turquoise blue waters showing a Playa Del Carmen beach shoreline / Cancun to Playa Del Carmen

6 Best Ways to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Are you visiting Playa Del Carmen and trying to find out how to get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen?

Cancun International Airport is the main airport for this region of Mexico, with flights from worldwide. Playa Del Carmen is 1 hour away from Cancun Airport, so you must make your way there once you arrive.

There are six ways to get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. Below, I’ve highlighted how to use each service, the travel time, and the costs.

Drive time from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen takes around 1 hour without traffic.

The total distance from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen is 68km (42 miles).

When leaving Playa Del Carmen, you can use any of these ways to return to Cancun Airport.


a large ADO Bus driving in the streets of Mexico
ADO Bus – Credit: ADO

The ADO Bus is one of the best ways to get to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun International Airport. It’s also the cheapest way to get to Playa Del Carmen.

ADO is one of the largest bus operators in Mexico, and they offer travel coach bus travel all over Mexico throughout many cities. The ADO buses are reliable, safe, and efficient.

It’s best to book your tickets in advance, however, you can also purchase them on arrival.

Once you’ve arrived, head to the correct bus terminal to take the ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. Your bus terminal number is shown on your ADO bus ticket once purchased.

Cancun Airport has three terminals: 2, 3, and 4. Again, make sure you go to the correct terminal and be at your terminal at least 15 minutes before bus departure time.

Once you arrive in Playa Del Carmen, you will reach the central ADO Bus station on 5th Avenue in the central city center. From there, you can walk to your hotel or take a taxi.

Each passenger can bring one piece of carry-on luggage and a backpack. You must pay an extra fee to board if you have additional luggage. If you’re traveling with large luggage, it’s best to use one of the other transportation methods mentioned below.

Cost: $10 – $20 US

Travel Time: 1 Hour and a Half from the Airport

Private Airport Transfer

various vehicle types you can book for transportation from Cancun Airport
Private Shuttle Service – Credit: CancunTransfers

The best and most convenient way to get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen is by private airport transfer.

Cancun Airport Transfers is a versatile service offering private airport transfers to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, and all over this region of Mexico.

This is the fastest way to get to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun Airport, and for those visiting with their family or a group of friends, taking a private transfer to Playa Del Carmen makes a lot of sense for many reasons.

There’s plenty of space for everyone’s luggage, and this won’t be the case if you take any other transportation to Playa Del Carmen.

You have the convenience of an English-speaking driver, who will be waiting at the airport with your name ready to take you to your hotel directly.

Lastly, you’ve got nothing to worry about once you arrive, no hassles, and you’ll have the peace of mind to start your trip in Playa del Carmen!

Taking a private transfer to your hotel in Playa Del Carmen if you’re visiting with family or friends is a no-brainer. Costs will vary depending on your vehicle of choice.

While it isn’t the cheapest way, it’s very convenient and if you’re visiting with friends, you can always split the cost, at that point, it costs nearly the same as taking the bus!

If your flight is delayed, your driver will wait for you, and flight details must be provided to the driver so they can track your arrival time.

Cost: $85 US+ (depending on your vehicle choice)

Travel Time: 1 Hour

Shared Shuttle

shared shuttle bus from Cancun via Nexus Tours Mexico
Credit: NexusTours

Taking a shared shuttle is the best way for those looking to get to Playa Del Carmen conveniently but more quickly than the ADO Bus.

Shared shuttles often depart from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen during the day and can fit up to 12 passengers. There’s room for one piece of luggage per passenger, and sometimes, they’ll accommodate more if the van isn’t full.

What’s very convenient about taking a shared shuttle is that, unlike the ADO Bus, they take you directly to your hotel with your luggage.

The downside is that the travel time is slightly longer because the driver will most likely drop off passengers in places along the way to Playa Del Carmen, such as Puerto Morelos, Playa Paraiso, or others.

