Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

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How to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

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Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

How can you get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen? While the airport is situated between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, it’s roughly a 55-minute drive from the center of Playa Del Carmen. To reach your destination, you can choose to take a bus, rent a car, or arrange a private transfer. Our guide outlines each option to help you determine the best way to travel between the airport and Playa Del Carmen. 

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🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


Your options for getting to Playa Del Carmen from the airport

1. Rent a car

If you are planning on exploring multiple locations and staying at a hotel that doesn’t offer all-inclusive amenities, renting a car might be the best option for you. At the airport, there are several car rental companies available, including some more affordable options located just outside the airport.

One recommended car rental company offers competitive prices for long term rentals and includes all required insurance for driving in Mexico. They will even provide transportation from the airport to their office.

 If you plan on renting a car for your stay in Riviera Maya for a week or more, you can take advantage of their complimentary airport pick up service. It is recommended to consider this option.

2. Private Transfer Van from the Cancun Airport

We recommend this option for most people as it is the best. If you want to reach your hotel quickly and avoid the hassle of driving, renting a car or negotiating with taxi drivers, this option is ideal. The costs can be similar to taking the bus if you’re traveling with your family. Additionally, private transfers are quicker than the ADO bus. Below we have provided the name of one of the most recommended transfer companies at Cancun International Airport.

  • By booking a round trip, you can save between $10 and $35 USD on transportation. This service is available for groups of one person or more. A bilingual driver will provide fully insured transportation exclusively for your group. You can be taken to any hotel or rental in the Riviera Maya and Cancun area. To view pricing and book your destination, click the provided link below.

3. Shared Shuttle to your hotel

We have another budget-friendly option for airport shuttle services that you might find useful. You can take a shared shuttle ride from Cancun Airport to your destination, whether it’s Playa Del Carmen or anywhere else you’re staying. This is the best option if you’re lodging outside of Playa Del Carmen and want to save on transportation costs. Unlike the ADO bus, this type of shuttle won’t only take you to the bus station.

The company offers small vans equipped with air conditioning and professional drivers. It’s important to reserve in advance to secure a seat. You can easily make a reservation by clicking on the “reserve now” button, which will direct you to the official shuttle booking website. Keep in mind that the company has 10 years of experience in the business.

5. Bus from the Cancun Airport

If you are traveling alone or have a hotel located near the bus station in Playa Del Carmen, taking an ADO bus is the best option. ADO bus company operates regularly from the airport and provides services to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. You can refer to the provided photos and detailed information to easily locate the service. It’s important to note that taking a taxi from the airport to destinations like Cancun or the Hotel Zone can be very expensive, so it’s best to avoid them unless you’re prepared to pay a lot of money.

Here is the website for ADO bus company’s schedules. Please note that they aim to follow the schedule, but there may be delays due to factors such as departing buses from the airport, traffic, and other considerations. However, there will not be a long wait for the next bus if you miss one. On the other hand, when going to the airport, they tend to follow the schedule fairly closely.

6. Most all inclusive resorts have transport included

If the option is to add this feature, please provide the cost comparison between booking a private transfer and using the resort’s transportation, which is often a large bus that requires waiting for all passengers to arrive.

While resort transportation incurs a fee, hiring a private driver to wait for you at the airport is an excellent way to begin your vacation and make your travel experience more comfortable. However, if you plan to take day trips and prefer the flexibility to come and go as you please, you may feel comfortable renting a car during your stay.

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ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

International flights usually arrive at Terminal 3 or Terminal 4 of the airport. Once you pass through immigration and customs, you will find yourself in a hall with rental car companies and tour booths. You can buy a ticket for ADO bus from their booth, but alternatively, you can go outside and buy the same ticket from the bus stand at the curb. Both terminals have bus stands inside and outside, where you can purchase tickets during the day.

Bus to Playa del Carmen: Cancun Airport Terminal 3 directions

If you go outside, you’ll notice many people holding signs and offering taxi services. However, ignore them and head towards your right. There you’ll see a Margaritaville Stand that sells drinks. Please don’t purchase anything here while waiting for the bus because they offer poor exchange rates and high prices. Keep going past the stand and you’ll see the red ADO stand with an attendant.

Take the exit at Terminal 3 and turn right. Follow the arrows to platform 1 & 2 where the current one-way ticket price is 225 Pesos. It is recommended to book only one-way as your return plans may change. They do accept USD, but don’t have change larger than a $20 bill. You will receive Pesos for change. Keep the ticket they give you throughout the journey in case it’s needed. Although the ticket may have a seat number, seating is open. The staff speaks some English. Refer to the attached photos.

For clarification, Platform 1 is for buses heading to Cancun, while Platform 2 is for Playa Del Carmen. The destination of the bus is usually displayed on a digital sign at the front. Upon arrival, passengers will be asked to stow their suitcases under the bus. There are no luggage tags provided, but security is not a major concern. The bus will only travel to Terminal 2, with a possible brief stop in Puerto Morelos before reaching Playa Del Carmen. If you’re worried, you can sit near the door and keep an eye on the luggage storage area.

