Playa del Carmen
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Private car transfer
from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

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

Cancel 24 hours before departure for a full refund

Trip Information

Pick-up

Your driver will meet you at your address in Tulum.

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

Trip

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

Drop-off

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

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

Visit these sights on the way

Overview: Car trip from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is about 40 miles (65 km) north of Tulum along the Riviera Maya of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. This region of Mexico was previously ruled by the Mayan Empire before Spanish colonization. The car trip from Tulum to Playa del Carmen is only about one hour. It’s an easy shuttle bus ride, or the perfect time to have a private driver take you to the Mayan Coba ruins and sacred cenotes you won’t be able to see from the resorts.

Coba is an ancient Mayan city located in the state of Quintana Roo and a short distance from both Tulum and Playa. Its well-preserved pyramids are among the tallest Mayan structures in the region. The site is slightly more inland into the lush jungle than Tulum or Playa.

Cenotes are limestone caverns that formed from collapsing cave systems. These ancient natural wonders have a mysterious ambiance. They aren’t too far from Playa and a day trip is the perfect way to see them.

About Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town located along the Caribbean Sea. It has grown rapidly from a small fishing village into a vibrant tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, bustling streets, and lively atmosphere. Your drive from Tulum to Playa runs along the stunning Riviera Maya. This region is important for ecotourism and the preservation of ancient Mayan culture.

Playa is not far from Coba, one of the main centers of agriculture, trade, and religious activity for the Mayan Empire. Playa was also an important launching point for Mayan canoes to reach Cozumel, where young Mayan women made pilgrimages to offer prayers to the fertility goddess.

15 million people visit Playa annually- including you- but it hasn’t always been like this. The Yucatan peninsula had a small population with untouched jungles and the coast was dotted with remote fishing villages for hundreds of years. In the 1960s, Cancun, Playa, Tulum, and the surrounding areas were targets of an economic revitalization effort by the Mexican government to boost tourism. Resort towns were built up and it is now a major vacation hotspot for visitors from around the world.

Playa is larger than Tulum but not as large as Cancun. Accommodation options in Playa del Carmen span boutique hotels, local apartments, and budget hostels. You won’t find as many major hotel and restaurant chains as in Cancun, but it does have a more commercialized atmosphere than Tulum.

From Tulum to Playa del Carmen: Travel tips

Your quick day trip from Tulum to Playa will go off without a hitch if you remember these key travel tips!

Playa del Carmen often goes by a nickname

Playa del Carmen also goes by its nickname “Playa,” so don’t worry if someone tells you how to get to Playa instead of using its full name. Spanish speakers will also know that la playa means “the beach” in Spanish, so don’t mix up the town with the beach either!

Stock up on Pesos Before Your Trip

Some businesses will accept USD, but you will get an extremely unfavorable exchange rate. Have local currency (Mexican pesos) on hand for any vendors that don't accept credit cards. When paying by credit or debit card, be sure to press “Pay in Mexican Pesos” when prompted by the card reader to get a slightly better exchange rate.

Some sunscreens are banned in Playa del Carmen

This region of Mexico only allows biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellants in order to protect its sensitive ecosystems. Most conventional sunscreens endanger coral reefs and other wildlife when it comes in contact with the water. The sunscreen sits on top of the water and chokes out the coral reefs, so only buy certified reef-safe products. If you are not sure if your products qualify, wait until you get to Mexico to buy them, since all local shops will have the compliant products.

How to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

If you're looking at how to get from Tulum to Playa, the two town's popularity and proximity mean there's a robust transportation network available.

We break down your options below so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Tulum to Playa by bus

The public bus is the cheapest way to get from Tulum to Playa, with tickets costing around 100 MXP ($6). Buses depart from Terminal de Autobuses ADO Tulum about every 10 minutes and the travel time to Playa del Carmen is about an hour. Because they’re so affordable, the buses get extremely crowded and can sell out during peak season.

Tulum to Playa by shuttle bus

Our shuttle buses hold 5-7 passengers and are a budget-conscious transportation option without compromising on safety. With regular departures from Tulum to Playa del Carmen, a shuttle bus offers a comfortable and hassle-free way to travel.

Shuttle buses have regular pick-up and drop-off points, but for an added fee we can do pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation.

Tulum to Playa by private car with Daytrip

For a more customized experience, hire one of our private drivers. Enjoy seamless door-to-door convenience, ideal for busy families looking to make the most out of their vacation time. With a private driver, you have the flexibility to arrange the trip according to your schedule and tailor it to your specific interests. It is the better option for those who want all the freedom of renting a car without the hassle of having to drive on foreign roads or worry about rental returns.

Tailor your experience by adding tours to visit Mayan sites like Coba and the Cenotes.

