Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen/Cozumel by ADO Bus and Ferry (Cozumel)

(Also Cozumel to Cancun)

Last update: 12 December, 2014. (Ferry and ADO bus cost updates, multiple process revisions and information about the Puerto Morelos stop)

While this process discusses the ADO bus and ferry to get to Cozumel, you can also take a private van such as usa-transfers.com or canadatransfers.com to get to Playa del Carmen (PDC). If you have four or more people in your group, a private service is a better option. You can also fly Mayair to the Cozumel airport. See mayair.com.mx for times and cost.

There are two main terminals at the Cancun airport. Terminal 3 is typically for international aircraft, mostly from the USA. If you are on a USA carrier odds are good that you will go into Terminal 3.

Terminal 2 is the mainly domestic terminal (some international flights). This is where I was dropped off by the ADO bus from Playa del Carmen. It was near the first part of Terminal 2 as you reach the airport (right side as you face the Terminal and near the location where arriving passengers leave the Terminal. People are dropped off at Terminal 2 then those needing to go to Terminal 3 may be driven there. If not take the free shuttle from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3.

At the bottom are ADO bus departure times from Playa del Carmen (PDC) to Cancun airport ... and Cancun airport to Playa. Travel time is about 65 minutes. Also included are ferry times. Note that there are two ferries.

The ADO bus is 156 pesos (approximately $13 USD) per person each way and the ferry cost is around 156 pesos each way for adults (December 2014 prices). Pesos and US dollars are accepted.

The ADO bus currently loads at the Cancun airport at Terminal 3. About fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled airport departure time, the bus leaves Terminal 3 and proceeds to Terminal 2 to load passengers from that terminal. The bus often makes a short stop in Puerto Morelos before continuing on to Playa del Carmen.

Starting in Playa del Carmen, the bus loads initially at the 5th Ave station then proceeds to the Alternate station on 20th Ave before heading north. It can stop along the highway by Puerto Morelos.

Luggage is stored in large compartments under the bus so there is no need to lug them onto the bus.

Caveat: Things change. Use the information contained here as a general guide and adapt to any changes that occur between major updates.

Cancun Airport to Cozumel Details

This will cover catching the bus from Terminal 2 first then Terminal 3. Followed by a discussion how to walk from Terminal 2 to 3 and vice versa. Of course you can take the ASUR shuttle between the two terminals but I can leisurely walk between them in about eight minutes.

Part 1: Arriving into Terminal 2

After you leave the Terminal 2 building you will see the overhead signs shown in Figure 1. The right sign says "Coffe" and "Cafeteria" and an arrow to the right. You will take a right as soon as possible and after walking a few yards will see the Meeting Place to your right. That is shown in Figure 2.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

Continue straight ahead and you will this view looking down the length of the Terminal 2 building (with the street to your left/building to your right) as seen in the next picture below and to the left. The picture to the right is a different angle showing Terminal 2. Circa early 2014 a security gate was installed on the sidewalk which may prevent people coming from the Terminal 2 check-in area from reaching the Meeting Place and close access to people exiting Terminal 2 after passing through customs.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

Just continue walking the length of the building. The door numbers will increase from around 4 to 13 as you get closer to the ADO bus area. The ASUR shuttle runs from around door 10 and is shown in the next picture below and to the left. Walk down to the Door 13 area and you will look a bit to the left to see where the ADO bus will be (picture below right). There may be people waiting for the bus or a ticket agent. In the middle of the right picture are people in red shirts (yes, hard to see). Just to the right of them is the ADO bus. In April 2012, there was a guarded gate on the sidewalk partway to the bus. The lady asked me "ADO" and I responded Terminal 3 and I went through the turnstile.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

The next two pictures show the ADO bus location by Terminal 2 as you get closer then a closeup of the bus.

Terminal 2 ADO bus locationADO Bus closeup

Part 2: Arriving into Terminal 3

This is really simple. Just walk outside. Just before leaving the building you may find an ADO ticket counter. You can buy the ticket there or outside at the bus. Go outside and ahead and to the right is the Air Margaritaville (previously Coconuts) bar building (pic below left). Walk past it and look right and that is where the ADO bus will be or arrive at (picture below right).

