Best seller badge


Daytrip TripAdvisor travelers choice 2021

4,400+ reviews

TripAdvisor rating bar

Private car transfer
from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

  • Door-to-door in 1 hour
  • From ... per seat
  • Professional driver
  • Sanitized vehicles

Cancel 24 hours before departure for a full refund

Trip Information


Your driver will meet you at your address in Playa del Carmen.

  • Door-to-door service
  • Help with your luggage


You’ll travel in comfort for 1 hour.

  • Optional sight-seeing
  • Clean, comfortable car
  • Professional driver
  • Bottled water
  • Child seats
  • Prepared for handicapped
  • Smoke-free
  • Pet friendly


Your driver will drop you off at your address in Cancun.

  • Door-to-door service
  • Help with your luggage
In total
  • 68 km
  • 1 hour

Visit these sights on the way

Car trip from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun! Why let the fun stop in Playa del Carmen when Cancun is only an hour-long car trip north along the beautiful coast of the Caribbean Sea?

Cancun is a resort city that was built from the ground up with comfort, luxury, and fun in mind. Whether you're a beach bum, a culture aficionado, or a party animal, Cancun has something special in store for you and your family.

You take a convenient and affordable shared shuttle for the 42-mile (68-kilometer) drive, or you can use it as an opportunity to take in the natural wonders, see wildlife up close, and visit Mayan archeological sites along the way in a private car - the choice is yours!

So fasten your seatbelt, grab your sunscreen, and let's dive into the tropical paradise awaiting you just a short car ride away!

About Cancun

Prepare for the trip from Playa del Carmen to Cancun by learning more about this famous destination city. Come find out how this city’s humble roots as a sparsely populated area on the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula evolved into one of the world's most renowned tourist destinations.

Ancient Mayans in Cancun

The Mayans lived in the Cancun area from around 2000 BCE until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. Mayans were skilled astronomers, architects, and traders. The Yucatan Peninsula is covered in evidence of their impressive cities and temples. You’ve probably heard of sites of ancient ruins such as Chichen Itza and Tulum.

Spanish conquest brought disease and violence, and the Mayan population dwindled. For centuries, the Yucatan Peninsula remained a relatively remote and sparsely populated region, with small fishing villages dotting the coastline for hundreds of years.

Cancun: Open for Tourism

The transformation of Cancun began in the 1960s when the Mexican government made ambitious plans to create a world-class resort destination on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. With its pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and abundant sunshine, Cancun seemed destined to become a tropical paradise.

The government invested heavily in the development of Cancun's tourism industry, and in 1970, the first hotel, the Playa Blanca, opened its doors in what is now known as the Hotel Zone. This marked the beginning of Cancun's rise as a top tourist destination. Over the following decades, Cancun experienced rapid growth and development, attracting millions of visitors from around the world each year.

From luxury resorts to hidden cenotes, Cancun has become a treasured city that balances modern luxurious amenities with its Mayan roots and unique natural environment.

Modern Cancun

Today, Cancun is a bustling metropolis full of modern amenities. Its vibrant nightlife, thriving culinary scene, and wealth of recreational activities make it a magnet for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. Guests can relax by the beach, explore the surrounding nature, visit nightclubs, and book treatments at its many health and beauty spas.

Despite its transformation into a world-renowned tourist destination, Cancun remains connected to its Mayan roots. Visitors can explore archaeological sites and sample authentic Mayan cuisine, providing a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage. Nature reserves are home to many exotic plants and animals.

Whether you are visiting to salsa your way through the night, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, or explore ancient Mayan sites, Cancun has something for every taste. Its pristine beaches, electrifying nightlife, and rich Mayan heritage beckon travelers from around the globe.

