uber in playa del carmen

Is There Uber in Playa del Carmen in 2021?

can you use Uber playa del carmen services on your trip?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no, there is no Uber in Playa del Carmen. But don’t worry — I got you — because this article is going to go over all the alternatives you have since you won’t be able to use Playa del Carmen Uber in Mexico.

As most people researching the topic of Uber in Playa want to know about taking Uber from Cancun to Playa del Carmen specifically — you’re going to discover the best alternatives for that. Though you have a few options, there’s a clear winner for the most hassle-free, fastest and safest way: a private shuttle.

Cancun to Tulum private transfer service

I personally recommend the private shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, especially if you don’t speak Spanish, as you’re guaranteed an English-speaking driver. The round trip shuttle is a bargain at just $110USD, for door to door service from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen. ▶︎ BOOK YOURS NOW!

In case you were wondering Is there Lyft in Playa del Carmen? Sorry again, but there’s also no Lyft in Playa del Carmen. Now that you know you won’t be able to Uber in Playa del Carmen, or even use Lyft, let’s look into all the transportation options you do have while traveling to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

Can I Uber from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen?

As there’s no Playa del Carmen Airport, you will have to fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN). Wondering, How far is Playa del Carmen from Cancun? The Cancun Airport is only about 42 miles (68km), or one hour north of Playa, but Cancun is the closest airport to Playa del Carmen.

🤔 Why am I telling you about the closest airport for Playa del Carmen?

Because you will have to figure out how to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun without Uber! While there is Uber in Cancun (sort of), many Uber drivers won’t take you all the way to Playa del Carmen, and they aren’t even allowed to pick anyone up from the Cancun Airport.

Is there Uber in Cancun Mexico?

A court ruled in 2019 that Uber can operate in Cancun, but to say the Cancun taxi unions weren’t thrilled would be an understatement. In fact, there are sometimes clashes between groups, and most locals and visitors simply stay away from Cancun Uber for this reason.

Is there Uber in Tulum Mexico?

Much like Playa del Carmen, there is no Uber in Tulum; only taxis. For a full guide, check out this article — Is there Uber in Tulum Mexico?

is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

How can I get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen without Uber?

I promised you in the first few words of this post that I got you, and I wasn’t kidding! As someone who used to live in Playa del Carmen (I now live nearby in Merida, Mexico), I am very familiar with Yucatan Peninsula transportation. In this article, I’m sharing all my insider intel with you.

In my expert opinion, the absolute most stress-free, hassle-free and best way to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is by private shuttle (see below ⤵).

The private shuttle is very economical for groups of two or more. However, for those doing solo travel in Playa del Carmen, and anyone traveling to Mexico on a budget, you can save some money with the shared shuttle. However, anyone concerned about social distancing will need a private shuttle.

Cancun to Tulum private transfer service

Cancun to Playa del Carmen Private Shuttle Service

I recommended Cancun Airport Transportation, which has an impressive 4.5 star rating and 2,500+ reviews on Tripadvisor. They are the best private airport transfer out there, particularly for Cancun to Playa del Carmen shuttle service.

🤑 SAVE $10 by booking round trip instead of one way! So go ahead and book, then kick back and relax knowing your Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen and Playa del Carmen to Cancun shuttle is handled.

uber in playa del carmen | cancun to playa del carmen private shuttle

▶︎ Need accessible transport? Cancun Airport Transportation has vans with a wheelchair ramp.

How much is the Cancun to Playa del Carmen Private Shuttle?

Here are the prices with Cancun Airport Transportation:

  • For 1-3 passengers, you’re only looking at $110USD round trip
  • 4-6 passengers, it’s $120USD round trip
  • 7-9 passengers is $135 round trip.

If you are traveling in a couple or small group, it’s actually one of the most economical options — both time-wise and cost-wise. Whether you’re in a group, couple, or just want private Cancun to Playa del Carmen transportation for health and safety, here are six reasons it’s the best option:

1. Leave on Your Schedule

With the private shuttle, you set and control the departure time.

