How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

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In this guide, I’m going to share with you the different options you have for traveling between Cancun airport and Playa Del Carmen. Having lived in Playa Del Carmen and been a regular visitor to the Riviera Maya I’ve traveled to and from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen more times than I can remember.  

If you are planning on traveling back from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport it’s much the same, although getting a taxi is much cheaper! So you can just reverse all of the advice in this post.

I also wrote a guide to help you get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum you can red here of if you need to get from Cancun to Tulum, read this.

How far is Playa Del Carmen from Cancun airport?

It’s just over 55km in distance from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen and it generally takes around an hour, depending on the traffic. It’s a very easy drive along the main road and even traveling on the Cancun to Playa del Carmen bus really doesn’t take long.

How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

These are the best ways to travel from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen

Adventures in Mexico | How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

Charter a Private Air Transfer

Want to save time and not on a budget? Then you can charter a private flight transfer through Fly Cozumel who runs routes to all of the major destinations in the Riviera Maya. To get a quote for a private flight from Cancun to Playa del Carmen Click here.

Take the ADO bus to Playa Del Carmen

Using the ADO bus is just so cheap and easy in all honesty it’s always my first option when I need to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen. Once you arrive at the airport just ask for directions or follow the signs to the ADO bus station within the airport. You can either buy your ticket inside, if the booth is open, otherwise, you can buy your ticket outside before you board the bus. Be aware that you can only pay by card at some of the ADO bus stands in Cancun airport. So to avoid added stress make sure you take some cash out at the airport or have some USD on you as they will accept USD or Pesos, just not cards! The ADO buses from Cancun airport to Playa run every 30 minutes and the cost is 190 pesos (around $10). This makes taking the bus from Cancun airport the best choice for anyone on a budget.

The bus from Cancun airport to playa del Carmen runs from 8:30 am until 12:30 am. So if you are on an early or late flight this may not be the best option. It’s also worth remembering that you will be dropped off at the ADO bus stop in downtown Playa Del Carmen. That means if you have pre-booked your accommodation you may need to take a taxi there so don’t forget to add that on to your budget.

Get a Private Shuttle from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

If you want transportation from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen as quickly and easily as possible then I would recommend booking an airport transfer Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Be sure to do this well in advance online. By booking an airport transfer or private shuttle you will be saving money (compared with a taxi) and saving yourself time and stress (getting the bus). The driver will be there to greet you at the airport holding your name on a sign.  All of the shuttles are private so you won’t need to be waiting around for anyone. Each transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is slightly different. But as standard, you will be in a small minibus/ people carrier and will have AC. The driver will then drop you directly at your hotel or accommodation. 

The cost is around $50 each way. If there are a few of you this is a great option as it could end up cheaper than taking a taxi from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen or even the bus.

Cancun Airport Transportation by eTransfers is the company I often use. I personally choose to take a private transfer sometimes, especially when taking early morning flights, or if I have a lot of luggage. Or when I have family visiting then I always prefer to book a transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen for them as it saves so much stress for me and my family. It can be so stressful arriving in a new country when you don’t speak the language so if I’ve booked them a transfer I know everyone will arrive safe and stress-free!

Alternatively, you can book a Cancun airport transfer with my friend Vanessa from Turismo Channel. Send her a message via WhatApp and tell her I referred you for a special Claire’s Itchy feet price. She will do you a great deal on any tours and excursions you want to go on too! You can also fill out the form below and someone will get back to you within 24 hours to arrange your Cancun airport pickup.

Book now on Viator

Rent a car from Cancun airport

If you are thinking about hiring a car for your vacation/ trip then renting a car from Cancun airport is quick and easy. Be sure to book before you arrive to get the best deals. Also, be very careful about insurance. Even though most US Citizens have insurance through their credit cards, more often than not this doesn’t cover you in Mexico. So always get the extra insurance and check everything very carefully before taking the car. I wrote a whole blog post about renting a car you can read here. I highly recommend renting through Turismo Channel as the price you are quoted is the price you will pay. I’ve lost count of the number of horror stories I’ve heard from people being ripped off by the rental car companies at the airport. Send Vanessa a WhatsApp or fill out the inquiry form below and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.

Adventures in Mexico | How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

Get an airport taxi from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen

If you don’t do public buses and haven’t planned ahead and booked a shuttle or transfer then your only option is to take a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Be warned you will have to pay their inflated prices and the Cancun airport taxi drivers have a pretty bad rep. The cost of a taxi from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen can vary hugely as the taxi drivers are a law unto themselves. Expect to pay from 1500 pesos ($80) plus tip.

The more Spanish you can speak, the more likely you will get a better rate. I’ve managed to get them down to around $1200 before when I told them I was local and I’d rather get the bus. They like to tell tourists that the buses aren’t running, or the rental car places are shut, they will tell you anything to get you in their taxi! They will also often expect a tip on top of any fair you agree, so I strongly suggest that you skip getting a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and book a private shuttle instead. 

Taking a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport

If you want to take a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport things are very very different! A taxi will cost you a fraction of the price at around $600 pesos (just over $30 USD). There are several local taxi drivers who provide this service. I can personally recommend Pepe (WhatsApp +52 9841203695) and Raul (WhatsApp +52 9841658346) I know that Pepe speaks English, but I’m not sure about Raul. Maybe google translate just to be sure! 

Hotel Transfer to Playa del Carmen

If you have booked into a swanky resort for 5 days or more in Playa Del Carmen then the chances are that your Cancun airport transfer will be included in your booking. Yep, that’s right the hotel will send a driver to pick you up and provide you with a transfer from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen. this is ideal as it means you will get from the airport to Playa del carmen quickly and easily. Plus it will save you some cash, although do be sure to tip your driver. 10% -20% is the normal tip in the Riviera Maya.

Need a hotel close to Cancun Airport?

Here are my recommendations:

Boom Feel Hostel

If you are on a budget and need a place to sleep close to the airport then Boom Feel Hostel is the number one choice.

Villa Airport Prestige

If you are looking for a private hotel room close to Cancun airport my top pick is Villa Airport Prestige.

Final Thoughts

As you can see getting to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun airport is super easy, fast, and budget-friendly (unless you fly of course). Make sure you plan in advance if you want to do anything other than taking the ADO bus and you will be fine.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Cancun? Check out my accommodation guides.

Where to stay in Playa Del Carmen

Best places to stay in Cancun

Where to stay in Tulum

I also recommend booking one of these Airbnb’s in Playa del Carmen. They are all in great locations and are super reasonably priced. 

Budget Airbnb Studio on 5th Avenue

Stunning Studio Close To The Beach In Playa del Carmen

Cute Studio In Central Playa (close to 5th & the beach)

Stylish Apartment with Parking Close to the Beach

Downtown Playa del Carmen Apartment with Balcony and Rooftop Pool

How to get from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen

This post was proofread by Grammarly


Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • – I LOVE especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.