Fun Bus Trip From Cancun To Mahahual

Almost all who visit Mahahual/Costa Maya via cruise ship want to return someday and always ask, “How far to the nearest airport and how long of a drive is it?” I tell them that Cancun is the nearest airport and is a 4 1/2 hours drive and I quickly get that “forget that” look. But then I also tell them the way I like to do it takes a day and a half and is much more fun. This often gets their attention. I call it the “fun bus trip” and it uses the local 1st class tour buses, which is our favorite way to travel Quintana Roo, to get from Cancun to Mahahual. If you know how, the fun bus trip will be just another enjoyable part of your vacation. These buses are modern vehicles with A/C, comfortable reclining seats, movies, restrooms and are a very economical, easy and safe way to travel.


The trip from your home in the morning to the airport, the flight and time in Customs and Immigration can eat up 3/4ths of most travel days. Getting all the way to Costa Maya that first day is way too much work for most, including me. Instead, I recommend a short 1st class bus transfer to Playa Del Carmen, (about $10 US per person) where you can land, relax and enjoy a fun  afternoon and evening in Playa Del Carmen, about an hour south
of Cancun. The bus depot is just a block off the beach and along the famous 5th Avenue, one of Quintana Roo’s most fun places to spend an evening, or two, along the way.


You check into your accommodations that are just a short stroll, along the safe and beautiful, pedestrian only 5th Ave, from the bus depot. ($40 boutique hotels-$300 luxury hotels a night) Spend the remainder of your first day strolling 5th and visiting some of Mexico’s best shopping, clubs, galleries, restaurants and bars. This part of Playa Del Carmen is an interesting mix of international businesses as well as visitors, and
makes for one of Quintana Roo’s most cosmopolitan and very  real Mexico experiences.


The next morning, you have a nice breakfast at one of the sidewalk cafés along 5th Ave and curl up for the comfortable 4 hour bus ride to Mahahual. (about $25 US per person) Your bus will make a couple scheduled 5 minute stops but you will not have to change buses. If you want to sleep late, there is a 4:30 PM bus to Mahahual also.

When you return, another night in Playa Del Carmen is also recommended to see all the things you did not  have time for at the beginning of the trip and it is a very easy airport shuttle in the morning.

The fun bus trip is as safe and easy, as it is fun and inexpensive. Southern Quintana Roo is a wonderful place to visit by the 1st class buses and a great way for visitors to travel the area with the ease and expense of a local.

About talesfrommahahual

Stuck in Paradise!
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3 Responses to Fun Bus Trip From Cancun To Mahahual

  1. Pingback: ADO Bus From Cancun Airport To Mahahual | Tales From Mahahual

  2. Kayla says:

    Hello! I am considering taking the bus to Mahahual for my winter vacation, but I will (like many) be flying into Cancun. I have read this above course, and I think it could fit my budget much better than renting a car. However, I have a few questions:

    Is this bus route still an option?
    Are the prices suggested in this posting still accurate?
    Is there somewhere online I can see an accurate listing of arrival and departure times/routes?
    Does the described route also run the opposite direction to allow me to get back to the airport and home?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Most things change very slow here. Except bus routes to Mahahual! You might check the blog again right before as things might change by then again. The bus as of today is one bus in, and one out, and that bus does not come through the Cancun airport. Last time I checked, the route was still not on the site so getting any official info is not easy. I’m about as close as official as you can find since I park a few feet from the bus each day while they wait for the afternoon departure. Lemones, the town closest to us is not on there either??? ADO has another line, Mayab, which is also not on their site and they drop people in Lemones all day and the taxi ride from there is $360 pesos, or about $34 US. The price from Playa to Mahahual I think is about $360 pesos?? I just paid it the other day and not sure the exact amount, but it is close to that.
      You might check this blog with a more updated explanation, as well as how to use the other bus system to Lemones and taxi into Mahahual from there. Here is that link:
      In addition to that, the current ADO bus is smaller than the regular bus used before and the one in the older blogs you have read here. A month or so ago, they began to use a smaller shuttle bus so there are no restrooms or movies. After Playa Del Carmen, where it leaves at 8:00 AM sharp, and goes to Tulum for a brief stop and also stopped at a convenience store in Carrillo Puerto, a small city about an hour south of Tulum. They do not stop in Lemones and the trip is a bit faster now, 3-31/2 hours. The smaller bus gets in and out of the towns faster and the driver is easier if you need an extra minute or two at a stop. If you speak Spanish, he’ll even chat away with you!
      That bus arrive around 11:30 or so and makes the same return run at 5:00 PM each day. For your return you will most likely need to return the day prior and spend the night in PDC like you did coming in and then shuttle to the airport. There is a Mayab bus that comes through Lemones a bit before 8:00 each day and that bus goes to the PDC bus terminal, where you catch the shuttle to the airport. That bus is slower, making stops picking people up along the way often. It usually get to the terminal in PDC between noon and 12:30. Shuttles run every half hour to the airport.
      Hope that helps and stop in at the Tropicante and say hi when you are in town next winter. Cheers!

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