Imagine getting to Cancun Airport after your flight, going through the Customs line, getting your luggage, and then having to wait another two hours to even get on the bus to Playa del Carmen — which will take another 90 minutes to drive to Playa — and then you’ll still need a taxi to your hotel… 🤬 Yeah, no.

2. Bilingual Driver

With Cancun Airport Transportation, you’re guaranteed an English-speaking driver from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. For those who aren’t confident in their Spanish, having a bilingual driver is a nice, stress-free way to start your Playa del Carmen vacation — especially after a long day of traveling!

🧡 Your private driver will be easy to find: Just look for the orange sign that has their suitcase logo ⤵

3. It’s ok if your flight’s late

If your flight arrives late, or if you have any issues clearing Customs, or if there’s any delay or issues with your luggage (travel is stressful lol), your private shuttle will still be waiting for you. With a shared shuttle, you’d have to have a Mexico SIM card so you can call the company and get rebooked.

4. You’ll have a Nice Car, SUV or Van

Cancun Airport Transportation guarantees you’re in an insured, new, and air conditioned vehicle. While many shared shuttles from Cancun to Playa del Carmen do have AC, it’s not always a guarantee, and on a 90-minute drive in the tropics after a flight, it’s not a good start to your Playa trip!

▶︎ Want a luxury car? You have options for SUV transportation in a Yukon, Suburban or Expedition, and also limo service from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. 🤑 SAVE $25 by booking round trip!

uber in playa del carmen | cancun to playa del carmen luxury private shuttle

5. Door to Door Service

With the private shuttle, your driver will meet you with a greeter sign (see photo above ⤴) as soon as you exit the Cancun Airport. They will walk you and your luggage to the shuttle, pack everything up, and drive you straight to your Playa del Carmen hotel.

Keep in mind that if you take a shared shuttle to Playa, you’ll get dropped off at a central point in town. From there, you will then have to take a taxi to your accommodation. Depending on where you’re staying, you can spend anywhere from $100-800 pesos ($5-40USD) for a taxi.

6. private shuttle is the Fastest Option

As time is always the most precious commodity while on vacation — the one we never seem to have enough of — it makes sense to spend a bit more money, as long as you’re saving a good chunk of time!

Shared shuttles often have to make stops at the other three Cancun Airport terminals to pick up more passengers, then do another drop off along the route. Most shared shuttles also stop in the town of Puerto Morelos, before continuing south to Playa del Carmen.

In short, with your private shuttle, getting from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is usually a one hour trip. When going by shared shuttle, plan for at least two hours. A rental car will also take about one hour, but other than that, a private shuttle is the fastest option. 

🚐💨 Book your Cancun to playa del carmen private transport now!

is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

Cancun to Playa del Carmen Shared Shuttle

For those doing solo travel in Mexico, the shared shuttle is more economical than the private shuttle, since you won’t be splitting the cost with travel buddies. For backpackers or anyone visiting Playa on a budget, the shared shuttle is a great option at only about $60USD for round trip tickets.

uber in playa del carmen | cancun to playa del carmen shared shuttle

The shared airport shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen carries up to 12 passengers, in a Nissan Urvan (or similar). With all seats full, the Cancun to Playa del Carmen shuttle time trip can be up to two hours — versus just 45 minutes to one hour in your private shuttle.

Not only will you have to pick up passengers in all four airport terminals, but you may have to make several off-highway stops along the way to other destinations like Puerto Morelos, Playa Maroma and Playa Paraiso. Note: If you’re arriving on the weekend or a holiday, expect a full shuttle and longer travel times.

Cancun Private Shuttle vs Shared Shuttle

Unless you’re a solo traveler, or on a very strict budget, the private shuttle is the best and most cost-effective option. It’s also the fastest way to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.

