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.
In fact, the Riviera Maya is a long stretch of beachfront resorts that goes all the way from Puerto Morelos to the north of Tulum, and includes the town of Playa del Carmen.
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, which is Riviera Maya’s northernmost town, is 16 miles (around 25.6 km) from Cancun Airport. Whereas Akumal, 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.
There are several means of transportation that depart the airport for Riviera Maya. Each of them varies in terms of convenience, length of travel, and cost.
I usually always recommend the bus as well, bus routes in Mexico are plentiful and the buses are generally comfortable. However for this route, the bus 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.
➤ BEST FOR CONVENIENCE: Private transfer
➤ BEST FOR QUALITY FOR PRICE: Shared shuttle
➤ BEST FOR GOING ON DAY TRIPS: Car rental
Book a Private Transfer from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya
If you’re looking for a hassle-free option, your best bet is booking a private Cancun Airport transfer 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.
➤ 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.
The classic private airport transfer to Riviera Maya for 1-3 passengers goes from $45 for transportation to Puerto Morelos, to $95 for transportation to Akumal. The round-trip transportation costs from $79 to $149. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ Want to travel in a more fashionable way? Then get the luxury service, which takes up to 6 passengers in a Suburban type vehicle to make your ride extremely comfortable.
The prices go from $90 to Puerto Morelos to $190 to Akumal, and $160 – $325 for roundtrip transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you’re traveling with a large group of people, your best option is the group transfer which accommodates up to 16 passengers in an insured, air-conditioned van.
The single trip to Puerto Morelos costs $79, and to Akumal it costs $160. Roundtrip transportation goes from $155 to $270. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
⚠️ 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.
Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos
To get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:
➤ 45 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (79 USD for round trip)
➤ 90 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (160 USD for round trip)
➤ 79 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (155 USD for round trip)
Cancun Airport to Playa Paraiso
To get from Cancun Airport to Playa Paraiso, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:
➤ 55 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (89 USD for round trip)
➤ 110 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (190 USD for round trip)
➤ 89 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (165 USD for round trip)
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:
➤ 70 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (125 USD for round trip)
➤ 140 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (250 USD for round trip)
➤ 120 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (220 USD for round trip)
Cancun Airport to Puerto Aventuras
To get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Aventuras, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:
➤ 79 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (135 USD for round trip)
➤ 158 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (279 USD for round trip)
➤ 140 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (240 USD for round trip)
Cancun Airport to Akumal
To get from Cancun Airport to Akumal, the prices at the time of writing are as follows:
➤ 95 USD for one-way private service for up to 3 passengers (149 USD for round trip)
➤ 190 USD for one-way luxury service for up to 6 passengers (325 USD for round trip)
➤ 160 USD for one-way group service for up to 16 passengers (270 USD for round trip)
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, being one of the cheapest transportation options.
▶️ The shared transfer from Cancun Shuttles (for 2+ people) is insured and air-conditioned, and it leaves the Cancun airport for Riviera Maya, Mexico, every hour. You’ll be met at the airport by the English-speaking staff and taken to your hotel’s main entrance or lobby.
The cost of the shared service to the Riviera Maya from Cancun Airport goes from $25 per person to Puerto Morelos, to $35 per person to Akumal and Tulum. You can see all the prices per destination in the chart below.
👉 The shared shuttle can’t be booked for a round-trip service, so make sure to select ‘‘One way – Airport to Hotel’’ to make the trip from Cancun to your resort in Riviera Maya. If you want to book your return transfer in advance, you can make a separate reservation from the Riviera Maya to Cancun Airport choosing the ‘‘One way – Hotel to Airport’’ option. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
⚠️ The company recently changed its policy – as of December 2022, the shared shuttle can only be booked by 2 people or more. The service is NOT AVAILABLE anymore to solo travelers.
▶️ If you’re a solo traveler, I found another good shared transfer service for you that you can book for just one passenger.
The Shuttle Transportation is a shared van that takes passengers from the airport to their hotel in the Riviera Maya. It’s very affordable, and the only public transportation available for solo travelers.
While the shuttle service is very convenient for travelers on a budget, its downside is that it makes multiple stops along the way as passengers drop off at different hotels, so it can make your travel time much longer than usual. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
👉 If you’re 3 or more passengers, booking the shuttle is more expensive than getting a private transfer, which will take you directly to your hotel without any stops. Book here a private transfer instead.
Rent a Car at Cancun Airport
Another great alternative to make the Cancun-Riviera Maya trip is renting a car at the airport.
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 Yucatan Peninsula, like the world-renowned ruins of Chichen Itza, the beaches at 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 booking it online prior to your arrival to the country, so you get a better deal and avoid a confrontation with the rental companies’ staff. I generally use RentalCars to compare prices from all the major companies and get the best deal possible.
Depending on the vehicle you choose, the rental price will vary. Check below how much it would cost you to rent a car in Mexico in the search box below.
⚠️ Unfortunately, car rental scams are pretty frequent at the Cancun Airport and in many places in Mexico.
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 that you take pictures of the vehicle as soon as they give it to you. Especially of any damage it may have, to save as proof that those scratches are not on you!
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.
How to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya – FAQ
The price of a taxi from Cancun to Rivera Maya will depend on your exact destination, but approximately the cost ranges from 40 USD to 80 USD.
Since the Riviera Maya is an area, not a single destination, the transfer time will depend on where in the Riviera Maya you’re going. The distance from Cancun airport to Riviera Maya goes from 16 miles for Puerto Morelos to 57 miles for Akumal.
The nearest airport to Riviera Maya is Cancun International Airport.
If you want to travel from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya by bus, you can take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen bus station (5th Ave. and Juarez Ave.), and from there, take a taxi to your final destination.
The first ADO bus departs at 9.25 AM and there’s one every 2 hours approximately until 11.45 PM. The bus ride takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and a single ticket costs 208 MXN at the time of writing. This is the best way to get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya if you have a tight budget.
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.