This is our 10 day Mexico trip to the Yucatan Peninsula (Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum). Instead of getting a car, we show you tips on public transportation and where to go to eat and have fun!
PLAYA DEL CARMEN TIPS
Tip 1: Go all the way outside to buy your ADO bus ticket.
We arrived at Cancun terminal 3 airport. Exit to the right and go outside past everyone and you will find the ADO bus stall. For $178 peso gets you from Cancan Airport to Playa Del Carmen. There is an ADO stall inside but if you buy it there, other people will be trying to sell you tourist attractions. This was our first mistake as we were taken into to one of these salespeople. Attraction prices are cheaper because you have to attend a 90 min club membership presentation. We advised the sales lady we had a bus to catch and she said we wouldn’t miss the bus. By the time we were sold one package, we missed the bus and had to pay half to catch the next bus. We wanted to talk to the sales lady but we weren’t allowed inside the departure once you exited out. Fortunately we forgot our water bottle and she came out and said would reimburse us at the club resort presentation.
Tip 2: If you buy one of those tourist attraction (90 minute presentation club resort membership), try to get a combo or the most expensive one. We just got the snorkeling in Puerto Morelos and Chichen Itza muyin tour (with transportation, lunch, visit to the town of Valladolid, and the Cenote Suytun) for $50 CADor 2. Also got 2 free t-shirts and breakfast,lunch, and beach access at the Hotel El Cid Resort. If I had to do it all over again, I would pick Xcaret and something else.
Tip 3: ADO has 2 bus stations in Playa Del Carmen, choose the one closest to your hotel location.
ADO Playa Del Carmen Alterna is at 20th and 12th.
ADO Terminal Turistica Playa Del Carmen is at Benito Juarez and 5th.
Tip 4: Better beach are past the Ferry northeast from Constituyentes Ave (past 16th ave). This is where Kool Beach and Mamita’s Beach Club are located.
Tip 5: Clubs and Bars, visit 1st and 12th street. There’s Dirty Martini Louge, Mandala, Diablito cha cha cha, La Vaquita, and the Blue parrot opening soon.
Tip 6: Cheap transportation take the Colectivo bus van on 2nd and 15th.
There are 2 routes, one that takes you from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum. The other from Playa Del Carmen to Cancun. Max is $40 pesos person depending where you stop. We never had big luggage and we were even able to use this form of transportation going to Tulum Resorts and Cancun.
Tip 7: Hotel Rental and eating out is cheaper the further away from 5th avenue.
10th to 25th ave is ideal. It’s not that far walk from 5th. If you can rent a bike, 10th avenue has a bike lane which makes it safe to ride. Perhaps rent close to Mega, Super Aki, and Walmart so you can buy your groceries cheap there.
Tip 8: Always negoitate a price with taxi before you get in.
I only took one taxi in Playa because I bought groceries and it was from Walmart to our hotel on 5th ave, 1.2km for 50 pesos. The taxi wanted 70 pesos. Probably could have negotiated lower.
Tip 9: Go to a Cenote for a fish spa instead of paying for it on 5th avenue.
Tip 1: Buy your life vest at the beach.
As you go in, there will be some stalls trying to sell you a life vest and give you a guide to sea the turtles. Save your money and bring your own snorkeling gear. Life vest is 80-100 pesos at the beach and you can easily see the turtles yourself as they are not far away.
Tip 2: Get there by Colectivo.
From Playa to Akumal cost $35 pesos.
Tip 3: Make a Cenote and/or Yal Ku part of your Akumal trip.
Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristiano is on the way from Playa Del Carmen and Yal Ku Lagoon is only 100 pesos taxi ride from Akumal Beach. If you rented a life vest at Akumal, might as well use it at Yal Ku and not have to pay again.
Entrance to Cenote is 80 pesos and entrance to Yal Ku is 280 pesos.
Tip 1: Local colectivo from tulum downtown to beach is only $20 pesos.
Taxi into beach from tulum downtown is about 70-80 pesos. Local colectivo is 20 pesos.
Tip 2: Bring bugspray.
If you plan to go somewhere at night in Tulum, you will need it. I did not find mosquitoes in playa or cancun.
Tip 3: Find a hotel that offers a bike or bike rental.
Bike rental in some places require you to leave a passort as deposit. You don’t want to be held hostage.
Tip 1: Take the bus instead of taxi.
From Cancun downtown, we took the R-1 and it took us to all the beach resorts. Cost is only 10.50 pesos!
The Cancun hotel advised taxi from the airport to hotel would be $60 US. What a ripoff.
Uber is also avail in Cancun and would have been only 110-140 pesos. ADO bus downtown to Cancun airport is $72 pesos.
All prices are based from Feb 2017.
Peso to Canadian Conversion.
20 pesos = 1.39 CAD
50 pesos = 3.47 CAD
100 pesos = 6.95 CAD
200 pesos = 13.89 CAD