How to take the Tren Maya from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

Cancun Airport Tren Maya Station

Taking the Tren Maya from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

The Tren Maya line from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen was opened on March 15th, 2024. While construction continues on the train line south of Playa Del Carmen, it is now possible to take the train from the airport to Playa Del Carmen. Here are detailed instructions on how to take the Tren Maya. 

Since things are still being finished on the Tren Maya, we will be periodically updating this article to reflect changes. Information changes monthly. 

Getting from the Cancun Airport to the Tren Maya Station

At each of the four terminals in the Cancun Airport there is a Tren Maya bus that passes. This is a free bus that connects to the Tren Maya Station. Depending on which terminal you get on and how many stops there are, it can vary between 10-minute ride to the station. The schedule of the buses is to meet the scheduled departures of the Tren Maya, both those west to Merida and those south to Playa Del Carmen. 

Terminal 3 Cancun Airport
This is leaving Terminal 3 at the Cancun international Airport. This is where you meet your rides and buses both for the Tren Maya and ADO.

Should you buy tickets in advance for the Tren Maya?

For those that like planning, you might be a bit disappointed it is not a good idea to purchase tickets in advance. This advice applies to only those arriving by flight and looking to take the Tren Maya to Playa Del Carmen. The reasons are:

  • You don’t know if your flight will arrive on time. 
  • You don’t know how long it will take to go through immigration and pick up your bags. Normally we calculate 40 minutes for this in the Cancun Airport. 
  • Then you have transportation time to the Tren Maya Station. The station is adjacent to the airport but does require a bus to go from the airport to the train station. 
  • Most important to note is tickets for the Tren Maya must be changed 72 hours before your trip. So, it is impossible to change tickets if you bought them online and something changes the same day as your trip. 

So, it is very hard to buy tickets online without the chance of either waiting a while or missing your scheduled train and having to buy tickets again. 

You can buy tickets at the Tren Maya Station. Ticket purchases are a little slow and you should account 10-15 minutes to buy your tickets. The process is a little slow because everything is entered manually, they ask your phone number and email, then you select seats, you pay, and then tickets are printed. 

Tip: Be sure to have your identification for each passenger with you when you buy tickets. Also, for when you get on the train. Sometimes tickets are checked along with identification. 

What are the train times between the airport and Playa Del Carmen?

Currently there are 3 trains a day from Cancun to Playa and between Playa and the Cancun Airport. This is expected to increase as more trains come online and ridership rises. Currently one train leave and arrives at the other station, it waits 30 minutes and makes the trip back. 

From Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

9:00am, 12:00 noon, 3:00pm. 

Trains from Playa Del Carmen to the Cancun Airport

10:30am, 1:30 pm, 4:30pm. 

Tren Maya Schedule between Cancun Airport and Playa Del Carmen

How much is the train between the airport and Playa Del Carmen?

Since most of our readers are international tourists, there are two options for tickets for the Tren Maya. First class and second class which is called Premier and Tourist. The price between the Cancun Airport and Playa Del Carmen is 197 pesos for second class, and 315 for first class. If you have seen any of our videos about the Tren Maya, there is not a lot of difference between first and second class on the train. We only recommend buying first class if you are traveling long distances (like 5 hours or more). 

How long does it take the Tren Maya to go to Playa Del Carmen?

The current time from the Cancun Airport Tren Maya Station to the Playa Del Carmen Station is one hour. The trains are running on time and leave on time. The speed however is slow between the airport and Playa. This is expected to change as more is finished with the line. But for now, calculate one hour of train time. 

It should be noted that you need to add:

  • Time to exit the airport and take the bus to the Tren Maya Station (about 20 minutes)
  • Time to buy your tickets if you need them (about 10 minutes)
  • You also need to calculate the time from the Tren Maya Station in Playa Del Carmen to the center (about 30 minutes)

So, a minimum of 2 hours to take the train from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen if you make all connections fairly well. 

Arrival in Playa Del Carmen at the Tren Maya Station

Stations are supposed to be announced in English and Spanish and posted on the trains message board in each train car. The last two times we took the train this system was not working. Instead, one of the cabin crew walks through announcing the stops. However, currently there are only stops in Puerto Morelos and Playa Del Carmen, so it is easy to know when to get off. 

Transportation options to the downtown of Playa Del Carmen

The Tren Maya Station is at the western most edge of Playa Del Carmen. So, it is a good 20 minutes to the downtown by car or taxi. There is free parking at the station in Playa Del Carmen. However, parking is in full sun, so we don’t recommend leaving a car for extended periods of time (several days). 

Where is the Tren Maya Station in Playa Del Carmen?
The Red marker on the map is where the Tren Maya Station is in Playa Del Carmen.

Taxis to the center of Playa Del Carmen

As many of you know, taxis in Playa Del Carmen are not metered, but rather operate by zones. hailing a taxi is cheaper than a taxi stand where the drivers wait for clients. From a taxi stand on 5th Avenue a taxi is 500 pesos to the Tren Maya Station. This should be the maximum charged and rates will be lower depending on where you get the taxi, but overall, it is very expensive. 

