People are being asked to exercise judgement after restrictions officially lift. Christian Battaglia / Unsplash
Daniel Flanagan and Zhadyra Darbayeva enjoy the weather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, U.S., July 3, 2021. Mary F. Calvert / Reuters
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.
Arrival at the Cancun Airport in Mexico is always an interesting experience. Usually, immigration and customs are a breeze, but once you leave that area and head towards the exit, this is when things get hectic. When it comes to Cancun airport transportation, many visitors find the process to be a real headache.
It begins with passing a dozen or so rental car and other transportation desks, where the staff will undoubtedly start calling out to you to try and get your attention. Then, a minute later, you enter the welcome hall, where dozens of semi-official looking people will start approaching you, also trying to convince you to use all kinds of transportation services to reach your hotel, Airbnb or wherever you might be staying.
It’s confusing, it can be intense and it’s not a very relaxing way to start any trip to Mexico.
On the other hand, you could always book private Cancun airport transportation in advance, using a reputable company that is known for prompt and professional service and excellent pricing. This is especially useful if you are traveling in a group of 2 or more people as the cost will work out much cheaper than shared transportation.
Private transportation from Cancun airport is also the easiest and quickest way to get out of the airport and be on your way. You just want to make sure the company you choose for your private transfer gives you one clear price so that you are not surprised by any hidden charges.
If you choose this method, you simply walk through the throngs of people trying to pressure you to use their services, head straight for the exit, go outside and then you’ll find your private driver waiting for you. You’ll get right into your comfortable car or van and off you’ll go, without any hassle at all. This works whether you are going to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Akumal or even Tulum, or anywhere else in the Riviera Maya region.
In the end, if you book a transfer at the airport, you need to be really careful if you want to avoid being overcharged. And you also need to give yourself plenty of time as it can take a while to choose a company, pay at the desk and find your vehicle, all while hoping that you didn’t get ripped off.
Obviously, if you’ve just flown in from another country, the last thing you’ll want to do is hang out at the airport for extra time trying to figure out how to get to your accommodation. Doesn’t spending more time on a white sand beach sound so much better?
Have a wonderful, hassle-free trip to beautiful Mexico!