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Cancun Bus Station Guide

Getting to Cancun and out of Cancun

Cancun bus station, ADO

The Cancun Bus Station

Cancun’s bus station is the transportation super hub of the area. If you are traveling independently or just saving some driving by taking the bus you will be crossing through this station. Here is a guide to help you navigate your way through it and on your way to your destination.

Bus travel in Mexico is well organized, clean and efficient. The major provider is ADO (Pronounced ah-day-oh because the letters are in Spanish) Their website is  http://ado.com.mx The website is only available in Spanish but fairly easy to figure out. The key things to look at for long distance trips is the time it will take to reach your destination and the class of service. The smaller bus companies that operate out of Cancun’s bus station tend to go to smaller out of the way places or offer cheaper fares but are local service, meaning more stops and a longer time in the bus. Most tourist and those that can afford it take ADO and it is not worth it to take a slightly cheaper bus to sacrifice your time.

Below is a map of the bus station and area. We will talk about three things:

  1. Inside the bus station.
  2. The area just outside the bus station and  services.
  3. The area around the bus station for eating and hotels.

Cancun Bus Station

 

 

Cancun Bus Station

Inside the Cancun Bus Station

Inside the Cancun Bus Station

Inside the bus station you will find the local/smaller bus company ticket windows. On boards you will see the current schedules and times (sometimes hand written). If you are going to a smaller destination (example: Izamal or Isla Holbox) sometimes there is only one or a few busses a day. It is good to check the day before so you can plan ahead and buy your ticket. Some of the small bus companies have NO online schedules so you need to check at the bus station for times. Ado has fast lines and computerized tickets.

Tip: If you are a resident of Quintana Roo and have ID you can get discounts on some ADO bus lines: example Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.

Bathrooms are 5 pesos and located on a the upper mezzanine. They are semi clean.

There is a convenience store with drinks in the station. Drinks are 30-50% more so we recommend the OXXO store across the street.

ATM’s and Banks

There are ATM machines in the bus station but if you prefer to go to a bank to use their ATM the closest two banks are on Avenue Tulum. Go out of the bus station and head south toward the traffic circle on the map. This is a wide avenue with mutlple lanes. One the right side you will find a Banorte Bank and on the left side you will find a Scotia Bank.

Tip: We always recommend bank ATM’s because they have a much better chance of not being messed with from thieves. There is not such thing as 100% safe but as with anywhere in the world, there are people that try to skim cards and try to commit fraud. Help make it harder for them because most banks have better cameras and less accessible machines for thieves.

Busses to Cancun Airport

If you are going to the Cancun Airport then the first bus leaves at 4:30A.M. and it takes 25 minutes to get there. There are departures about every 30 minutes during the day to the bus station and much cheaper then a taxi to the airport.

If you want to go direct from your hotel to the airport (or vice versa) and you are not close to the bus station then you should book a private van transfer. This will save time and make it much easier to get to your flight. We have teamed up with USA Transfers because they offer a good service and price. You can book with them here for a transfer. Sometimes with a few people it is cheaper than the bus and much more convenient if you are staying at a hotel not near the bus station.

What is around the bus station

As we mentioned just above the OXXO convenience store across the street is a good place to grab a light snack and a drink for your journey. If you need something heavier to eat you can go to Mega grocery store. It is just across the street and easy to find.

If you want a meal there are small cafes in front of the bus station. They are nothing gourmet or outstanding but can do the trick if you are hungry.

Colectivos to Playa Del Carmen

If you are going to be connecting and going to Playa Del Carmen we recommend Playa Express. It is only 34 pesos which is cheaper then ADO bus and faster. On the map you can see where these load up. They leave when full which does not take long (approximately 10 minutes).

Note: If you are taking Playa Express late at night the load up across the street, across Avenida Tulum.

For more on the Playa Express and colectivo service see our article here.

Public busses to the Hotel Zone or busses to Isla Mujeres Ferry

If you need to connect to a public bus for Cancun you can find them on Avenida Tulum. Going toward the traffic circle are busses for the Hotel Zone. They will be marked on the front. Going the opposite direction busses go toward Puerto Juarez where you can catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres.

