Looking for the best transportation from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, Mexico? Check out all the options you have to travel from Playa to Tulum (and viceversa Tulum to Playa del Carmen).
Playa del Carmen and Tulum are two of the most popular destinations in the Riviera Maya. They both have access to beautiful beaches, cenotes (check out the cenotes in Tulum and Playa del Carmen!), cultural attractions, and great food. Why not spending some time in each place, or at least taking a day trip to Tulum from Playa del Carmen?
READ ALSO: 30 Best Things to do in Tulum – The Ultimate Guide
Tulum and Playa del Carmen are only within an hour away from each other, and there are a few transportation options available. Check out how to get to Tulum from Playa del Carmen.
➤ BEST FOR COST: Colectivo (Shared Van)
➤ BEST FOR COMFORT: Private Taxi
Take a Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
The cheapest way for getting from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is via colectivo. A colectivo is like a minibus that you can share with other passengers for a cheaper price. Comfort varies from van van, but some come with air-conditioning and comfortable seats, some are more basic. If comfort is not the highest priority for you, this is a great option because it’s very cheap, especially if you are traveling alone or with just one other person.
The cost of riding a colectivo varies from your point of departure and destination, but the cost of the fare from Playa del Carmen to Tulum should be about 40-60 pesos per person.
You’ll find colectivos in Playa del Carmen at Calle 2 between 15th and 20th Avenue. If the colectivo to Tulum isn’t there, you can wait by the stand until the next one arrives. There is often a line to ride the colectivo, but no worries: if you don’t make the first one that arrives as another one will follow shortly. Get on, tell your driver where you are going, and pay when you get off. Simple as that.
Colectivos are usually available from as early as 5AM to as late as 11PM.
The colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (or viceversa Tulum Playa del Carmen) might take longer than the bus, up to 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on how many stops it makes along the way. If you are choosing this transportation option, leave early if you have to be somewhere at a set time.
A few tips when riding the colectivo:
- Make sure you bring small bills. This will make it easier to pay when you get off, most times the drivers won’t have change for big bills.
- It’s also recommended that you bring smaller bags. I’ve seen people traveling with big suitcases on colectivos, but they might not accept you on the van if it’s already pretty full, and if they let you you’ll have to keep the suitcase under your legs.
Travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by Private Taxi
The second and most convenient option to travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is via taxi. A private taxi is the most comfortable and hassle-free option to get to Tulum, but it’s also the most expensive one. If budget is not an issue, then it’s the way to go. You can relax during the ride as the taxi driver will be responsible for taking you from Playa del Carmen to Tulum door to door, and you won’t have to worry about directions or getting on the right colectivo.
The average taxi fare from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is approximately 600 MXN, approximately 30 USD at the time of writing. If you are 2-3 people, you can split the cost of taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum and you can all enjoy a comfortable ride.
The best way to get a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is to get your hotel to call one for you. They can find a legitimate taxi company to pick you up at your hotel, which adds to the convenience of choosing this transportation option.
An important reminder when hiring a private taxi to get to Tulum is that taxis are often not metered (or they are, but drivers don’t want to turn it on). In this case, make sure you agree on a price with your driver before the departure, or ask the hotel concierge to help you with that if you don’t speak Spanish.
Take the ADO Bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
Another public transportation option that will get you from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is the ADO bus. This is a good option if you want a cheap option, but don’t want to take the colectivo.
Keep in mind, though, that the ticket for the ADO bus Playa del Carmen Tulum costs more than the colectivo, and departures are slightly less frequent. This is the recommended option for those who are traveling to Tulum with a big suitcase, in which case the bus is more suitable.
The cost of the ticket for the Playa del Carmen to Tulum bus is approximately 7 USD at the time of writing. There are many departures a day from Playa to Tulum. You can check out the current schedule on the ADO website (only in Spanish), but foreign credit cards don’t work to purchase tickets.
You can either buy tickets in person at any ADO station, or you can buy them online on GuateGo. BUY YOUR TICKET HERE
To take the ADO bus in Playa del Carmen, head to the bus station at 5th Avenue and Benito Juarez (also called Terminal Turistica). There are actually two stations in Playa del Carmen, so make sure to check which station is your hotel closer to.
Rent a Car in Playa del Carmen
If you’re up for driving in Mexico, renting your own car can be the best way for getting to Tulum from Playa del Carmen. This is especially true if you’re planning to go on a few day trips from Tulum (and you should!). When you drive your own car, you can visit as many attractions as you want and go at your own pace. It gives you more freedom to explore the Riviera Maya and Yucatan.
The average rental cost per day in Playa is anywhere from 17 to 35 dollars a day for a medium car (four-door sedan).
I usually use Rentalcars.com to book a rental car in advance. This search engine compares all the major rental cars companies. Check out here below rates and availability for rental cars from Playa del Carmen:
One of the downsides of driving your own car rental is parking, which is difficult to find in Tulum Beach. If you are planning to rent a car during your time in Tulum, make sure you check with your hotel if they offer free parking. It also pays to do your research on parking options where you need to go.
Also, if you’re renting a car, you might still want to take a taxi at night when you want to go partying, or you’ll have to select a designated driver.
How To Travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum Ruins
Are you heading from Playa del Carmen to the Tulum Ruins for the day? Going to the ruins rather than Tulum town is just slightly different, as the Tulum ruins are located a 15 minutes drive from the town.
➤ If you’re traveling by private taxi or rental car, nothing changes.
➤ If you’re traveling by colectivo, make sure you tell the driver to stop at the ruins (in Spanish it’s “las ruinas de Tulum”), otherwise it probably won’t stop and you’ll have to take a taxi from Tulum town. Not convenient.
➤ If you want to take the bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum ruins, keep in mind that there are a few buses a day that travel directly to the Tulum ruins. At the time of writing, they depart at:
• 9 AM
• 10.50 AM
• 11.50 AM
and the buses from the Tulum Ruins to Playa del Carmen to go back are at:
• 12.10 PM
• 13.10 PM
• 15.25 PM
• 17.25 PM
I suggest to check out the current schedule. The ADO website is only in Spanish and doesn’t allow purchases with foreign credit cards, so you can use GuateGo instead. BOOK YOUR BUS HERE
➤ You’d rather go on a tour to the Tulum ruins? Check out the Tulum and Dos Ojos Cenote Half-Day Tour. You can find millions of Tulum tours from Playa del Carmen, but this one has great reviews. On this tour, after being picked up from your hotel in Playa del Carmen, you’ll go on a guided visit of the Tulum ruins, then you’ll have some free time at the beautiful beach in front of the ruins, and you’ll end the tour with a swim at the breathtaking Cenote Dos Ojos. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
How To Get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum – Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Playa del Carmen from Tulum?
The distance from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is 65 kilometers (40 miles). It takes approximately 1 hour to drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum.
Is there a bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?
Yes, there are many departures a day of ADO buses from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Check the section about buses above for the Playa del Carmen to Tulum bus schedule.
How much is a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?
A taxi to Tulum will cost approximately 60 MXN, about 30 USD at the time of writing.
… and it’s a a wrap! Hopefully this info is useful for you to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. I have lots of other content about Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the Riviera Maya so make sure to check out my most popular articles to plan your trip in the area.
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