Playa del Carmen has become very famous lately because of its key location as a town between Tulum and Cancun. We will share with you some tips for getting around Playa del Carmen on the cheap. Learn how to use Playa del Carmen public transportation as locals do and get unique experiences.
From Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen
If you have just arrived at the Riviera Maya and looking for transportation from Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen, there are many options just outside the airport terminal: vans, buses, shuttles, transfers and taxis.
We recommend taking the shared shuttle – you can check its timetable on the official Cancun airport website. Price to Playa del Carmen is about $24.50USD and the trip takes about 1.5 hour.
A cheaper option is public transportation – to take the Public ADO bus from the ADO Cancun Airport station – on terminals T2, T3, or T4. The bus will take you directly to the ADO bus stations in Playa del Carmen – alterna or turistica. Maybe getting off at Alterna would be a better option, as it is less busy there. This might be a more convenient and cheaper option if you are staying in Playa del Carmen center. Prices are from 3.5 – 5USD.
Getting around Playa Del Carmen by Bike
Most of us can’t wait to travel freely after the pandemic. But still, budget can be limited or simply we would like to save a little even while on vacation. Using taxis might be a bit hard on your budget, even though it is the most convenient way. Luckily, Playa is a small town and it is easy to around by bike, and get to most beaches. If you are planning to explore places in and around Playa del Carmen we highly recommend renting a bike. It is cheap and eco-friendly. Getting to Tulum for example is not possible by bike, so we recommend you take local transport – the so-called Colectivo.
Colectivo Playa del Carmen
Colectivo is what the locals call the minivans doing regular trips between Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Cancun area.
Where to catch a colectivo in Playa del Carmen?
The colectivo stand in Playa del Carmen is at Calle 2 Norte between Av. 15 and 20. You can also catch a colectivo anywhere on the main Cancun – Tulum Highway: Hwy 307.
A few tips from us:
Before getting in the van tell the operator where you want to go and they will help you get off at the right place. Fares may vary depending on where you are going – from 10 to 15 pesos.
Make sure to carry Mexican pesos in cash to pay for the fares, most colectivos still do not accept cards.
Also, make sure you have change and can pay the exact amount.
Also, feel free to ask your local Koox Adventures guide anything about getting around Playa del Carmen and places to visit – they will kindly help you.
Playa del Carmen’s transportation system does not have strictly established schedules.
But then how late does the colectivo run in Playa del Carmen?
Colectivos run between Playa and Tulum from: 4:30am until about 11:30pm, every day.
How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum
Via Colectivo – From downtown Playa del Carmen reach Juarez Ave and walk to the opposite side of the beach. After 5 min walking you will see “El Ñero” taqueria on your left, turn left and continue one more block. The base of the minivans is just in the corner. Check the location here. You can hear people announcing the route to Tulum. Once you get in, tell the operator where you are going and they will let you know when you are arriving at your destination. It would take up to 50 min to get to downtown Tulum, so you can imagine how far is Tulum from Playa del Carmen.
Getting back to Playa del Carmen – the colectivo stand in Tulum town near the ADO bus station on the main avenue – check location here.
Famous and interesting spots you can visit between Playa del Carmen and Tulum
There are many places you can visit between these 2 towns. Here are some of the most famous and interesting spots to visit located on the way between Playa del Carmen and Tulum and with their estimated time from Playa downtown via colectivo:
-Xcaret Parks – 20 min
-Cenote Eden 25 min
-Rio secreto – 15 min
-Akumal – 35 min
-Xcacel beach – 33 min
-Xel ha – 35 min
-Dos ojos park- 38 min
-Casa cenote – 40 min
-Bahia soliman – 42 min
-Tulum archaeological zone – 45 min
How much is the colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?
Fares may vary depending on where you are going – from 25 to 50 pesos.
How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun
The base for both routes is at the same building but in different lanes. You will hear the operator announcing the trip to Cancun. Once you get in the van tell the operator where you are going, They let you know when you are arriving. You can also take a bus from Playa del Carmen to Cancun but it could take more time.
The colectivos run between Cancun and Playa del Carmen – all-day, 24/7 – every 15 minutes.
Famous and interesting spots you can visit between Playa del Carmen and Cancun
-Puerto Morelos beach
-Xavage and Xoximilco parks
-Croco cun zoo
How much is the colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Cancun?
Fares may vary depending on where you are going: from 25 to 50 pesos.
Playa del Carmen – Chiquila Ferry – Holbox
When you are in Riviera Maya, you will hear a lot about Holbox. It is definitely a must-visit. This is an eco-island located just across Chiquila town. It can take up to 2 hours to get there by public transport. Go to Calle 2 Norte and Av. 25, you can find the base of the Colectivo minivans to Chiquila. Then you’d need to get to the Ferry Chiquila Holbox port – the ferry runs almost every hour – one-way price is $220 pesos and the ferry ride takes about 25 mins.
ADO Playa del Carmen Bus Station
In order to keep fluent transportation, there are two bus stations, both have the same routes but different schedules. The main station ADO Centro is downtown Playa del Carmen, 5 Ave and Juarez ave. Inside you can find an atm, restrooms, snacks store, and waiting room.
The secondary station called Alterna is located some blocks away. On 20 ave corner with 12th street. You can check schedules and buy tickets on ADO webpage. Common travel routes are Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Chiquila, Bacalar.
Playa del carmen have multiple bases and routes, and the transportation system does not have reestablished schedules but then how late does the colectivo run in playa del carmen?. Foreign and local transport start services at 4 am meanwhile playa del carmen buses work all day (and night) long.