How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum: Info and Prices [2023]

If you are looking for the best way to get from Playa del Carment to Tulum, you have landed in the right place.

In this post I will talk about all the possible ways to get from one destination to the other with prices and practical info, so that you can pick the most convenient for you.

Playa del Carmen and Tulum are both very popular beach destination so much alike and yet so different from each other.

So my best advice is either split your stay between the two beach towns on the Riviera Maya or you can stay in Playa del Carmen and visit tulum on a day trip or vice versa.

► Read my detailed article on the main differences between Playa del Carmen and Tulum

Playa del Carmen beach crowd
Playa del Carmen Beach

Where is Playa del Carmen located

Playa del Carmen has in the most strategical location, being in the middle of the Riviera Maya, half way between Cancun and Tulum, at a close distance to many cenotes, mayan ruins and beaches.

How far is Tulum from Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is located at 1 hour drive from Tulum and at only 45 minutes from Cancun international Airport.

So if you decide to get from Playa del Carment to Tulum it could make a great day trip.

So let’s see what are the best ways to get to Tulum from Playa del Carmen.

How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Getting from Playa del Carmen to Tulum: the short answer

► Cheapest way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum – Colectivo (mini van) or ADO

► Most convenient way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum – Car rental

► Most comfortable way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum – Taxi

Tulum beach
Tulum Beach

Take a Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum

How does the colectivos from Playa del Carmen to Tulum works?

The most affordable way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is by colectivo. This is the Mexican name from mini van that offer public transportation for as cheap as 45 MXN (2.5 USD).

Colectivos are minivan that run between Playa del Carmen and Tulum from 5 am to 10 pm (on Sundays until 7 pm)

There are two colectivo terminals in Playa del Carmen: one on Avenida 20, between Calle 12 and 14 and one on Avenida Juarez corner 5th Avenue.

In Tulum they will leave and depart in front of the ADO station, which is also where you can catch them when you want to go back to Playa del Carmen from Tulum

They would stop anywhere along the federal highway or in town, if it’s along their route. You just need to let the driver know when you need to get out.

Also if you are on the highway the driver will flash his lights on and off which means that he has room. So you can waive at him and he will stop to let you in.

If you get out anywhere else between Playa del Carmen and Tulum the price is lower. You pay when you get out.

PRO TIP – it’s best to catch the colectivo at the terminal because that will guarantee you availability and most of all to pick the best seat.

woman on ADO Bus

Take the ADO Bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (the second cheapest way but more comfortable)

The other cheap way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is by ADO bus. Those are choach busses, usually very clean and spacious that run accros the Mexican republic.

If there is one thing that works very well in Mexico is the transportation system. ADO is one of the largest company that operates all around Mexico but it’s the only one in the Yucatan Peninsula.

If you don’t want to rent a car you know you can rely on ADO and its economy brand Mayab to reach to the most popular destinations.

Anyway to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by ADO you will find busses every half an hour or less most of the time.

You can check out the schedule on the ADO site and book your trip online to make sure you save your space at the time you want. Or you can also book on BOOK AWAY platform.

Just keep in mind that there are two ADO bus terminals in Playa del Carmen, all in the city center. So make sure you check which one you are leaving from when you make your reservation.

Here below the ADO addresses in Playa del Carmen:

Playa del Carmen turística: Calle Quinta Avenida Centro C.P. 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

Playa del Carmen alterna:. Av. 20 nte, con Calle 12 nte, Col. Centro, Solidaridad, Q. Roo.

Playa del Carmen hotel area

Travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by Private Taxi (the most expensive way)

Another option is getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun by taxi. To be honest, even if it appears the most comfortable way it’s my least favorite.

Taxi have become very expensive over the years and even more now with the increase of gas prices.

A Taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum may charge easily 700 MXN (35USD). The official taxi are white cars with a light blue stripe and writing on the sides.

Therefore all things considered it may be more convenient renting a car, even if it’s a little more expensive. (see next section)

However, if you don’t feel comfortable renting a car, or you just want to get from A to B and you are not interested in exploring around, and, most of all, you don’t really mind paying the extra buck, Taxis can make your life way easier. You don’t have to think about anything else rather than enjoy the ride.

In that case, my suggestion is to ask your hotel concierge or your Airbnb host for a recommended trustworthy taxi driver, and make sure you agree on the taxi fare before confirming the service.

Taxi mexico

Travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by Car Rental

Renting a Car in Playa del Carmen is the best way to explore the surrounding and enjoy the freedom of getting wherever you want at your own schedule.

If you have read other articles in this blog you may have realized how much I love to drive around and now that i don’t have my own car anymore I rent a car every now and then so that I can explore more.

I recommend using Discover Cars platfrom because it gives you the chance to compare prices among different car rentals and pick the one you find more convenient for you.

They also offer a full insurance which is sometimes more convenient than the one offered by the car rentals itself.

Car on the road near Valladolid
my car rental – driving around Yucatan

There are many car rental companies in Playa del Carmen downtown. So you can also walk in and see if they have any interesting deals, some times they do.

However, I always suggest to compare prices throughout all the platforms.

If it’s high season I would recommend booking online way in advance, to make sure you can find good deals.

Once I booked my car last minute and the price were almost double the usual rate I pay when I book in advance.

