Over the years, I’ve lived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico several times. I love that city and I recommend it all the time for those looking for a great vacation and for those looking to live in a tropical, laid-back destination for a while.
It’s an easy place to reach, too. I arrive at the Cancun Airport, and if I’m traveling on my own, I hop into a Cancun Shuttle shared transportation for the 50 minute ride down to Playa del Carmen. They drop me off at my accommodation (Reef 28 Hotel or an Airbnb) and just like that, I’m ready to enjoy my time in this great town.
I know that getting from the airport to Playa del Carmen, or even to the Cancun hotel zone, is a major reason for concern for many travelers. The Cancun airport is well-known for being a hassle, with a confusing and intense set-up that makes it overwhelming to book transportation at the airport once you arrive.
It takes time, you don’t know if you’re getting a good deal (it’s very easy to pay too much if you book transfers at the airport) and you’re stuck amongst the crowds of people trying to get out of there.
That’s why I typically recommend organizing transportation in advance and if you’re a solo traveler, shared transportation is the best option. This way, you avoid all the hassle at the airport, your transportation service will be waiting for you by the exit when you arrive and for a very affordable price, you’ll be taken to your hotel or apartment.
The downside of course is that the van will have other travelers too and the driver will drop everyone off in the order that makes the most sense based on the route. But in my opinion, for prices as low as $12 per person to Cancun and $25 per person to Playa del Carmen (not bad for an almost 1 hour ride), it’s worth the extra ten minutes or so that it might take to drop others off before you.
It’s funny because when I was younger and traveling on the lowest budget possible, I would almost never book airport transportation in advance. I would arrive, figure out the local bus or train system and take whatever was the cheapest option, regardless of the hassle or time it took. The goal was simple – spending the least amount of money.
But now, those days are over and the goal has shifted. When I arrive in a destination, getting to my accommodation quickly and with complete ease is what’s important. And when that can happen without having to spend a fortune, such as the case with booking shared transportation from Cancun airport, it’s a bonus and I don’t hesitate to book it.