How to get to Cozumel from the Cancun Airport

The fastest way to get there by bus and private shuttle.

Ferry from Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel

Are you looking to get from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel? Here are easy instructions and the transportation options for you so you can have a smooth transfer.  If you were not able to get a flight into Cozumel Airport you will need to fly into Cancun Airport and transfer to Cozumel. Here is our guide on how to do it. It is actually pretty easy to do.

How to get from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel

The first step is getting from the Cancun Airport (CUN) to Playa Del Carmen. This is because the ferry for Cozumel leaves from Playa Del Carmen to make the crossing. You have two options to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen.

  1. The ADO bus.
  2. Private Transfer.

Note: We do not recommend renting a car because you will need to park it in Playa Del Carmen and take the ferry and also the time involved in picking it up would take much more time, they just taking a private transfer or bus. We also do not recommend taxis because there are no meters and no set prices, plus you cannot get a discount for a round trip like the private transfers. 

There are advantages to both of these options for getting from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel. So, we will tell you about your options and you can decide what is the best way for you to go. First, we will tell you about the bus.

Cancun airport to Cozumel
Getting from the Cancun Airport your hotel has never been easier!

ADO Bus to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun Airport

ADO is a public bus company that has a direct line from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. The bus leaves from each of the three terminals at the Cancun Airport and there are ticket booths at each location. For a very detailed article with maps and instructions you can read our article her on how to get from the airport to Playa Del Carmen.

The advantage of the taking the bus is:

  1. If you are traveling solo, it can be an affordable option. Currently the price is 190 pesos.
  2. The bus station you arrive at in Playa Del Carmen is just three blocks from the ferry, the same distance as where the transfer companies drop you.

The disadvantages to the bus are:

  1. You cannot get your ticket in advance because you do not know how long it will take to get through customs and immigration and since tickets are timed, you don’t want to miss your exact bus and have to buy another ticket.
  2. If you arrive at a particularly busy time (usually midday and some holiday periods in Mexico) the bus leaving might be full, and you will need to wait until the next one. Usually, they are 30 minutes apart.
  3. If you are arriving very late the frequency is almost every 50 minutes, but then again if you arrive very late you will not be able to catch a ferry. The latest you should leave the airport on a bus should be 8:30pm in order to make your connection and get the ferry, but even this is close, and you are going to be stressed. So, if your fight is arriving after 7:30pm you might consider spending the night in Playa Del Carmen or coordinating with a private shuttle to give you a little more time.

Private Shuttle to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun Airport

You can take a private shuttle service to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun Airport. These are like a taxi with car service or van and are very professional. You can book this service in advance and a driver will be waiting for you at arrivals with a sign stating the company name. From the Cancun Airport they drive you directly to your destination. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Playa Del Carmen, this is about 15 minutes faster than the bus.

We recommend this transfer company because they have consistently been good for years now to our readers. They are one of the largest and most professional. We have also found their prices to be the best for our readers.  To check prices or to make a reservation for your trip, click the link here or the Book Now button below. Remember the price is for the whole vehicle and not per person. Prices can be comparable to taking the bus. Tip: Booking round trip can save $10-$25 USD.


There are several benefits to taking a shuttle van/private transfer to Playa Del Carmen.

  1. It can be faster for you. This helps make your transfer from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel as little smoother.
  2. If you are a group, you can book a private transfer for about the same amount as taking a public bus.
  3. This can be less waiting for you since your driver will be there at arrivals. If you book for your group only then you are all set to go when you arrive.
  4. You can pre-book and have it set before you take off on your flight.

The disadvantages of taking a private transfer are:

  1. If you are traveling solo or in a couple it can be more expensive.

Cancun airport transfer to Cozumel

Getting from Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel on the Ferry

From Playa Del Carmen you will either be dropped off at the bus station or just a few blocks from the Playa Del Carmen Ferry Pier. There are two companies (Ultramar and Winjet)that provide service and there is one leaving about every 30 minutes (check the Cozumel ferry schedule article here). The ride across takes about 45 minutes and you arrive right in the middle of San Miguel, the main town of Cozumel. From there you can walk to your hotel if it is close by or take a taxi. For more exact details on the Cozumel Ferry you can see our article here.

