How to Get from Playa del Carmen to Akumal in 2023
Trying to figure out how to get to Akumal from Playa del Carmen? You’ve come to the right place!
As a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, I’ve become an expert on all the transportation options in the Riviera Maya region.
While Akumal is well known for its beautiful beaches and abundance of sea turtles, this small beach town has fewer transportation services than Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
But don’t worry, getting to Akumal from Playa del Carmen is still easy and manageable once you know what you’re doing.
In this post, I’m sharing the best ways to get from Playa del Carmen to Akumal, whether you’re looking for the cheapest ride or a private transfer.
Ready to find out the best Playa del Carmen Akumal transportation for you? Let’s get started!
Best Ways to Get from Playa del Carmen to Akumal
Visiting Akumal makes for a great day trip, whether you want to snorkel with sea turtles in their natural habitat, or simply explore the small town.
Meaning “place of turtles” in the Mayan language, Akumal is located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean Sea.
👀 Looking for the easiest way to visit Akumal from Playa del Carmen? Consider booking this Akumal snorkeling tour with round-trip transportation included!
These are the best ways to get to Akumal from Playa del Carmen:
1. Take a Colectivo
The cheapest and most common way to get from Playa del Carmen to Akumal is by taking a colectivo.
This is a shared van public transportation service that runs continuously between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Basically, colectivos pick up passengers from the side of the highway and drop them off at any point in between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
They don’t have set schedules but run daily and just depart when full–roughly every 10 minutes from about 7AM-9PM.
To catch a colectivo to Akumal, you’ll need to head to the main colectivo bus station in Playa del Carmen located near the Chedraui grocery store and the main highway 307 (📍Google Maps location).
Once you arrive, make sure to get on a colectivo headed to Tulum. See the pics below–the white vans will typically say Tulum on the front and side.
If you don’t speak Spanish, it’s best to tell the driver that you’re going to Akumal as soon as you get on.
Most colectivo drivers do not speak English so this is usually the easiest way to communicate your destination rather than having to shout from the back of the colectivo.
Once you’re on the colectivo, the travel time is about 30-40 minutes to Akumal. It takes a bit longer on colectivos because they stop frequently to drop off and pick up passengers.
The colectivo will stop on the side of the highway and you’ll pay the driver upon exiting.
The cost should be around $40 pesos (~$2 USD) and it’s best to have small bills on hand. Most drivers do not have much change.
Once you’re off the colectivo, you’ll need to cross the highway using the overpass to head into Akumal town.
2. Take a Taxi
If you don’t mind spending a little more, then taking a taxi is the next best option to get from Playa del Carmen to Akumal Mexico.
Taxis are much faster and more direct than colectivos as colectivos make frequent stops along the highway.
Plus, you’ll have the privacy and comfort of a private vehicle and door-to-door service.
To catch a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Akumal, you can easily hail one from the street or at one of the many taxi stands around town.
Or if you’re staying at a hotel or resort in Playa del Carmen, they can easily help to arrange one for you.
Before getting in the taxi, always confirm the price with the driver up front and they should have a rate sheet with a list of the normal taxi fares that you can verify. The taxi cost should be around $650 pesos (~$35 USD) each way.
The drive from Playa del Carmen to Akumal takes about 30-35 minutes depending on traffic. Make sure to have cash on hand (pesos or USD) as credit cards are not accepted.
3. Rent a Car
Another option is to rent a car and drive yourself to Akumal from Playa del Carmen.
This is a great option for those who are comfortable driving in Mexico and want the convenience of having their own vehicle to explore Quintana Roo or the Yucatan peninsula.
A rental car makes it much easier to visit more off-the-beaten path attractions, including cenotes like Eden Cenote, Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Azul, or Casa Cenote, or a secluded beach like Xpu-Ha and Xcacel.
Plus, car rentals can sometimes be cheaper than taking taxi rides, depending on the length and number of trips you’ll be taking.
