Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Overview Compare Bus Colectivo Taxi Questions To Stay

How to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a popular and fast-evolving destination in the Riviera Maya. Located close to Cancun, it offers a more relaxed vibe, but there are still plenty of things to do. You can spend your days sunbathing by the beach, hopping between cafes, and wandering around the boutiques at Quinta Avenida. At the heart of Playa del Carmen is its palm-tree-lined beaches and music, best enjoyed at a bar by the shore!

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 nearby.

New to Playa del Carmen? Our compact Playa del Carmen guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Playa del Carmen!

3 ways to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus1 hour 10 minutes80 MXN ($4.10)Check Bus Tickets
Colectivo1 hour45 MXN ($2.30)Read article for more info
Taxi1 hour615 MXN ($31.50)Read article for more info

There are 3 ways you can travel the 65 km (40 miles) from Tulum to Playa del Carmen: a 1-hour bus, a 1-hour-15 minute colectivo, and a 1-hour taxi. Fares range between 45 MXN ($2.30) and 615 MXN ($31.50).

The bus is a good combination of comfort and budget when travelling from Tulum to Playa del Carmen. ADO Bus operates several trips throughout the day. You can get a ticket from 80 MXN ($4.10) and travel time is a little over an hour.

The colectivo is a great option if you want to travel more like a local. This is because they are predominantly used by commuters. But that also means they don’t have space for big suitcases or backpacks. So if you’re taking a colectivo, travel light!

If you don’t mind spending more for the most convenient option, you can take a taxi. Fares start from 615 MXN ($31.50) for the 1-hour ride.

Itinerary from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Bus

Duration: 1hr 10m
Cost: 80 MXN ($4.10)
Duration: 1hr 10m
Cost: 80 MXN ($4.10)

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

All buses have AC, a toilet and reclining seats, so you’ll have a comfortable ride.

Bus schedule from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Bus OperatorSchedulesCosts
ADO Bus
(from the Tulum Ruins)
16:40-17:45
17:45-18:50
80 MXN ($4.10)
Check Bus Tickets
ADO Bus
(from ADO Terminal)
08:10-09:20
09:45-10:55
12:00-13:10
13:00-14:10
16:30-17:40
17:35-18:45
19:35-20:45
150 MXN ($7.50)
Check Bus Tickets

We highly recommend booking your tickets online via BookAway to be assured of a seat on your desired date and time. If you prefer to buy your ticket at the bus station, arrive there at least 30 minutes before departure time.

Departure and arrival station

It’s important to pay attention to the departure and arrival points when booking your ride.

In Tulum, the buses depart from two different locations – the ADO bus station located in the town centre and the Tulum Ruins, which is situated 4 km east of downtown Tulum.

You will arrive at Playa del Carmen after a little over an hour. Make sure you pick a bus that makes its last stop near your accommodation!

There are also two terminals in downtown Playa del Carmen – Turistica and Alterna. Turistica is the main bus station located just across Parque Los Fundadores. Alterna is located 1 km away from Turistica, a bit outside of the tourist centre.

Depending on where you’re staying, you may have to take a taxi to or from the bus stations.

Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Colectivo

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 45 MXN ($2.30)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 45 MXN ($2.30)

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 and beaches in the Riviera Maya. 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 travelling with only hand luggage.

The ride to Playa del Carmen typically costs 45 MXN ($2.30). Keep in mind that prices can increase during peak tourist seasons, around December to February.

Colectivo companies

The two main companies operating between Playa del Carmen and Tulum are Playa Express and Colectivos Foraneos. They depart every 15 minutes or when the vehicle is full.

  • Playa Express operates from 04:00 to 23:00. More comfortable than Foraneos with more space between seats and working AC.
  • Colectivos Foraneos, on the other hand, is available 24 hours.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable alternative, we recommend the colectivos operated by Sindicato Lazaro Cardenas. They cater more to tourists so the ride will be tons more comfortable than ordinary colectivos. Just be prepared to pay a bit more as a ticket costs 83 MXN ($4.25). You can pre-book your ride via BookAway.

Departure and arrival stations

All colectivos depart from a stop located at the intersection of Chetumal and Calle Osiris Norte in Tulum’s city centre.

In Playa del Carmen, Playa Express and Colectivos Foraneos park at the main colectivo stop downtown. Sindicato Lazaro Cardenas parks a few blocks away at Benito Juarez Avenue.

Unlike buses, colectivos also allow you to get off prior to the last stop if your accommodation is on the way.

Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Taxi

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 615 MXN ($31.50)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 615 MXN ($31.50)

Are you travelling in a group and want more convenience? A private taxi is a great way to hop from one destination to the next in the Riviera Maya. If you only want to explore Playa del Carmen on a day trip, then the taxi is the best choice because it allows you to save a lot of time and hassle.

No need to find your way to and from bus stations. You can hail a taxi from almost anywhere in Tulum, even from the Tulum ruins. Rates start from 615 MXN ($31.50) for a 3-seater car and travel time is around 1 hour.

FAQ How to get there

Frequently asked questions

Can you rent a car from Tulum to Playa del Carmen?

Yes, you can rent a car when travelling between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Rental cars in Mexico are cheap. Prices start from 570 MXN ($29) for a 24-hour rental and 2,375 MXN ($120) if you want to rent for a week. For the cheapest rentals and most extensive selection, book one through Kayak or Skyscanner. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license if you want to rent a car! We also recommend that you check out our Top 10 Tips on car rentals to help you save money.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Playa del Carmen

Maya Villa Condo Hotel and Beach Club - Treating yourself

Playa del Carmen is full of luxury hotels and beach clubs, but Maya Villa is one of the best. Guests staying at the hotel get access to both a gym and the beach club!

The hotel boasts a Mayan and tropical style with its natural decor and airness. The turquoise pool winds around the hotel, dotted with waterfalls that create a relaxing soundtrack to the hotel. You can also enjoy a hot tub on the roof!

  • Hot tub and huge swimming pool
  • Large and bright rooms
  • Access to beach club and gym
  • Steps away from the beach

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Opal Suites Apartments - Treating yourself

Opal Suites offers luxury apartments with all of the facilities you get with a good hotel. Staying here you’ll have access to a gym, rooftop swimming pool and even a barbeque.

Each stunning apartment contains all you’ll need, a kitchen, washing machine, balcony and even Netflix. This can be a great option if you’re staying in Playa del Carmen for a couple of weeks, so you can have similar facilities as at home.

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Vainilla Bed and Breakfast Mexico - Budget Friendly

Start the day right with the hotel’s complimentary breakfast, made up of fresh and home-made goodies. You can literally taste how much love the host puts into the food as well as the overall running of the hotel.

Just looking at the hotel will make you feel happy. It’s bursting with colour, both on the walls and from the fruit plants that surround the garden. The hotel gets its name from the vanilla plants around the hostel, so basically everywhere smells great.

  • Superb breakfast
  • Swimming pool
  • Very friendly host
  • Bright and clean decor

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

 

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