If you want to take a car to Cozumel, there is a separate car ferry just outside of Playa Del Carmen. To see how to do this trip, see our guide for the Cozumel car ferry service here

Cozumel car ferry
The car ferry to Cozumel is another option for those that want to take a car over.

We hope you have enjoyed this guide on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel. We hope you have a great vacation or stay. Check out our dozens of other guides too for everything you might need while here.

Cancun airport to Cozumel
After a long flight you surely want to get to your hotel as fast as you can.

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  1. So we are going to fly into Cancun and take your recommended transport from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. We they be able to point us to the ferry ticket booth? Is there any way to buy in advance the tickets? Thank you.

    • Hello Ned. It is very easy to find one of the three ferry companies ticket booths. They each have several by the entrance. There is no need to buy a ticket in advance since it only takes a few minutes to get one and then walk onto the next ferry to Cozumel. We hope you have a great trip here!

  2. What is the cost for a vehicle to transfer three people from Cancun Airport to the Cozumel ferry?

    • Hello Ed

      The link has the prices for the transfers. The going rate for is $60USD for the transfer from the ferry to the Cancun Airport.

  3. Do the private vehicles accommodate luggage? I was looking at the list and only the limos specifically stated “luggage.”

    • Hello Geeta
      All of the vehicles used do accommodate luggage. Vans are the most common method of transport from the airport. These can handle everyone’s bags. The limos are the ones that of course have a small truck for the amount of people that can fit into the car. So they mention that they can have a other vehicle for bags.

  4. Hi, I’m very confused by this article and the other ones I seen similar to it. Why would you bus then ferry to Cozumel when mayair offers a connecting flight from. Cancun to Cozumel for around 73$ a person? I’m honestly confused as you are the 3-4th article I’ve seen to suggest it. The flight from mayair takes an hour at best vs up to 4 hours and hassle of boat + ferry or plane flight.

    • The flights are quick and an option. There are some drawbacks though. You do need to transfer to the smaller terminal at Cancun, there are limited flights a day and limited space for luggage. Pricewise and time wise they are similar. Some people cannot take small planes because they get sick. These are just some of the things to think about.

  5. It’s really a nice and helpful article. We have visited Playa once and this time are staying on Cozumel. We could not get a flight directly there so we are taking the transfer and water taxi.

  6. Good article. Very helpful, thankyou. Can anyone recommend accommodation on Cozumel, and do any of the hotels have a shuttle service from Cancun? Also, is English widely spoken?

    • We do not know of any hotels that have transfer service from Cancun Airport. English is widely spoken on Cozumel. There are guest houses, hostels, Airbnb and resorts on Cozumel. What might you be looking for?

  7. We are flying into Cancun and need to get to Cozumel. We heard about the problem with the ferries but not sure what the situation is like now. We are concerned about crossing. Are there other options?

    • Hello Caroline

      As you might have heard the security alert has been taken down and things seem to be back to normal. The ferry company that had issues is not running now. There are still the original two companies that run between Playa and Cozumel. This still is the better option for making the crossing. There is Mayan Air from Cancun but can be hard to line up your flight with.

  8. Good Morning, We are taking our family of 10 to Cozumel in May 2019. We will be booking private transfer from Cancun to the Playa del Carmen ferry terminal. We will book our ferry tickets when we arrive there as I believe this is a good idea to check for the next ferry leaving. When we arrive in Cozumel do they have taxis close to the arrivals from the ferry or is there a long walk as with 2 young children this might not be a good option. Is there a transfer company that we can book Cozumel ferry to our villa 20 kilometers away. We decided to not take a small plane from Cancun into Cozumel as it is difficult to get one to follow on from your International flight.

