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How to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen [2024]

Wondering about transportation from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, Mexico? Arrive at the airport prepared. Check all the transportation options in this post and decide how to travel from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen is such a great destination in the Yucatan peninsula – it’s perfect for families, but also couples, backpackers, and digital nomads. Playa del Carmen is located halfway between Cancun and Tulum, and you’ll find plenty of attractions and things to do in Playa del Carmen.

A few examples? You can explore the many cenotes around Playa del Carmen, the Tulum ruins and the Coba ruins, and all of the amusement parks and nightlife that the Riviera Maya and Cancun offer.

✈️ The airport to fly into to visit Playa del Carmen is the Cancun International Airport. You also have the Cozumel Airport nearby but it’s a smaller one, while the Cancun airport has tons of options when it comes to domestic and international flights.

You are also more likely to get a better price on flights headed for the Cancun Airport.

The distance from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is approximately 34 miles (55 kilometers). You’ll be traveling via the Cancun/Mexico 307 Highway for roughly 45 minutes to reach Playa del Carmen from the airport.

Once you arrive at the airport, there are many available Cancun airport transportation options to Playa del Carmen. Each of these options varies in terms of cost, convenience, and length of travel time.

If you’re wondering how to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport, you’ve landed in the right place. I’ve compared all the possible options, so you can decide what works best for you.

SHARED SHUTTLE$30 per person one wayBOOK IT HERE
ADO BUS$18 per person one wayBOOK IT HERE


Looking for a hassle-free option? Choose a private Cancun airport transfer to Playa del Carmen. You have a few options for your airport transfer via private driver: look for a taxi at the airport, pre-book a private driver, or pre-book a luxury transfer (such as a limousine).

You could hop on a taxi from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen, but I don’t recommend it. The reason is that you’ll have to haggle hard to get a fair price and scams aren’t infrequent.

That’s why I advise you to pre-book a Cancun to Playa del Carmen private transfer. The company I recommend is Cancun Airport Transportation. I have traveled with them multiple times, and I’ve always had wonderful experiences.

The vehicles are spotless and very comfortable, and the staff is super friendly. More importantly, they’re very careful drivers, so I’ve felt safe in every transfer.

Length:45 minutes
💲 Price:85 USD one way (up to 3 passengers)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

▶️ The advantage of pre-booking a private transfer from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen is that you’ll get an English-speaking driver, a greeting service in the arrival area, and a transfer in an insured, new and air-conditioned vehicle.

Private Service to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport

💲The regular private service to Playa del Carmen costs $85 for up to 8 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip transfer ($165).

If you’re 3, booking private transportation from Cancun airport to your hotel in Playa is already more convenient than the shared shuttle. Even if you’re just 2 people, you need to think if the extra cost (<$10) is really worth the extra hassle. And if you’re indeed 8 passengers, you’ll be paying only $10 per person, which is a great deal! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Want to travel in style? You can also book a luxury transfer in a Suburban-type vehicle that accommodates up to 6 people.

luxury servicec from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

💲The cost of a luxury private transfer Cancun-Playa del Carmen is $140 for up to 6 people, and $270 if you book round-trip. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen with a bigger group of people, need wheelchair-friendly transportation, or you’re celebrating something special, you might also want to take a look at these other interesting services.

Group transportation (up to 16 passengers)BOOK IT HERE
Transportation for disabled passengers (up to 2 wheelchairs)BOOK IT HERE
Limo transportation (up to 14 passengers)BOOK IT HERE

Book your private transfer in the search box below 👇

Pros and Cons of the Private Airport Transfer

✅ This is the quickest way to travel from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen. You’ll avoid extra stops because the service is exclusively for you and not shared with other passengers heading to different destinations.

✅ A private transfer to Playa del Carmen promises top-notch comfort. Expect to be greeted by your driver in the arrivals hall and whisked away to your accommodation in a cool, air-conditioned vehicle.

✅ Communication is a breeze since your driver will be fluent in English. No stress if you’re not up to speed on your Spanish.

Flight delays? No problem. Cancun Airport Transportation will track your flight’s arrival time and ensure your driver is there when you land, regardless of delays.

❌ The flip side? Cost. Private transfers are pricier compared to the shared shuttle or ADO bus. Those on a tighter budget might consider other travel options.

Read what the reviews say:

Omar got us to the airport promptly. He did a great job. Will definitely use your service in the future if we ever come back to Mexico for shuttle service awesome. Getting picked up and dropped off at the airport”

Marlene Medina – Read more reviews


A shared transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is a practical option for budget travelers, as it’s one of the cheapest ways to make the journey (especially if you’re traveling solo).

Length:1 to 2 hours
💲 Price:30 USD per person (one way)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

▶️ The shared Cancun Airport-Hotel shuttle is air-conditioned and insured. It will bring you to your hotel or Airbnb in Playa del Carmen.