The drive to Akumal from Playa del Carmen takes about 30-35 minutes and you’ll want to take the federal highway 307 directly south and past Puerto Aventuras.
It’s a very easy drive on a well-maintained highway–you might just face some occasional road construction delays from the Maya Train.
I recommend booking your rental car through Discover Cars, as they offer full coverage insurance and you can detailed rating and reviews from many different rental car companies.
You can read my full guide to renting a car in Playa del Carmen for more detailed info and tips.
Pricing will vary depending on your rental length and car type, but you can expect prices to start around $40 USD per day for the most basic economy vehicles.
👉 Search for rental cars on Discover Cars by clicking here!
4. Rent a Scooter
If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to travel to Akumal Mexico from Playa del Carmen, then you might consider renting a scooter.
Renting a scooter is a great way to explore the local scenery and get off the beaten path, although it is a bit more dangerous.
I’ve never rented a scooter because I’m always been a bit nervous about accidents but they are pretty popular here and some people really enjoy it.
If you want to try, there are several rental shops around Playa del Carmen, or you can book online with a scooter rental company like Scooter Club Cancun.
This company offers scooter rentals online, and then they’ll drop off the scooter at your location in Playa del Carmen.
You can expect scooter rentals in Playa del Carmen to cost around $500-$600 pesos (~$25-$30 USD) per day, and they typically include helmets and insurance.
5. Book a Private Transfer
Another option for getting to Akumal is to book a private transfer with pickup in Playa del Carmen.
This is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most comfortable and convenient.
You’ll be able to reserve pickup in advance and you’ll be driven directly to your destination in a private vehicle.
I recommend booking your Playa del Carmen to Akumal private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation, as they offer reliable vehicles and friendly, bilingual drivers.
If you’re looking for a stress-free way to get to Akumal from Playa del Carmen, then a private transfer is the way to go.
It will just require some advance planning as you’ll need to reserve your private transfer in advance.
👉 Book a private transfer from Playa del Carmen to Akumal by clicking here!
6. Book an Akumal Tour from Playa del Carmen
If you want to visit Akumal on a day trip, then booking a tour is the best way to do it! There’s a lot of different Akumal tours from Playa del Carmen available.
These typically include round-trip transportation with hotel pickup, snorkeling with sea turtles in Akumal, and added activities like visiting a cenote or the Tulum Ruins archeological site.
I personally went on this Akumal snorkeling tour and can’t recommend it enough!
You’re pretty much guaranteed to see sea turtles in their natural habitat, which is such an amazing experience.
Plus, you’ll also get to visit Xtun Cenote, a stunning underground cavern cenote with other-worldly stalactites and stalagmites.
You can read my full Akumal snorkeling tour guide to learn more about the experience, as well as important conservation tips for visiting Akumal.
It’s honestly one of the top things to do in Riviera Maya and shouldn’t be missed!
↳ Check rates and availability for the Akumal snorkeling tour here
How far is Playa del Carmen from Akumal?
The Playa del Carmen to Akumal distance is about 24 miles (38 km) and takes about 30-35 minutes.
It’s an easy drive on a well-maintained highway but you might face some occasional road construction delays from the Maya Train.
Private transfers and taxis are the fastest option, while colectivos take a bit longer due to frequent stops along the way.
Is there an ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to Akumal?
No, the ADO bus does not stop in Akumal. The ADO only goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (and vice versa) and does not make a stop in Akumal.
There are Mayab buses (an ADO lower-class bus line) that travel in between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which allow passengers to be dropped off in Akumal.
These charter-style buses leave from the ADO bus station and operate in the same fashion as colectivos, where you can get picked up and dropped off on the side of the highway.
However, they only run every 4 hours or so, so it’s much easier and convenient just to take a colectivo.
Getting Back to Playa del Carmen from Akumal
When you’re ready to head back to Playa del Carmen from Akumal, you can basically just reverse the process with your chosen transportation method.
