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How to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun?

How do you get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun? 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 easy with Happy Shuttle Cancun.

How to get to Playa del Carmen from the Cancun airport with Happy Shuttle Cancun?

The most comfortable and cheapest way to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is with Happy Shuttle Cancun!

Happy Shuttle Cancun is a family-run business, a Cancun transportation company with more than 10 years of experience, offering transfers from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen and all destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

We know that when you travel, you arrive tired and the last thing you want is to worry about your Cancun airport transfer to Playa del Carmen, so we take care of the logistics and offer you the best prices, the friendliest drivers and the most reliable service. Reserving your private Playa del Carmen transfers with Happy Shuttle Cancun ensures safety, comfort and a peace of mind knowing that you are in good hands.

Happy Shuttle Cancun is standing by, you can communicate with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all to ensure that you have the best Playa del Carmen vacation with no worries about your Cancun airport transportation.

What are the details about private transportation to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen?

  • - The cost per person is approximately $ 1,400 MXN (USD 69.93).
  • - You can schedule your Happy Shuttle Cancun Playa del Carmen transfer at the time you want, without limitations or restrictions.
  • - We have the “Safe Travels” seal ensuring all COVID19 precautions are in place.
  • - We are honored to have received Trip Advisor’s Travelers Choice Award 2021.
  • - Our drivers are certified and their health is screened daily.

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 busses 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 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 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 approximately MXN 216 / USD 11.
  • - 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 “Soriana” shopping center.
    • Playa del Carmen: street 2 with avenue 20 and avenue 25.
  • - 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.
  • - Rental prices range from MXN 400 to MXN 2,100 per day, an approximate of USD 20 to USD 100.
  • - Apart from the maps of your GPS on your Smartphone, we recommend that you request the maps with the most famous or recognized sites in the area, this will help you locate and/or ask for recommendations.
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Happy Shuttle Cancun

4.8 /5
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Independent Feedback based on 181 verified reviews.

- yesterday Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

Amazing service! Would definitely use this company again! On time, very friendly drivers!!

Great service
- 5 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

The drivers were nice and helpful with luggage and were on time. The shuttle was clean. I was a great experience, and we'll use them again.

A great experience and I will recommend to all!
- 6 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

The staff were courteous and friendly and prompt! The van was very clean. The drivers coming and going were good drivers.

Excellent service, despite construction traffic!
- 8 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

Second time using Happy Shuttle Cancun! Will definitely keep using them. Construction traffic is terrible right now on the airport highway, but their drivers were on-time picking us up, drove very safely and patiently, and had good communication skills. The company has a very fine-tuned reservation and communication system that works well. Only complaint I have is that I wish they had a discount for repeat customers.

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Great Shuttle in Mexico
- 9 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

This is the shuttle to call. From the moment you leave the airport and find your shuttle coordinator you know you made the right choice. We left on time from the airport and the shuttle driver was friendly and answered all our questions about the area we were staying. When we were returning to the airport the driver was right on time and got us to the airport way ahead of time. Will definitely use them again...

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- 9 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

Both drivers were on time and got us where we needed to be. The price did seem a bit high, but we were happy with everything.

Professional and on time
- 9 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

Great service, friendly drivers

They are always reliable.
- 9 days ago Cancun Airport Transportation to Playa del Carmen

They are always reliable

Playa del Carmen