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Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya: 3 BEST Ways To Go

Wondering about how to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya? In this post, you’ll find all the transportation options available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

The Riviera Maya is one of the most popular destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, and it’s often confused with the city of Playa del Carmen, or thought of as a singular place.

The Riviera Maya is a long stretch of beachfront resorts and towns that goes all the way from Puerto Morelos to the north of Tulum and includes the town of Playa del Carmen. 

I’ve personally spent a few weeks exploring this area, and let me tell you that you won’t get bored here. If all you want to do is lay on the beach or by the pool with a cocktail in hand, it’s the perfect place to do this. But if you’re an active traveler, you’ll also find plenty of activities to keep you busy!

But how do you get there in the first place?

✈️ To get to the Riviera Maya you’ll fly into Cancun International Airport. The prices and distance to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya will vary depending on your exact destination. 

Puerto Morelos, for example, is Riviera Maya’s northernmost town, located 16 miles (around 25.6 km) from Cancun Airport. Akumal, being the southernmost town, is 57 miles (92 km) away. You’ll travel via the Cancun/Mexico 307 Highway to get to most places in Riviera Maya. 

Variations in terms of convenience, length of travel, and cost will also depend on the means of transportation you choose.

METHODCOST
PRIVATE TRANSFER$60 – 120 (up to 3 people)BOOK IT HERE
SHARED SHUTTLE$30 per personBOOK IT HERE
RENTAL CAR$25 – 50 per dayBOOK IT HERE

BOOK A PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO RIVIERA MAYA

If you’re looking for a hassle-free option, your best bet is booking private Cancun Airport transfers to Riviera Maya. Below you’ll find all the alternatives for your private transportation, from a luxury service to a private driver or a van that accommodates large groups.

Length:25 min – 1 hour 20 min
💲 Price:$60 – $120 (up to 3 passengers)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

I’ve used the services of Cancun Airport Transportation several times and have always had a fantastic experience. They were always on time to pick us up, and the cars were ultra-clean and comfortable.

Image of a white and yellow van parked on the street, and the driver smiling in front of it. It's a shared shuttle, one of the best ways to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya

The drivers were always friendly and very careful on the road, something I value immensely. We also got to enjoy complimentary refreshments during the pleasant ride, one of the many reasons I always recommend Cancun Airport Transportation to anyone who asks me.

▶️ Booking private transportation from Cancun to Riviera Maya means that you’ll be greeted by your English-speaking driver at the arrival area, be assisted with your bags, and travel comfortably in an insured, air-conditioned vehicle, getting the best attention possible.

Private Service Transportation from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya

💲The classic private airport transfer to Riviera Maya for 1-3 passengers goes from $60 for transportation to Puerto Morelos, to $120 for transportation to Akumal. The round-trip transportation costs from $115 to $235. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Want to travel more fashionably? Then get the luxury service, which takes up to 6 passengers in a Suburban-type vehicle to make your ride extremely comfortable. 

Luxury Service Transfer from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya

💲The prices go from $105 to Puerto Morelos to $230 to Akumal, and $199 – $450 for roundtrip transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Looking for other alternatives on how to get to Riviera Maya? If you’re with a larger group, you need wheelchair-friendly transportation, or you’re celebrating a special occasion, you might want to take a look at these 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 shuttle in the search box down below 👇

Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos

To get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:

▶️ 60 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (115 USD for round trip)
▶️ 105 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (199 USD for round trip)
▶️ 105 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (199 USD for round trip)

Cancun Airport Transportation Rates to Puerto Morelos

Cancun Airport to Playa Paraiso

To get from Cancun Airport to Playa Paraiso, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:

▶️ 70 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (135 USD for round trip)
▶️ 125 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (240 USD for round trip)
▶️125 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (240 USD for round trip)

Cancun Airport Transportation Rates to  Playa Paraiso

Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

To get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:

▶️ 85 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (165 USD for round trip)
▶️ 140 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (270 USD for round trip)
▶️ 140 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (270 USD for round trip)

Cancun Airport Transportation Rates to Playa del Carmen

Cancun Airport to Puerto Aventuras

 To get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Aventuras, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:

▶️ 100 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (195 USD for round trip)
▶️ 140 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (270 USD for round trip)
▶️ 140 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (270 USD for round trip)

Cancun Airport Transportation Rates to Puerto Aventuras

Cancun Airport to Akumal

To get from Cancun Airport to Akumal, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:

▶️ 120 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (235 USD for round trip)
▶️ 255 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (425 USD for round trip)
▶️ 230 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (450 USD for round trip)

Cancun Airport Transportation Rates to Akumal

Pros and Cons of the Private Airport Transfer

✅ This is the fastest way to get from Cancun Airport to the Riviera Maya. Since the transfer is private, you’ll be taken directly to your accommodation without any unnecessary stops.

