Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

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Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen - Best ways to get there

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Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Are you trying to figure out the best way to get from Cancun Airport and Playa Del Carmen? It’s a common query among tourists, and fortunately there are many options! The airport is approximately 55 minutes away from downtown Playa Del Carmen.

Thanks to the new 4 lane highway connecting them, you can quickly arrive at your destination by bus, private car or rental vehicle. Here in our guide we have highlighted all of these transportation choices so that you can choose the one that works with your travel needs. 


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:



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Here are your options for getting to Playa Del Carmen from the airport




Private Shuttle

~ 1 hour

$65 / shuttle

Rental Car

~ 1 hour

$25-35 / day

Shared Shuttle

~ 1.5-2.5 hours

$25 / person


~ 1.5 hours

$10 / person

Taxi Cab

~ 1 hours

$50-100 / taxi


~ 3 hours

$2-3 /person

Rent a car

If you’re planning on exploring while staying at a non-all-inclusive hotel, renting a car is the way to go. Not only that, but there are many economical rental companies available just outside of the airport – they’ll even pick you up from your arrival gate and take you to their office when needed!

If you want to make the most of your trip from Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen, renting a car is undoubtedly one of the best choices. You’ll have all the freedom to explore various locations on Yucatan Peninsula, including Chichen Itza and awe-striking pink lakes of Las Coloradas!

Although there are some drawbacks that come along with visiting Playa del Carmen, one of the most notable is parking in downtown. Before you decide to book a rental car for your trip, make sure to check if your hotel offers free parking! If not, then you can find paid self-parking spaces that range from 10 – 15 MXN per hour.

Don’t wait until the last minute to book your rental car; you’ll get a much better rate if you reserve ahead of time. I personally suggest utilizing for comparison shopping, as it searches all major companies for unbeatable rates ranging from 200 MXN to 800 MXN per day!

  • The expenses for your rental car will depend on the model you select (such as a sedan, SUV, or minivan). You can check out how much it would cost to rent a vehicle here and now. Nevertheless, be alert of popular scams that are often seen in Cancun Airport (just like in other places of Mexico) when choosing a rental company.
  • Before you rent a car in Mexico, be aware of the prevalent scams related to purchasing insurance. Car rental companies might try to push added insurance onto you that is not really necessary – especially if you are already covered by an existing policy or with credit card protection on your rentals. To dodge this issue altogether and ensure a seamless experience, look for other reputable car hire services available or book online prior to arrival. With plenty of options at hand, there’s no need to settle for any less than what you truly deserve!
  • Car rental companies in Mexico can often engage in fraudulent activity by charging for damage that may or may not have existed prior to your renting the vehicle. That’s why it is crucial you take pictures as evidence of pre-existing damages, including minor scratches. Before and after renting a car, make sure you carefully inspect its condition to protect yourself from any malicious schemes.

Private Transfer Van from the Cancun Airport

Without a doubt, the best option for most travelers is to pre-book one of the private transfer companies from Cancun Airport. Not only are they faster than ADO buses, but their prices can be comparable with bus fares if you’re traveling as a family – plus no driving or haggling with taxi drivers! We wholeheartedly recommend this route and you can read our review of Cancun Airport Transfers.

By reserving a round trip service, you’ll be eligible for savings up to $35 USD on transportation. Whether travelling solo or in a group, your ride is fully insured and each vehicle has both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking drivers available.

When traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, private transportation is not the least expensive option; yet it’s undoubtedly the most secure and expedient route. It bears mentioning that only approved taxis or legitimate companies are allowed to offer this service, as all airport transfers must be licensed for operation at the airport. So if you value your safety and comfort – go with a trusted source!

If you’re looking for the best form of transportation, I would highly suggest selecting private transportation with an established business. Not only is there someone holding a sign with your name outside the airport no matter how late it may be, but private travel has excellent rates that begin at 60USD and different kinds of services available without having to negotiate prices like taxis typically require. Plus, their service is extremely personalized and professional – all drivers are English-speaking guides!

Take a shared shuttle to your hotel

If you’re searching for a budget-friendly shuttle to Cancun Airport, check out this shared service from Playa Del Carmen. This mode of transportation is ideal if your hotel is outside the city and more affordable than an ADO bus since it’ll drop you off directly at your accommodation. So don’t worry about being stuck in transit for longer than necessary – with these shuttles, you’ll be enjoying your stay in no time!

These vans are equipped with air-conditioning, making them a cool and comfortable ride.

Bus service from the Cancun Airport

If you’re traveling solo or have a hotel in Playa Del Carmen near the bus station, ADO (pronounced AHH-DAY-OH) is your best bet for easy transportation from the airport. As an added bonus: taxis into Cancun or other areas are incredibly pricey from the airport so it’s better to skip those if possible!

To stay up-to-date with ADO bus schedules, the website is your go-to source. Even though they strive to stick to their schedule, delays may occur due to airport departures or other external factors beyond their control. Don’t worry if you miss one bus; there won’t be a long wait for the next one! On its way towards the terminal however, ADO buses tend to remain quite timely and efficient in sticking with their timetable.

When it comes to saving money while travelling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, ADO buses are the way to go. The service runs almost hourly and every 40 minutes between 8am – 10pm daily according to its schedule here. Though you can make your bookings online in advance, I recommend that you don’t since there’s always a chance of flight delays or cancellations.