    • The pier in Cozumel is right in town and there are taxis just at the entrance. So from your arrive from Cancun Airport vía Playa Del Carmen, it will be easy to get a cab in Cozumel.

    • The pier in Cozumel is right in town and there are taxis just at the entrance. So from your arrival from Cancun Airport vía Playa Del Carmen, it will be easy to get a cab in Cozumel.

  9. Hi, How long is the trip roughly from Cancun airport by private transport and then ferry to Cozumel and Transfer the other end?

    • Hello Suzette. It is about one hour to Playa. The ferries leave every 30 minutes or so. So count in waiting 20 minutes and then the ferry ride is about 40 minutes. So that is two hours. That might sound like a lot it it is a fun trip back once you get to the Ferry pier in Playa you will feel like you re in vacation and just part of the adventure.

  10. I understand there is a car ferry in Playa Del Carmen that goes to Cozumel. Does anyone know how long the trip takes and information on a website?

  11. I got a great deal to Cancun Airport but not sure if it was such a good deal since we are staying in Cozumel. I read your guide here and have a question. How many times about do the ferries have trouble crossing to Playa or are they full and you need to get the next one? I just need to amke sure of getting back and forth to the airport. Thanks

    • Hello Alfonso

      We have never seen a ferry actually fill up and turn away people. They run so frequently that they are good about being full but not over full. The crossing is usually smooth and only a few times a year the wind is too strong to make it comfortable for the crossing. It can last a half a day or day but not something you really need to worry about. You can always watch the wind predictions before you need to make the crossing to and from the Cancun Airport to Cozumel. We hope you have a great time in Cozumel and happy vacationing.

  12. If I opt to take the bus, will I need to purchase my ticket in advance? Is there a kiosk at the airport or do I just have the correct fare amount and pay at the door of the bus?

  13. Hello. I have been to Playa del Carmen before but this time staying on Cozumel. I am hoping for a more quiet stay. I like Playa but it has become more commercial Can you tell me how the beaches are now in Cozumel?
    Many thanks!

    • Hello Lucian
      All of the hotels are on the west side of Cozumel. Since the current come from the east the amount of seaweed is almost none on the beaches in Cozumel western side. So there is not much to worry about. We hope you have a great holiday and enjoy exploring Cozumel.

    • Hello Sue

      The ADO drops you at the bus station pon 5th and it is very close. There are bike taxis that can take luggage or you can walk through the park to the pier.

  14. I want to go to Cozumel on December 24th. Will there be a problem getting the ferry to Cozumel on this day? Do the ferries run the same or limited schedules then? Thank you

    • Hello

      There is a lot of constant traffic between Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel even during these days of the Christmas holiday. There are not problems getting a ferry and service is pretty much normal. We hope you have a good trip. Let us know if you need anything else for your trip.

    • If it is just you the ADO bus can take you to Playa and then you can take the Cozumel Ferry. Check which port the cruise is coming into. This is important because there are three different piers. One is near the ferry and the other two are farther away. On Cozumel you can take a taxi to the cruise ship dock. If you are traveling with someone and want to get more efficiently from the Cancun Airport to the ferry dock you can book a transfer. The ones in our article are very good and our readers really like them.

  15. If you book a transfer to your Cozumel hotel from Cancun airport will their be a bus collecting you from the ferry to take you to your hotel? Also how does the transfer pick you up when you are returning back to the airport?

    • The transfer from the airport will get you to the ferry and you will take it. We Belice the way it works is on the Cozumel side you will need to take a taxi to your hotel and return to the ferry to come back. You can click the book now button to go directly to the transportation companies website. There you can see details and also ask them directly.

  16. We are heading to Cozumel and saw that Southwest is going to open flights again there! Wahoo. We are glad things are coming back for tourism. We really need a break.

  17. I am trying to buy ferry tickets from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen AHEAD OF TIME. I have heard the ferries are often full and I do not want to miss my flight.

    • There are a little more full now with less service. You can buy tickets ahead at the pier.

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