Bus to Playa del Carmen: Cancun Airport Terminal 4 directions

Once you go through immigration and customs, you will leave the terminal. There are two exits available, one for friends and family, and the other for transportation pickups. For the bus, head left to exit for transportation. When you leave the building, continue walking down the sidewalk until you see the bus platforms. Look for the red ADO bus stand, and they will assist you in finding the correct bus to Playa Del Carmen.

Bus to Playa del Carmen: Cancun Airport Terminal 1 and 2 directions

In the event that your plane lands at Terminal 2 (check map provided below), due to airport congestion, here are some instructions you can follow. As you exit the terminal, make a right and proceed to walk the entire length of the building. You will then come across a security gate where the buses are parked. Simply request to be taken to the ADO and board the bus as directed. The same procedure applies as described above. For domestic flights landing at Terminal 2, you will exit from the center of the building and turn right, with less walking distance than if you arrive from an international flight. No new details have been added to this rewrite.


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If you arrive at Terminal 1 after taking a domestic flight to the airport, don’t worry since it is rarely used. You can easily find an ADO stop in front of the building for your convenience. This makes your transportation from the Cancun airport to the hotel much easier.

Bus from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen

The comfortable air-conditioned bus trip to the ADO bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue in Playa Del Carmen takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Please note that this is the only stop the bus makes in Playa Del Carmen and it does not go to the other bus station in the center of Playa Del Carmen when it arrives. However, when going to the Cancun Airport, the bus does pick up from both bus stations.

If you need to go to the airport for your departure, you can purchase a ticket at either of the ADO stations in Playa Del Carmen. The buses depart from the 5th Ave and Juarez station first, then stop at the 20th Street bus station before stopping at all the terminals at the airport. Keep in mind that if you are traveling to Terminal 4, it will add approximately 10 minutes to your travel time.

In case you mistakenly get off at the wrong terminal, there’s a free airport shuttle available every 20 minutes that runs between the terminals. Although the terminals seem to be nearby, it actually takes around 8 minutes to commute between them. Walking between the terminals is not recommended as directions aren’t well-marked, and you’d have to go outside through the parking lots. Taking a short taxi ride is a better alternative.

It is important to leave a one-hour buffer before your flight at Cancun Airport because they have strict check-in policies. Failing to do so may result in you having to search for and book another flight.


How Far Is Playa del Carmen From Cancun?

If you’re planning a trip to Playa del Carmen, you may be wondering how far it is from Cancun. It’s a common question for visitors to the Riviera Maya. After a long international flight, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next when you arrive in paradise. To help alleviate any stress, here is some information about getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun.

Quick Answer: How Far Is Playa del Carmen From Cancun?

The approximate distance from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is 42 miles (68 kilometers).

How Long Does It Take To Get to Playa del Carmen From Cancun?

The driving time from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is typically 50-60 minutes, depending on traffic. During our time living in Playa del Carmen, we frequently made the drive back and forth. It is a straightforward route once you get on the highway.

Quick Answer: How Far Is Tulum From Cancun?

Are you also considering traveling to Tulum from either Cancun or Playa del Carmen? Just so you know, Tulum is farther from Cancun International Airport than from Playa del Carmen. The distance you would need to travel from Cancun Airport to Tulum is approximately 73 miles (118 kilometers) and the travel time is around 1.5 hours.

Does Playa del Carmen Have An International Airport?

No, Playa del Carmen does not have its own international airport. If you’re looking to fly in, Cancun Airport is the closest option which is around a 50-minute drive away.

What Airport Do You Fly To Get To Playa del Carmen?

If you’re going to Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum, or Puerto Morelos, most international flights will land at Cancun International Airport (CUN). Cozumel International Airport is another option, but it’s on an island that’s a 30-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen.

Direct flights to Cancun Airport from destinations in the USA and Europe are readily available. The airport has been well-designed to cater to a diverse range of tourists.

Where Is Cancun Airport located?

When traveling to Playa del Carmen, the nearest major international airport is Cancun International Airport (CUN). It is situated in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, also referred to as the Riviera Maya. You can access picturesque coastal towns like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum through Cancun Airport.

Many people are surprised to learn that Cancun Airport is not located very close to downtown Cancun. In fact, it is about a 20-25 minute drive away. However, the airport is strategically situated south, near the main highway to Riviera Maya.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Playa del Carmen?

If you are looking for the best time to visit to Playa del Carmen, it is recommended to go during the shoulder months of April, May, August, and September. During these months, there are fewer crowds and lower prices, even though there may be a few days of rain. This is why we usually choose to visit popular tourist destinations during the shoulder season.

The months of November, December, and January are the busiest in Playa del Carmen, with great weather and ample sunshine. However, beach spots may be difficult to come by and 5th Avenue can be crowded, making navigation a challenge. During peak tourist months, traffic may also be an issue when driving along the Riviera Maya coast. Despite these factors, any time you choose to visit Playa del Carmen is sure to be enjoyable. The decision of when to go is entirely up to you.

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.