Where is the ADO bus at Cancun Airport

  • Once you’ve finished going through customs, various booths offering car rentals and tours will be in sight.
  • ADO’s booth should be among them; if not visible, just ask around and someone should point it out to you. You have the option of purchasing your ticket there or directly on the bus itself!
  • In case there’s no agent around, you can take a direct route and head straight to the bus stop from the airport.
  • You’ll be able to buy your ticket on board – or if in doubt about where it is, seek help from knowledgeable tour reps who are waiting just outside for their passengers; they’ll show you exactly what direction to go!
  • ADO is by far the most cost-efficient way to travel from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen costing just 208 MXN pesos (roughly 10 USD).
  • With their modern buses equipped with air conditioning and televisions, the journey can be enjoyable for any traveler. However, it’s worth noting that these TVs often have poor quality films or soap operas in Spanish language playing loudly at a bone-chilling temperature.
  • For added peace of mind, buses feature secure luggage compartments underneath the bus and overhead storage for smaller items. However, I advise always keeping your personal belongings close at hand so you never have to worry about them walking away when not in sight.

Bus from Cancun International Airport to Playa Del Carmen

The duration of the trip is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in an air-conditioned bus that guarantees comfort. Upon arrival, you’ll be dropped off at the ADO bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue – this being the only stop it makes in Playa Del Carmen. However, when taking a ride from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, both terminals are serviced for pick up/drop off.

When it’s time to go back to the airport for your flight, ADO offers tickets from both their 5th Ave/Juarez station and 20th Street Station. The busses will take you directly to all terminals at the airport – with an additional 10 minute trip if you’re heading towards Terminal 4. So don’t worry about finding another way of getting there; let ADO do the work so that all you have left is enjoying your adventure!

Despite the close proximity of terminals, it is incredibly difficult to walk between them due to a lack of clear signage. If you find yourself needing to change terminals, hopping on the free airport shuttle that passes every 20 minutes is your best bet – though be aware that there’s an 8 minute transit time per terminal. Alternatively, paying for a short taxi ride would also guarantee easy navigation and convenience.

To ensure a smooth flight experience, please make sure to plan for an hour prior to your departure and confirm your check-in at the Cancun Airport before their cutoff time. Otherwise, you may have no choice but to purchase another flight ticket. To give yourself some extra assurance, try checking in online if available; that way you can quickly traverse through security without worrying about running late. Security lines rarely take more than 10 minutes!

We hope this article has been helpful to you. Are you looking for the best way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum? Check out our guide here! Have you already traveled between Cancun airport and Playa Del Carmen? If so, please share your tips with us in the comments below – we would be delighted to hear from you!


Is there a Playa del Carmen airport? 

For anyone looking to travel to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Cancun International Airport is the closest and most convenient airport option. Though there are no airports in the immediate area of Playa del Carmen itself, this bustling international hub provides easy access for those wishing to explore its beautiful beaches and culture.

Is Playa del Carmen in Cancun?

Absolutely not, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are two distinct cities.

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

The inviting city of Playa del Carmen is within reach, just 68 kilometers (38 miles) away from Cancun. Even closer, with a mere 55 kilometer (34 mile) journey from the airport to Playa del Carmen – you can be there in no time.

An excursion from Cancun International Airport to the famous Playa del Carmen can take around 45 minutes, while a car ride would add an additional fifteen.

How can I get from Downtown Cancun to Playa del Carmen?

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to make the journey from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, then taking a colectivo (shared van) is certainly your best bet. Prices are usually just a few dollars and these vans can be easily located by crossing the street opposite of ADO Bus Station in downtown Cancun. So if budget matters most to you on this trip – look no further than taking a Colectivo!

The bus is a great way to commute from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. The ADO bus runs more than 50 times a day, offering frequent departures every hour. To board the bus in Cancun, you can go downtown (Calle Pino, SM23, MZ56, Lt 1 y 2 Centro). Upon arrival at your destination in Playa del Carmen (5th Avenue with Juarez Avenue), you’ll step off at the ADO station – all for just 80 MXN ($4)!

To top it off, you can expect to pay roughly $40 for a taxi ride from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, which could even be cheaper with an Uber.

How much does the shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen cost?

Travel in the lap of luxury for only $27 per person (one way) when you book a Cancun to Playa del Carmen shared transfer. For those looking to save, our regular airport shuttle service costs just $19 per person (one way). See our “Shared Transfer” section above for more details and booking options.

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

Yes but with a big note! In 2019, Uber resumed its services in Cancun once again and can take you from the airport to Playa del Carmen for roughly 400 MXN (roughly 17 USD) with an UberX. Yet bear in mind that this is only a ballpark figure; it may be lower or higher depending on traffic conditions. To stay safe, double-check if rides are still available prior to your departure so as not to leave anything up to chance – remember that before this year Uber had been suspended here previously!

Unfortunately, there’s no Uber service in Playa del Carmen. So if you’re going to end up there, it’ll be best to ask your hotel receptionist to call a taxi for you. Also remember that the reverse route from Playa del Carmen back to Cancun is not serviced by UBER either – so plan ahead and book an alternative mode of transport!

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

If you want the most economical way to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, by far your best bet is taking an ADO bus. Unfortunately, colectivos (shared vans) are not available at the airport; however, there’s a very similar option which is more luxurious and pricier than regular colectivo – shared shuttle services.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.