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How to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen...

How to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen – Prices & Info [2021]

Wondering about transportation from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, Mexico? Arrive to 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 round here you’ll find plenty of attractions and things to do.

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 55 kilometers. You’ll be traveling via the Cancun/Mexico 307 Highway for roughly 45 minutes to reach Playa del Carmen from the airport.

GOING FURTHER SOUTH? READ INSTEAD:
How to Get from Cancun Airport to Tulum

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 the 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 as I’ve compared all the possible options, so you can decide what works best for you.

BEST FOR COST: ADO Bus
BEST FOR CONVENIENCE: Private Transfer
BEST FOR QUALITY FOR PRICE: Shared Shuttle Service (if you’re 1 or 2 people)

Book a Private Transfer from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

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 recommend pre-booking a Cancun to Playa del Carmen private transfer. In any case, the taxi fare from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen should be approximately USD 70-80, so probably higher than a pre-booked transfer.

➤ 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.

The regular private transfer to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport costs $60 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip transfer ($110 for 3 people).

If you’re 3, booking private transportation from Cancun airport to your hotel in Playa del Carmen is actually more convenient than the shared shuttle. Even if you’re just two of you, you need to think if the extra cost ($10) is really worth the extra hassle. And if you’re up to 9 passengers, the price only goes up to $85, 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. The cost of a luxury private transfer Cancun-Playa del Carmen is $99 for up to 6 people, and $175 if you book round-trip. ▶ BOOK IT HERE

And if you’re celebrating something special (or maybe you’re in town for a bachelor/bachelorette party!), you can even rent a limousine transfer. It costs $299 one-way for up to 11 passengers (they also have another limousine for up to 14 passengers). ▶ BOOK IT HERE

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

You can get a quote for your transfer in the search box down below.

Take the Cancun Airport Shuttle to Playa del Carmen

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 travel from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen (especially if you’re traveling solo).

➤ The shared Cancun Airport-Hotel shuttle is air-conditioned and insured and will bring you to your hotel (main entrance or lobby).

The cost of the regular shared shuttle shuttle from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen is 25 USD per person (one way). Bilingual staff will be at the airport to welcome you upon your arrival, so you won’t have trouble finding your driver.

⚠️ You can’t book a round-trip service for the shared Cancun to Playa del Carmen airport transfer at this time, so make sure you select “One way airport-hotel”. 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

The 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 10) might not be worth the extra time /hassle. Book here a private car instead.

Take the ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

The ADO bus 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.

The cost of a single ride on the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen at the time of writing is 208 MXN. The bus will stop at the Playa del Carmen bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue. The entire trip will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

The first ADO bus Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen leaves at 9:25 AM and the last bus departs at 11:45 PM. There are several buses scheduled in between and they depart approximately every 2 hours.

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!

While the ADO bus is a cheap option for transportation from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, it might not be the most convenient since it only drops you off at the bus station, and you’ll need to find your way to your hotel from the bus station. Depending on the location of your hotel, it might be more or less convenient: check a map before choosing this option!

If you go for this option, it’s also possible to catch the ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport on your way back. I recommend popping by the ADO station one or two days in advance to reserve a ticket for your peace of mind.

Rent a Car at Cancun Airport

Renting a car is one of the best options to travel from Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen. Counting with a car also means you’ll have so much freedom to explore the Yucatan peninsula and to go on a few day trips from Playa del Carmen, for example to Chichen Itza or the pink lakes of Las Coloradas.

One downside: it can 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 10 to 15 MXN an hour.

Although you can book a rental car directly at the airport, I’d recommend that you book prior to your arrival to get a better deal. I generally use Rentalcars.com that compares the rental prices from all the major companies. You can rent a car for 200 MXN to 800 MXN a day.

The rental prices will vary depending on the type of vehicle you choose (such as a sedan or SUV). You can search how much it would cost for you to rent a car down here, without even leaving this page.

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 purchased insurance prior to your travel to Mexico, 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. Or, you can book ahead via the internet to avoid any delays or issues similar to this.

➤ Another scam that is common among car rental companies in Mexico is that they will sometimes charge exorbitant fees on 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. It’s important to check the condition of the vehicle before renting it and upon returning the vehicle.

When renting a car from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, your 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.

How To Get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen – Frequently Asked Questions

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 ticket costs around 80 MXN ($4).

And finally, a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen should cost you about $40 (it’s probably cheaper if you can take an Uber).

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

The regular airport shuttle Cancun to Playa del Carmen should cost you $19 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. Uber in 2019 has started operating again in the Cancun area, and getting from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen will cost you around 400 MXN (approximately 17 USD) with UberX. This is an approximate calculation, it could be less or more depending on traffic, etc. However, since Uber service was already suspended in Cancun previously, do your own research regarding the availability of an Uber ride from Cancun Airport 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.


This is it! Hopefully this info is useful for you to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. On this blog you’ll find tons of other content about Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum so make sure to check out my most popular articles to plan your trip in the region.

READ MORE…

11 Cenotes in Playa del Carmen You Can’t Miss
41 Fun Things to do in Cancun
The Perfect Yucatan Itinerary

How to Get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
How to Get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres


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