Guide to Traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen (4 Transfer Options)

Travelers embarking on their journey to Playa del Carmen from Cancun have various transportation options available, depending on their starting point (Cancun Airport, downtown, or the hotel zone). Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the best way to reach Playa del Carmen.

Traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Summary Chart of Options:

  • Private Transfer: 60 mins, $70/vehicle
  • ADO Bus: ~1 hr 20 mins, $10/person
  • Rental Car: 60 mins, ~$30+/day
  • Collectivo: 1.5 hrs, $5/person

From Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

If you’re heading straight to Playa del Carmen after arriving at Cancun Airport, here are three main options:

Method 1: ADO Bus

  • Duration: About 1 hour 20 minutes to the Playa del Carmen bus station.
  • Times: Frequent departures throughout the day.
  • Cost: 190 MXN ($10 USD)
  • Ticket Purchase: ADO bus website, Bookaway, or directly at the airport ADO counters.
traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Method 2: Private Transfer

traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Method 3: Renting a Car

  • Description: Renting a car offers flexibility and the opportunity to make stops along the way. The route to Playa del Carmen is straightforward and well-paved.
  • Duration: Approximately 60-minute drive, plus 30 minutes for vehicle pickup.
  • Cost: From $30/day, including insurance.
  • Recommended Booking Site: Cancun Airport Website
traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

From Cancun Beach Hotel Zone to Playa del Carmen

If you are starting from the Cancun hotel zone, options are more limited due to the lack of a central bus terminal.

Private Transfer from Hotel Zone

  • Description: A private transfer is the most convenient way to travel directly from your Cancun hotel to Playa del Carmen.
  • Duration: ~1 hour drive
  • Cost: $100 one-way, or $180 round trip per vehicle
  • Booking: Taxi Riviera Maya

Rent a Car from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

  • Description: Rent a car from the airport and enjoy a direct drive to Playa del Carmen. Several rental agencies have offices directly in the Cancun hotel zone.
  • Duration: ~1-hour drive, plus time to arrange a vehicle
  • Cost: From $30/day, including insurance
  • Recommended Booking Site: Cancun Airport Website

From Downtown Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Travelers have more transport options when starting in downtown Cancun, including buses, collectives, and car rentals.

ADO Bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

  • Bus Station: Main ADO bus station, located at the intersection of Uxmal and Tulum Aves
  • Times: Frequent departures throughout the day (usually every hour)
  • Duration: About 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cost: From 160 MXN ($8 USD)
  • Ticket Purchase: ADO bus website

Rental Car from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

  • Description: Renting a car offers convenience and flexibility.
  • Duration: ~1-hour drive
  • Cost: From $30/day, including insurance

Public Transportation from Cancun to Playa del Carmen (“Collectivos”)

  • Description: collectivos are minibusses used for public transportation along the Riviera Maya. They’re practical for travel from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, with frequent stops along the way.
  • Duration: ~1.5 hours
  • Cost: From ~$5 USD/person

Conclusion

Selecting the best transportation method depends on your preferences for budget, timing, and convenience. Each option offers a unique experience, allowing travelers to explore Playa del Carmen in their preferred way.

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