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

Below is the shuttle that goes between the two terminals.

Terminal 1

Part 3: Walking from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3

If you walked to the end of Terminal 2 (with the building to your right) and past Door 13 you will soon be a point where when you look a bit to the right you see the view shown in the pic below left. Walk in that direction and you will look down a road. A utility tube is above and to your left (pic below right). Walk to the end of this short road/sidewalk.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

When you get to the end of the road turn left and you will see the view in the picture below left. Go a short distance and look right (picture below right) and take that sidewalk all the way to the end which is where people exit from Terminal 3.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

When you get to the area where people exit it is secured by gates/fences. Depending upon where you are you will see Coconuts across the way (picture below left). This picture was taken from just outside the area where arriving passengers leave the building. The couple seen between and past the two pillars are in that area and would see the Air Margaritaville beverage hut to their right. Ask to get inside to catch the bus and you will soon see the ADO bus just to the left of the beverage hut if the bus is there (picture below right).

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

Part 4: Walking from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2

If you walk outside Terminal 3 after passing customs and the ADO bus is just pulling out you may be able to walk over to Terminal 2 to catch it. The ADO bus leaves Terminal 3 to go to Terminal 2 about 15 minutes before it leaves the airport. It takes me about 8 minutes to walk between the two. The picture below left shows what you will see looking down the Terminal 3 building after getting past the gates. The picture to its right is at the end of the Terminal 3 building (building to your LEFT). Just ahead the sidewalk splits. Do not turn right but continue straight ahead to the road where you will turn left.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

The next two pictures show you the view on the sidewalk almost to the first turn at the road (left) and then after the left turn looking towards the place where you will turn right (right picture).

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

After the turn to the right you will see the utility tube above and to your right. Just continue straight ahead until you get to the sign seen in the picture below right. Look a bit to the right and the covered structures ahead are where the ADO bus will be seen waiting for you. There was a turnstile by the building that did not allow access into the Terminal 3 area. If you look along the road to the right there is an area where the bus departs the parking area. A person "may" be able to access the ADO bus by entering that parking area there.

Cancun Terminal 2 LeftTerminal 2 Right

Part 5: Playa del Carmen bus station to ferry

You have arrived at the Playa del Carmen bus station (near the ferry)

The bathroom at the PDC bus terminal is upstairs. If you face the four side-by-side ticket counters, the stairs are to your right. Entry fee is 5 pesos so have some coins.

Leave from the corner door and you will see McDonalds and a Diamond store to your left. Walk straight forward about 20 yards then veer left and walk down the slight slope with McDonalds to your left. Walk towards the water one block and when you get to the wall that ends at the beach turn right. The next two pics are (left to right) the Diamond store/Mcdonalds and looking east to the ocean as you start walking down the hill.

Diamond StoreEast to ocean

The two pics below are from the path past McDonalds near the ocean wall (left). The right picture is looking south about halfway to the ferry pier (just past the plaza). You can see the pier and one ferry boat in the left picture.


To PDC PierTowards Ferry

A bit further past the palapa on the left are two ticket booths. Ultramar is the yellow/blue colored booth and the Mexico ferry is the other one. Both are fine. Just take the next one to go and do not buy roundtrip tickets.

The next two pics show the ticket counters and the arch over the entrance to the ferry pier (left below) and the view just outside the pier entrance facing towards the pier (right below). Senor Frogs is to the right. The pier building underwent construction in 2014 so the pier pictures are not current.

PDC ArchPDC Ferry Pier

Just proceed under the arch and you will see the lines forming for the next ferry. Enjoy the trip over. You can get refreshments on the ferry.

Part 6: Cozumel to the Playa Del Carmen bus station (to catch a bus to the Cancun airport or other destinations)

Cozumel to PDC bus station Details

The view from the square towards the Cozumel ferry pier is the next leftmost picture. Ferry tickets will be found at counters in this building as will an ADO bus ticket counter Ferry time to PDC about 35 minutes. The right picture is on the Playa Del Carmen pier.

Coz Ferry pierLeaving PDC Pier

The next left picture is leaving the pier. Note Senor Frogs to the left is to the right. The next pic on the right is looking to the west as you leave the pier. Rental car companies are located just ahead.

