How to take the ADO Bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen
If you are thinking about taking the ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen but no sure how, here if your simple guide. We have schedules for the bus and where to pick up the bus at the airport for your trip.
Update for travel season 2021: ADO buses have a limited schedule leaving from the Cancun Airport due to Covid-19. Be sure to check the ADO website for current times. If your flight does not line up with a bus departure, we recommend this private transportation company for getting to Playa Del Carmen or wherever you need to go.
Your arrival at Cancun Airport
Most international flights arrive at Terminal 3 or the new Terminal 4 in Cancun Airport (see map below). So most of this guide will be for arrivals here.
After you go through immigration and customs you will walk out and down a hall. There will be rental car companies and tour booths. There is an ADO bus booth and you can buy your ticket BUT.…we prefer to go outside and get it. If there is a bus ready for departure, you can jump on. If you are in line inside and a bus is just getting ready to leave, they will sell you a ticket for the next bus.
Both the inside ADO counter and outside stand sell the same ticket. The ADO bus tickets are timed and only allow you on that bus. Buses come about every 30 minutes but you can check the schedule below for exact times.
Go outside and 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, go past that and you will see the red ADO bus stand and someone there.
When you exit the terminal there are two exits. One exit is for friends and family and the other is taxis and buses. If someone is picking you up you would go straight to exit. If you have a bus, transfer, or professional pickup, you exit left. Go out the building and you will see the platforms.
Tip: Don’t listen to taxi drivers or other people that say the “next bus is in on hour or longer” or “there are no more buses today“. These are just tricks to get people to take a taxi or van service.
The people working at the ADO stand usually speak some English. It is platform 1 & 2. See photos.
How much is the ADO bus to Playa Del Carmen?
The current price is 216 Pesos for one way. You should only book one way since you might not know the exact time when you want to return.
ADO does 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.
Seating and luggage on the bus
The seating is usually open even if the ticket has a seat number. Usually the bus will have the destination in the digital sign on the front of the bus. 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 maybe stop for a minute in Puerto Morelos before arriving in Playa Del Carmen. If you are concerned you can sit above the door ad keep an eye on the luggage department.
How long does the bus take from the airport o Playa Del Carmen?
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. The ADO bus does not stop at hotels along the way either. If you are staying at a resort it is better to take a private transfer that will take you directly to your hotel.
How to take the ADO bus from other terminals at Cancun Airport
If your plane happens to arrive at Terminal 2, (see map above) which can happen when the airport is full, here are directions. Exit the terminal and walk to your right. You will have to walk the length of the building and then come to a security gate where the buses are parked. Just ask to go to ADO bus and then board there. It is the same procedure as 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 not as 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.
Terminal 4 is the newest terminal at Cancun Airport. You will follow the exit of the terminal and go to the left for the bus. There are tickets sold in the terminal and on the curb.
Taking the ADO bus back to the Airport
Going back to the airport for departure? You can buy a ticket in both ADO stations in Playa Del Carmen. The buses leave from 5th Ave and Juarez station first and then stop by the 20th Street bus station. Buses stop at all terminals at the airport. The ADO bus drops passengers at Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.
If you get off at the wrong terminal or it looks like the unloading at Terminal 2 is going to take a while, you can walk from Terminal 2 over to Terminal 3. It takes about 10 minutes if you walk brisk. If it is hot, it will be a hot and sweaty walk. In reality though it should not take too long. Facing the building go to your left. You can walk close to the buildings or around the parking lot and to Terminal 3. It is not signed.
In an emergency you can get off at Terminal 2 and take a taxi to Terminal 3. It might take about 3 minutes and save you 8-10 minutes if there are a lot of people getting off at terminal 2 and getting luggage from under the bus.
Make sure you allow at least one hour before you flight because Cancun Airport is very strict about check in. If you do not you may have to find another flight.
Tips for going back to the Cancun Airport
Tip: Check in online for your flight if you can. That way if you run late you can run through security and hop on your flight. Security usually never takes more then 10 minutes to get through.
Tip: Buy your ADO bus ticket for your return at least 6 hours before you need to leave. We recommend this because if you rush to the bus station sometimes the buses are full. Most people time it so they get there right on time. It is better to have your ticket ahead of time and make sure you get the bus you want.
Most important tip: 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. If you do not have it you will need to get another one and there can be a charge for this.
Why you might consider a private transfer from Cancun Airport
Private transfers are a good option if you are more than two people or want to go directly to your hotel without having to take a taxi from the bus station. Private transfers can cost as little as $12-15 USD a person depending on how many you have and where you are going. A transfer will save a taxi ride from the bus station as well.
If you would like to read more about private transfers to and from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen you can see our article here. We have found one transfer company that offers good rates and excellent service for our readers and we link to them in the article.