Wondering how you can get from Playa del Carmen to Chichén Itza? In this post, we will be providing all the information you been to visit one of the world’s seven wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Site, including all the available options.
If you’ve never been to Chichen Itza, you should definitely visit this amazing archaeological site that is rich in history. While exploring the ruins, you can learn about the ancient legends of the “water witches” of the Yucatan peninsula and their sacred cenote, as well as human sacrifices and incredible pyramids. Whether you’re planning a full-day tour or just a 3-hour visit, I’ve got all the information you need!
If you want to drive to Chichen Itza, you can take the 305 Highway that links Playa del Carmen to the 180 Highway. This is the road that leads to Chichen Itza ruins. Keep in mind that both highways are toll roads, and the round trip will cost you 350 pesos (equivalent to $18 at the time of writing).
Please note that toll fees are only payable in Mexican Pesos, therefore ensure that you have enough cash with you. Please be informed that US dollars or credit cards will not be accepted.
If you don’t want to pay any toll fees, there is an alternate route to Chichen Itza that is free. However, it will take around 35 minutes longer. To take this route, you should take the 307 Highway to Tulum, then go to Valladolid, and finally take the 180 Highway to Chichen Itza. The total driving time for this route will be 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Driving to Chichen Itza is possible. If you are renting a car, it’s recommended to book online to avoid scams. Be aware of tourist scams when renting a car in Mexico. Some might try to convince you to pay for mandatory insurance, which is not really mandatory. If you have travel insurance or credit card travel insurance, you don’t need to pay for any other insurance.
To avoid getting charged for pre-existing damages or scratches when renting a car, take pictures of the vehicle before using it as proof. If renting a car at Cancun Airport, give yourself plenty of time to return it to avoid being scammed into paying extra fees when rushing to catch a flight.
If you’re traveling solo or interested in exploring the nearby cenotes and attractions in addition to the ruins, it’s a good idea to consider one of the many Chichen Itza Tours available from Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.
Join the full-day Chichén Itzá, Valladolid, and Cenote Tour to explore the Mayan ruins with the help of a knowledgeable guide. You’ll learn about the history of the most populous city in the Yucatan Peninsula and visit a nearby cenote. The tour ends with a delicious buffet meal, and you will enjoy a pleasant walk around Valladolid, a charming colonial city nearby. Pick up and drop-off from your Hotel are included as well.
Book a Private Transfer to Chichen Itza
If you don’t want to drive from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza but still want the convenience of your own transportation vehicle, you can arrange a private transfer. A personal driver will be assigned to collect you from your resort or hotel and transport you to the ruins.
During the journey, your driver will provide information about the history of the mayan site and answer any questions you may have. You can select your pickup time, but keep in mind that the trip takes more than 2 hours, so it is recommended to leave as early as possible to avoid crowds.
At Chichen Itza, you have the option to explore at your leisure or hire a guide to learn about the pyramids. When you’re ready to leave, your driver will be available to take you either to nearby cenotes or the city of Valladolid for the remainder of the day.
By ADO Bus
To save money when traveling from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza, take the only available ADO bus for this route, which departs from the ADO station on 5th Avenue at 8:10 AM. The cost of the ticket is currently $33, and the journey takes about 3.5 hours. Remember that there is only one bus available for the return trip, departing from Chichen Itza at 4 PM. Don’t forget to keep track of time!
If you don’t want to be stressed during your holiday due to time constraints, consider taking the ADO bus to Valladolid instead. You can also spend the night in this very charming colonial city and visit the pink lakes of Las Coloradas the following day before returning to Playa del Carmen.
You can take colectivos (shared vans) from the ADO station located nearby to get to Chichen Itza. The ride will take around one hour. Once you’ve explored the ruins, you can also walk around the city or visit the amazing cenotes in Valladolid. If you’re planning to visit Chichen Itza independently, make sure you purchase tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line and gain faster access to the site.
Take A Taxi
While you can take a taxi to Chichen Itza, it is not recommended as it can be very expensive. If you do choose to do so, you should agree on the price with your taxi driver before beginning your trip. We recommend you ask your hotel for a recommended taxi driver and to confirm the amount of time you will spend at Chichen Itza and the price prior to departure.
Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza FAQ
Is Chichen Itza worth it?
Chichen Itza is definitely worth visiting. It’s a New 7 Wonder of the World and a UNESCO Heritage Site. It was built on the 6th century AD and was for a brief time one of the most important mayan cities in pre-Columbian times. Kukulcan, the main pyramid, is legendary. If you’re in Yucatan or Quintana Roo state, be sure to set aside a full day to visit Chichen Itza.
Is Chichen Itza closer to Playa del Carmen or Cancun?
Chichen Itza is located closer to Playa del Carmen than Cancun. The distance between Chichen Itza and Cancun is 197 kilometers.
Is it safe to drive to Chichen Itza from Playa del Carmen?
Driving in the Riviera Maya, a popular tourist destination in Mexico, is usually safe. The roads leading from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza are well-maintained and the travel time to reach there is just over 2 hours.
How much does the toll road cost from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza?
To reach Chichen Itza from the Mayan Riviera quickly, you can take two toll roads that cost 350 pesos each way (approximately 18 dollars).
How long is the bus ride to Chichen-Itza from Playa del Carmen?
It takes approximately 3 hours by bus to travel from Playa del Carmen.
What are some good stops on the way to Chichen Itza?
I recommend visiting Chichen Itza first to enjoy the archaeological site before the large crowds arrive. After your visit, you can explore the incredible nearby locations, such as swimming in Cenote Ik Kil or taking a dip in Cenote Zaci in the colonial city of Valladolid.
What is the closest airport to Chichen Itza?
Merida International Airport is the nearest airport to Chichen Itza.
How far is Playa del Carmen from Chichen Itza?
It takes about 2.5 hours to drive 183 kilometers (112 miles) from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza.
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
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🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com 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!
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🚙 CancunAirport 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.
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