PDC Off PierWest from PDC Pier

You could go one block to the top of the hill then right two blocks to get to the bus station. We will go right after leaving the pier/arch (Next left pic). The next rightmost picture is just past the palapa. We can either turn left, go one block then right one block...or, we can continue straight ahead. But for now we will go straight along the beach. Of course you can cut diagonally through the plaza area.

Right from PDC PierPDC Palapa

Before we continue straight, look a bit left at the plaza. You can also walk diagonally through the courtyard area (next pic on left). Go straight then turn left after one block (before you hit the building!). The picture below/right looks up the hill towards the bus station, McDonalds and the Diamonds International store.

PDC PlazaPDC Straight

After you turn left and go one block west, look back for one last look at the ocean (next left pic). A few more yards and you are at the bus station (next right pic).

PDC OceanPDC Bus Station

Part 7: ADO bus from the Cancun airport to the downtown Cancun bus station

Getting to the downtown Cancun bus station is also easy. The buses run about twice as often and only costs around 64 pesos each way. The big difference is that you verify that the bus has a "Cancun" sign in the front window as opposed to Playa del Carmen. It takes about 25 minutes. The picture below left shows a roundabout with shells sculptures in it. Once you see that you are about a block away from the bus terminal. Then you will see a war memorial that has a rocket ship like appearance (right picture).

Cancun ShellsCancun Memorial

The next two pictures are in the Cancun bus station after you get off the bus. The picture on the left is for some departures. The right picture shows the area (far end) that currently you would go to to purchase a bus ticket to Playa del Carmen or the Cancun airport.

Cancun ShellsCancun Memorial

If you turn around and face the exit doors (ticket counters to your back), go outside and walk to the right until you get to a four lane divided road. This is the same road that you came in on from the airport but the opposite direction. Across the road is a Commercial Mexicana (left picture below). Turn left and cross a smaller street and ahead you will see where the hotel zone buses (R-1) load and a McDonalds on the other side of the street (right picture below).

Cancun Commercial MexicanaCancun R-1 Bus Loading

Part 8: Puerto Morelos stop

The southbound ADO bus from the Cancun airport often stops at Puerto Morelos as do northbound buses. The picture below left shows the Pemx station at the Puerto Morelos stop. The right picture below shows the 7-11 and a waiting taxi.

PM Pemex StationPM 7-11

There are two places to buy a bus ticket at this stop. If you face the Pemex station there is a one story building to your right. The ADO office is at the back (west) end....see picture below on the left. On the east side of highway 307, you will see a covered fenced in area with a small structure where they sell tickets (see picture below to the right). If the ticket agent is not at one location, he/she may be at the other location.

PM Pwest side ticket areaPM East side ticket area

ADO Bus Schedule

Bus times verified via their website - 12 Dec 2014. Always verify times since they can and do change.

Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen: Buses start at 915 AM and run about every 30 minutes. Last bus leaves at 1150 PM

Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport: First bus departs at 430 AM from the 5th Ave station and ten minutes later from the Alternate station. The last bus departs at 1020 PM.

ADO Ferry Schedule

This is from the Mexico waterjets website and reflects the schedule as of 12 December, 2014. Always confirm times since it can and does change. This schedule is the high season schedule and may have crossings that are not run during low season. The two ferry companies alternate times on alternate days so just pick whichever is next. Buy a one way ticket only.

Playa del Carmen to Cozumel: 700 AM, 800 AM, 900 AM, 1000 AM, 1100 AM, 1200 noon, 100 PM, 200 PM, 300 PM, 500 PM, 600 PM, 700 PM, 800 PM, 1000 PM

Cozumel to Playa del Carmen: 600 AM, 700 AM, 800 AM, 900 AM, 1000 AM, 1100 AM, 1200 Noon, 100 PM, 200 PM, 400 PM, 500 PM, 600 PM, 700 PM, 900 PM

 

Websites:

1) Mexico ferry: http://www.mexicowaterjets.com/eng/servicios.php?id=HR

2) Ultramar ferry: http://www.granpuerto.com.mx

3) Bus system: http://www.ado.com.mx