Not only do you get door to door service in less than half the time of the shared shuttle, it’s often cheaper. For up to three passengers, the private shuttle is $110 round trip — so $55 per person when split by two, and $37 split three ways. The shared shuttle is $60 round trip, so private is often cheaper than shared!

woman leaning on a red convertible sports car and holding her license and the key | renting a car in mexico
I recommend — and personally use — Discover Cars for all my Playa del Carmen car rentals.
is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

Rent a Car at Cancun Airport

💡 Playa del Carmen Travel Tip: For those who just plan to relax on the best beaches in Playa del Carmen, drink in hand, soaking up the sun by day and partying all night — skip the rental car and opt for the Playa del Carmen shuttle instead.

Now, if you’re planning to do a few Playa del Carmen day trips to the Tulum cenotes, Valladolid, Coba Ruins, and the other amazing places in the Yucatan Peninsula, then a rental car is the way to go. For a Playa del Carmen car rental, the best place to get one is Cancun Airport, which has the best selection.

When booking your car online, I recommend and personally use Discover Cars. They are great because they search both international companies, and local Mexican companies, so you get the best price. 

Find Your Rental Car
is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

ADO Bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

The cheapest way to get to Playa del Carmen from Cancun is via the ADO bus. ADO is Mexico’s largest bus company, with a fleet of luxury class buses, used by both visitors and locals. As with all “cheapest” options, the bus is the least convenient option because it takes the longest.

The Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen bus drops you off at the only Playa del Carmen bus station, located near 1st Street and 5th Avenue. This means if you’re staying on the north end of the beach, say 50th Street, you’ll either have a long walk or you’ll have to pay a taxi, which will cost another $15-20USD.

Also, buses only depart every 1-2 hours or so. This means if you miss the bus by a few minutes, you’ll have a two hour wait for the next one, and then a 90-minute drive to Playa del Carmen! Personally, the money you save isn’t worth the time you lose, so consider a shared shuttle over the bus.

If you do want to use the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen, make sure to check the ADO schedule first to see if it’s convenient for your schedule. If it is, book your tickets here with BusBud, as the ADO website rarely functions for U.S. credit cards.

While the ADO bus is inexpensive, do check the ADO Playa del Carmen schedule to see if it works for you. (Photo: Ted McGrath via Flickr)

What NOT to Do: Taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

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

Short answer: A LOT! …and I don’t recommend it.

Tacking a taxi to Cancun from Playa del Carmen can cost $200USD round trip — depending on your luck. Cancun taxi drivers will judge your appearance (ie. how well you’re dressed, if you look like it’s your first time in Mexico), and give you a price based on that, which could be up to $100USD one-way.

In truth, a Cancun to Tulum taxi is your worst option, and you should only even consider this in an emergency when you have no other options. While I live in Mexico and love Mexico, I’m pretty anti-taxi in Mexico, as scamming travelers isn’t uncommon. (Honestly, I only use Mexico taxis if I have to.)

Cancun to Tulum private transfer service

make sure to Set the Price Before You Get In

If you do take a Cancun to Playa del Carmen taxi, know that you must negotiate and agree on the fare before getting in. As most Mexican taxis don’t have meters, this is the way it’s done. If you just jump in the car and start the drive, the driver can throw out whatever price they want when you arrive in Playa.

This is the same Playa del Carmen cab procedure you will use when you actually get to Playa. Make sure you know, agree to, and are firm on the price before you get in your taxi.

Bustling 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen is a walkable, pedestrian-only streetand looks similar to downtown Cancun.
is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

How to Get Around in Playa del Carmen Without Uber

Playa del Carmen is a pretty small town, especially if you’re sticking to the beaches, and Avenida Quinta (5th Ave.). Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen is the main street in town, lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and more. If you’re staying on or near 5th Ave., you can realistically walk everywhere!

I lived in Playa del Carmen, and didn’t have a car. As mentioned, I lived only a few streets off 5th Avenue, so I was able to walk, and just use a taxi when I needed to. Taxis in Playa del Carmen are everywhere, and you can just hail one from any street by waving to the driver.

