By far the cheapest way to travel around the Riviera Maya is using the colectivos. But for destinations outside of the area, such as Chichen Itza, you will need to find alternative transport. The only public option for this is ADO bus service who’s extensive routes provide access to the most popular destinations. These will leave ONLY from either their bus station in Playa Del Carmen, or the bus station in Tulum.
This will either be by taxi or any private tours you may book. There are many tours available to almost every activity you wish to undertake in the Riviera Maya; however, they are expensive for thing that can, sometimes, be organised by yourself for less. Taxis, again, will also be quite expensive. With taxis it’s always best to try and negotiate a price before you get in, and if your know Spanish use it; your wallet may thank you for it.
Upon hiring a car you have free roam of the area, although, beware it can be hard to find parking at some places; such as Akumal. The highway that dissects the Riviera Maya is Route 307, and you will find that almost everything you want to do is on, or just off, this stretch of road. Hiring a car also allows you to explore further afield with ease; sometimes if your in a group of 4 or more this can be a cheaper way of getting to places such as Chichen Itza. See our guide for Driving in Mexico for tips and advice on driving in the region.