✅ It’s the most comfortable way to get to your hotel, as your driver will be waiting for you at the arrival area and you will travel in an air-conditioned, modern vehicle.

✅ Your flight is late? No need to worry since Cancun Airport Transportation will be tracking your flight. They will know when you’ve landed and will be there to pick you up.

❌ The only downside to a private transfer is the price, which is more expensive than a shared shuttle. This can especially impact those traveling on a budget, who might want to look at other options.

Read what the reviews say:

”What a great experience! The van is super nice, modern, the AC WORKS, we felt safe traveling with toddlers, the shuttle was so big and clean! Our driver Arturo Fernandez was so nice and helpful. I will definitely book this company any time I come to Cancun!”

Tia Lorentzen – Check out other reviews

TAKE THE CANCUN AIRPORT SHUTTLE TO RIVIERA MAYA HOTELS

If you’re traveling on your own or on a budget, the shared shuttle from Cancun to Riviera Maya is a great choice, as it’s one of the cheapest transportation options. Shuttles are comfortable and air-conditioned, and will bring you to your accommodation’s front door.

Length:35 min to 1 hour and 45 min
💲 Price:30 USD per person (one way)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

The journey from Cancun Airport for Riviera Maya, Mexico takes anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on how many stops it makes along the way.

It’s very affordable, costing $30 per person for a one-way journey to Riviera Maya. It’s also the only public transportation available for solo travelers.

At the end of your trip, you can also book the shuttle to make the trip from Riviera Maya to Cancun Airport. The price remains the same, and you’ll be picked up at your accommodation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Pros and Cons of the Shared Shuttle

✅ The shared shuttle is a more affordable option, and it’s the best option for solo travelers and those on a budget.

One downside of the shared shuttle is that it makes multiple stops along the way before taking you to your hotel. This is because it will drop off other passengers at their accommodations, so it takes longer than most transfers.

If you’re 3 people or more, and depending on where you’re headed, it might be cheaper to book a private transfer. For Playa del Carmen, for example, you’ll pay $30 per person on the shared shuttle while the private car costs only $85, and it’s much more comfortable. Book a private transfer 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 more reviews on Viator

RENT A CAR AT CANCUN AIRPORT

Another great alternative to make the Cancun-Riviera Maya trip is renting a car at the airport.

Image of a hand holding a car key, with a black car parked in the background, inserted in a post about how to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya
⌛ Length:30 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes
💲 Price:20-50 USD per day
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

This is not only one of the best Cancun to Riviera Maya transportation options, but it will also give you incredible freedom. It’s very convenient if you want to check out other destinations in the region, like the world-renowned ruins of Chichen Itza, the beaches in Tulum, or the pink lakes of Las Coloradas

Before deciding to rent a car, however, check if your hotel offers free parking. You should also be aware of the difficulties you may encounter if you rent the car directly at the airport, instead of booking it online.

What I recommend when renting a car is arranging the rental online before your arrival to the country, so you get better prices and avoid a confrontation with the rental companies’ staff. I generally use Discover Cars to compare prices from all the major companies and get the best deal possible. ➥ COMPARE PRICES HERE

Discover Cars is a car rental booking service where you’ll find a wide range of rental options from numerous rental agencies in Cancun, making it easier to find a rental car that matches your budget and needs.

I particularly recommend them for their cancellation policy. With Discover Cars, you can usually cancel your booking for free up to 48 hours before pickup time – a much more generous policy than most platforms. However, it’s important to always read the specific terms and conditions of your rental agreement, as policies vary depending on the rental company and the rate you choose.

Pros and Cons of a Rental Car

✅ Renting a car gives you ultimate freedom, and it’s especially useful if you plan on going on day trips in the Yucatan Peninsula, or visit some Mayan ruins in the area. It allows you to visit as many attractions as you want, and go at your own pace.