The area around the station for eating and hotels

Margaritas Street is a welcome calm street in the bustling center of Cancun. This street has small hotels on it and can be a good place to stay in downtown. You might be arriving late or departing early out of Cancun airport or need to get an early bus somewhere, so staying downtown makes sense. Check out the link to Hotels.com on the page to search by area. Just type in the search area “Cancun bus station”. There are about 18 hotels close by and 11 of these easy enough to walk to. Prices start at $33 USD a night for two people. We like Hotels.com because you can search by location and get good rates that is why we out it on the site for you.

If you are staying in this area there is a nice area for eating in and around Parque de Las Palapas. You can find inexpensive food stalls on the park and many small restaurants around the park area. Check out our article on hotel recommendations for Cancun and the downtown area in our guide.

 

34 Comments on Cancun Bus Station Guide

  1. we need to go from cancun airport to playa del Carmen. feb 8,2016 1:39pm how much for 3 people? Thank you for for your help.

    • Hello, thanks for your question. The link we have for a transfer company is an outside company that we recommend. There is a link for three people option. If you prefer the bus there are the prices there as well. I hope you find the most comfortable way and direct way to your hotel wherever that might be. Happy vacations!

    • You can take an ADO bus directly from the airport to PDC for $10US per person. The buses leave from ADO bus terminals 2 and 3. Buy a ticket from the ticket vendors out by the bus terminals.

  2. We need to get to Akumal tomorrow (Tuesday Jan 19th). Is there a shuttle schedule?

    • The colectivos go all day from second street. They leave about every 10 minutes or so. They will drop you off on the highway and you might want to get a taxi into Akumal because it is about a 10 minute walk or more depending on where you are going.

    • If you are looking to take the bus, there is only local bus service so the colectivo is the best option or you could check a taxi price to see if it is worth the expense.

  3. We would like to get from Playa Del Carmen to Merida by GL or Platinum bus. There seem to be more options in the daytime from downtown Cancun bus station than from Playa del Carmen. So would you recommend we take a bus from PDC to Cancun downtown terminal then get bus to Merida from there? Can we purchase our seats to Merida from the bus station in PDC? ( I believe we can as it is all ADO). Please advise and thanks for this!

    • Hello! Thanks for your question. We recommend taking the bus from Playa for several reasons. The trip to Cancun from Playa will add 50 minutes plus connection time to your journey. There is also a new highway from Playa that connects to the 180 Highway that goes from Cancun to Merida. This new route saves time from Playa and makes it an even faster trip. There might be more bus times available since ADO does not post everything quickly on the site. We have seen special signs in the bus station in Playa Del Carmen with new routes to Merida and promotions. So all in all, book from Playa and it is best when you arrive here to check out the details in the station. We are sure this will be the best option for you. We hope you have a great trip!

  4. we want to get from grand sunset princess to visit friends that will meet us at marina cha chi in cancun, just curious on how we should get there? colectevos or taxi?

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 21, 2016 at 6:33 AM // Reply

      Here are some options for you. You can take a taxi from your hotel to Cancun. Marina Cha Chi is in the beginning of the Hotel Zone, so it is about a 10 minute drive from the ADO bus station. It will cost anywhere from $50-100 USD each way! There is no set price and it will just depend on what a the driver wants to charge you. You can take the colectivo to Cancun from your hotel but you will have to make it out to the highway. You will have to see if your hotel has a shuttle, golf cart service or you will need to take a taxi to the highway. You might have to wait for 15 minutes because you are after Playa Del Carmen where they fill up and are usually leaving pretty full. There are the two colectivo services. There is Playa Express which is nicer but will be more full by the time it passes you and the other smaller vans which will more likely have space when it passes. When you get on just say you want to go to the ADO bus station in Cancun. 90% of the colectivos end there and you just want to make sure you go to there because it is in the center of Cancun and the hub of transportation. It will be about 34 pesos to Cancun. In Cancun when you arrive at the ADO bus station it is recommended to take a taxi to meet your friends. It will be about 50-80 pesos and again you will need to ask the driver before you get in. There are busses to the hotel zone but they are a little slow and since you already spent one hour at this point getting to Cancun, you might want to speed your ride with a taxi. Getting from point a to b is not that easy from where you are and where they are, but it is possible. One other option is renting a car for the day if your hotel offers it and it is cheap enough, like under $60USD with insurance (see our article on renting here and what you need and tips). We hope this helps and you have a great time here and get to see your friends.

