Traveling to Playa del Carmen soon?
You’d be surprised at how many people ask “how far is Playa del Carmen from Cancun?”…
…and it’s a valid question for every traveler visiting the beautiful Riviera Maya coast.
You’ve landed in paradise and it can quickly become stressful when you don’t know what to do next after stepping outside that airport. It gets overwhelming quick, especially after a long international flight.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun.
Quick Answer: How Far Is Playa del Carmen From Cancun?
The distance to Playa del Carmen from Cancun Airport is approximately 42 miles (68 kilometers).
How Long Does It Take To Get to Playa del Carmen From Cancun?
The travel time from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is around 50-60 minutes drive depending on traffic. While we were living in Playa del Carmen, we frequently went drove back and forth – it’s a pretty easy drive once you hop on the highway.
Quick Answer: How Far Is Tulum From Cancun?
Maybe you’re planning to travel from Cancun or Playa del Carmen to Tulum as well?
Tulum is further away from Cancun International Airport than Playa del Carmen. The driving distance from Cancun Airport to Tulum is around 73 miles (118 kilometers) and the travel time is around 1.5 hours to get there.
Does Playa del Carmen Have An International Airport?
No, Playa del Carmen does not have an international airport. The closest international airport is Cancun Airport about a 50-minute drive away.
What Airport Do You Fly To Get To Playa del Carmen?
Most international flights will fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN) if your final destination is Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum or Puerto Morelos. Another airport nearby is Cozumel International Airport which is located on an island 30 minutes ferry ride from Playa del Carmen.
There are plenty of flights that fly directly to Cancun Airport from places like the USA and Europe and we felt they have done a great job with the airport to facilitate all the different tourists.
Where Is Cancun Airport located?
If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen, the closest major international airport is Cancun International Airport (CUN). It is located in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico, specifically in the Yucatan Peninsula. This Caribbean coast of Mexico is also known as the Riviera Maya.
Cancun Airport is the gateway to stunning coastal towns like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
It may come as a surprise that Cancun Airport is not very close to the city center of Cancun. It’s actually 20-25 minutes away from downtown Cancun but it’s strategically located south closer to the main highway to Riviera Maya.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Playa del Carmen?
The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is during the shoulder months of April, May, August and September. We love visiting popular tourist destinations during shoulder months because it usually means fewer crowds and lower prices in exchange for a couple of days of rain.
The busiest months are November, December and January. These months have the best weather with tons of sunshine but you might struggle to find a spot to lay on the beach. You can also bet on 5th Avenue is a zoo to navigate and you might have to endure some traffic on your drives around the Riviera Maya coast if you visit in the peak tourist months.
It’s completely up to you when you can go and whichever time you choose to visit Playa del Carmen, we know it will be a fun time for you!
How to Get To Playa del Carmen From Cancun Airport: 3 Transport Options
Now you know how far and how long you’ve got to drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen but…
…how do you get there?
Thankfully, there are a couple of convenient and safe options for you:
ADO Bus: Cheap Option
ADO is the most popular bus company to take all around Mexico. This is going to be your cheapest option to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun. The bus terminal is located right outside the Cancun airport terminal. The bus schedule varies from day to day and you can choose to buy your bus tickets online or in advance via the ADO website.
As of writing this post, the cost for a Playa del Carmen ADO bus costs $216 pesos ($10.40 USD). The travel time is around 1.5 hours so it does take a bit longer than if you were to rent a car or book a private transfer.
Private Transfer: Hassle-free Option
Before you flew out to Cancun, we booked private transportation. It was our first time in Mexico so we wanted the arrival process to be very smooth and easy for us.
eTransfers is the private airport transfer company we trust and have used multiple times. You can simply book in advance on their website and they will give you the next steps in an email. You can expect to pay around $70 USD for the private transfer..
Note: You can have up to 8 passengers – so if you’re a group this could be a great option because you can split the cost.
If you do choose this option – download WhatsApp! It’s much easier to communicate with drivers through this and you only need a wifi connection/data to send messages. This comes in handy when you’re trying to find your airport transfer in the sea of crowds at Cancun Airport.
Need to get a SIM Card? Click here for our complete SIM Card Playa del Carmen guide.
Rental Car: Independent Option
Want a little more independence? Book a rental car at Cancun Airport and control your own travel itinerary! You can easily hop on the highway after getting your rental car and you can even make a couple of stops along the way to Playa del Carmen.
For rental cars, we generally use Discover Cars to find good deals.
Rental car prices fluctuate depending on the season you visit. During peak season (Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb), you’ll pay more like $70 USD per day. If you visit during the low season (July, Aug, Sep and Oct), you can pay anywhere between $20-40 USD per day.
Taking A Taxi From Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen
We can’t recommend this option. I don’t think we’ve ever taken a taxi because every time we try – you know you’re getting ripped off and quoted ridiculous prices. While it can be the quickest option, it could become your most expensive one. I personally don’t like to haggle with taxi drivers so there’s that too.
Wrap Up: How Far Is Playa del Carmen From Cancun?
The distance to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is approximately 42 miles (68 kilometers) and the travel time can take anywhere between 50-60 minutes depending on your choice of transport, traffic and peak/low season.
Use your best judgment and pick a transport option that you’re comfortable with. The drive is only an hour away so it isn’t very far from Playa del Carmen. Whichever transport option you choose, we know you’ll have a great time in Playa del Carmen either way!