❌ Parking in most towns along the Riviera Maya can be incredibly difficult. You should check with your hotel to make sure they offer free parking and also do some research on the parking options at the attractions you want to visit.

❌ There has to be a designated driver in your group for when you go out at night to have fun. Even if you rent a car, you might need to take a taxi at night to go and come back from a party – which is what my friends and I did!

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

⚠️ Unfortunately, car rental scams are pretty frequent at the Cancun Airport and in many places in Mexico. These are a few you should be on the lookout for:

▶️ A frequent scam is charging you unreasonably high fees for damage to the vehicle when you’re returning it. The damage can be minor scratches that were in the car even before you took it, so it’s important to take pictures of the vehicle as soon as they give it to you.

▶️ Another common scam is requiring you to purchase insurance. They might tell you that buying insurance is mandatory, however, it is NOT. If you have credit card travel insurance, you absolutely don’t need to buy the insurance they offer.

They can get very pushy, though, and if they keep insisting after you’ve said no you’re better off finding a different agency at the airport (although last-minute prices can be crazy, which is why it’s highly recommended to book your car online, which has no hidden charges).

Check out further tips for renting a car in Mexico: 

  • Have your valid driver’s license with you all the time. You should also carry your passport with you, or at least a copy of it.
  • Carry your rental agreement with you at all times.
  • Carry a copy of your insurance as well.
  • Driving in Mexico is on the right side.
  • Always drive within the speed limit.

OTHER WAYS TO GET TO RIVIERA MAYA FROM CANCUN AIRPORT (Not Recommended)

There are a few more options to travel from the Cancun Airport to your hotel in Riviera Maya, and while I feel you have a right to know all the alternatives, I do not recommend these in particular.

Bus

I usually always recommend the bus as well, since the routes in Mexico are plentiful and the buses are generally comfortable. However, for this route, it is not an option.

This is because you’d have to take a bus to Playa del Carmen, the closest city to Riviera Maya, and then a taxi to your Riviera Maya hotel, so it doesn’t really make sense.

Taxi

While you could also take a taxi at the airport for Mayan Riviera, I don’t recommend it. You’d have to haggle quite hard to get a fair price, and sadly scams are pretty frequent. Pre-booking your own Cancun transportation to Riviera Maya is much safer, and it’s many times even cheaper than a taxi.

Uber

As of 2023, Uber is legal in Cancun. However, Uber drivers are not allowed inside Cancun Airport, which means your ride won’t be able to pick you up. Instead, you’ll have to walk outside of the airport (which can be quite uncomfortable with your luggage) and have a SIM card with internet access to book your car.

👉 Even then, drivers might not be available when you want them, which is why I recommend pre-booking your private transfer.

HOW TO GET FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO RIVIERA MAYA FAQs

How much is a taxi from Cancun airport to Riviera Maya?

The price of a taxi from Cancun to Rivera Maya will depend on your exact destination, but approximately the cost ranges from 80 USD to 150 USD. 

How long is the Cancun airport to Riviera Maya transfer? 

Since the Riviera Maya is an area, not a single destination, the private transfer from Cancun Airport can take anywhere between 35 minutes (to Puerto Morelos) to 1.45 hours (Akumal), depending on where you’re going.

What airport do I fly into for Riviera Maya Mexico?

The nearest airport to Riviera Maya is Cancun International Airport. Unlike what many people think, there’s not a Riviera Maya airport where you can fly into.

Is there a bus from Cancun to Riviera Maya?

If you want to travel from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya by bus, you can take the ADO service to Playa del Carmen station (5th Ave. and Juarez Ave.), and from there, take a taxi to your final destination. 
The first ADO bus departs at 8.30 AM and there’s one approximately every hour until 10.25 PM. The ride takes around 1.5 hours, and for a single ticket you’ll pay $18 at the time of writing. Unfortunately, there are no direct buses to Riviera Maya.

Is Cancun in Riviera Maya?

No, it’s not in the Riviera Maya, but it’s close to the area. If you’re wondering how far is Cancun from Riviera Maya, it’s located around 23 miles north of Puerto Morelos and 65 miles from Akumal. 

How far Is Riviera Maya from Cancun Airport?

The Riviera Maya is an area in the Yucatan Peninsula situated south of Cancun. Its northernmost town, Puerto Morelos, is 16 miles (27 km) from Cancun, while the southernmost town, Akumal, is 58 miles (94 km) from the city.

  • 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.