Playa del Carmen Airport : Everything you need to know
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Mexico is an ideal vacation spot in Central America, the Riviera Maya region is stunning and Playa del Carmen stands out amongst the most visited cities in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Spend your days luxuriating on the beach, or in a cenote, browsing through chic shops in the afternoons, and dancing to upbeat music at night – what’s not to love in this destination?
The most convenient way of getting here is by plane so you can quickly get ready for a truly remarkable experience! If you’re arriving in Playa Del Carmen Mexico for the first time, you may be wondering which Playa den Carmen airport is best suited for your needs.
From which airport do you fly into Playa Del Carmen?
Fortunately, there are two international airports nearby as well as a local one in town! Here’s an overview of what makes each airport unique and how to seamlessly fly to and transfer from them into the city center.
When traveling to Playa del Carmen, most travelers select the Cancun Airport. Cancun International Airport is a highly busy airport with over 20 million people passing through each year and multiple daily flights available. On the other hand, Cozumel has an alternate international airport but with scarce international and domestic flight options and requires passengers to take a ferry back onto land; hence making it difficult for reliable access throughout the year. With significantly more services and destinations throughout, Cancun Airport has become the go-to port of air entry for travelers. It is by far one of the most preferred airports in Mexico. Continue reading for more detailed tips and insights.
Playa del Carmen Airport
Did you spot the small airport in town while searching on Google Maps? Playa del Carmen Airport (PCM), is a small public airport in the Riviera Maya region in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. That’s right – Playa del Carmen Airport is tiny in size making it suitable for accommodating very few flights and passengers via landings with helicopters and skydiving. Sadly, there are no international flights or even long domestic flights departing from Playa del Carmen Airport. Therefore, you can’t fly to Playa del Carmen Airport and your primary options remain Cancun Airport and Cozumel Airport.
Let’s make this easier by telling how those two aiports differ:
Cozumel Airport: The Closest International Airport to Playa Del Carmen
When it comes to travel, the little details can make a huge difference. Cozumel Airport (CZM) is the closest airport to Playa del Carmen (just 18.6 Km from Playa Del Carmen), yet flights into Cancun Airport typically cost significantly less than those into Cozumel Airport. In addition to cheaper flights, getting to your destination from Cozumel Airport requires taking two separate taxis and a ferry ride – not exactly convenient!
The trip between Cozumel Airport and Playa del Carmen is estimated to take an hour and forty minutes. You may likely have to switch between two or three modes of transport, including a ferry depending on the weather conditions (which fortunately are rarely a deterrent since they run daily and almost without fail).
Cancun International Airport: The Most convenient Playa Del Carmen International Airport
If you are searching for an economical and cheaper flight to Play del Carmen, then Cancun Airport is by far your best option (google maps). It might not be the closest airport to Playa, but it serves a wide range of airlines and flights at much more competitive prices than other airports in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Moreover, it only takes 50 minutes by from Cancun International Airport (CUN) to reach Playa Del Carmen; 34 miles km (55 km). Cancun Airport provides more convenient options for getting from one place to another; whether it’s your hotel or wherever else you’re staying.
Whether in pesos or dollars, cash and credit card payments are widely accepted by most private transportation and taxi companies (no uber in playa del carmen). For those looking for more autonomy during their visit to Playa del Carmen, pick up a rental car; just make sure that all paperwork is readily available when meeting with representatives! To make sure you have an enjoyable and effortless journey, simply follow local signs on roads throughout the area – yes…it’s as simple as that!
Transportation options from Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen
Cancun Airport offers a variety of transportation options, ranging from slow local buses to the more convenient taxis lining up around the airport (uber is not available in Cancun). If you are with a group of people and want to get to your rental swiftly, then taking a taxi is an ideal choice for you. Additionally, many accommodations provide their clients with shuttle services (free or for a small fee) that picks them up from the airport and takes them directly to the hotel. Before you arrive at your hotel, reach out to the hotel staff and ask what is required so you can catch their shuttle. You may need advanced notice or they could have a regular route that passes by every once in a while. Whichever option it is, make sure you are prepared ahead of time for seamless transportation when your flight lands!
