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How do I get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport?

How do you get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport? Getting around Cancun and the Riviera Maya is relatively easy and there are several options for the savvy travelers who visit this chic seaside Mexican Caribbean destination simply and lovingly known as “Playa”.

Playa del Carmen is located 52 kms/32 miles south of the Cancun airport, halfway between Cancun and Tulum. Getting to downtown Playa del Carmen you’ll find a dynamic beach vibe with hip boutique hotels, great nightlife and an artistic cultural scene. The areas surrounding downtown Playa del Carmen include exclusive world-class resorts to the north of town and a gated community called Playacar to the south. Getting to your Playacar vacation rental from Cancun or getting to downtown Playa del Carmen hotels or resorts is easiest with private transportation with a reputable company.

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You can get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun via ADO buses, one of the most popular means among Quintana Roo residents. This is due to the affordable price and the reliability of the service. ADO buses from Cancun to Playa del Carmen are usually punctual, safe, and more comfortable than collective vans, in general, they are a good option in getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun. The ADO bus stops running from the airport before or around midnight *depends on terminal.

The ADO bus stations are located in strategic points in the state of Quintana Roo, and connect downtown Cancun with the airport and, basically, any destination you want to travel to in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The central station is located in the center of Cancun, (Pino street, between Tulúm and Uxmal avenues); inside the Cancun International Airport; and two stations in Playa del Carmen:

  • - One is located on Fifth Avenue (Avd. 5 with Av. Benito Juarez), known as the "Turística" station.
  • - Another located on Avenida 20 Norte (between Calle 12 Norte and 12 Norte Bis), known as the “Alterna” station.

You can purchase your ADO bus tickets to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun through the official website, their app or directly at the ticket offices, before midnight.

Payments can be made with your credit or debit card; unlike collective vans, which charge cash and pay directly to the driver.

You can make your payment in dollars or Mexican pesos; We recommend that you do it in Mexican pesos so that you do not spend more with the currency exchange.

ADO Bus Route to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun specifications:

  • - The distance between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is 68 kilometers and the duration of the journey is between one hour to one hour and 15 minutes, considering the stop in Puerto Morelos.
  • - The cost of the journey is currently MXN 250.
  • - Other local bus companies offer the same service and the same routes for a lower cost. However, ADO is more secure, comfortable, and reliable

Another alternative to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is the vans of local companies Playa Express and the Foreign Collective Service. They are vans, which resemble a minibus, where 15 passengers can fit (counting the driver) and operate several routes constantly, both during the day and at night.

This means of transport is the most used by locals in the area, since it is quite effective to travel to their work areas at a low cost, and due to the large number of stops on the routes.

It is a practical and safe transport to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun, although less comfortable than ADO buses. The Playa Express service is operated by a private company while the Foreign Collective Service is provided by a taxi drivers union.

It is a practical choice; however, it is not as comfortable as ADO buses, and accidents tend to occur periodically, due to drivers not respecting traffic signs, speed limits, and maximum passenger capacity; a serious problem in times of pandemic. Getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun in “colectivo” is inexpensive but the frequent stops and the potential for overcrowding or bad drivers make it a less desirable option.

Between the two companies, the safest are the Playa Express vans. But if you are going to travel at night, you can only use the Foreign Collective Service since it is the only one that makes the journey from Cancun to Playa del Carmen at night.

There are several areas where you can make the van stop. In Cancun you can take the service near the ADO station; and in Playa del Carmen, the stop is very close to Fifth Avenue.

Do not worry! Here you will find the exact addresses:

  • - Playa Express:
    Cancun: In front of the ADO bus terminal.
    Playa del Carmen: street 2 with avenue 20.
  • - Groups of the Foreign Collective Service:
    Cancun: Tulum Avenue, next to the ADO Bus terminal and the “La Comercial Mexicana” shopping center.
    Playa del Carmen: street 2 with avenue 20 and avenue 25.

Course specifications:

  • - The duration of the journey is between an hour to an hour and a half; It will depend on the number of stops that the same passengers ask the driver before reaching the last stop in Playa del Carmen.
  • - In the transfer on the federal highway, there are no designated or established stops, local people stand on the side of the road and the drivers already know that they are waiting to be picked up to go somewhere; the wait used to take between 10 to 30 minutes; however, with the pandemic, those times have doubled.
  • - The first Playa Express van leaves Cancun at 04:00 hours and the last transfer from Playa del Carmen is at 00:00 hours.
  • - Foreign Collective Services vans circulate every day, 24 hours a day, regardless of holidays.
  • - The price ranges from MXN 35 to MXN 40 each way, that is, between USD 1.75 to USD 2, it is paid in cash and directly to the driver; to whom you have to tell where you are going so that he knows how much to charge you; If you are not easily located, ask the driver to notify you when you arrive at your destination.

If your thought is to do all the excursions on your own, the best option to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun will be by rental car.

If you plan to visit various points of the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula in a freer and private way, without worrying about departure times or buying tickets, renting a car is an excellent option.

The roads of the state of Quintana Roo, as well as the direct highway from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, are in good condition. The signs are clear enough so that you can easily reach your destination. Highway 307 runs from Cancun all the way down to the border with Belize, easy to navigate to the hidden corners of the state.

Many companies provide this car rental service to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun, and you could do online research to choose the one that best suits your needs; or evaluate the options found within the Cancun International Airport.

However, we recommend that you book your rental online and in advance; to make the process faster and ensure a lower rate.


  • - Whether you are Mexican or foreign, you will need an official ID, a valid driver's license, and a credit card to be able to rent a car.

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