  5. Any money changer or ATM manchine nearby the station?

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 24, 2016 at 7:30 AM // Reply

      Hello. There are ATM machines in the bus station. If you want to go to a bank to use their ATM because they are a little more secure, the two closest banks are on Avenue Tulum. Go south and there will be a Banorte on the right and a Scotia Bank on the left.

  6. Hi could you give me some information for busses going to Chiquilá on the 09.06
    How often do they leave and is it hard to find the right one?;)
    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Mr.Yucatan // May 9, 2016 at 7:38 AM // Reply

      Hello. You must want to visit Holbox Island. Chiquila is the town where you get on the ferry to go across. It is too bad there is no bus information on the bus companies sites from both Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. The ADO bus company has a direct bus from Playa Del Carmen once a day in both directions. The information is in our Holbox article: http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/the-most-laid-back-island-holbox/ If you are in Cancun and want to go to Chiquila you will have to take a local bus company which is not ADO. This is a local bus that makes a lot of stops and makes the journey a little longer. There is Playa Express but it is an expensive service. We do not know the current Cancun to Chiquila times but it would be best to arrive the day before and purchase your ticket anyways. That way you know the schedule and have a seat for the seldom running bus. Even the ADO website does not have the schedule for the Playa Del Carmen to Chiquila on the site. Welcome to Mexico! That is where we try to fill in the missing details. We hope you have an amazing trip and really enjoy Isla Holbox, it is a beautiful place.

  7. Cristine Ballard // June 23, 2016 at 12:20 AM // Reply

    Great info on the busses in Cancun. We are doing a bus trip around the Yucatan and will be taking a lot of busses from Cancun to other destinations.

  8. We are at the Breathless Resort and would like to go to Playa Del Carmen to shop. What is the nearest location for us to pick up your bus?

    • Mr.Yucatan // August 1, 2016 at 1:07 AM // Reply

      Hello Stacy
      Your resort is in Puerto Morelos. You will need to go to the highway to catch the bus. When you get to the highway you will need to go to the other side of the highway(opposite the ocean) and there is a gas station. The ADO bus stops there and goes directly to Playa Del Carmen. It goes to the bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue. The bus goes go back to Puerto Morelos and stops on the north bound side right by the road going down to the beach in Puerto Morelos. You can also take a more local option, They are called colectivos and they stop in the same place as the ADO bus. Here is a link to our article on them. http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/how-to-take-the-colectivos-to-tulum-or-cancun/ Since you are going shopping too, you might like our Ultimate shopping guide to Playa Del Carmen. http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/playa-del-carmen-shopping/ We hope you have an amazing time!

  9. Betty Delph // August 14, 2016 at 4:45 AM // Reply

    Thanks for all your tips on the bus. We are going on a three week bus trip in the Yucatan and passing through Cancun. You make is super easy to travel here and know what you are talking about.

  10. You make it easy to travel by bus. THis guide is very straightforward and clear.

  11. I’m having a hard time understanding if the nicer ADO buses travel from the hotel zone to Tulum? If yes, are there multiple stops, or any direct trips?

    • Hello Eva

      We are not sure if we fully understand your question. Are you talking about a bus from Cancun to Tulum? There are no busses in the Hotel Zone in Cancun. They only leave form the ADO bus station in the downtown. If you leave from Cancun ADO bus station you will stop in Playa Del Carmen. Just note there are two separate bus stops in Tulum. There is the ruins bus stop and the town. You can always hope on any bus to Playa Del Carmen and then get another ticket to Tulum when you arrive. When you purchase your ticket in Cancun you just save time and reserve a seat on the next bus leaving. You could always get out and stretch your legs and walk to the beach to break up your trip. Busses between Cancun and Playa and Playa to Tulum are about every 30 minutes so you have a lot of options.