Tren Maya Taxi

Bus to the center of Playa Del Carmen

There is a bus that is scheduled to meet the trains arriving and departing. In the center of the Playa Del Carmen there is an ADO booth to buy tickets for this bus. Tickets are currently not available on the ADO website for this bus transfer. The price is 55 pesos each way and goes to the ADO Alternative Station on 20th Avenue and 12th Street. Below in the photo is the current schedule. 

ADO Tren Maya

What is the difference between taking the Tren Maya and the ADO Bus?

As many know, the ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen has been a mainstay for many. The ADO bus is efficient, affordable and easy. The only failings are that it does not stop at hotels and any distance from the bus station in Playa needs to be covered by a taxi, other than that, the bus works pretty good. So how is the Tren Maya compare with the ADO bus? 

Timing between the bus and train

Well, for one, the train takes more time. As mentioned above it will take a minimum of two hours to get from the airport to the center of Playa Del Carmen. The timing of the ADO bus is as follows, usually you need about 30 minutes to wait for the bus at the airport terminals. See the official schedule of the ADO bus here.  Since the buses leave almost every 30 minutes, waiting is limited. The ride to Playa Del Carmen is exactly one hour. So, in total you would one hour and 30 minutes to get from the airport to the Juarez Avenue ADO Bus Station in Playa Del Carmen. 

So overall the bus is 30 minutes faster, but in reality, with multiple connections for the train, the bus can be a good hour shorter when going one way. Of course, if you do the reverse, it also takes longer with the train and can even add up to more time compared to the ADO bus.  

Important note: The train has only three departures daily, so depending on when you arrive, and you want to take the train, you might have to add some time to your overall travel time. 

Cost difference between Tren Maya and ADO Bus

The ADO bus is currently 250 pesos from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. Compared with the Tren Maya which has two prices for international tourists, second class is 197 pesos, and first class is 315 pesos for a trip. So, even if you took the train in second class, you will most likely need transportation from the Tren Maya Station to the downtown. That is currently 55 pesos and added to the 197 pesos for a total of 253 pesos or 3 pesos more than the bus.

It is true that many will take a taxi from the bus station in Playa Del Carmen to their final destination. So, this is added cost. However, taking a taxi from the Tren Maya to your hotel directly and not taking the bus downtown, this is not going to be a cheaper option. Taxis know the Tren Maya Station is a prime destination and we have already seen rates as high as 500 pesos from 5th Avenue to the Tren Maya Station. 

So, what is the best public transportation from the airport to Playa Del Carmen?

Between the bus and the train, currently the bus is winning. The ADO bus is 3 pesos cheaper if you take the tourist class on the train and it is between 30 minutes and 60 minutes faster. It is however fun to take the train, but that might not be enough to convince you to take it. We have taken the train several times now and have different videos about the experiences. We recommend the train for longer distances and also for those that have a tolerance while the train is getting up and running. 

See our guide on how to take the ADO Bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen here

ADO buses at the Cancun Airport

Or save even more money on a shared shuttle from the airport!

Do you want to save some money going to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun Airport? There is another option. It is a shared shuttle. You save money because it is a shared shuttle and also there is no need to take a taxi from the bus station to your hotel. So, this is more direct and can save you money. These shuttles need to be booked in advance. You cannot book it when you arrive at the airport. They are reservation only so they can plan the most efficient route for the guests.  To reserve a shared shuttle spot, click the reserve now button to go directly to the companies booking site. 

Shuttles to Playa Del Carmen
Getting to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun Airport is affordable and comfortable.

Our video of the Tren Maya between Playa Del Carmen and the Cancun Airport

Here is our detailed video of the experience plus background details about taking the Tren Maya. 


And of course, the most popular means of transportation between the airport and hotels is….

Since many people are staying at all-inclusive hotels along the Riviera Maya, most people choose a private transfer. These reserved in advance rides will be waiting for you at the airport to take you directly to your hotel. You will have a bilingual driver and you will be in good hands because company has been around for over a decade and our readers always speak highly of them.

As you might know, taxis are not metered at the Cancun Airport, so you need to negotiate, and often people pay more, plus are in a smaller sedan for the ride to the hotel (which is often 30 minutes to 1 hour). Plus, these private transfers give you up to a 20% discount if you book a round trip with them. Click the reserve now to go to their official website. 

Cancun to Playa Del Carmen transportation
These are what the private transfer vans look like that will transport you from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen or wherever you need to go.

About The Author


    • Thank you for taking a look. We are working on a lot of new content and have other videos of the Tren Maya coming so readers can navigate the train.

      • Great information. Any idea when the maya tren to Chetumal will be completed? Will it go from Cancun to Chetumal and back? We often take this route because it’s cheaper than flying into Belize city. We live in Corozal.

        • Well, the last section is now moved back to August. So, it is about 6 months behind. That is an estimated date.

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