How To Get From Playa del Carmen To Tulum

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In this post, I have outlined how the best way to get from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum. Traveling around Yucatan is generally safe and easy. If you can get used to public transport in the area it is also very inexpensive. If you need to get from Cancun airport to Tulum though, read this instead, and if you need to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, read this!

I love visiting Tulum, as much as Playa del carmen feel like home. Tulum has some of the best beaches, restaurants, and of course jungle parties. So if you are visiting the Riviera Maya that you really should make sure that you add a trip to Tulum to your Riviera Maya itinerary. 

Looking for a tour company in the Riviera Maya that won’t rip you off? Speak to my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel for the best prices on tours, excursions, and rental cars. If you tell her that Claire’s Itch Feet sent you she will give you a special discounted price on anything you buy through her. Send her a WhatsApp in English or Spanish.

Mexico and Guatemala Tours

If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen and want to get to Tulum the best way to do so is a colectivo. It may feel a little intimidating on your first trip but trust me it’s super easy, safe, and cheap. It helps if you know some Spanish. But there are always lots of tourists and backpackers on the colectivos, so don’t stress if you don’t. 

Tulum is pretty amazing, and there is plenty to do there. If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen, you should definitely visit Tulum at least once. There are three ways of getting to Tulum from Playa Del Carmen depending on your budget and your needs.

How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum:

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

If you are planning a trip right now then you NEED to think seriously about insurance. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! Travel insurance has always been high on the list of things to get before you travel but now more than ever it should be at the top of your list! I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So you need to find an insurer that covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, World Nomads, Safety Wing, or Travel Insurance Master are the ones to go for.

World Nomads is great for incidents that happen prior to your trip, so if you get sick or are unable to travel due to travel restrictions some of their policies will cover that as cancellation cover.

Safety Wing goes the extra mile and covers quarantine outside your home for up to 10 days, they also have a really handy map on their website showing requirements and restrictions for each country.

I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips as they are cheaper than World Nomads a lot of the time.

If you are doing shorter trips or a longer backpacking trip then WorldNomads or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for SafetyWing.

Take a Colectivo to Tulum from Playa del Carmen

The best way to get from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum is by colectivo. A colectivo is basically a minibus that shuttles people between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. These buses leave when they are full and they are almost always full quickly! They are cheap, rarely have AC, and you should aim to take a colectivo at least once while in Mexico.

How to take a colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum.

All of the colectivos in Playa del Carmen now leave from Juarez and the federal highway under the bridge. If you drive or walk up Juraz you will see them all parked up there. It used to be on Calle 2 but this changed during COVID 19 and it has;t changed back since. Just look out for signs on the minivans to Tulum or listen for someone shouting Tulum. If you want to go all the way to Tulum just tell the driver Tulum or if you want to stop someone on the way like one of the cenotes let him know and he will stop for you.

Hop on and take a seat. The prices are all fixed, and you will pay as you exit at your final destination. To get from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum, you will pay 45 pesos each way (prices as of January 2020). If your Spanish is not too good and this seems like a very stressful thing, I fully recommend booking a colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum with GuateGo so you can save yourself a little stress of not knowing if there will be enough space for you or how much cash you need.

To get back to Playa del Carmen from Tulum simply return to the colectivo drop-off point and look for a colectivo heading towards Playa or flag one down on the main road.


Take The ADO Bus from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum

Taking the ADO bus from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum is a good option and feels a bit less intimidating for many than getting on the colectivo.

On the ADO  bus, you will pay more and the busses are less frequent but if you don’t know any Spanish and/ or have a lot of luggage it’s easier. This is the better option if you have luggage because the colectivos are pretty small and it can be a pain in the ass if you have a lot of stuff. The cost of the ADO bus from Playa to Tulum is 63-90 pesos. it varies depending on how far in advance you book. If possible it’s always better to book a day or 2 before. Check out the prices with GuateGo.

Taking a Private Taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum

If you don’t do public transport, then you will need to take a taxi to Tulum, and it won’t be cheap!

Expect to pay around 600 pesos for a taxi to Tulum. If you decide to do this then you are better off asking your hotel to call the cab and check with them about the cost and explore other options. Taxis here are not metered so always fix the price before you leave. Never take a taxi from 5th Avenida if you flag one down walk out of the tourist zone a little and get one driving past. 

Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Rent a Car in Playa del Carmen

Your final option is to rent a car and drive yourself to Tulum. This actually isn’t a bad idea as Tulum is split into 3 areas and it’s not possible to walk between them as it is so far. Renting a car would give you a lot more freedom to explore Tulum, as taxis can be expensive. I never ever use the big rental car companies in Mexico, too many scams. Instead, I always rent from local companies. I work closely with Vanessa from Tourismo Channel and know that the price they quote is the price you pay, no scams (read this). If you want to get a quote from them you can send Vanessa a WhatsApp message by clicking here, or alternatively, complete the form below and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.

Failing that renting a bike is also an option when you arrive in Tulum and it is what I normally do as soon as I get off the colectivo!

Take a Private or Shared Shuttle From Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Of course you also have this option! I just wanted to make sure to cover all the options available in this post. You can check information about private and shared shuttles from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by clicking here.

Need somewhere to stay in Tulum?

I wrote a whole post to help you decide the best area in Tulum to stay with my recommendations depending on your budget. I also wrote a guide to the top boutique hotels in TulumWhere to stay in Tulum, and The Best Hostels in Tulum Mexico.

But if you are too lazy to read the full post, here are my top Airbnb picks! 

Studio near Tulum Town with Rooftop Pool

Feng Shui Apartment with shared pool in Tulum Town

Boho-chic Apartment with private rooftop pool in between Tulum beach and town

Jungle Cabaña Tulum Beach

Stunning Tulum Beach House

Traveling in the Riviera Maya? Click to read my guides to accommodation in Playa del Carmen, and Cancun 

Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Looking for things to do in the Riviera Maya?

Check out these articles:

Glamping in the Riviera Maya

Visiting Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino

The Complete Guide to Chichen Itza in Mexico

How to see the Mayan Ruins in Tulum

Visiting Coba Ruins

How to spend a weekend in Merida

Food Tour in Playa Del Carmen 

Choosing a Scuba Diving Company in Playa Del Carmen

Scuba Diving in Cozumel

Scuba Diving in Puerto Morelos

Cenote Diving in Tulum