How to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen – Best transportation options

Otto I. Eovaldi

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Photo of a beach in Cancun, with turquoise water and white sand. This article is about traveling from Cancun to Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
Cancun turquoise waters.

One of the most common questions when traveling to the Riviera Maya is how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. There are many options available, and which one you choose will depend on your budget and schedule. This guide about traveling to Playa del Carmen from Cancun will discuss the different transportation options available and help you decide which is best for you!

First of all, Playa del Carmen is one of the best destinations you can visit when visiting Mexico; it is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, more precisely in the state of Quintana Roo. If you want to visit any destination of the Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Akumal, etc.), or all of them, it is essential to know the best transportation alternatives in the region.

Most people visit Playa del Carmen because it is a beautiful destination located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. For those who want to start this visit in a smooth way, knowing the options of getting from Cancun to Playa del Carmen before your trip will help you plan your itinerary and budget.

So let’s dive into the Riviera Maya transportation options available and why you should choose or avoid any of them.

Distance from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Cancun to Playa del Carmen distance is 68 kilometers, so if you travel by car, it will take you to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is 1 hour and 7 minutes.

People queuing at Cancun Airport waiting for their transportation from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen.
Cancun Airport might be your trip starting point.

How to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen?

When arriving at the Cancun Airport, you will find different ways to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen:

  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Shared shuttle
  • Private transportation
  • Car rental

Cancun to Playa del Carmen bus service

The Cancun to Playa del Carmen bus price varies from 40 to 50 pesos, depending on your destination.

These buses run 24 hours a day and have three different routes: one goes to Playa del Carmen; another goes to the city center of Cancun (Ruta 1); and the third route goes to Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum (Ruta 2). To catch the bus from the airport, you need to go outside the building.

The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

You can purchase your tickets at the airport or buy them in advance online.

Taxi Service to Playa del Carmen

One of the fastest ways to get from Cancun Aiport (or city) to Playa del Carmen is by taxi, but it might not be the cheapest one. Also, we do not recommend this transportation option since the number of passengers is limited to no more than 4 people and you will have to fit all the luggage in the trunk of the car. Another negative side of getting a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Camen is that there is no base price (it can be anything from 60 USD) since the cab drivers themselves regulate the price.

However, if you are traveling alone or with three people, this option can be helpful, but you can find other options for the same price. 

Shared Shuttles Cancun to Playa del Carmen

A shared shuttle is a great option if you are traveling to Playa del Camen on a budget. You can book your Cancun to Playa del Carmen shuttle in advance online. The Cancun – Play del Carmen shuttle price is around $US 20 per person.

This option consists of being transported in a passenger van, which takes an average of 1 hour and a half to Playa de Carmen. You also need to keep in mind that you may not be dropped off exactly at your hotel, so you will have to walk a bit. 

This option can be handy if you are traveling alone or with one more person. If you are traveling with more than 2 people, then our next Playa del Carmen transportation option can be more useful.

Private Transportation from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

This is the most recommended option for traveling to Playa del Carmen from Cancun, especially if you are traveling with family or friends since the price is per vehicle and not per person.

The average cost of this service is $US 50, and it takes approximately 1 hour and 7 minutes. You can book your transportation in advance online.

Note that if you book your round-trip transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, you can save a few dollars.

Which are the best transportation providers in Cancun and Playa del Carmen?

Cancun Airport Transportation is one of the favorite companies which offers Cancun Airport Transfers services around Quintana Roo.

Another excellent option and a favorite for many travelers is eTransfers Cancun, which has years of experience providing quality service at an affordable price.

Photo o gas station in Quintana Roo, a place you will probably encounter when traveling from Playa del Carmen to Cancun.
Driving to Playa del Carmen is another option to get around Quintana Roo.

How to rent a Car in Cancun?

Finally, another option that may be useful depending on your needs is to rent a car. However, suppose your plans include visiting different places around Playa del Carmen or traveling to another state such as Yucatan or Campeche. In that case, this option can be more economical since you will have the car available.

One of the best car rental companies is City Car Rental, and it has offices all over Mexico and offers transportation from its offices to the airport at no extra cost. You can also compare the price of renting a car in Cancun on the Rentalcars website to have more options. If you need more info to plan your trip to Mexico, read our Travel Planning Guide.

As you can see, there are many options available for Cancun to Playa del Carmen transportation. We hope this guide has helped you decide which option is best for you!

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