• Kay

How to get from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen

So you have arrived at Cancun airport and you are wondering how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. In this post I’m going to talk you through the different ways to get from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen to take the stress out of your journey.

Okay first things first I strongly recommend you to organize this before you arrive in Cancun airport. You really don’t want to begin your vacation by arriving in a new place and having to deal with the stress of having to navigate the airport arrivals area.

Suitcases and bags lines up in a row at an airport

To get from the airport to Playa del Carmen you have 3 options:

  1. Taxi

  2. Private Transfer

  3. Bus

Getting a taxi from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

It is very easy to get a taxi from the Cancun to Playa del Carmen. There will be a lot of taxi drivers hanging around at arrivals shouting ‘Taxi! Taxi!’, you can’t miss them! The prices can vary a lot! Now if you speak Spanish and are confident haggling then you can probably get a taxi for $1000 pesos. This is the local rate, if you tell them you live in Playa. The normal rate is closer to $1200-$1500. Be persistent if you want to get a good rate! The only taxis available at the airport are those airport taxis, you are not aloud to phone a normal taxi.

The downside to getting a taxi is having to deal with negotiating a fare price. You may not want the hassle of this. You also may have a a large party and a lot of luggage so would need more than 1 taxi. If this is the case then a private transfer may be a better option.

A taxi driving down a busy road

Booking a private transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

In My opinion this is a much better options. Most private transfers are minibuses so can fit 10 people in them plus luggage. You will be greeted at the airport by your driver holding a sign with your name on. Last time I took a private transfer they even had a cool damp towel so I could freshen up. It was the smoothest airport arrival I’ve experienced and a great start to my vacation.

The downside is that this can often be more expensive than the other options, however if you are in a group of 4 or more the price is comparable to taking taxis.

Getting the ADO bus from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

This is the budget friendly option for those of you looking to save money. Taking the ADO is pretty easy and it doesn't cost very much. So if you are on a tight budget this may be a good option for you. As you are exiting the airport follow the signs for the ADO bus terminal. You will pass several places where you can buy tickets, sometimes there can be a bit of a que. You may have a bit of a wait. The busses are normally every 20-30 minutes.

Although it is possible to buy ADO tickets online the website can have a bit of a mind of it’s own and I’ve never managed to actually book and pay for a ticket. Also you can't just book an open ticket, you will need to book a particular bus, so if you have any delays and miss the bus you will have the stress or trying to persuade them to transfer your ticket.

You will arrive into the main tourist ADO bus stop in Playa del Carmen, right by the Cozumel ferry. Great if you are going to Cozumel bad if you are going anywhere else. For everyone else you will then need to take a taxi from the bus station. The taxi drivers will charge you $80 pesos to go anywhere in downtown, if you are going to Playacar or out of the downtown area you are likely to pay $100 pesos or more.

The downsides to this are pretty obvious, queuing up and waiting for the bus, then having to make your way to your hotel from the bus stop by taxi, which you will have to negotiate for. All of these are things that are just adding extra stress to your journey. So unless you are going to Cozumel, save yourself all of the added stress and book a private transfer.

a airplane coming in to land at an airport

Is there Uber in Cancun

There is no Uber in The Riviera Maya, this is very political and even if you go on to the Uber app and see an available driver do not risk using it. There has been a lot of issues between Uber and Taxi driver and this did get violent. Uber pulled up because of this, but if a taxi driver sees what they think could be an Uber driver picking up a tourist they are likely to get very upset with the driver. For this reason Uber drivers are very unlikely to risk picking up a foreign person from the airport anyway.

Learn more about the situation of UBER in Cancun on our podcast.

Who to book your Cancun Airport transfer with

Of course this is a service that we can offer, and you can contact us for more information, but that isn’t the point of this post.

There are several reputable companies who specialize in Cancun airport pickups, they are:

  • Happy shuttle

  • Canada Transfers

  • USA Transfers

You can’t go wrong with any of these companies and the prices are pretty comparable. They will all speak English so you will have no problem booking or communicating with them.

Wishing you a safe and stress free vacation!


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