However, once the driver gets to Playa Del Carmen, guest dropoffs should be quick because hotels are near one another.

You can expect the shared shuttle to be complete because it’s a popular transportation option from the Cancun Airport.

Cost: $20 to $30 US

Travel Time: 1.5 – 2.5 Hours

Mayan Train

digital renderings of The Mayan train speeding through a railway in the jungles of the Yucatan in Mexico
Credit: Alstrom/Government of Mexico

The Mayan train from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen is another easy way to get from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen. However, the route from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen is not yet available, but will be in the coming months 2024.

Once you arrive at the airport, you must take a quick free shuttle to the Tren Maya station, which departs from the airport every 20 minutes.

To purchase tickets for the Tren Maya, you can get them using the government ETicket website.

When the route is announced, this will be a fast and convenient way to get from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen.

Luggage, passenger information and ticket costs still need to be answered. As soon as the route is announced with a timetable and prices are made available, I will update this article, stay tuned.

Cost: Currently Unknown

Travel Time: 45 minutes

Taxi to Playa Del Carmen

two taxis driving on the busy streets in Mexico

As soon as you arrive and go outside Cancun Airport, you will be bombarded with travel agencies, taxi drivers, and others asking if you need a taxi to take you somewhere.

A taxi from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen is convenient. It takes 1 hour, and you’re dropped off at your hotel.

However, what isn’t convenient are the prices usually offered by taxi drivers at the airport to take you somewhere. More often than not, they’ve inflated the price. Taxi scams and socilators offering fake taxi services at Cancun Airport is common.

A fair price for a taxi from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen is between 1,016 and 1,185 Mexican pesos ($60 to $70 US).

After taking a flight from somewhere, the last thing many of us want to do is start negotiating a fair price for a taxi when all you’d like to do is get to your hotel and get settled in!

This is why I’ve included taking a taxi from Cancun Airport as one of the last resorts, it’s not convenient, it will most likely cost you more, and you may get scammed. It’s best to use one of the methods I’ve mentioned above.

Cost: $60 to $70 US

Travel Time: 1 Hour

Renting a Car at Cancun Airport

Lastly, you could always rent a car from Cancun Airport and drive yourself to Playa Del Carmen.

There are many great places to visit near Playa Del Carmen, only 2 to 4 hours away. The famous Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Akumal, Tulum, the list goes on!

If you’d like to explore these other places on your own time, this is when a car rental is quite convenient.

Renting a car is an excellent idea for those looking to explore at their own pace. Otherwise, there’s no reason to rent a car, you can walk most places in Playa Del Carmen in 10 to 20 minutes, the beach town is very walkable.

There are toll road highways in the region, which will cost you around $20 US per way.

Cost: Depends on Vehicle Type and Insurance Purchase

Travel Time: 1 Hour

beach house with classic palapa sides on the roof on a beach in Playa Del Carmen beach tap

Cancun to Playa Del Carmen – Final Thoughts

There you have it, and those are all the different transportation ways to get to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun Airport.

When deciding which to use, consider who you’re coming with and which way would be best.

Regarding costs, many options are similar in price, and you’re most likely visiting on vacation, so paying slightly extra for comfort is a good idea!

Overall, Cancun International Airport is quite chaotic and busy, especially during the high season from November to April. So having a reserved transportation way to Playa Del Carmen before arriving is a good idea!

Lastly, please be careful and mindful of scams in Playa Del Carmen and at Cancun Airport.

How much is the shuttle from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen?

It costs $20 to $30 US per way in a shared shuttle from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.

What is the best way to Playa Del Carmen?

The ADO Bus is the best way to travel to Playa Del Carmen. There are many departure times, and it’s the cheapest way to get there.

What is the safest way to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen?

The safest way is by reserving a Private Airport Transfer from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen.

How much does it cost to go from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen?

It can cost anywhere from $15 to $70 US. Ultimately, it depends on the transportation method you use from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen.

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