From Playa del Carmen to Cancun: Travel tips

While the distance between the two destinations may seem difficult, fear not! With efficient transportation options like buses and private transfers, the journey is a breeze, allowing you to sit back, relax, and soak in the scenery. Follow these travel tips to have the best experience between Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

Book Lessons and Transportation Ahead of Time

Of course, you want to leave space for spontaneity, but if you want to learn how to snorkel or surf, book your lessons ahead of time. Your time in Cancun will fly by, and you don’t want to arrive and find out your favorite class has been booked out for weeks. You may even get an early-bird discount!

Shuttle buses are a very popular option for traveling from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, so make sure you book your seats ahead of time, as they do sell out in advance.

Visit the El Rey Ruins

Amidst the modern hotels and resorts, it can be hard to believe an ancient civilization once thrived on the shores of Cancun. Right outside of the Hotel Zone, you can step back in time to an archaeological site featuring the remnants of a Mayan settlement dating back to the Late Postclassic period (circa 1200 to 1550 AD). Keep an eye out for iguanas, birds, and other wildlife that call the area home!

Stop and Smell the Roses: Cancun’s Botanical Gardens

The Jardin Botanico Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin plays a vital role in conservation efforts aimed at protecting endangered plant species and restoring degraded ecosystems for the Yucatan Peninsula. On your visit to the botanical garden, you can enjoy leisurely strolls along well-marked trails, taking in the sights, sounds, and fragrances of the tropical forest. Make sure to add it to your road trip’s itinerary.

Hire a Private Driver from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Consider a private driver door-to-door service for the ultimate convenience. A private driver will whisk you away from your accommodation in Playa del Carmen and deliver you directly to your desired destination in Cancun—talk about VIP treatment! Struggling with luggage and bus schedules will be a thing of the past.

Don’t Be Shy

Strike up a conversation with your driver—they're a wealth of knowledge when it comes to insider tips and hidden gems along the way. Who knows, you might discover your new favorite taco joint or secret beach spot!

How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

The adventure from Playa del Carmen to Cancun comes with an array of transportation options at your disposal. Whether you prefer the budget (yet scenic!) route by bus, the freedom of the open road in a rental car, or the luxury of a private driver, there's a mode of transport to suit every traveler's taste. So buckle up and let's explore how to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun!

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Car

For those craving flexibility and freedom, renting a car offers the classic road trip experience. Navigate the highways at your own pace, stopping to snap photos of breathtaking vistas or indulge in roadside snacks. Just remember to keep an eye on the road!

The distance from Playa del Carmen to Cancun is approximately 42 miles (68 kilometers) via Federal Highway 307. This is one of the main arteries connecting the two cities and is well-traveled. The drive typically takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic and your driving speed.

The speed limit on most highways in Mexico is around 68 mph (110 km/h), but always adhere to posted speed limits and drive safely. The last thing your vacation needs is a wreck!

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Private Driver

Indulge in the luxury of a private driver and elevate your journey from Playa del Carmen to Cancun. Enjoy personalized service, door-to-door convenience, and the freedom to customize your itinerary. Your professional private driver will speak English and Spanish and know the route very well.

With a private driver, you travel on your schedule and with your interests in mind. Our private fleet is also perfect for those traveling with mobility aids, like strollers or wheelchairs. You won’t find this kind of specialized service on the shuttle bus.

We know you can’t wait to get to Cancun, but with a driver, you can stop by one of the many breathtaking Cenotes. These natural wonders are the Yucatan Peninsula’s pride and joy. It's the epitome of travel in style—why settle for anything less while on vacation?

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Shuttle Bus with Daytrip

With affordable fares and frequent departures, shuttle buses are popular choices for cost-conscious travelers seeking adventure without breaking the bank. Sit back, relax, and let the scenic route along the coast unfold before your eyes. Shuttle bus rides take about an hour and cost less than a private taxi. Make sure you book your seat ahead of time so the date and time that suits you best doesn't sell out.

Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Plane

While both Playa del Carmen and Cancun have airports, they’re too close together to fly there commercially.

Things to do when you get Cancun

You’ve just finished your drive from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, and now you’re ready to make the most of this slice of paradise. Here are some of the best things to do when you get to Cancun!