If you have concens about renting a car in mexico or driving in Mexico, I’ve got you covered. Click on the above links to read my tips.

Car rental

Discover Cars Mexico Review

Browse through international and local car rentals and find the best deal.

I’ve always had great service from Discover Cars. They always respond quickly if there’s a problem of any kind…I would never use any other car rental company as my many experiences with have been 100% positive.


Getting from Playa del Carmen to Tulum by private shuttle

If you are traveling with a group of 6 people and over, you may want to consider renting a private shuttle service with a driver. You can check out rates and conditions here

Standard minivan 7 pax
Book your private transportation for up to 7 passengers
Standard minivan up to 10 pax
Book your private transfer for up to 10 passengers

How To get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum Ruins

Now if you are not interested in going to Tulum downtown or beach but you only want to visit Tulum Ruins, you also have a few options.

In fact both ADO busses and Colectivo will drop you off right in front of the Tulum Ruin main entrance and parking lot.

You will have to walk for a few hundreds mt to get to the actual Ruins. But from the parking lot you can find local busses to take you to the ticke office and ruins.

If you take the colectivo, just follow the direction above mentioned.

If you take the ADO bus you make sure you select Tulum Zona Arqueologica, if you book on line or you tell the ticket officer that you need to be droped off by the ruins.

Not all the ADO busses will do that. See the below pictures.

ADO booking site
ADO Schedule
Tulum Zona Archeologica map
Here is where you have to get off the bus where it says ADO bus terminal Tulum Ruins

Once you get to the Archaelogogical site you can purchase your ticket and you have the option to hire a local guide.

Or, you can book a tour in advance from Playa del Carmen which already include a guide, transportation entrance fee (usually) and sometimes other interesting site to visit.

See below chapter for the best tours from Playa del Carmen to the Tulum Ruins.

From Playa del Carmen to Tulum Ruins guided tours

Tulum ruins, aerial view
Tulum Ruins aerial view

Now, as I mentioned before, you can easily go by yourself to visit the Tulum ruins, as it’s super safe and easy to get there.

However if you don’t have much time and you want to see as much as possible in one day or you are traveling alone and you would like to share these experiences with other travelers you can join an organized tour.

These tours make incredible day trips from Playa del Carmen.

Thay may look more expensive thank going on your own, but at the end of the day, you get all the comfort of a private transportation and a guide, and you get the chance to see more sites in one day.

So here below I am sharing the most highly rated tours.

From Playa del Carmen to Tulum: Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Playa del Carmen from Tulum?

Playa del Carmen from Tulum is about 1 hour drive, about 60 KM from bus terminal to bus terminal ( it’s shorter to get to the Tulum Ruins.

Is it safe to travel to Tulum from Playa del Carmen using public transport?

It is very safe to travel to Tulum on public transport. However just make sure you use some comon sense, such as carrying your personal belonging with you. Don’t leave them unattended.

How much is a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?

About 700 to 900 MXN (35 to 45 USD).

Taxi playa del carmen to Tulum

Is there a shuttle from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?

You can get a private shuttle that gets more convenient if you are traveling in a group. You can book it here

Which is nicer Tulum or Playa del Carmen?

That is a difficult question. They are both great place to spend your vacation. I prefer Playa del Carmen because the town is close to the beach however Tulum has its own special vibe and the beach is much much more beautiful.

You can read more about the comparison between Playa del Carmen vs Tulum in my dedicated post.

How much is a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum ruins?

It should be between 700 to 800 MXN.

Is it safe to drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?

It is very safe to drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. The road is pretty much straight forward and if you respect the traffic laws you should be ok.

Does Tulum have Uber?

NO, in Tulum there is no Uber nor in Playa del Carmen or Tulum.

Tulum Beach aerial view
Photo © Isabella Biava

Is it worth going to Tulum?

In my opinion it is worth going to Tulum at least once in a lifetime. The Mexican Magic Town is full of natural wonders and the Tulum ruins are just spectacular.

Can you walk around Tulum?

Yes you can walk around Tulum although the only interesting road is the main one that runs across downtown (Tulum pueblo) where you can find shops, cafes and restaurants.

Is there a direct flight to Tulum?

No, there are no flights to tulum The closest airport is Cancun international Airport, which is about 1h 45 minutes away.

You can read my post on how to get from Cancun to Tulum to learn more.

Or you can book your transportation directly with my favorite trustworthy company.

What is the best time to visit Tulum Mexico?

Generally speaking consider that the high season in Tulum is from December through April ( after Easter) which is when you will find warm weather, clear sky, less humidity and less chance of rain, but also higher rates and bigger crowds.

From May through November, is low season because it’s more humid, and there is more chance of rain, but at the same time you can get great deals from hotels and airlines and there are fewer people around. (except for July and August which is family vacation time)

Tulum - playa Paraiso

How much is a shuttle from Cancun to Tulum?

You can check out shuttle rates in this trustworthy site.

How much is a cab ride from Cancun to Tulum?

A cab ride from Cancun to Tulum can be as high as 1800 MXN. Make sure you check with your taxi driver before confirming the service.

How to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum: final thoughts

As you can see there are many ways to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum and I hope that after reading this post you have a clear idea on the most convenient and best way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum for you.

Happy travels!