MazatlanVisit.com - Everything you need to know about visiting and residing in Mazatlán Mexico!
Unique to Mazatlán are Pulmonia taxis.
Pulmonias are gas-powered open-air taxis that look like sup'd up golf carts! Some have doors and others do not. Most have stereos and drive around with the music volume cranked up!
The History of Pulmonias is that they have been around since the early 1960s. They are so iconic that there is even a Pulmonia Monument on the Malecon.
Pulmonias are used primarily in the tourist and downtown areas of Mazatlán.
Pulmonias are great for short journeys within the tourist zones of Mazatlán. You can also rent them by the hour and do your own city tour.
You can flag them down if they are empty driving down the street. Also, they are often parked in front of the main Restaurants and bars waiting for a fare. You can now book them by using a central phone number.
Not all pulmonia drivers speak English well, but many do.
The majority of Pulmonias are stripped down Volkswagons with custom fibreglass bodies on them. As these wear out, there are new versions of Pulmonias that are showing up.
New in 2022. The pulmonia's now have a phone number to book them.
The number to book a Pulmonia is: 669-164-9770
In addition to calling the main pulmonia number, you can get the phone number of individual pulmonia drivers. Each pulmonia driver has his own phone number. Typically, they work a 12 hour shift during the day or night. So, initially, you have to flag down a pulmonia driver to get a ride. If you are happy with the pulmonia driver you can ask for his phone number and call him when you need a ride. Depending on where he is, he will come and pick you up.
In the early 1960s, an entrepeneur bought a bunch of 3 wheeled Cushmans that were used as taxis.
At first people laughed at them suggesting that in winter they would be cold to ride in and you would get pneumonia. Hence the name, Pulmonia, which means pneumonia in Spanish!
His intention was to give an alternative to the 2 wheeled horse-drawn carts that were used as taxis.
Over the years, the popularity of pulmonias grew and they outlasted the horse-drawn carts!
Renting a Pulmonia for a few hours is great way to do a city tour.
Most pulmonias can be rented by the hour directly with the driver. Prices vary, but expect to pay at least MX$300 or more per hour.
Be sure to check that the driver speaks English and is willing to give you commentary or it may be a boring tour!
One pulmonia driver even has a Facebook page to promote his tours!
The latest version of a pulmonia is a modified Nissan (see photo above) or Audi. These are basically the cars with the roofs cut off and modified. These new versions actually have seat belts so are safer than the older versions of Pulmonias.
Pulmonias are so iconic in Mazatlán that there is even a monument to the pulmonia on the Malecon.
We don't recommended you take a Pulmonia to go to the airport because you need to go on a highway and the wind and heat are too much. Also, most of them don't have seatbelts so it is more dangerous.
The open-air taxis in Mazatlán are called 'Pulmonias'
As well, there are regular small green and red car taxis that are just called 'taxis'. Additionally, for larger groups there are red small pickup trucks called 'aurigas', with benches in the back that can hold up lots of people.
The price to take a Pulmonia in Mazatlán varies by the distance you need to go and how good a negotiator you are!
ALWAYS negotiate the price before you get into a Pulmonia!
Approximate (2022)prices are:
Note that prices can be more during busy times such as Easter Week and Carnival when it is busy and there are detours.