How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Cancun is by far the main tourist destination on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera and potentially in all of Mexico. It’s the go-to place for tourists to come and relax due to the hundreds of hotels and luxury resorts that line the white-sand beaches. Cancun is similar to Playa del Carmen but on an even bigger scale. It has more restaurants, more bars and plenty of night clubs.

Cancun is also the door to other popular sites in the Yucatan Peninsula as well as the rest of the world. Cancun has an international airport that’s well connected with the rest of the world.

What transport options are available to Cancun?

The most popular options to travel the 68 km (42 miles) from Playa del Carmen to Cancun are a 1 hour 15 minutes bus, 1.5-hour Microbus or a 1.5-hour shared minivan. Fares range between 45 and 475 MXN ($4 – $22).

For most people the best option is the bus. It’s a relatively cheap option that offers comfort whilst travelling and set departures times so you can fit it into your itinerary. Plus, unlike with the Microbuses, you can travel with all your luggage.

If you like to keep hassle and stress to a minimum, then the shared minivan is probably the way to go. They offer pick up and drop off at your accommodation, so you don’t have to worry about getting to/from bus terminals.

Microbuses are the cheapest option of them all, but they make multiple stops on the way, meaning some extra travel time. Plus this isn’t a feasible option if you’re travelling with big luggage, as there’s no storage space in the vehicles.

If you’re looking to travel from Playa del Carmen directly to Cancun International Airport, there are options available that don’t require you to enter the city centre. You can find out more about this in the last section of this article.

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus1 hour 15 minutes From 65 MXN ($3)Check bus tickets
Microbus1.5 hours45 MXN ($2)Read article for info
Shared Minivan1.5 hoursFrom 475 MXN ($22)Check minivan tickets

View itinerary from Playa del Carmen to Cancun


Bus icon

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Bus

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cost: From 65 MXN ($3)

The main bus terminal in Playa del Carmen, ‘Playa del Carmen Turistica’, is located in the town’s centre, near the beach. If your accommodation is nearby you can consider walking, but if you are staying further away, the best option is to take a taxi.

Taxis in Playa del Carmen are not metered, so make sure to agree on the rate before stepping in. A reasonable rate is between 70-150 MEX ($3.20 – $7).

Step 1: Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cost: 65 MXN ($3)

The bus company going from Playa del Carmen to Cancun is ADO. It offers great quality service, all buses are first class, meaning they include AC, a toilet and reclining seats.

You can book your tickets online or buy them directly from the bus terminal.

When booking, pay attention to the departure and arrival points as some buses depart from Playa del Carmen’s ‘Alterna’ terminal site, which is slightly further out from the town centre.

Buses will drop you at the Cancun’s central bus terminal.

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCostsSchedule
ADO Every 20 minutes from 08:30 to 21:00 1 hour 10 minutes65 MXN ($3)Check bus tickets on ADO website

Check Bus Tickets on ADO Website

Step 2: Cancun bus terminal to city centre

Duration: 5 – 15 minutes
Cost: 0 – 210 MXN ($10)

Cancun main bus terminal is conveniently located in the city centre. Many hotels and hostels are located around and just a few blocks from the bus terminal so you can choose to walk.

However, if you are staying further away or within the beach areas, you may have to take a taxi to get to your final destination. Taxis are available outside of the bus terminal and are metered, so rates will depend on the distance and time.

An average ride to the beach area is around 210 MXN ($10).

Another option is to use public transport. Buses pass in front of the bus terminal on Avenida Tulum and lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 connect the bus terminal with the beach and hotel area. The rate for the buses is 15 MXN ($0.70) to be paid directly to the bus driver.

microbus icon

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Microbus

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 45 MXN ($2)

These Microbuses, also known as ‘colectivos’, are the cheapest option to travel from Playa del Carmen to Cancun.

As they are used mostly by local workers and not by tourists, they don’t have any space for luggage. Therefore, they are a good option only for day trips to Cancun or if you are travelling with just hand luggage.

The average rate to Cancun is 45 MXN ($2), but it can increase depending on if it’s peak tourist season. There’s no option to book online, so you’ll need to go directly to the stop and pay directly to the bus driver.

Which Microbus company to choose?

There are two companies operating this route: Playa Express and Colectivos Foraneos. Both run every 15 minutes or when the vehicle reaches its capacity.

Playa Express operates from 04:00 to 23:00 while Colectivos Foraneos runs 24 hours. Keep in mind that Playa Express’ vehicles are more comfortable with more space between seats and working AC, so keep that as your first choice.

Where to find the Microbuses chrome Cancun to Playa Del Carmen?

The ‘Colectivo’ bus stop in Playa del Carmen is located in the tourist area, just a couple of blocks away from the main bus terminal.

When you arrive in Cancun, the Microbus’ last stop is one block from Cancun’s central bus terminal in the city centre. Unlike buses, you can get off before this stop if your accommodation is on the way.

minivan icon

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Shared Minivan

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 475 MXN ($22)

If you want to avoid going to/from bus terminals, shared minivans conveniently take you from your current hotel to your next one. This service is offered by several companies and commonly booked online.

Although still more expensive than the bus, the shared minivan may still be a good option if you’re not close to either of the bus terminals, and want to save some money on taxis. You can book this service via BookAway.

Shared minivans include hotel pickup and drop-off and cost 625 MXN ($29). They run every hour from 08:00 to 19:00. The travel time does vary, as it depends on the number of passengers and additional stops on the way, but is often between 1.5 to 2 hours.

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway


Travelling from Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
Cost: From 208 MXN ($9.50)

If your trip has come to an end and you’re flying out of Cancun’s International Airport, you can travel there directly from Playa del Carmen.

There are three ways to do it: by bus, shared minivan or with a private transfer. All three options have an average duration of 1 hour, but the shared minivan may take an extra 15 minutes, as it may stop to pick up more passengers.

When booking any of these services, remember to calculate the time by leaving Playa del Carmen at least 5 hours before your flight to account for delays from traffic, roadworks or in the case of shared services, any issue with additional stops.

Buses from Playa del Carmen to the airport are run by the company ADO and depart roughly every hour from 06:30 to 18:10 from Playa del Carmen Turistica bus terminal in the centre of town. The bus rate is 208 MXN ($9.50). You can purchase your ticket directly at the bus terminal or book it online through ADO’s website.

Shared minivans are an intermediate option between buses and private transfers. They depart every hour, 24 hours a day, from Playa del Carmen. They will pick you up in your hotel and drop you off at Cancun’s airport. Note that you may stop on the way to pick up other passengers. You can book this service on BookAway for $20.

Another good option is to hire a private transfer where your driver will pick you up from your accommodation and take you directly to Cancun airport. This service is provided by several companies that all you to check availability and book online.

Among the ones with best reviews and cost/benefit ratio are eTransfers and Happy Shuttle Cancun with rates starting at $45 for a one-way trip.


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COVID-19 Limitations: Transportation services have limited availability and schedules might be less frequent. Please check our recommended booking websites for the most recent schedules.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to recent travel restrictions, most of the transportation services are currently unavailable or subject to change.