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Transportation options from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

What is the best way? Transfer, taxi, bus or rental car?

Transportation from Cancun airport to Riviera Maya Hotel

Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Are you coming on vacation and wonder what the best way to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen? There are several options for your transportation needs. Below are all your options so you can get smoothly from the Cancun Airport to your hotel or rental.

The Cancun Airport is actually between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. The airport is about a 50 minute drive from the center of Playa Del Carmen. The 307 Highway connects the airport to Playa Del Carmen in an easy way.

5 Options for getting to Playa Del Carmen from the airport

1. Resorts bus transportation to the hotel

This might be an add on charge so you have to balance the price with the wait time. Most of the large resorts have large busses that are scheduled to meet planes. You will have to wait until everyone gets through customs and immigration and your bus fills up. A more way to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen is a private transfer.

2. Renting a car for your holiday

If you are staying at a non all inclusive hotel and are going to travel around a bit, this option might work best for you. There are many rental car companies at the Cancun Airport. The less expensive rental companies are just outside the airport and will pick you up when you flight arrives. One recommendation for a place to start looking for a rental care is this car rental website. We like them for two reasons. One they offer low rates and two they offer good prices on mandatory insurance in Mexico.

3. A private transfer from the Cancun Airport

A private transfer can be a great option if you want to get to your hotel in the fastest and most direct way. The prices are per van and comparable with taxis plus they are more comfortable.  We have teamed up with one of the most reliable transfer service so you can have the best prices.  Here are several options:

4. Taxis from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Often people just like to arrive and jump into a taxi. Taxis are available at Cancun airport but we do not recommend them as the number one option. We recommend the private transfers for several reasons over taxis:

  • You have a guaranteed ride waiting for you.
  • Bilingual driver.
  • Set price and no negotiating.
  • More space in the private transfer.
  • Good value especially when you book round a trip transfer.

5. The public ADO bus

The ADO bus works best if you are traveling alone and have a hotel in Playa Del Carmen that you can walk to from the bus station. ADO (pronounced in Spanish AHH-DAY-OH) bus company services the airport in a regular basis and takes people to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.  Here are some photos and detailed information so you can find the service easily.

For ADO bus schedules from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen see our link here.  It should be noted that they try to stick to the schedule, they can be a few minutes off at times. Traffic and other considerations effect the timing. You will not have to wait long though for the next bus if you have just missed one. Just note that your ticket is for a timed bus and you should make sure you get on the correct one.

When taking the ADO bus back to the Cancun Airport from Playa Del Carmen it should be noted that the busses do leave on time and tickets are timed.

Our video on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

To show you at little more about your arrival at Cancun International airport and your transfer to your hotel, we made this video for you.

How to take the ADO Bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Most international flights arrive at Terminal 3 or the new Terminal 4. So we included pictures from Terminal 3.  After you go through immigration and customs you will walk out and down a hall. There will be rental car companies and tour booths in this hallway. There is an ADO booth and you can buy your ticket. We do however prefer to go outside and but the ticket. This way if there is a bus getting ready to leave, they will wait a minute for you to get on.

There is a curbside stand that sells the ADO tickets. Here you can pay in Pesos or USD. Just note that is good to have small bills and your change will be in pesos.

For a list of the ADO bus schedule between the Cancun Airport and Playa Del Carmen, see our article here.

Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Terminal 3 stand to buy tickets at curbside.

When you exit the terminal you will see a lot of people with signs for people and people offering you taxi service. Just ignore them and walk toward the right. You will see a Margaritaville Stand selling drinks and snacks, go past that and you will see the red ADO stand and someone there.

Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Exit at Terminal 3. Go to your right and follow the arrows.

Buying your bus ticket from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Once you find the ADO stand you will need to buy a ticket. The people working here usually speak some English. It is platform 1 & 2.  The current price is 190 Pesos for  one way. You should only buy a one way since you might not know when you want to return. They do accept USD but do not have anything over a $20 bill to give them. Change will be in Pesos. They will give you a ticket and you should retain it for your entire journey in case they need to see it.

The seating is open even if the ticket has a seat number. Platform 1 is for Cancun buses and Platform 2 is for Playa Del Carmen. Usually the bus will have it in the digital sign with the destination. When it arrives you will be asked to put suitcases under the bus. There are no luggage tags given and security is not really an issue, so don’t worry. The bus will only be going to Terminal 2 and maybe stop for a minute in Puerto Morelos before arriving in Playa Del Carmen.

Caancun airport map

Cancun Airport map minus the new Terminal 4

The trip takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes in a comfortable air conditioned bus.  It will take you to the ADO bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue. This is the ONLY stop in Playa Del Carmen it makes. It does not go to the other bus station in the center of Playa Del Carmen when it arrives.

Direction for the bus from Terminal 2 in Cancun Airport

If your plane happens to arrive at Terminal 2 (see map above) here are directions. Exit the terminal and walk to your right. You will have to walk the length of the terminal and then come to a security gate where the busses are parked. Tell the security guard you are going to the ADO bus.  Once you get to the bus you can buy your ticket as described above.

If you arrive via a domestic airline in Terminal 2 you will exit in the middle of the building and just walk to the right, just with a little less walking as arriving internationally.

Terminal 1 is rarely used but if by chance you have taken a domestic flight into the airport and arrive at this terminal, there is an ADO stop just out front of the building. There is an ADO counter inside the terminal but you also can buy it outside on the curb.

Taking the bus from Playa Del Carmen to the Cancun Airport

Going back to the Cancun Airport for departure? You can buy a ticket in both ADO stations in Playa Del Carmen. The busses leave from 5th Ave and Juarez station first and then stop by the 20th Street bus station. Busses stop at all terminals at the airport. The ADO bus stops at Terminal 1 first, then Terminal 2, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.

Make sure you allow at least one hour before you flight because at  Cancun Airport they are very strict about check in. If you do not you may have to find another flight at your own cost.

Tip: Check in online if you can. That way if you run late, you can run through security and jump on your flight. Security at Cancun Airport usually never takes more then 10 minutes to get through.

Most important: Make sure you have your tourist visa card from immigration that you got when you arrived. You will need to turn it in when you depart at the airline counter. If you do not have your tourist visa you will need to get another one. There is an immigration counter in the terminal usually facing the airline check in counters. Here you will need to fill in a form and pay for a new one.

More information for your vacation in the Riviera Maya

Now that you have figured out how to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen or wherever you need to go, you might want some more local information. We have dozens of Playa Del Carmen guides so you can find great restaurants, tours, and places to go to.

Do you need to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum?

See our article here on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum.

Have you traveled from he Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen? What is your favorite way to get between the airport and your vacation? Let us know below in the comment section.

If you are also coming to the Riviera Maya you will want to know what tours and places there are to see. Here is our guide with interactive maps.

Cancun Airport airline terminals

Here is a handy map of all four terminals at Cancun International Airport and which airlines are served at each terminal.

Cancun Airport to Playa Del CarmenNow you are on your way from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen! Have a great vacation!

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