Learn How to Surf in Cancun

Cancun is the ideal location to learn how to surf. Plenty of surfing schools will teach you the basics, and the gentle waves during the dry season are perfect for beginners.

For the more experienced or adventurous surfer, visit during hurricane season (June to November) for bigger waves and more challenging surf.

Go Snorkeling in Cancun

If you prefer to look under the waves instead of riding them, might we suggest snorkeling? See schools of exotic fish, eels, crabs, and corals with your own eyes in Cancun’s crystal-clear water. Cancun’s coral reefs are truly a national treasure, and trained professionals will show you the best spots and all the safety protocols. Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and the Garrafon Natural Reef Park have the best reefs.

Visit Cancun’s White Sand Beaches

Tired of all that snorkeling and surfing? No worries - Cancun's world-famous beaches have powdery white sands that stretch as far as you can see. So put down a towel and watch the waves from your shaded spot under an umbrella.

Cancun’s Cenotes

Discover the hidden treasures of Cancun's cenotes—natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water that formed over thousands of years. Dive, snorkel, or simply marvel at the surreal beauty of these underwater wonderlands. These crystal-clear pools of freshwater offer a unique opportunity for visitors to explore underground rivers, swim in pristine waters, and marvel at breathtaking rock formations.

With Daytrip, your private driver can take you right to Cenote Chaak Tun, Cenotes Kin-Ha, and Cenote Las Mojarras, so don’t miss out!

Local Cuisine in Cancun

Mexico's vibrant culinary scene is world-renowned. From street tacos to fresh ceviche, Cancun offers a tantalizing array of dishes sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

What are the must-try dishes in Cancun? Traditional Yucatecan specialties like cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), ceviche (citrus-marinated seafood), sopa de lima (lime soup), and, of course, tacos al pastor (marinated pork tacos). Wash it all down with a local wine or tequila!

Party the Night Away in Cancun

Experience Cancun's legendary nightlife scene and dance the night away in one of its many clubs, bars, or beachfront parties. With pulsating beats and ice-cold cocktails, the party never stops in this lively city.

Relax and Unwind in Cancun

Perhaps the best plan is no plan! After you’ve had your fill of sightseeing and adventure, treat yourself to some well-deserved R&R at one of Cancun's luxurious spas or beachfront resorts. Indulge in a massage, get a pedicure, and relax. When you’re done at the spa, sip a cocktail by the pool and let your worries melt away in paradise.

If there is any place to truly turn off your phone and digitally detox, it is Cancun.

Best Time to Visit Cancun

The best time to visit Cancun is during the dry season, which runs from late November to April. During this time, you can expect sunny skies, warm temperatures, and minimal rainfall—perfect for laying on a beach chair, playing volleyball, and doing outdoor adventures. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so be prepared for higher prices and larger crowds.

If you prefer quieter beaches and cooler temperatures, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of May to June or September to October. Although hurricanes very rarely touch down in Cancun, hurricane season is June-November and you may experience heavy rainfall and tropical storms. Some amenities and activities may be closed due to the weather.

Questions & Answers about Traveling from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Most visitors to Cancun, including those from the United States, Canada, the European Union, and many other countries, do not need a visa for stays of up to 180 days. However, check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling. Your passport also needs to be up to date.
If you’re on a budget, the ADO bus is the cheapest way to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, but these are often crowded. A shared shuttle bus is more comfortable and provides better service, like help with your luggage and an English-speaking driver. For the best experience, book a private car. You just sit back, relax, and let your driver handle everything. You can even stop for sightseeing - something you can’t do on a bus!
It's generally recommended to avoid drinking tap water in Cancun and stick to bottled or purified water to prevent any potential stomach upset. Many hotels and restaurants offer purified water for drinking and brushing your teeth, so be sure to take advantage of these amenities.
Cancun is situated on the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Cancun is located in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone, which is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-5). It is in the same time zone as New York City and Miami.
Hurricane season in Cancun typically runs from June to November, with the highest likelihood of storms occurring between August and October. While hurricanes are rare, it's essential to monitor weather forecasts and heed any advisories issued by local authorities during this time.
When packing for your trip to Cancun, bring essentials such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, lightweight clothing, comfortable shoes for walking, swimwear, and any necessary medications (labeled, of course). For anything else you forgot, don’t worry- there are plenty of shops for your every need. Don't forget your camera to capture all the unforgettable moments!
Tipping is appreciated in Cancun, much like in other parts of Mexico. In restaurants, a tip of 10-15% of the total bill is customary if service is not included. For taxi drivers, rounding up the fare or adding a small tip is common practice. Additionally, it's customary to tip hotel staff, tour guides, and other service providers based on the level of service received.
Cancun is generally considered safe for tourists, with a robust police presence and security measures in place throughout the city. However, like any destination, exercise caution and common sense, such as avoiding secluded areas at night and keeping an eye on your belongings in crowded areas.

