Are you planning your vacation in Playa del Carmen? There are a few things to consider. From the best time to visit, how to get from the airport to your hotel, safety and what to pack, here is some useful information and resources for planning your first trip to Playa del Carmen.
The world is big and when planning your next trip, many destinations may come to mind. Here are some excellent reasons beyond lush beaches and scenic ruins, why Playa del Carmen belongs on the top of your travel bucket list.
Organizing a transfer from the airport to your hotel may not be the most exciting part of your vacation, but making sure you get safely and hassle-free to your destination sure is important.
To anticipate the question, the best airport entry point when traveling to Playa del Carmen is Cancun. Cozumel also has an airport. It is closer to Playa del Carmen, but there are only a few flights that go there and they are quite expensive. Also, since you must take a ferry to get to Playa del Carmen, it will take you longer to get there.
Once you’ve landed and made it through the customs procedure, there are several ways to get to Playa de Carmen.
First, you should check with your hotel, if they provide a private transfer. At Playa Palms Beach Hotel, we are happy to arrange one for you. It’s 130 USD for a round transfer for up to 4 people. The private transfer brings you non-stop, directly and safe to the hotel and back.
|Once you get out of the airport, an intense few meters await you, where everybody will call you “my friend”, and wants to offer you a ride to Playa del Carmen, or a time share or both or whatnot. It can be quite annoying and stressful, but just keep calm, say, “thank you” (the Mexican way of friendly saying no) and keep walking.|
The cheapest way to get to Playa del Carmen, and relatively easy too, is by taking the bus. It costs $178 Pesos (around 9 USD), and leaves between 8:30 am and 0:30 am about every half an hour. You can buy your ticket either at a booth before stepping out of the airport, or right on the curb. All buses are air-conditioned and with comfortable seating. Make sure to hop on the right bus, or you end up in Cancun! The bus drops you off in Playa del Carmen at the bus stop on the 5th Avenue with Avenida Juarez, from where you can take a taxi to your hotel.
|The taxis just outside the bus stop charge you more. If you want to keep it cheap, walk 1 or 3 blocks west and stop a taxi there.|
Another way to not spend too much money is by taking a shared mini-van. They wait just outside the terminal. Depending on how many people you are sharing the ride with, the price varies. Usually, you pay between 25 and 35 USD. They bring you directly to your hotel, but it might take way longer to get there since they drop off everybody at their hotel. Also, you might have to wait a little while until enough people get on. But it’s a great way to meet people, too.
There are several taxi companies serving the Cancun airport. They charge about 70 USD. Since they are Cancun based, you might end up with a driver that does not know his way around Playa del Carmen very well. Make sure you have the exact address of your destination, and maybe a phone number to contact.
Rent a car
If you’re planning on doing a lot of day trips, it might be reasonable to rent a car. Just make sure your hotel counts with a parking space! (If they don’t explicitly mention having parking, they probably don’t). Playa Palms Beach Hotel does not have a parking lot, but since we’re in the very center of Playa del Carmen, everything is within a short walking distance and you don’t need a vehicle.
|If you just need a car for a couple of days in Playa del Carmen, our staff at Playa Palms Beach Hotel can help you arrange to rent a car. The rental agent will bring the vehicle directly to the hotel, so you avoid having to pick it up and drop it back off.|
When traveling to Mexico, many people worry about safety. Mexico has gained a certain bad reputation, mostly because of sensational news coverage. The media tends to paint the whole country with a broad brush, and people expect drug wars and crime.
Taxis are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get around Playa del Carmen. Here are some answers to the questions, we get asked most, like the estimated cost and what to be aware of.
Where can I get a taxi?
You can either just stop a taxi on the street, which is as simple as holding up your arm until one pulls over. Or go to a taxi stand where they are queued up for customers, but also charge a bit more.
There are several taxi stands downtown Playa del Carmen. One is just outside of Playa Palms Beach Hotel, then there is usually one outside of supermarkets. On the 5th Avenue, you find taxi stands at the corner with the 10th street, another with Constituyentes Avenue and on Juarez Avenue, just outside the ADO bus station (where you arrive if you take the bus from the airport). Also, supermarkets usually have a taxi stand out front.
Do taxi drivers speak English?
Some do. Usually, drivers from a taxi stand speak a little bit more English. We recommend that you carry a card with the address of the hotel you’re staying at to show it to the driver and make sure you always find your way back.
How much is a taxi ride?
Taxis in Playa del Carmen don’t use a meter. Instead, they have a chart based on the areas you are going to and from. that indicate a cost. As probably anywhere else in the world, they tend to overcharge tourists. It helps if you sound like you know how much to pay (see the list below for an overview of the fees). To make sure you don’t end up paying too much, ask them how much they charge before getting in, or if you know the price, just pay that amount when arriving at your destination.
Here is a list with the approximate fee from Playa Palms Beach Hotel / downtown Playa del Carmen to following places:
- to the ADO bus station: max. 50 pesos
- to the airport: 650 – 750 pesos
- to Cancun hotel zone: 700 pesos
- to downtown Cancun: 670 pesos
- to Puerto Juarez (ferry to Isla Mujeres): 750 – 800 pesos
- to Puerto Morelos: 450 pesos
- to Tulum: 670 pesos
- to Tulum hotel zone: 720 pesos
- to Akumal: 410 pesos
These fees are for up to 4 people, and be aware that at night they charge a little extra fee.
Can I pay in US dollars?
Yes, you can. Everybody in Playa del Carmen likes to see dollar bills. But be aware that the driver will probably use an exchange rate to his advantage and you will end up paying up to 50% more.
Should I tip the taxi driver?
It’s not usually done. Unless he helps you with your suitcases or gave you a really good service, then tip him 10 – 20 pesos.