From Playa del Carmen to Tulum it is very easy, fast and economical to travel, these two destinations of the Riviera Maya are only 60 km (37 miles) apart and between them there are cenotes, ecological parks, subterranean rivers and hotels of all kinds.
The cheapest and fastest way to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is undoubtedly using the colectivos (minivans).
The starting point of the colectivos is at Calle 2 norte and Avenida 20, in the center of Playa, very close to the fifth avenue. Once at this intersection it is very easy to spot the minivans lined up. Normally the first van in line is the one taking passengers.
The price of the colectivos is approximately $2 usd ($40 mxn), but it is advisable to ask the locals for the current rate to avoid overcharging.
The travel time is 50 minutes and you can stop at any point along the way.
Given its flexibility to stop at any time, this is an excellent option for transportation from Playa del Carmen to Xcaret and back.
The colectivos leave the moment they fill up, it can take from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the season.
Although this is an economical way to get around, each unit is air-conditioned and relatively comfortable and safe.
The bus is the most comfortable and easiest, but not the cheapest way to travel from Playa to Tulum. Buses leave from the terminal ADO Playa del Carmen (fifth avenue and Juárez avenue) and less frequently from ADO Terminal Alterna (20th avenue and 12th street).
The ticket price is approximately $4 usd ($80 mxn) and the transfer has a duration of one hour.
The bus to Tulum stops at the entrance to the archaeological site of Tulum, which is located just at the beginning of Tulum town.
Tickets can be purchased in advance from the official ADO website, where you can also check current fares and daily schedules. Occasionally there are discounts for advance purchase.
A disadvantage of the bus is that it only stops at the archaeological ruins of Tulum, so if your destination is between Tulum and Playa, consider taking a colectivo.
In your own car
Due to the large number of attractions and activities between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, it can be a good idea to rent a car. And if you are traveling in a group, it can also be the most economical way.
To get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum in your own car is very simple, in Playa del Carmen you must get to the federal highway 307 (Cancun – Tulum) and go straight south-west.
Tulum Tour from Playa del Carmen
Another way to get to the archaeological site of Tulum is by booking an organized tour from one of the many travel agencies in Playa del Carmen.
These tours usually include a guide inside the archaeological site.
This option is one of the most comfortable, but not one of the cheapest. A popular option is to take a day tour that combines Tulum with the Coba archaeological site.
Between Tulum and Playa
Between Tulum and Playa are:
- Akumal and Puerto Aventuras.
- Tulum archaeological site.
- Xcaret park, Xplor, Xenses, Xel-ha, Dolphin Discovery.
- Cenotes: Dos ojos, Blue Cenote or Cenote Azul, Cristalino, Ponderosa, Chac Mool, Tajma Há.
To go to the archaeological ruins and Tulum town you can take either the bus or the colectivo, but all others you can only take the colectivo.
From Tulum to Playa del Carmen
To return from Tulum to Playa del Carmen you can take either bus or colectivo from downtown Tulum or from the entrance to the archaeological ruins of Tulum.