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 feels 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.
If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen and want to get to Tulum the best way to do so it is a collective. 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:
- Take a colectivo
- Take the ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
- Get a Taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
- Rent a car
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).
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 that 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 its always better to book a day or 2 before.
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 from Playa Del Carmen 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 the cost. 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.
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.
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 collectivo!
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 Tulum, Where 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!
Looking for things to do in the Riviera Maya?
Check out these articles:
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.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com 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 Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, 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 bookaway.com 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.