Quick & Easy | Getting From The Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

We’ve lived in Playa del Carmen and have been to and from the Cancun airport 25+ times. Arranging your own transport to Playa del Carmen is easy, cheap, and safe. We’ll run through all the different ways from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen.

Related Article: How to get from Cancun to Tulum Guide

Private Driver

The fastest and easiest way to get to Playa del Carmen is by private driver. Just walk out of the terminal and look for your name on a board, and less than an hour you arrive in Playa del Carmen. The cheapest private driver is $60 for 3 people one-way or $110 round trip but the car that fits up to 9 people (price with 9 people is $85 one way $135 round trip).

You won’t find this price at the airport, book online in advance here. If you are arriving early in the morning or late at night we urge you to book a private driver in advance because the ADO buses don’t start running until 8:30 am.

Related Article: Complete Playa del Carmen Guide

Cancun Shared Airport Shuttle

The shared airport shuttles are only a really good option if you are a solo traveler in Mexico. If you are a couple it would be cheaper to book a private car and then you would have the entire car to yourself and go directly to your hotel.

Click here to book online, prices are $29 one way per person. Make sure to bring some small US bills as tipping in Mexico is standard. If you are traveling as a couple you’ll spend $58 it would make more sense to book a private car for $60, this way you will go straight to your hotel in Playa del Carmen and get your vacation n Mexico started sooner.

$40 Off Airbnb – Rent an entire house in Playa del Carmen for under $100 a night

woman standing next to a rental car in Cancun after picking it up from the airport

Rent a Car

Renting a car is one of the best ways to see some of the best things to do in the Yucatan. There are so many great places to check out and day trips from Playa del Carmen which require a car. Renting a car with save you a ton of money.

For some reason car rentals in Mexico are crazy cheap, we have rented cars in Playa del Carmen and Cancun Airport always for $1-5 per day. We just rented a full-size car for February 2018 for $1 a day. We always find these prices here on Rentalcars.com, they have a free cancelation policy too so it’s worth making the booking.

The car rental company will try and scare you into taking the insurance. If you take it that’s up to you but you don’t have to take it. They will put a hold on your credit card but if you have good travel benefits on your credit card you’ll be covered.

Our Chase Sapphire Reserve has $75,000 car rental coverage. Make sure to call your credit card company in advance and they will provide you with a letter to show the car rental companies.

Must Read: Our full guide to renting a car in Cancun

Driving in the Yucatan is super easy once you are outside of the cities. If you have Verizon or T-Mobile you will have coverage otherwise consider picking up a local SIM card with Digicel to have data during your trip.

*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

ADO Bus to Playa del Carmen

When we were living in Playa del Carmen we mainly used the ADO bus to get to and from the airport. It’s super easy and super cheap. The buses run roughly every 20-30 minutes from 8:30 am-12: 30 am, note the last bus is at 12:30 am and the first bus is at 8:30 am.

If you arrive at 6 am (like we did once) you either have to wait over 2 hours for the bus or opt for a private driver. Because we didn’t book a private transport in advance online we paid double the price in person at the airport.

How to find the ADO bus at Cancun Airport

  • After customs and immigration look for the ADO booth (inside the building), this is where you can buy a ticket if you ask anyone for the ADO bus they’ll point you in the right direction.
  • With your bus ticket, go past all the taxi drivers/tour operators offering their overpriced rides
  • Head to where all the buses are pulling in. If you didn’t purchase your ticket inside you can purchase it right outside by the buses. Sometimes the inside ticket booth won’t be open and you will have to purchase the ticket outside by the buses.
  • The buses stop and pick up passengers at all airport terminals.
  • Cost 190 pesos roughly $10 USD, you can pay in USD but you will get a better deal if you pay in pesos

If you take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen you’ll more than likely then need to take a taxi to your hotel or Airbnb. This will add to the cost so make sure to factor that in when deciding what is the best option to getting to Playa is for you.

Related Article: Must Visit Cenotes in Mexico

Cancun Airport to an All-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen

If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort on a vacation package this transfer will more than likely be included. If it isn’t included don’t book it with the hotel or your travel agent you can book it on your own much cheaper. You’ll find the best prices if you book before your trip, book online in advance here.

If you’re staying in Cozumel you will want to organize a private transfer to the Cozumel ferry in Playa del Carmen. The prices are the same as above since the Cozumel ferry is in Playa del Carmen. Click here to read our complete Cozumel ferry guide. The ferry to Cozumel is a quick 30 minutes and only $10.

Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Playa del Carmen

If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico there are some amazing places in Mexico nearby you should check out. If you can’t make it on this trip consider them on your next trip. Make sure to check out some of our other Mexico articles to fuel your wanderlust.

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We hoped we helped you decide what is the best way to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun airport. No matter which way you choose to get there you’ll still end up in paradise. 



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8 thoughts on “Quick & Easy | Getting From The Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen”

  1. Where in Playa del Carmen does the ADO bus drop you off? My sister gets in to the airport much later than us and we were going to pick her up in Playa.

  2. The ADO bus information that you provide is not correct. It is 9:39 P.M. and the next bus is not until 11:30.
    Had we known that we would have made other arrangements. It is Feb. 2 at now 9:42.

    • If a person inside the terminal tells you there are no buses currently, it is LIKELY they are a taxi driver trying to sell you a fare. This is most likely what happened to you. Don’t trust anyone in the airport regarding buses except someone behind the ADO desk.

      According to ADO’s website, there are buses on Saturday nights at 21:15, 21:45, 22:30, 23:15, and 23:59. Buses do sell out or someone told you incorrect information.

  3. Hi!

    Wow, your website is incredibly helpful and inspiring. I am planning a bachelorette trip to Playa Del Carmen in February and was wondering which form of transportation you would recommend for 8 people once we get to our Airbnb? If we want to go to dinner or yoga, which form of transportation is best for a larger group? We haven’t planned on renting a car.

    Thank you,
    Chelsey D.

    • Sorry for the delay in response, but I think the best way to arrange your transport is with a local operator. One of the best places I would start is to message your Airbnb host and see if he has any contacts that could arrange this. The chances are they will know someone that drives a shuttle that could help. Alternatively, you could arrange multiple taxis for quick unplanned trips. You can hail one and if there isn’t a second one, the driver should be able to call for a second or third taxi. Have a great trip!

  4. Hi there,

    i just love your website. Its really well written and to the point. Thank you.
    I’m gonna be going to Cancun in February and I’m wondering if it is to dive a rental car at night. WE are planning to go to Xcaret and watch the show, that ends around 9 pm. Then we have to drive back to the hotel zone in Cancun.
    Waiting anxiously for you answer.

    Thank you


    • We have driven many times in the dark and besides normal road hazards, I wouldn’t worry. Xcaret is right off of the main highway. Just watch out for speed bumps, drive safe, and use GPS on your phone or device so you don’t get off track! Safe Travels!


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