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How to get everywhere from Playa Del Carmen

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Playa Del Carmen transportation

How to get everywhere from Playa Del Carmen transportation guide

When you are planning a trip somewhere it is hard to know how to get from point A to point B. Here is everything you need to know about Playa Del Carmen transportation so you can get anywhere like a local. Lets first show you a handy map that you can click on. Everywhere that there is a line, you can click on it and a link and description comes up. We will have more details and destinations below the map.

Our interactive map so you can see how to get everywhere

Playa Del Carmen transportation options to destinations all over the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula.

How to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

This will be your first part of your trip. You have several choices here. They are:

  1. Renting a car at the Cancun Airport.
  2. Taking the ADO bus.
  3. Having a private transfer.
  4. Taxi.

We have an entire article that tells you exactly how to take each one and what we recommend. For more on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen, see our article here.

If you are going to a different location other than Playa Del Carmen, see our guides for Tulum, Akumal, Cozumel and Cancun Hotel Zone.

Playa Del Carmen transportation

How to get to Cancun from Playa Del Carmen

Getting between these two major cities in the Riviera Maya is pretty easy. There are many busses and colectivos going back and forth every hour. Here are your options:

  1. Driving. It is a straight drive from Playa Del Carmen to Cancun. It is due north on the 307 Highway.
  2. Taking the ADO bus. You can see the ADO bus station guide here for Playa Del Carmen and also the Cancun ADO bus station guide here. This way is more comfortable but slightly more expensive than the colectivos.
  3. There are the colectivos and Playa Express vans that run between Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. We recommend the Playa Express vans because they have more space and better air conditioning. For everything about this Playa Del Carmen transportation option, see our colectivo article here.

How long does it take to get from Playa Del Carmen to Cancun?

It takes about 45 minutes to one hour to get between Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. The ADO bus will be the slowest form of transportation taking about one hour to make the trip.

How to get to Tulum from Playa Del Carmen

These two beach front towns have a constant flow of busses and colectivos between them.

Colectivos from Playa Del  Carmen to Tulum

It is easy to take the small colectivos between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. This takes about 45 minutes and is very inexpensive. They do stop along the way but they do go faster than the ADO bus. When the colectivos arrive in Tulum you can either get off at the Tulum ruins or in town. Leaving town they will start from near the ADO bus station and pick people on their way out of town until full or semi full. For more about taking the colectivos between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum see our guide here.


The ADO bus company has busses at least every hour between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. This transportation option gives you a little more space than the colectivos and cooler air conditioning but will be about 15 minutes longer. Some buses will stop at Tulum Ruins which is on the north end of Tulum and the other ADO busses will go to the bus station in the center of Tulum. For more on taking the ADO bus see our bus guide from Playa Del Carmen.

Tip: Make sure you get on at the bus station on Juarez Avenue and 5th Avenue.

How to take the Cozumel Ferry from Playa Del Carmen

Taking the ferry from Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel is very easy. You even have multiple ferry companies to choose from. The pier is on the south end of Playa Del Carmen. The crossing takes about 45 minutes. For more details about prices and schedules see our guide here to the Cozumel Ferry.

Playa Del Carmen transportation

On of the Cozumel ferries in dock.

How to get to Mayan ruins from Playa Del Carmen with transportation

If you don’t want to go on a tour to see some of the famous Mayan ruins, there are transportation options available to you. Here are two of the more popular Mayan ruins to visit from Playa Del Carmen.

How to get to Chichen Itza from Playa Del Carmen

Most people do with a tour because it is easy but you can drive here yourself or take a bus from Playa Del Carmen. There are things like the tolls, parking and limited bus schedules to consider. We wrote about all the options here in our Chichen Itza Guide.

How do you get to Coba with public transportation from Playa Del Carmen

How to get to Isla Holbox from Playa Del Carmen

Here are your options for going to Holbox:

  • Drive yourself from Playa Del Carmen via the new highway. It should be noted that if you drive you will need to pay for parking in Chiquila for the time you spend on Holbox.
  • Take the daily ADO bus that go direct to Chiquila where you catch the ferry to Isla Holbox.
  • Take a private shuttle like Holbox Transfer. These are good if you have a group.

For more on visiting Holbox see our guide here.

How to get to Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas from Playa Del Carmen

These two remote destinations are best reached by driving your car. If you wanted to visit these destinations with Playa Del Carmen transportation you would first need to go to Valladolid. Here you can take a slow second class bus to Rio Lagartos.

How to get to Bacalar and Mahahual from Playa Del Carmen

Getting to Bacalar

Bacalar is a stunning destination to visit and is about 3 hours and 15 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. It is a straight drive pretty much south on the 307 Highway. Driving can be a good option since Bacalar is spread out and not everything is walkable.

There are ADO busses from Playa Del Carmen to Bacalar. These are good if you are staying in the center of Bacalar and perhaps going into Belize afterward.

For more on visiting Bacalar see our guide here.

Getting to Mahahual

From Playa Del Carmen there is very limited transportation to Mahahual because it is a more remote location that is not as visited. ADO bus company does have bus service between Playa Del Carmen. It should be noted that the town and coast of Mahahual is spread out a bit so either make sure you stay in the center or have transportation lined up from a dive shop or hotel for your arrival.

How to take Playa Del Carmen transportation in town-taxis and public busses

Taxis in Playa Del Carmen

Taxis in Playa Del Carmen are not metered. They do however have a chart that is by zones and that dictates the price. It can be a little difficult for people to figure out what zone they are in and what zone they are going to. There are also some particularities with between the price of a taxi on the street and from a taxi stand or hotel. For a complete guide to taxis in Playa Del Carmen see our guide here. For the most parts taxis are good for transportation within Playa Del Carmen and for distances about 15 minutes away.

Public busses in Playa Del Carmen

Most tourist will never need to take a public bus or  colectivo, as they are called here. These mostly service the neighborhoods that are out of the center of Playa Del Carmen. These can come in handy if you are going to one of the shopping malls and do not want to take a taxi. There are no bus maps posted in public which makes it super not helpful to take this method of Playa Del Carmen transportation. We do have one small map that will give you a basis for knowing where the busses run. It is in our guide to public transportation in Playa Del Carmen.

Getting to the rest of Mexico

If you will be traveling around Mexico be sure to read our article about flying in Mexico with tons of tips for air travel in Mexico.

Is there somewhere where you would like to know how to get there from Playa Del Carmen? Let us know in the comments below and we will be sure to get back to you.

Playa Del Carmen transportation


5 Comments on How to get everywhere from Playa Del Carmen

  1. Cindy bailey // January 8, 2017 at 2:42 PM // Reply

    Best way to get to Cancun from playa del carmen?

    • We like taking Playa Express. If you have luggage then you should take the ADO bus. There are more details on taking both of these transportation options in the article. Thanks for your question.

  2. Public transportation to coba?

    • Hello Alfonso

      As we mention, there is only one ADO bus a day to Coba and if you are returning the same day, then the bus will be a while before it returns. There are a few second class busses that run between Coba and Tulum but this is not really for tourist and it gets a bit complicated for people to figure out. It is best to rent a car and also take in some cenotes and be able to stop along the way or take a tour to Coba.

  3. we are always looking for places to visit when we come to Playa del Carmen. This will help us explore some more.

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