Cenotes have a sacred place in Mayan religion as portals to the underworld and places of sacrifice to the gods. These beautiful natural wonders are underground caverns carved out by underground rivers and springs. Daytrip can get you right to the location of these tours, but note that you will have to book with the touring company separately.

Tulum to Playa by taxi

While you can take a taxi from Tulum to Playa, it's generally not advised. Taxis are known to prey on visitors, charging exorbitant fees for even short trips. You're also not guaranteed that your driver will speak English or help with your bags. Better to take a private car service like Daytrip where you book online in advance with upfront pricing. Every driver is vetted, so you always get stellar service - often for less than what a taxi would charge.

Things to do when you get to Playa del Carmen

Playa is slightly larger than Tulum, with a few more excursion-type activities to do besides beachcombing and sunbathing when you get there. Check out these fun activities and see if you need to make online reservations for the parks and outdoor activities before making your drive from Tulum to Playa del Carmen.

Cozumel is a short ferry ride away

Cozumel is more than just a beautiful Caribbean island. It was also of religious significance for young Mayan women who journeyed there during puberty to offer sacrifices and prayers to Ixchel, the fertility goddess. Cozumel is small, but over forty archaeological sites have uncovered details about the Mayan Empire and their rituals. It is a short ferry ride away from Playa.

Cozumel is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve, with over 1,000 marine species. Its coast forms part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world's second-largest coral reef. Go diving and snorkeling to see this colorful hidden world yourself. Enjoy your time, but ensure you catch the final ferry back to the mainland!

Get up close and personal with nature

Thanks to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, you can get a closer look at Mexico’s diverse ecosystem of mangrove swamps, wetlands, and coral reefs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a vast protected area with one section open for guided ecotourism. Its name means "the entrance to the sky" in Mayan, and you’ll see how well the name fits!

Prepare for a full-day excursion led by a guide. You’ll walk through the lush jungle, witness the lasting legacy of the Mayan ruins of Muyil, and take a boat ride through the wetlands. It is a full-day excursion, so be sure you're equipped with water, comfortable attire, a swimsuit, and dry clothes.

Visit the ecoparks

Experience the untamed beauty of the Riviera Maya firsthand! Observe and interact with Central America's exotic and endangered wildlife at ecoparks like Xcaret and Xel-Ha. They provide an array of activities suitable for all ages, from swimming in natural cenotes to snorkeling among tropical fish. For the more adventurous, go zip-lining and do a cave tour in the jungle landscape.

When is the best time to visit Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has a dry and rainy season, and they each have their pros and cons. Your ideal time to travel from Tulum to Playa del Carmen will depend on what you’d like to get out of your trip.

Playa’s Dry Season

Playa del Carmen’s most busy season is from November to April when the weather is reliably sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from 75-85°F (24-29°C). This period is perfect for outdoor pursuits like beachcombing and snorkeling. However, prices may be more expensive and activities may be more crowded.

Playa’s Rainy Season

From May to October, Playa del Carmen enters its rainy season. The occasional showers are usually short-lived and followed by clear skies. This is the season to visit if you prefer surfing on larger waves or avoiding crowds.

Questions & Answers about Traveling from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

Taxi fares from Tulum to Playa del Carmen should range from $40 to $60 USD. Prices change based on the time of year and the whims of the driver. You should definitely confirm the fare with the taxi driver before getting in the cab. Have cash in order to pay the driver, ideally in exact change. Or better yet, use a private car service where you can book in advance.
Tulum offers a more relaxed and bohemian atmosphere with stunning beaches and eco-friendly accommodations, while Playa del Carmen is livelier with a wide range of dining, shopping, and nightlife options. Have a bit of both for the full Mexican holiday experience.
Playa del Carmen is about 40 miles (65 km) from Tulum. Travel time by bus typically ranges from 1 to 1.5 hours. Buses leave several times per day and can accommodate a wide range of luggage needs. It is an ideal budget option for your vacation.
Safety at Playa del Carmen is a top priority in order to protect the tourism economy. You’ll see a lot of security officers and police in busy areas, but don’t let it replace your own vigilance over your belongings. If you keep your valuables close by, avoid going out alone at night, and don’t participate in illegal activities, you should have a safe and pleasant stay at Playa.

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Vehicle options for this trip

Most popular

sedan

Sedan

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

Compact MPV

Comparable to aVolkswagen Touran
Passengers and luggage
  • 4
  • 4x
  • 4x
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van

Van

Comparable to aMercedes Vito
Passengers and luggage
  • 5-7
  • 7x
  • 7x
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The Daytrip driver advantage

Daytrip driver
  • Local knowledge about the route from Tulum to Playa del Carmen
    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 Tulum to Playa del Carmen

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

Children

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

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

Tips

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).

Luggage

  • 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.

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