How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Tulum is becoming an ever-more popular destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s often been overshadowed by the bigger cities such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun, but as people want to escape the busyness of these places, more people seem to be heading to Tulum. Here you’ll find a more laid-back, bohemian vibe, making it a great place to relax.

The town of Tulum is named after it’s stunning archaeological ruins that sit perched on top of a cliff only 10 minutes out of town, overlooking the ocean below. The ruins are impressive in their own right, but cast against the backdrop of the sea, you can’t help but be in awe.

What transport options are available to Tulum?

The most popular ways to travel the 65 km (40 miles) from Playa del Carmen to Tulum are a 1-hour bus ride or 1 hour 15 minutes microbus ride. Fares range between 42 and 94 MXN ($1.90 – $4).

The cheapest option, but only by a few dollars, is the Microbus. However, they don’t have any room for luggage and will stop on the way to pick up and drop off passengers, meaning some extra travel time. If you’re planning on taking just a day trip to Tulum then the Microbus may be the better option as you can also visit any of the attractions on the way before getting there.

The bus is the best option if you’re travelling with luggage. Unlike the Microbus, most buses allow one large piece of luggage and hand luggage per passenger. So if you’re moving to your next destination, this is the better option.

Buses typically offer a more comfortable ride than with the Microbus, plus they go straight to Tulum, meaning a faster ride.

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus1 hour 94 MXN ($4.20)Check bus tickets
Microbus1 hour 15 minutes42 MXN ($1.90)Read article for info

View itinerary from Playa del Carmen to Tulum

 

Bus icon

Playa del Carmen to Tulum by Bus


Duration: 1 hour
Cost: From 94 MXN ($4)

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 Tulum

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 94 MXN ($4)

The bus companies going from Playa del Carmen to Tulum are ADO and OCC. Both are good in terms of quality, but the first choice is often ADO as it offers departures several times a day.

All buses offer AC, a toilet and reclining seats.

You can book your tickets online via BookAway or on ADO’s Website, or it is possible to buy them directly from the bus terminal as well.

When booking, pay attention to the departure and arrival points as some buses depart from the Alterna bus terminal in Playa del Carmen, and some will drop you at Tulum’s archaeological site.

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCostsSchedule
ADO Eleven departures a day from 07:37 to 19:151 hour94 MXN ($4)Check bus tickets on ADO website
OCC19:45 – 20:551 hour 10 minutes94 MXN ($4)Check bus tickets on ADO website

Check Bus Tickets on ADO Website

Step 2: Tulum bus terminal to City Centre

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 0 – 150 MXN ($7)

Tulum’s main bus terminal is located in the town centre. If your accommodation is nearby you can walk, but if you are staying at the beach area the best option is to take a taxi.

Taxis in Tulum are not metered, so make sure to agree on the rate before stepping in. An average rate to the beach area is around 150 MEX ($7).

microbus icon

Playa del Carmen to Tulum by Microbus


Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 42 MXN ($1.90)

Microbuses, also known as ‘colectivos’, are the cheapest option to travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. They are also the cheapest way to get to any of the cenotes, archaeological ruins or beaches on the way. Unlike buses, they are allowed to stop everywhere.

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

The ride to Tulum is around 42 MXN ($1.90), but prices can increase during peak tourist seasons, around December – February.

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 run 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.

When can I find the Microbuses from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum?

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

The microbus’ last stop is the bus terminal in Tulum. However, unlike buses, you can get off before if your accommodation is on the way or if you want to go to the archaeological ruins before entering town.

 

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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.