I was recently in Cabo San Lucas for two days. We walked around, and eventually took a water taxi from the beach near The Office, back to the Marina. They charged us three of us $5 a person.

The next day we did the opposite. We started at the marina and went to beach. We paid the same rate, $5 a person, but there was a guy on the dock that wanted $1 a person "for the government." We even got an official looking slip of paper.

It was $3, so no big deal, but I've been wondering ever since if the "government" guy really was with the government, or did we get scammed? I'm suspicious, because he wasn't there on the first day, and he wasn't there when we came back to the marina on the second day. He was only there when we started from the marina.

Was this a scam or was it real?

  • 2
    Please include a picture of the piece of paper you received. Jan 8, 2020 at 23:06

2 Answers 2


It was a scam. I've used the water taxis several times during my time in Cabo and no such "fee" was charged at the time. If it was truly a government fee, there would be official signs warning tourists about it all over the place. Since there are no such signs, it is indeed a scam.


When something looks like a scam, it mostly is.

On the brighter side, you learned a lesson for only $1. This was indeed a low amount. Probable the guy realizes that he won't get away with high amounts. However, $1 for a $5 ticket is equivalent to VAT in Europe (which is normally somehow over 20% and does go to the government).

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