How to get everywhere from Playa Del Carmen

Your transportation guide!

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. Let’s 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 take the car ferry to Cozumel

If you would like to go to Cozumel but want to take your car, there are ferry services for this. Here is our guide on how to take the Cozumel car ferry from Playa Del Carmen

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

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

Coba Mayan ruins are a top destination spot for tourist, but it is mostly arrived at by tours. If you want to get public transportation here the best option is taking the ADO bus. You can leave from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum and the bus will leave from Tulum to Coba. There is very limited service to Coba from Tulum. The return to Tuum can be done with the ADO bus but you might finish your touring around before the bus leave. There are colectivo taxis and a second-class bus that leave more frequently from Coba to Tulum. The name of this bus is Mayab. There is information near the entrance to the ruins for the current schedule.

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 buses 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


About The Author


    • 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.

  1. This is a great transportation guide. We are coming to spend a month traveling around the Yucatan and hope to use Playa as a base for some of the trip. This is very helpful.

    • 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.

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

  3. I’m truly enjoying all the information you put on your website. You must travel all the time and you certainly understand the needs of travelers. Thanks for your work for making it easier to get around the area.

    • We were just checking the ADO website for you and it appears they only have the schedule for Tulum center and not the ruins pick up. There are often troubles with the ADO website, so we are used to getting questions about it. We will say the schedule is about once a hour. There are also the colectivos that go back to Playa from the same area o the bus stop at Tulum Ruins. This is faster but not as comfortable. These leave about every 15 minutes but sometimes they are full when they pass since this is the last stop on the way out of Tulum before going on the highway. So it might take 15/20 minutes to catch one.

  4. Good morning,
    We need to get from Playa with our luggage to the Cancun hotel zone. Do we take the ADO to airport and then another bus from there or do we take the ADO to downtown Cancun? Thanks

    • Hello Marni

      That is one options but it would leave you in the downtown of Cancun and you would need to get a taxi to the Hotel Zone. One option would be taking a taxi from Playa Del Carmen to the Hotel one in Cancun direct. This would be much easier. The price will be near 700 pesos but you will need to ask and you will have to be clear at which hotel you are going because the Hotel Zone is some 22 kilometers long.

  5. Can you please tell me how to get from playa Del Carmen to Mayakoba using public transportation. I see that they have cooking classes. That I would like to go to

    • Hello Virgil

      There are direct ADO busses that go from Playa Del Carmen to Merida. There are even several stops in Merida, so check where is closest to where you want to go and pick a bus that will stop there. We hope you have a great time there. We just got back from Merida and wrote an article about some of the things to see and eat at.

  6. We are going to be based in Playa del Carmen and doing road trips from there to many places. Are there only two toll roads in the area? Thanks

    • Hello Dorthey

      There are two toll roads, the one from Playa Del Carmen to Nuevo Xcan and the highway from Merida to Cancun. On that road there are two segments and tolls at both ends. Otherwise you are free to drive around, just watch out for the speed bumps everywhere. Safe travels.

  7. We want to travel by bus from Playa to Belize City. Is the ADO bus daily and does it still leave only at midnight? Also what is the cost?

    • There are two destinations ADO goes in Tulum so make sure you know which one you want. There is Tulum town and Tulum ruins. To the town there are busses about every 30 minutes and it cost about 70/80 pesos depending on the time.

  8. Is there a bus that will take us from Plays Del Carmen and drop us off in Piste? Or would we have to take a taxi or collectivo from the ruins of Chichen Itza?

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