Playa del Carmen Bike Rentals

Another option is to rent a bike in Playa del Carmen. During my time living there, I found Playaride Bike Rentals to have a large selection of bikes in good condition. On average, bike rentals in Playa del Carmen cost about $25USD per day, so it’s usually cheaper to walk and use cabs sparingly.

Taxis in Playa del Carmen Mexico

The way most people get around in Tulum is by taxi. There are plenty of cabs in Tulum, operating day and night. You can hail a cab in Playa del Carmen the old school way, by just waving your hand to the driver anywhere on the street.

Are cabs safe in Playa del Carmen?

Yes — for the vast majority of travelers, Playa del Carmen taxis are safe. Playa taxi drivers rely on tourism dollars to support their livelihood, so they do their part to ensure a safe ride for passengers. I will say I took taxis at night alone in Playa del Carmen, but some say not to do this.

Are taxis expensive in playa del Carmen?

Wondering about Playa del Carmen taxi rates? Sadly, they aren’t set in stone, and one person’s rate can differ from another’s. Things like time of day, month of the year (busy season vs slow season) and weekday vs weekend can also all contribute to price fluctuations.

The thing to be aware of with Playa del Carmen, and really all taxis in Mexico, is that the vast majority don’t use meters. You and the driver must agree on a fare before you get in. While fares are supposed to be standardized, tourist price gouging isn’t uncommon in Playa del Carmen (or anywhere in the world).

is there Uber in playa del carmen Mexico

Playa del Carmen Travel Guide & Tulum FAQ

Where to stay in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a small town, at about three miles long. Known for its beachfront hotels and all inclusive Playa del Carmen resorts, below you’ll find three of the best Playa del Carmen accommodations for all budgets.

They are all located in the hotel zone, a safe area for visitors to stay. Each place is right on, or very near, the main street in Playa del Carmen, called La Avenida Quinta, or 5th Avenue.

Playa del Carmen Map

Is Playa del Carmen safe for travelers?

For the most part: Yes! Aside from hurricanes, drinking too much (don’t forget your Anti-Hangover Meds!), sunburns and petty crime, Playa del Carmen is safe for the vast majority of travelers. In fact, all of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen itself are considered safe for most visitors.

Though Playa del Carmen is mostly safe, you’ll still want to follow general travel safety measures, like avoiding places and people that seem unsafe. In addition, watch your alcohol intake, don’t take drinks from strangers, remain aware of your surroundings and belongings — and you’ll have a great vacation.

Beautiful Cenote Azul, one of the best cenotes in Playa del Carmen. Planning to visit the cenotes? You’ll want a rental car!

Cancun vs Playa del Carmen

Many want to know if it’s worth visiting Playa del Carmen when you have to fly into Cancun Airport — So why not just stay in Cancun!? In truth, the towns are similar, though Playa is less touristy. It’s absolutely worth visiting if you’re looking for a Mexico beach town that rivals most in North America.

Is Playa del Carmen worth visiting?

Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular Mexico vacation destinations, and it’s definitely worth checking out. In addition to world-class Caribbean beaches, you’re also near all the best Tulum Cenotes, ancient Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza, and all these other great things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Final Thoughts: Can You Uber in Playa del Carmen?

As you now know — no, there’s no Uber in Playa del Carmen — at least not yet! Until there is, you still have plenty of options for Playa del Carmen transportation.

As so many visitors need to travel on the Cancun Playa del Carmen route, the fact that there’s no Uber in Playa del Carmen is certainly annoying, though not the end of the world. In Playa itself, you have these options to get around, including taxis and renting a bicycle.

When considering convenience and price, booking private transportation is the best way to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. For solo travelers and Playa del Carmen budget travel, the shared shuttle is a great option. However, for groups of two or more, private transportation is cheaper and faster.

With no Uber in Playa del Carmen, what will you do?

I’d love to hear from you about what you’ll do for transportation from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, and how you’ll get around in Playa! Please join the conversation and leave me a comment down below.

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