⚠️ You can’t book a round-trip service for the shared transfer at this time. You can of course make two separate reservations if you want to book the same shuttle from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport in advance (unless you decide to just stay in Playa forever which is a very possible scenario). ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Pros and Cons of the Shared Shuttle

✅ The shuttle from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is a cheaper option than the private transfer, and I particularly recommend it to solo travelers.

❌ The main downside to the shuttle service to Playa del Carmen is that the shuttle will make multiple stops along the way as it has to drop off several passengers. This could make your travel time to Playa del Carmen a LOT longer than usual!

If you’re more than 2 people, booking the shuttle from Cancun Airport to Playa doesn’t make sense – and even if you’re two, what you’re saving (USD 25) might not be worth the extra time /hassle. Book here a private car instead.

Read what the reviews say:

“These guys were great—experienced and efficient. Ride with them. No complaints, no hassles, no stress. And they wear cool shirts so you can spot them!”

Tim G. – Check out other reviews on Viator


A gray and red ADO bus making the journey from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

The ADO bus to Playa del Carmen is the cheapest transfer option for getting to Playa del Carmen from the Cancun Airport. ADO is the only public bus company that has permission to offer transfers from the airport, so don’t fall into any other scams!

The ADO Bus line is also linked to various routes throughout the Mexican Riviera, so you can take this bus and then transfer to get to any point in the Yucatan Peninsula such as Valladolid or Merida.

These are large, air-conditioned, and comfortable buses. I’ve traveled with ADO multiple times and never had a bad experience.

Length:1.5 hours
💲 Price:18 USD per person (one way)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

The bus will stop at the Playa del Carmen bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue.

The first ADO bus Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen leaves at 8.30 AM and the last bus departs at 11.25 PM. There are several buses scheduled in between and they depart approximately every hour, sometimes more frequently. You can take the bus in Terminals T2, T3, and T4.

8.30 AM
9.20 AM
10.30 AM
10.50 AM
11.20 AM
11.40 AM
12.00 PM
12.30 PM
1.00 PM
1.50 PM
2.20 PM
2.40 PM
3.00 PM
3.40 PM

4.20 PM
4.40 PM
5.20 PM
5.40 PM
6.00 PM
6.40 PM
7.00 PM
7.40 PM
8.45 PM
9.00 PM
9.25 PM
10.25 PM
11.25 PM

This is the current bus departure schedule from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen from Terminal T2.

If you’re leaving from Terminal 3, the bus will depart 20 minutes earlier.

If instead you’re departing from Terminal 4, the bus leaves 10 minutes before the stated times.

You can double-check the timings on the ADO website. However, the website is only in Spanish and doesn’t let you book tickets with a foreign card. I personally use GuateGo to book my ADO tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Please note that the departure times vary depending on which terminal you arrive in, so make sure to check the schedule for your specific terminal so you don’t miss your bus!

The ADO bus is the cheapest option, ideal if you’re looking for how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen on a budget. If cost-saving is your priority, this is the best transportation option available, and it’s a comfortable way to travel oo.

❌ The ADO bus won’t drop you off at your hotel. The bus drops you off at the bus station in Downtown Playa del Carmen. your way back. I recommend buying it online a day or two in advance for your peace of mind.

❌ You’ll need to find your way to your hotel from the bus station, possibly by taking a taxi. Depending on the location of your hotel, it might be more or less convenient: check a map before choosing this option! If you’re staying in a resort outside Playa del Carmen, I definitely don’t recommend the ADO bus.


car rental sign at Cancun Airport
Length:45 minutes
💲 Price:20-50 USD per day
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

If you’re up for driving, renting a car is one of the best options to travel from Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen.

The best way to rent a car from Cancun Airport to Tulum is to book online in advance. I’ve personally started using and recommending Discover Cars to book rental cars in Mexico. ➥ COMPARE PRICES HERE

Discover Cars is my go-to platform for hassle-free car rental comparisons and bookings. They bring together a variety of rental options from numerous car hire companies worldwide, simplifying the process of finding the perfect car at a great price. Their website is designed to be straightforward, ensuring you can easily sift through different prices, vehicle options, and rental conditions.

When it comes to canceling a booking with Discover Cars, they offer a good cancellation policy. You’re generally allowed to cancel your reservation without any charges up to 48 hours in advance. The exact terms will depend on the specific rental provider and the fare type selected, so it’s crucial to check the individual rental conditions when you book

Pros and Cons of a Rental Car

✅ Counting with a car means you’ll have so much freedom to explore the Yucatan peninsula and go on a few excursions from Playa del Carmen.

❌ It can be difficult to find parking in Playa del Carmen, especially in the downtown area. Check in advance if your hotel offers free parking – it’s a great thing to know before you book a rental car. Otherwise, you will find paid self-parking spaces whose cost ranges from 15 to 20 MXN an hour, or 200 MXN for 24 hours.

❌ The nightlife in Playa del Carmen is pretty concentrated in the downtown area, so you might be able to walk to bars and clubs. If that’s not the case, there has to be a designated driver in your group who won’t drink alcohol. If you’re renting a car, you might still want to take a taxi at night when you want to go drinking – that’s what my friends and I did.

