Located just a short distance from Cancun International Airport, the stretch of land from Punta Tanchacté to Punta Allen (known as the Mayan Riviera) offers many hassle-free ways to get around and explore.
Public Transit in Riviera Maya
The bus system in the Mayan Riviera is reliable and inexpensive, making it one of the simplest methods of transportation available. One fare is only 8 pesos (approximately C$0.80) and buses run along the main highway (Hwy 307) all day, seven days a week.
Colectivos – The Van Caravan
A colectivo is a van transit system offering passengers a way around Mexico’s many winding highways and roads – and in the case of the Mayan Riviera, main Highway 307. You’ll find these vans running every five to 15 minutes, every day of the week between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In the Mayan Riviera, most colectivos are newer style minivans with air conditioning. Colectivos provide an economical mode of transportation, especially for longer distances, offering fixed rate fares around 30 pesos (about US$3) per person.
If you’re staying at a large hotel or resort, you’ll want to avoid travelling by colectivo during peak shift change times (especially around 5 p.m.), where vans become crowded with resort employees. Also, keep in mind that if you’re staying at a hotel or resort near Tulum and looking to catch a colectivo north, the passenger count will continue to grow as you travel past each stop along the way. You’ll find yourself in the same situation if you’re staying in Playacar or near Playa del Carmen and taking a colectivo due south.
Other Bus Travel
You may also encounter a larger Mayab bus stopping to pick people up along the side of the highway. Fares on the Mayab buses cost the same as the colectivos but travel is only between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
You’ll likely also see older, beat-up-looking buses travelling along the 307. Most of these buses are used to transport resort and hotel staff to and from the city. While the cost is the same as a colectivo, visitors are probably best opting to take other, safer modes of tourist transit.
Please note: The Canadian government recommends only traveling by bus or car during daylight hours and suggests sticking to first class buses to ensure safety.
Catching a Cab in Riviera Maya
Be cautious when taking taxis in Riviera Maya. It is recommended that guests only take hotel taxis or those based out of designated taxi stands (sitios). Consulting with your hotel’s concierge before travel can be helpful in determining the best rate. Guests will also often find standard taxi rates displayed in hotel lobbies. But keep in mind that within the hotel zone, individual fares vary depending on distance travelled.
All government-authorized taxis have licence plates beginning with the letter A or B. You can identify these taxis by their company logo and plate number stamped on the side of the car.
There are several car rental businesses found in the Yucatán Peninsula. From just outside Cancun International Airport to dealerships in nearly every tourist area, you’re sure to find a rental dealership on the way to your hotel. Feeling adventurous? Rent a motorcycle!
Many resorts offer scooter rentals to help you get around town a little quicker than by foot. But beware of the scooter shops along the beaches. Many of these shops rent old scooters that may not be up to modern day safety standards.