Should I rent a car or use taxi? How about public transportation and what’s the best way to get from the airport to my hotel? Here are some answers.
How to get from the airport to my hotel
It takes about 1 hour to get from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen. If the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t provide a transfer service, these are your options:
- The public ADO bus brings you to the bus station on the 5th Avenue, from where you can take a taxi. The bus leaves about every 30 minutes and a ticket costs 168 Pesos.
- A colectivo, a minivan, drops you off at your hotel. You pay between 400 and 600 Pesos, depending how many people are traveling. Since they drop everybody off at their hotel it might take you a while to arrive in Playa del Carmen.
- A private transfer from 1000 Pesos up.
- Rent a car from one of the several car rental companies at the airport.
The best way to explore Playa del Carmen
…is on foot. The city’s center is pedestrian friendly, with most of the activities centered around the pedestrian-only 5th Avenue.
Playa Palms Beach Hotel is located in the very center of Playa del Carmen, with everything within a short walking distance.
Taxis are abundant in Playa del Carmen and a rather inexpensive way to move around. The prices are fixed, but like probably everywhere else in the world, drivers tend to charge you more. Therefore, better ask in your hotel how much they’re supposed to charge you and agree with the driver upon a price before hopping in.
The large and comfortable ADO buses connect the major cities and towns in the area. They are all air conditioned and run on a fixed schedule which you can check on here. The two bus stops in Play del Carmen are on the 5th Avenue with Avenida Juarez, and on the 20th Avenue with 12th Street.
If you want to feel like a local use the “colectivos”, the minivans take you from Playa del Carmen to Cancun or Tulum and makes stops in between when you ask them to. Just wave them down or go to the terminal on the 2nd street.
Unless you’re planning on exploring beyond the main Playa del Carmen area, a car isn’t really necessary.
Fares are from around 30 USD upwards a day, depending on the type of the car. International companies tend to be a bit more expensive, but they also have more cars to choose from and a better insurance system. It’s advisable to take all the insurance offered. In fact, many car rental companies won’t rent you a vehicle if you don’t buy also their full insurance.
Parking in Spanish is “Estacionamiento”; hence the big E on signs. We don’t have parking at Playa Palms Beach Hotel, but you can leave your car nearby at the roadside. The sidewalks are painted to signalize the parking status. White means parking is allowed, yellow and red means it’s forbidden. There are also 2 parking lots within 3 blocks of the hotel.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- The way people drive here in Mexico is probably different than what you’re used to and maybe not everybody respects the street signs, so please drive carefully.
- Navigating within Playa del Carmen is easy thanks to the town’s grid layout, but most of the streets in the center are one way.
- There are a lot of speed bumps
- Streets get very slippery when it rains.
- It is permitted to go right on a red light.
On two wheels
Exploring the town on a bike is a lot of fun! There are several bike rental shops on the 10th Avenue. Or rent a scooter or a motorcycle to explore the area beyond Playa del Carmen.