This is via the ADO bus service. These buses are air conditioned and comfortable. This service runs between approximately 10am and 9pm, and departs every 30/45 minutes. It will take around and an hour and cost $140 Pesos (12USD) per person to Playa del Carmen
International flights arrive at Terminal 3: Exit the airport through the crowd of private drivers and taxi company employees (ignore them because they will try to trick you) and look for the small stand in the bus bay on the right where you can purchase your tickets; you want the bus to Playa Del Carmen.
Domestic flights arrive at Terminal 2: Head outside and turn left into the bus bay. Here there is no stand, wait for the bus and then pay the driver; again it is the bus to Playa Del Carmen.
From Playa it depends upon where you are staying as to what you do next.
You can use the Colectivo service. The stop in Playa is located on Calle 2 Norte, between 15 and 20 Avenida Notre; a five minute walk: Exit the bus station via the corner exit and turn right (away from the ocean), walk two blocks up the road and turn right again (by the “Leona Vicario” park), take the next left and the Colectivos will be parked along the right hand side of the road. There may be a queue, join it. If not walk up to the first Colectivo where an organizer will ask you where you are going and direct you to a Colectivo.
Otherwise if you are unsure of exactly where your destination is, are staying at a private condo or simply want to avoid walking we would suggest you take a taxi. There is a rank directly outside of the bus station and this option can cost up to $500 pesos (40USD) if you’re going to Tulum.
From the airport there are many airport shuttle services that serve the Riviera Maya. These are comfortable, air-conditioned and can be booked online in advance; we’d recommend this to get the best price. It will cost around 40USD per person if you’re traveling as a couple, and this will be in a shared van. If you’re traveling as a group this price can be reduced to around 15USD each. The advantage of this is that they will take you from the airport directly to the doorstep of your hotel or condo.
A taxi ride is always a possibility but, as the taxi ride (to Tulum) is about an hour and a half, it will cost upward of 100USD.
Hiring a car
Before undertaking this option you will want to check with your hotel, resort or condo owner that there is space for you to park; as many beach front resorts and hotels in Playa Del Carmen do not have on site parking for guests. As you exit baggage collection and make your way through the terminal you will pass the hire car company booths. If you have already pre-booked a vehicle (nearly always the cheapest option) this is where you will retrieve your keys. Alternatively if you do want to hire a car you can do it here. Don’t be afraid to go from booth to booth to obtain different prices, although they will all be fairly similar.
Once you have your car exit the airport and follow the signs for Route 307 South or Tulum; this road will take you through Playa Del Carmen and then further down the Riviera Maya until you reach your destination. See our guide for driving In Mexico for tips and advice on driving in the region.