For flights arriving to Cancun Airport you have the following choices to get to Playa del Carmen:
Car rental and drive to Playa del Carmen
Private transfer to Playa del Carmen
Shared shuttle service to Playa del Carmen
ADO public bus service to Playa del Carmen
Taxi to Playa del Carmen (Uber service to Playa del Carmen location is not available)
Transportation Options to Playa del Carmen Mexico
Recommended option: Private transfer to Playa del Carmen
Best option is to book a private transfer to your desired destination or hotel beforehand. No need to worry about being combined with other passengers or waiting around for an unorganized taxi service – once you reserve, your driver will be ready and waiting at your arrival terminal.
Elevate your airport transfer experience with a few pre-booked luxuries. Enjoy the convenience of having drinks like soda, juice, wine or beer available as soon as you arrive. For only $35 USD it’s certainly worth considering!
Car Rental to Playa del Carmen
If you are staying in an all-inclusive hotel and only plan to go out of town for a few days during your weeklong trip, rent a car to enjoy what Yucatan Peninsula has to offer. However, if you want to save money and enjoy the convenience of having someone else do the driving for you, we recommend considering booking private transfers instead.
Shared shuttle to Playa del Carmen
These convenient shuttle services provide shared rides between the Cancun International Airport and hotels – a great option if you’re looking for something comparable to the ADO bus that won’t leave you stranded for hours at the bus station. To ensure that one of the shuttle services is there waiting for you, booking in advance is required and recommended!
ADO bus to Playa del Carmen
ADO is the only public type of transportation that provides large buses to cities such as Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. For those traveling alone or looking for a more affordable choice, this can be an ideal option; however, it’s not necessarily suitable if you’re staying in a resort/hotel located far away from the bus station – since taking a cab will add travel time and costs. Additionally, although there are some limited buses heading towards Tulum and Puerto Morelos Mexico (along highways only), they aren’t available when traveling to town by the beach.
Note: there are many hotels located in the Playa Del Carmen area, but not all of them are close to town. To avoid any surprises or disappointments, make sure you double-check the map before going to the bus station and verify your hotel’s exact location!
Taxi / Uber to Playa del Carmen
Unfortunately, Uber is not yet available in the Riviera Maya. Taxis can prove similarly beneficial to private transfers for most travelers–but we highly recommend the latter! Booking a private transfer will secure you a set price with no haggling involved, plus you’ll be able to benefit from more space for yourself and your luggage when utilizing vans. As an additional bonus, booking round trips grants greater discounts.
The ultimate experience in Playa del Carmen is to wander around on foot, as the city’s best attractions are just a stone’s throw away from its stunning beaches. Unfortunately, you won’t find any public transportation services here; however, should you need to flee the main resort area for some peace and quiet, simply wave down one of the many taxis that roam the streets. If Cozumel Island has caught your interest too then don’t worry — there are ferries leaving every day!
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:
🏨 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!
✈️ 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.
🚙 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.
Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya region is served by two airports: Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and Cancun International Airport (CUN). Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Playa del Carmen, making it a great option for those looking to stay on the island and enjoy the beach. It’s only about 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen by ferry, so if you’re planning on spending most of your time in Playa del Carmen, booking tickets and flying into Cozumel can be a good option to start your trip. It offers flights to many destinations throughout Mexico and Central America as well as to Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
Alternatively, another good option is Cancun Airport is a major airport that is much larger than the Cozumel Airport and serves flights from all over the world to central america. Flights from North America are especially popular here since they are often cheaper than flying into Cozumel. However, Playa del Carmen is around a 1-2 hour drive away depending on traffic conditions, which could make it less desirable for most travelers who want to get right into Playa del Carmen upon arrival. If you choose this route though, there are many buses that leave from Cancun airport straight to Playa del Carmen for an affordable price.
Located only a stone’s throw away, the closest airport to Playa del Carmen is Cozumel (CZM) Airport which sits at 12.6 miles from the destination. Alternatively, Cancun (CUN), 31.6 miles away, is also an option for visitors looking to explore this Mexican paradise city!
Playa del Carmen airport is a small public airport in Mexico that services small planes, helicopters and skydiving flights. The Playa del Carmen Airport is connected to other parts of the city via bus services and taxi stands are strategically located just outside the arrivals hall for easy transfer from the airport. Playacar, Playa del Carmen’s private residential area is easily accessible from Playa del Carmen Airport by private shuttles and taxis that run frequently throughout the day to transport passengers from playa del Carmen Airport to their destination swiftly. Playa del Carmen Airport also provides parking facilities for both short and long-term stays at reasonable rates allowing travelers to park their vehicles at ease while they are away on holiday or business trip.
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