town in Cuenca. We will be two women traveling alone.
Yes, taxis are safe. My wife travels by herself and with our little girl. I’ve never heard anything (ever) about taxi problems. There are taxis that the locals call pirates. This means they don’t have a taxi license – not that they are unsafe. We have used the “pirates” without having to walk the plank… But if you want to be extra safe, just get in a licensed taxi. You won’t have any trouble.
As a family, we took taxis in Cuenca all the time (up until we bought our own car). At first we were concerned both about safety and just getting to where we wanted to go. Not speaking Spanish certainly presents some challenging situations. We got over the first concern months before the second. In fact, my young, beautiful wife took taxis alone, and with our young daughter frequently and after the first couple of times she was completely relaxed.
How We Avoid Feeling Unsafe in a Taxi
We used the same company. In our case, the company was called Imbabura who had their stand near our home (at the intersection of Via Baños and Avenida de las Americas). We had their number programmed into our cell phones – and they had our cell numbers programmed into their computer system so they knew just where we lived. It saved time and made us feel very comfortable.
We’ve used taxis hundreds of times in Cuenca and never had a problem – aside from the occasional overcharging…