There are three bus stations in Cancun, but the main depot is at the corner of Tulum and Uxmal Avenues (right on the federal highway 307 as it cuts through the city of Cancun).
The Cancun International Airport also has regular departures (every 30 minutes) from each terminal. A bus ride from the airport to the main downtown station is under 20 minutes. From there you can easily catch a taxi (or even a city bus) to get to your hotel.
How to Get Tickets
ADO, Mexico’s leading bus line, has a website showing schedules and routes: www.ado.com.mx However, be warned! In order for you to purchase a bus ticket online, you must have an account set up with ADO (which is fairly simple; just an email and password), and you can only buy the tickets if you have a Mexican debit or credit card. Very frustrating to navigate, which is why your best bet is buying your ticket at a kiosk.
Are you a bit nervous when you think of riding a bus in Mexico? Perhaps you have heard some “horror stories” and are envisioning that you’ll be standing for 3 hours or crammed in a poorly-ventilated vehicle with live chickens in your lap!
This does not have to be the case for you at all. Mexico has an excellent bus system, with the most modern, well-equipped vehicles. The quality honestly puts the US or Canada to shame. You do have your choice between plush executive class buses and more economic options, depending on the route you need.
Many of the buses are now equipped with Wi-Fi!
Luxury Bus lines
1. ADO (standard)
Air Conditioning, 44 reclining seats, bathroom, 3 monitors for movies, certified drivers, each bus has air-purifying technology. This is the standard bus that runs south from Cancun to other cities such as Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, and Tulum. ADO has the most destinations and frequent departures in Mexico by far.
Departs from Cancun Downtown terminal to — Playa Del Carmen, Cancun International Airport —- Every 20 to 30 min — $60 to $120 pesos
Departs from Cancun International Airport to — Playa Del Carmen — Every 20 to 30 min — $118 to $210 pesos
Departs from Cancun Downtown terminal to — Tulum — Every hour — $118 to $210 pesos
2. ADO GL (Grand Luxury)
Air Conditioning, luxury reclining seats, 5 HD TV screens (15″), electrical outlets, snacks and drinks offered, separate bathrooms for men and women
3. ADO Platino (Platinum)
Air Conditioning, 25 seats that fully recline into a bed, separate bathrooms for men and women, electrical outlets, personal entertainment system with more than 50 options of movies, TV series, and music.
This bus line only does longer trips; it will go from downtown Cancun to Merida
Air Conditioning, reclining seats, 4 video monitors, individual reading lights, bathroom.
Economy Bus lines
Air Conditioning, 44 seats
2. Playa Express
Air Conditioning, 23 seats; nearly constant departures between Cancun and Playa del Carmen
What to know
Things in Mexico are always changing–and that includes pricing and scheduling–but it is usually painfully slow for those changes to be implemented. If you are thinking about traveling by bus, know that it is a very popular and common form of transportation in this part of the world. If you are able to get to the bus station, you’ll be in good shape. Buses depart at regular intervals to all cities within the Quintana Roo and the Yucatan.
Planning to visit the quaint fishing village of Puerto Morelos or perhaps do some shopping on bustling 5th Ave in Playa del Carmen? Here are some of the most common routes with prices for a one-way adult fare. (Note–there are generally no buses between the hours of 12am and 4am)
Playa del Carmen to Cancun = $60 pesos
Puerto Morelos to Cancun = $24 pesos
Puerto Morelos to Playa del Carmen = $24 pesos
Airport to Playa del Carmen = $162 pesos
Airport to Cancun = $66 pesos
Cancun to Xcaret = $114 pesos
Cancun to XelHa = $128 pesos
LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BUSES
Cancun has a public bus system just like every city in the world. Of course many of the buses in use are not in as good shape as the ones you are used to and some of the drivers think their buses are formula-1 race cars but it is the cheapest way to get around Cancun.
Cancun public buses are in the best shape of all the public bus systems in the Peninsula.
The Cancun bus system works just like any city bus system, sorta. You find a main street and look for a bus stop sign.
Usually a blue or black sign with a picture of a bus. Stand there and wait. A bus will stop, you get on and pay.
NOTE: If you know the bus you want and you see it coming, wave your arms and the driver will stop for you, usually. Cost: 8.5 pesos per ride. Peso coins only. American dollar bills are okay but expect not to receive any change unless you ask; even then you may not get it. You will receive a bus ticket.
Know where you are going…or at least know the destination. Look out the window and watch for your intended location. If you hear anybody speaking your language on the bus ask them if they know your destination and how far, what side of the road. When you get to your destination move quickly. Ring the dinger if it works. If it doesn’t work scream stop [Spanish: alto] and move to the door and exit.
NOTE:Do not rely on asking the driver to stop at your destination. Even if you do and the driver says okay, chances are he will forget. You will not know and end up at the end of the line in the middle of nowhere, wondering what to do next when the driver gets off the bus for a taco break. In the Cancun hotel zone you can take any bus to go up and down the strip to any of the malls or beaches.
CANCUN BUS ROUTES There are 4 bus routes R-1, R-2, R-15, R 27. R-2R-15 go to Wal-Mart & Mercado 28. R-1 goes to Puerto Juarez, Wal-Mart, Plaza 2000, Mercado 23 and the Cancun bus station. R 27 travels on Tulum Ave and stops at Plaza Las Americas where you catch the colectivo to go south up Hwy 307 to Playa del Carmen – Tulum and all points in-between.
CANCUN COLECTIVO STAND
The colectivo bus system is made up of mini-vans that run from Cancun to Playa del Carmen then from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and back, all-day, every day.
You get the colectivo in downtown Cancun in the parking lot of “La Comercial Mexicana” on Tulum Ave.
La Comercial Mexicana is open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM.
The cost is:
35 pesos from Playa del Carmen to Cancun [one way]
40 pesos from Playa del Carmen to Tulum [one way]
PLAYA DEL CARMEN COLECTIVO STAND You get the colectivo in Playa del Carmen at Calle 2 Norte between Av. 10 and 15 You can catch a colectivo anywhere on Hwy 307 from Cancun to Tulum.
CANCUN COLECTIVO BUS STATION
Main First-Class Bus Station 2nd Class run from this station as well.
There is a bus that runs from this station to Cancun Airport every hour during the day. The new bus terminal is located on the corner of avenidas Tulum and Uxmal.