One of the recurrent problems when visiting the Riviera Maya is deciding what type of transportation to use. It is not rocket science to find a good option but is difficult to choose when you don´t have the right information. There is no better advice than the ones from locals.
Usually the top questions are: Is it safe to take the airport shuttle? Should I choose private airport transfer instead? Is it expensive? How do I get an affordable option without giving up my holiday precious time?
Today we will answer these and other questions to guarantee you will go from one place to the other within your budget and on time.
The first step is to define how you like to travel. Some people would suggest private transfers as it is more convenient when you arrive with baggage and are tired after a long trip. Others with less luggage and who prefer good deals, can conveniently take the ADO bus found at the Cancun airport.
The most convenient option is private transportation. You book your round trip airport transfer in advance and the service is there to take you off to your destination. No stress, no fuss. Even if your flight is late. It is advised to book at least with 3 days in advance and to keep the contact information handy when you arrive at Cancun Airport.
The less expensive option but not as convenient is the ADO public bus service.The ADO bus can take you to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Merida. Once you arrive at your destination you can hire a cab to take you straight to your hotel, house or private villa. No need to book it in advance. The one way price to Cancun is around 4usd, for Playa del Carmen around 10usd per person. The ADO buses depart every half hour and schedule is from 8:00am to 10:00pm. Merida and Tulum bus service is every two to three hours. Check bus schedules for specific times for these cities.
One of the best things in Riviera Maya is the 24/7 Cab service. Prices are very affordable and you can get anywhere no matter how late it is. The rates depend on the distance but prices are fixed and everyone offers the same price. You can fit up to 4 people in one cab and luggage. Local taxis can be arranged at the airport before you leave the terminal.
When traveling with more luggage than usual or with more than 4 people, the better option and less expensive option is private transportation. If your flights arrive late and is best to secure your private transportation in advance. You can also hire a shuttle service, a shared van that will take up to 10 people. The shuttle will wait for other travelers to fill the van, the drop each traveler off at their hotel or resort. The ride is a bit longer than private transport, but the savings may be worth it.
These three services can be used on your vacation. Hire a van to take you to the ruins, or hire a taxi to drive you from one city to another. Shuttle buses called collectivos run up and down the main highway between cities. If you are the adventurous, just rent a car, but more about these vacation transportation options.
Once settled at your hotel or condo, a good transportation option is a local Collectivo or public van. Is a very affordable way to get from one place to another if you are not in a hurry. Vans are large enough to fit 14 people comfortably and makes stops at parks, hotels, and popular sites on the highway. Collectivos from Cancun to Playa del Carmen run from 24 hours a day and rates depend on the distance. Prices are no higher than 4usd per person.
Collectivos from Playa del Carmen to Tulum start working at 4:00am and stop at 11:00pm. Rates depend on the distance: from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is no more than 4usd per person and from Tulum to Akumal or from Playa del Carmen to Akumal, rates are around 3usd per person.
The collectivos depart every 5 minutes or so, depending on how fast the van gets full. This is probably the best option balancing timing and money.
We guarantee you that with this information, you will find the best option for your needs. We think the only stressful decision you should have to make during your vacations is deciding what kind of drink to get on the beach!