Travelling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen? It’s pretty easy, actually, as these two Mexican beach resorts are close to each other, and you have a few modes of transportation between the two. Whether you are living it up in Cancun’s all-inclusive resorts and want to explore more of the region or what to get from Cancun airport to your hotel in Playa del Carmen, your trip won’t take long. If you need some travel inspiration for either destination, have a read of our articles on Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
How to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen
The road from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is Highway 307. This coastal road is a well-driven route by tourists to the region. It follows the Caribbean coastline down to Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo. The drive between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is 68km and should take around an hour. If you take the taxi from Cancun’s Hotel Zone, the fare should be around USD$50. A taxi from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen will cost upwards of USD$75.
To take a taxi from Cancun airport, you book one at the taxi desks inside the airport after baggage claim. You cannot catch a cab outside the airport. In Cancun, there are no ridesharing companies, such as Lyft or Uber. Some taxis will accept card payments when paying your fare, but it is always preferable to have cash on you, and you’ll get the best rate if you pay in Mexican pesos.
The cheapest way to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is by bus. Mexico’s bus system, ADO, runs between many of the Mexican Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations. These buses are convenient, comfortable and air-conditioned. They are also reliable and safe. Buses from Cancun to Playa del Carmen are regular. They depart from Cancun Airport and downtown Cancún. You can purchase tickets online or at the ADO counters.
You’ll find ADO ticket booths in all of the Cancun airport terminals. Buses from Cancun Airport depart every half hour or so. The bus stops at the ADO bus station near Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. Tickets are usually less than USD$10.
If you are travelling from downtown Cancun, you catch the bus from the main ADO bus terminal near Puerto Cancun. Buses depart every hour and drop passengers at the Fifth Avenue terminal. Tickets are usually less than USD$3.
A private transfer or shuttle is a good option if you fly into Cancan airport and head straight to Playa del Carmen. Private shuttles typically cost upwards of USD$100 for one way, but if you split the cost between the group, it can work out rather affordable. Your driver will drop you off at your accommodation, so it’s convenient as well as comfortable.
Alternatively, you can book a shared shuttle. This is best suited to those travelling alone or on a budget, as prices can be as low as $16 for one way. Prices tend to fluctuate, so be sure to do some research first. However, you do have to wait for all the passengers to board, and you could be the last stop as everyone on the shuttle gets dropped off at their accommodation. A shared transfer can take around 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.)
Renting a car gives you the most flexibility as you can depart when you like and stop off along the way. There are many car hire firms around Cancun Airport and in the city, but finding the best deal is the first step. The drive takes around one hour along the well-maintained Highway 307. The daily car hire rate is usually cheaper than a taxi, so it’s a more affordable option if you plan to make a return journey and share the cost with friends.