There are several transportation options available in Playa del Carmen: driving, walking, biking, ADO buses, colectivos, ferries, and taxis.
How to Get Around Playa del Carmen
- Driving: Driving is the most common way to get around playa del carmen and to other parts of mexico. As a tourist, you can choose to drive yourself around playa del carmen by renting a car (Rent Here!) or you can use the public taxis and ado buses.
- Walking: Playa del Carmen is a small town, and most of its tourist attractions are located on the coast where the hotel zone is, so it’s easy to explore on foot. Even the magnificent Xplor Park is just three miles away, which is a walkable distance. The touristic places in Playa del Carmen are safe both by day and by night, but we recommend that you avoid the backstreets during the night. The town’s walking safety index for daytime is quite high, but it’s only moderate for nighttime. To visit nearby attractions such as Mayan ruins in Tulum (that’s 40 miles away) or visiting Cozumel (which is an island), your feet won’t be much help (unless you can walk on water).
- Cycling: Playa del Carmen is a bicycle-friendly town with dedicated lanes and its own bike rental application: Biciplaya. You just need to install the app, sign up, and choose a rental plan. Then you can cycle to many nearby places. Biking on the highway, on the other hand, is dangerous because there are no lanes dedicated to cyclers.
- ADO Buses: To get to Tulum, Cancun, and any place in between, ADO buses are a comfortable and relatively affordable option. The ticket prices are usually around $10-$15, and these vehicles have wi-fi, air-conditioning, and fairly comfortable seats.
- Colectivos: Colectivos are white minivans that circle from Cancun to Tulum and back. They also make pit stops at Playa del Carmen. Colectivos are not as comfy as ADO buses, and they only accept Mexican pesos, but they’re the most affordable public transportation option in Playa del Carmen. A ride costs 12 to 50 Mexican pesos, which roughly equals $0.7 to $3.
- Ferries: The only way to visit Cozumel from Playa del Carmen is by ferry. Ultramar and Winjet are the two companies that offer ferry rides from playa del carmen. The adult tickets cost 290 pesos ($17) while tickets for minors are 230 pesos ($13) in Ultramar and $11 in Winjet. The ferry ride takes about an hour.
- Taxis: You’ll find lots of taxis in Playa del Carmen and within the town, the fare is usually about two US dollars, which is sensible. But leaving town to visit an attraction nearby will cost you more than $10. A trip to Cancun or Tulum can reach and even surpass $70.
Transporting from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen
The easiest way to get to Playa del Carmen by air travel is by booking a flight to Cancun International Airport. This airport is only 34 miles away from Playa del Carmen, which equals about an hour’s drive.
From Cancun airport, you can get to your hotel/destination in playa del carmen by booking an airport car transport service or you can also rent a private car from cancun airport.
If you don’t want to rent a car, there are other options to get to Playa del Carmen:
- Taxis: The Cancun airport has its own taxi stations. If you reserve a cab before your flight, you might get a discount. While the regular fare to Playa del Carmen is $70, the discount price is about $45.
- ADO Buses: Autobuses de Orienté (ADO) are comfortable buses that have wi-fi and air-conditioning. They go from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen. The ride lasts one hour and fifty minutes but it only costs $13.5, making it the cheapest way to get to Playa del Carmen. Keep in mind that you should book your tickets beforehand because the tickets are usually sold out in advance.
- Cancun Airport Hotel Transportation: A pre-arranged hotel transfer from the airport to Playa del Carmen is the most expensive way of transport, but it’s also the most comfortable. If you’re traveling as a group and have a lot of luggage, it’s ideal. Shared hotel transfer prices might be around $30-$40 per person. Private transfers might reach up to $300 depending on your vehicle preference.