How to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a popular and fast-evolving destination in Mexico’s Quintana Roo District. Located close to Cancun, it offers a more relaxed vibe than the big city. You can spend your days sunbathing on the beach, hopping between cafes or wandering around the boutiques at the ‘Quinta Avenida’.

Something a bit different is Xcaret Park, a nature park (we’d call it more a theme park) that has more than 50 natural and cultural attractions to explore. You can find this just outside of Playa del Carmen. Or if you really want to escape back to nature, there are a number of Cenotes to explore in the nearby surroundings.

What transport options are available to Playa del Carmen?

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

If you want to take the journey from Tulum to Playa del Carmen, the bus is your best option as they offer space to store your luggage. The Microbus is a better option if you’re just visiting as part of a day trip. This is because they are predominantly used by commuters and therefore don’t have space for a big suitcase or backpack.

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 Tulum to Playa del Carmen

 

Bus icon

Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Bus


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

Buses to Playa del Carmen depart from the main bus terminal in Tulum, located in the town’s centre. If your accommodation is nearby you can walk, but if you’re 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. A good rate to go by from the beach area is 150 MEX ($7).

Step 1: Tulum to Playa del Carmen

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

The bus company that operates between Tulum and Playa del Carmen is ADO. It offers very good quality journeys and have several departures a day.

All buses have AC, a toilet and reclining seats, so you’ll have a comfortable ride. You can book your tickets online on BookAway or ADO’s Website, or it’s also possible to buy them directly from the bus terminal.

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

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCostsSchedule
ADO Eleven departures a day from 09:40 to 20:001 hour94 MXN ($4)Check bus tickets on ADO website

Check Bus Tickets on ADO Website

Step 2: Playa del Carmen bus terminal to City Centre

Duration: 5 minutes
Cost: 0 – 150 MXN ($7)

The main bus terminal in Playa del Carmen ‘Playa del Carmen Turistica’ is within the town’s centre. 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 to go if you’re travelling within the limits of Playa del Carmen is between 70 – 50 MEX ($3.20 – $7).

microbus icon

Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Microbus


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

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

Warning: As they are used mostly by local workers and not by tourists, they don’t have space for luggage, making them only a good option for day trips to Playa del Carmen or if you are traveling with hand luggage only.

The ride to Playa del Carmen typically costs 42 MXN ($1.90). 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.

Where can I find the Microbuses from Tulum to Playa del Carmen?

Microbuses to Playa del Carmen depart from a stop located in the intersection of Chetumal and Calle Osiris Norte in Tulum’s city centre.

The Microbus’ last stop is just a couple of blocks from the main bus terminal in Playa del Carmen, also within the tourist area, meaning you can walk to many hostels and hotels nearby. Unlike buses, microbuses also allow you to get off before if your accommodation is on the way.

 

Was this post helpful?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

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.