  12. Hello, any information on the hotel zone buses from the ADO station? We’re planning to take the collectivo from Playa and then transfer to the hotel bus. How much is it? Have the rates for the collectivo from Playa to Cancun changes and do you have any information on where the bus stops? We’re trying to get to the Cancun Museum near the south end of the hotel zone. Thanks!

    • The colectivos are the same price to Cancun and depending on the one you take it is about 34 pesos. The end of the line is the ADO Bus Station in Cancun. The busses run on the road right next to the bus station. I believe the public bus to the hotel zone is 7 or 8 pesos now. The local bus will be slow and often full. Try to get a seat. It will take about 25 minutes on the public bus to the museum.

      • Which bus is the hotel zone? Is there a number or does it say hotel?

        • Hello Lesley

          The busses will be local looking city busses and will say “Hotel Zone” on them. There a multiple numbers but it is best just to look for Hotel Zone writing on the front.

  13. Hi Mr. Yucatan! Greetings 🙂 I have a couple of questions after reading your bus station guide.

    1. My hostel is in Hotel Zone Hostal Mayapan Zona Hotelera Km 8.5. You mentioned that travelers need to look for Avenida Tulum if they go to Hotel Zone. Could you please share some information about the bus route and bus fare?

    2. I have an early flight (6:55 AM) from Cancun to Havana. According to what you said, the first bus leaves for the airport at 4:30 AM and it takes only 25 minutes. Could you tell me where the bus station is?

    Thanks a lot for your reply.:)

    • Hello Victor

      We are glad to answer your questions.
      1. If you see our map you will see Avenue Tulum. This is where you can find the buses going to the hotel zone. These busses charge 8.5 pesos now. It will take about 18 minutes to get to that part of the Hotel Zone.
      2. The bus to the airport is the ADO bus and leaves from the downtown ADO bus station. It is 66 pesos at this time and does leave at 4:30am. You will arrive by 5:00am. That will be two hours before your flight. There are three terminals so just make sure you know what terminal you are leaving from.

      We hope you have a great trip here and get time to explore some more in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan.

      • Thank you very much for your reply. Sure, I’ll try to explore some more in the Rivera Maya and Yucatan.

        Have a great day. 🙂

  14. Thank you so very much for all of your help and information!! I am a solo female traveling to Cancun. I will be flying into CUN and spending a few days in Isla Mujeres, then a few days in Tulum at Zazil Kin by the Ruins. What is the best mode of transportation for me to accomplish this? I have taken the ADO from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen, so I am slightly familiar, but that is all. Of course, I would like to have my facts in line for safety reasons so I appreciate your information!! Thank you again so very much.

    • Hello Jenny. You can take the ADO bus from Cancun Airport to the ADO bus station in downtown and then a taxi or colectivo public bus to Puerto Juarez to catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres. If you do have a lot of luggage you might prefer getting a private shuttle from the Cancun airport to Puerto Juarez direct. Of course going solo is not the most cost effective way. When you are leaving Isla Mujeres you can do the reverse with the public bus to the ADO Bus Station. You have two options. Book an ADO ticket to Tulum Ruins which will one bus to Playa Del Carmen and then you connect to your bus to Tulum (Note: book Tulum ruins, not Tulum town. Tulum ruins is close to your hotel and 3k closer then the bus station in the center of Tulum).Your other option is the colectivo from the ADO bus station in Cancun to Playa Del Carmen. There is Playa Express just behind the bus station. This will drop you off on 2nd Street in Playa and then you will need to get the colectivo to Tulum. This however is not a good option if you have more then a small backpack. See our article on colectivos here: http://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/how-to-take-the-colectivos-to-tulum-or-cancun/

  15. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the information!! (If it doesn’t fit in my backpack, it isn’t going with me.) 😉 I APPRECIATE your fast reply.

  16. Mallory Hintzen // October 14, 2016 at 11:36 PM // Reply

    Great, just ended reading this article. Very great info on busses you wrote. Absolutely following your website! Thank you a lot.

  17. Hi There, what an insightful and impressive website. Helped me plan my trip around the Yucatan and in and out of Cancun.

  18. Damon and Muriel // November 10, 2016 at 4:47 PM // Reply

    Just wanted to say thanks for the bus station guide. It was helpful in planning our trip.

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