Tips for Renting a Car at Cancun Airport (and Mexico)

⚠️ Word of warning, when choosing a car rental company, always beware of common scams that are prevalent in Cancun Airport (as with other parts of Mexico).

▶️ One of the most common scams for car rental in Mexico involves the purchase of insurance. Some car rental companies will basically coerce you into buying additional insurance from them.

But in fact, this isn’t needed, especially if you already have travel insurance, or you have a credit card insurance that covers car rentals. If they insist that you buy insurance, look for other car rental companies – there are plenty of them to choose from.

▶️ Another scam that is common among car rental companies in Mexico is that they will sometimes charge exorbitant fees for supposed damage on the vehicle you rented. This means it’s important to take photos as proof of existing damage (if any).

Some of these scammers will even charge you for minor scratches on the vehicle, so it’s vital to check the condition of the vehicle before renting it and upon returning it.

When renting a car from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, you really should book in advance online. ➥ COMPARE PRICES HERE

▶️ These are some more tips for renting a car in Mexico:

  • Always make sure to carry your rental agreement with you.
  • Your valid driver’s license has to be with you at all times. You should also carry your passport or at least a copy of your passport.
  • Carry a copy of your insurance.
  • Always drive within the speed limit, like you would do in your own country… right?
  • Driving in Mexico is on the right side, just like the US and Europe.


There are a few other ways to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen. However, I don’t recommend them for the reasons listed below.


You can easily get a taxi at Cancun Airport. They’ll be waiting outside, ready to offer you a ride. However, taxi scams are sadly very frequent in Mexico. You’ll have to haggle hard with the driver to get a fair price, and the process is much more difficult if you don’t know the language.

👉 Do you really want to go through that hassle after spending the past few hours on a flight? This is the reason I highly recommend pre-booking a private transfer.


Uber is legal and working in Cancun. Due to the opposition of taxi drivers to the service, however, it can be really hard to get an uber in places where taxis work a lot, including bus and ferry terminals, and the airport.

Uber drivers won’t go inside the airport, so in order to book one you’ll have to walk outside. Bear in mind that you’ll need a SIM card with internet to find a driver.

👉 Another reason I absolutely recommend booking a private transfer if you want a hassle-free, peaceful ride to your hotel.


Where is the Playa del Carmen airport? / What’s the airport near Playa del Carmen, Mexico?

There isn’t an airport in Playa del Carmen. Cancun International Airport is the biggest airport in the area, and the closest airport to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Is Playa del Carmen in Cancun?

No, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are two separate cities.

How far is Playa del Carmen from Cancun? / How far is Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport?

The distance from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is 68 kilometers (38 miles), while the distance from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen is just a little shorter, 55 kilometers (34 miles).

The travel time from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen is about 45 minutes, while it takes around one hour to drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.

How to get from Downtown Cancun to Playa del Carmen?

A colectivo (shared van) is the cheapest way to travel from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Colectivos in Downtown Cancun depart from across the street from the ADO bus station. Prices are not fixed, but it should cost you just a couple of dollars, so this is definitely a cheap option.

The bus is also a great option to travel from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. The ADO bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen runs over 50 times per day, multiple times per hour. The ADO station in Cancun is in Downtown Cancun (Calle Pino, SM23, MZ56, Lt 1 y 2, Centro, 23, 77500 Cancún). The bus will leave you at the ADO bus station in Playa del Carmen (5th Avenue with Juarez Avenue). A one-way ticket costs $7.

And finally, a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen should cost you about $45 (it’s probably cheaper if you can take an Uber).

How much is a shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen?

The regular Cancun to Playa del Carmen shuttle costs $30 per person (one way), while the luxury shared shuttle Cancun to Playa del Carmen costs $27 per person (one way). Please refer to the shared transfer paragraph above for more information and booking a shuttle.

Is there Uber in Cancun? Is there Uber in Playa del Carmen?

Yes and no. In 2019, Uber started operating again in the Cancun area. However, since Uber service was already suspended in Cancun previously, do your own research regarding the availability of an Uber ride from Cancun to Playa del Carmen before your trip.

There is no Uber service in Playa del Carmen that I know of, so you’ll have to rely on normal taxis when you get to your destination (it’s always better to ask your hotel to call one for you). You won’t be able to get a UBER back from Playa del Carmen to Cancun.

Can I take a colectivo from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen?

Colectivos (shared vans that go up and down the coast) are not available at Cancun airport. However, you can take a shared shuttle which is a very similar option, just a bit more luxurious and more expensive than your regular colectivo. If you’re looking at the cheapest option to get to Playa del Carmen, I recommend checking out the ADO bus.

How much is a taxi from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen?

A taxi service from the airport to Playa del Carmen could easily cost you around 70-80 USD.

This is it! Hopefully, this info is useful for you to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. transportation from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.