Why travelers love this route

Tripadvisor logo
4,400+ reviews
  • 4 reviews for this route
  • 6,419 travelers took this route with us

Vehicle options for this trip

Most popular



Comparable to aVolkswagen Passat
Passengers and luggage
  • 1-3
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • Clean
  • Comfortable
  • Air conditioned
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Child seats
  • Pet friendly
  • Smoke-free
From ... per seatSelect

Best reviews

premium suv

Premium SUV

Comparable to aChevrolet Suburban
Passengers and luggage
  • 1-2
  • 2x
  • 2x
  • All standard sedan features
  • Premium SUV
  • Chauffeur-style service
  • Extra amenities
From ... per seatSelect

More options


Compact MPV

Comparable to aVolkswagen Touran
Passengers and luggage
  • 4
  • 4x
  • 4x
From ... per seatSelect


Comparable to aMercedes Vito
Passengers and luggage
  • 5-7
  • 7x
  • 7x
From ... per seatSelect

The Daytrip driver advantage

Daytrip driver
  • Local knowledge about the route from Playa del Carmen to Cancun
    Including available sights:
  • English speaking*

    All Daytrip drivers speak English* as well as their native language (and sometimes additional languages too!). They'll be happy to discuss local history and culture with you, as well as answer any questions you may have. And because they speak the language, they're able to provide you with a unique opportunity to connect with local culture. *Drivers for Lite service aren't required to speak English but must meet all other standards.

  • Safety first!

    We screen all our drivers for criminal and traffic records, and personally interview each one. We also inspect their cars for safety, comfort, and reliability. All cars must be less than ten years old, in excellent operating condition, and insured as required by local law. And because our drivers are locals, they're familiar with the rules and customs of the road.

Book today - it's risk free!

You can cancel your booking up to 24 hours before departure and get a full refund.

World-class customer support

  • Available 24/7
  • Close relationship with drivers
  • Experts on the route from Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Flexible cancellation policy

  • Cancellations: 100% refund up to 24 hours before the trip!
  • Changes: Free up to 24 hours before the trip!

Good to know


If you’re traveling with children, make sure to let us know in the booking so we can get the appropriate child seats ready!


Pets are allowed (and loved)! We just need to know beforehand. You can tell us about them in the next phase of the booking.


Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip (10% is sufficient).


  • Big luggage
  • 29x21x11 inches
  • 74x53x28 cm
  • Small luggage
  • 22x14x9 inches
  • 56x36x23 cm

Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, you can adjust this while booking.

Payment methods

Pay by credit card online, or in cash directly to your driver!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions, here are the answers.

Daytrip is the most convenient way to experience 12,600+ cities around the world.

Every traveler deserves real insight into the cultures of the countries they’re visiting. And every amazing place on Earth deserves to be visited and appreciated. We believe unique local knowledge and real human connection are irreplaceable when it comes to truly comprehending another culture.

We have been featured in

usa-travel logo
forbes logo
huffpost logo
monocle logo
wanderlust logo
aileen logo
World dotted map
Drive with Daytrip
I am a travel agent