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Playa del Carmen Transportation Options PDF Print E-mail

 By Sara Moen

Once you get to Playa del Carmen, you can walk just about anywhere in town. But if you do need to get somewhere, and either don't want to walk or it is too far, there are many other ways to get around town.



You can find taxis everywhere and anywhere. There are taxi stations all over Playa del Carmen. On 10th Avenue between Juarez and the entrance to Playacar Phase 1, on 5th Avenue and Juarez, on 5th Avenue and Constituyentes, are set locations that you will always find a taxi. Taxi drivers, or taxistas, have two 12 hour shifts per day. They change at 4:00 PM and again at 4:00 AM, so it can be difficult to find taxi's between 3:30 and 4:00 (AM or PM) as they gas up, clean their cars, and deliver the taxi to the next driver. The taxis are one of the largest federally regulated unions in Mexico so their rates are fixed. This being said it is always a good idea to ask how much it will be for a ride prior to getting in even if there are set rates. Sometimes a taxi will stop even if they already have a fair, and if they are going your way they will give you a ride. They then get 2 fairs for one destination which is a motivator to have multiple passengers. Plus you get to meet some interesting characters. They usually only allow 4 people per taxi, but may make exceptions depending on the driver.
Check the current taxi rates


Collectivo's are vans that run between Cancun and Tulum. You can also catch one in town to get from one end of town to the other. They are usually air conditioned and are very cost effective. If you are claustrophobic this may not be the way for you; the drivers pack in the people.

The costs are:

  • 40 pesos [Approximately $4.00 USD] from Playa del Carmen to Cancun [one way]
  • 20 pesos [Approximately $2.00 USD] from Playa del Carmen to Tulum [one way]
  • 5 pesos [Approximately 50 cents] between 38th Street and Juarez Avenue

The collectivo's run daily from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. You can find them on Calle 2 between 10th and 15th Avenue, around town, and on the freeway.


Triciclos, which are large tricycles, are all over Playa del Carmen. Occasionally you will get stuck behind one while driving on a major thoroughfare, but they are a great option to get around town in. You can find plenty of them around the ferry dock on the South end of town, as well as on Juarez and 5th Avenue where all the taxis hang out. When we were producing a print edition of Playa Maya News we would hire 3 of them to help us transport 4,000 copies onto the ferry bound for Cozumel. It was quite a site to see 3 triciclos. 4,000 papers and one gringa perched on top hauling down the street to the ferry dock. Needless to say these guys have strong legs and will certainly get you where you need to go. They are great for getting papers, luggage or people around, and the prices do vary, but are inexpensive, so check it out!

Car Rental

There are numerous car rental agencies in the Riviera Maya. Some of the best deals can be had at the airport in Cancun. So if you are planning on renting a car while visiting Playa del Carmen and the Rivera Maya you may want to consider going through the airport.

Driving tips:

When driving in Mexico, and in and around Playa del Carmen, follow these few tips to keep you safe on the roads of Mexico.

  • Insurance: Whether you are just driving around Playa del Carmen and the Rivera Maya, or through Mexico, keep in mind that you will need Mexican car insurance. It is important to know that any Non-Mexican insurance is not honored when driving in Mexico.  If you do get in an accident you will be detained at the scene until fault is determined and all documents are checked and verified. For more information on Mexican car insurance visit . We have gone through Sanborn's Insurance for years, and they are reasonably priced, and easy to deal with. You can even get insurance online!
  • One way streets- There are many one way streets in Playa del Carmen and they are not always marked. Pay attention to which ways the cars are parked and where the stop signs are located to determine which direction the traffic goes. If you do end up going the wrong way you are subject to a ticket or a "fine".
  • Gloriettas- Gloriettas, or "round abouts", are all over Mexico, and there are a few here in Playa de Carmen as well. I wish I could tell you a hard and fast rule for handling these crazy things, but I can't. You are officially supposed to yield to your right, but I have found that tonnage rules, and you just have to go for it and get in there when you can.
  • Weather- If you happen to be caught in a typical tropical downpour it can literally blind you from seeing even just two feet ahead. Our suggestion? Ease off to the side of the road until it subsides or lets up a bit; it usually doesn't take too long, and you will make it to your final destination in one piece.
  • Day light- When we made the long drive from Seattle to Playa del Carmen we only drove during the day. It was way easier to navigate and get our bearings straight during day light hours. Night fall can bring unknown obstacles; such as live stock crossing the road, which can result in an accident, so it is definitely safer to travel during the day.
  • Turn signals- Many people do not use their turn signals so stay alert and drive defensively. If they do use turn signals it can mean different things then what one might assume. Some times a left turn signal can mean some one is turning left, but it can also mean that they are signaling to you to let you know that it is safe to pass them. This has caused accidents in the past so just be cautious.
  • Helmets- If you are driving a scooter or motorcycle, there is a helmet law that is enforced here in Playa del Carmen. Scooter and motorcycle rental agencies will provide you with one with your rental.

Ferry to Cozumel

If you want to visit Cozumel, you can take the ferry across from the dock in Playa del Carmen. It is located on the southern end of 5th Avenue right near Paseo del Carmen. There is a ticket booth right near the dock, and in Cozumel, you can purchase tickets at the ferry dock where you board the ferry.


Playa del Carmen to Cozumel Ferry - daily 6:00am, 8:00am, 10:00am,11:00am, 12:00pm,2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm, 10:00pm

Cozumel to Playa del Carmen Ferry - daily 5:00am, 7:00am, 9:00am,10:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm

Airport Transfers

There are several ways to get to, and from, the Cancun airport; taxis, or the bus are both options, as well as an airport transfer in an air conditioned van.

Contact us and we can arrange an airport transfer for you.

Motorcycle rentals:

If you would like to rent a Harley to tool around in go visit Eikka, he knows his Harley's. Read our article published in May 2005 and I guarantee you will agree....

For more information visit the Harley Adventure website or call toll free in Mexico 01-800-PLAYA HD, or locally in Playa del Carmen 984-803-9080. You can also visit the store located on the Highway and Constituyentes.


You can rent scooters at hotels, as well as some rental places in Playa del Carmen. Keep in mind that the traffic in Playa del Carmen can be crazy, and that scooter accidents are fairly common among visitors; be careful of the taxi drivers. I think they have some sort of innate inability to see scooters!


Most Hotels offer bicycle rentals, and it is a great way to get around town. There is a bike path that runs along 10th Avenue between Juarez and Constituyentes. Keep in mind that 5th Avenue is closed to bicycles. So either walk your bike, or pedal fast so they can't catch you!  Be careful if you leave the bike unattended; bike theft is common, and you will be held liable.


Many of the best sights to see in the Riviera Maya are located off of the highway (307) which starts in Cancun and runs all the way down to Chetumal. Busses run out of Playa del Carmen to nearly every destination in Mexico. And several bus lines run between Cancun to Chetumal all day, everyday.

Buses coming from Cancun and from the south arrive at the bus station, at the corner of Juárez and 5th Avenue. Buses coming from inland, or out of state, arrive at the ADO station, on 20th Avenue between 12th and 14th streets.

Taking the bus is easy and an inexpensive way of getting around the Riviera Maya. The buses are very nice, and well maintained. Plenty of leg room, air-conditioning, and onboard movie capabilities, makes your trip enjoyable and carefree. Check out for ticketing and scheduling information.