If you want to catch the colectivo from Akumal to Playa del Carmen, you’ll want to head back to the main highway 307.
There is a small bus stop on the side of the highway where you’ll likely see other passengers waiting for a colectivo.
Be on the lookout for oncoming colectivos–their destinations are typically painted on the windshield.
When you see one coming, simply wave like you’re hailing a taxi and as long as the colectivo isn’t full, it should stop to let you on.
Once you’re on the colectivo, you can take it to its final stop in downtown Playa del Carmen and it should take about 30-40 minutes.
The final stop in Playa del Carmen is located near the Chedraui grocery store and highway 307. From there, you can either take a taxi or walk to your final destination.
To take a taxi from Akumal to Playa del Carmen, you can arrange one from the hotels and resorts in Akumal or from one of the main taxi stands in town (marked as “Sitio”).
There is a taxi stand next to the arch at the entrance to Akumal Bay and another one in the pueblo.
Taxis aren’t quite as abundant in Akumal as in Playa del Carmen but you should still be able to find one easily.
If you take a Akumal to Playa del Carmen taxi, it should take about 30-40 minutes to get to Playa del Carmen and it should cost around $650 pesos (~$35 USD).
Tips for Taking a Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Akumal
Follow these tips for a stress-free experience when taking the Playa del Carmen Akumal bus:
- Have small bills on hand (pesos are best): Most colectivo drivers will not have much change so make sure to have small bills on hand (pesos are best). Trust me, they won’t be happy if you try and pay with a $500 peso bill!
- Tell the driver your destination when you get on: It’s usually easiest just to tell the driver you’re headed to Akumal as soon as you get on. Most drivers will not speak English and this is easier than having to shout from the back of the bus. They’re pretty good about remembering where to stop.
- Track your location on Google Maps: If you’re nervous about where you need to get off, it’s a good idea to track your location on Google Maps so you can get prepared.
- Be prepared for some walking: The colectivos only operate along the highway so depending on where you’re heading to in Akumal Beach, it’ll probably take a bit of walking to get there. For example, from the highway to Half Moon Bay, it might take 15-20 minutes.
- Travel light: Colectivos do not have luggage storage and are usually pretty full. It’s best to pack light and only take what can fit on your lap.
- Avoid traveling at night: Colectivos run until about 9PM but I would recommend taking them during daylight if possible. It’s much more difficult to flag down colectivos in the dark. Plus, it can be more dangerous walking alone at night.
Playa del Carmen to Akumal: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about getting to Akumal from Playa del Carmen:
The cheapest way to get to Akumal from Playa del Carmen is to take a colectivo, which only costs around $40 pesos (~$2 USD) each way.
A colectivo to Akumal from Playa del Carmen costs around $40 pesos (~$2 USD) each way.
Not really. Colectivos do not have luggage storage so you can really only take what you can fit on your lap.
A taxi from Playa del Carmen to Akumal costs around $650 pesos (~$35 USD) each way.
No, while Uber has recently been legalized in the state of Quintana Roo, it is not safe to take Ubers in the region. Taxi drivers strongly oppose ride sharing apps and there have been reports of violence against Uber drivers and passengers.
There is not a direct bus from Playa del Carmen to Akumal but you can take a colectivo (shared van service), which runs between Playa del Carmen and Tulum and will drop you off in Akumal.
Akumal is closer to Tulum. Getting from Akumal to Tulum takes about 25 minutes. Playa del Carmen is about 30-35 minutes north of Akumal.
Conclusion: Playa del Carmen to Akumal Transportation Guide
I hope this guide has helped you figure out how to get to Akumal from Playa del Carmen!
With its abundance of sea turtles, Akumal is definitely worth visiting and there are a few different ways to get there depending on your budget and comfort level.
The cheapest and most common way is to take a colectivo (public transportation van). Once you get the hang out it, they are an and inexpensive way to get around the region.
Or if you’re looking more convenience with door-to-door service, consider taking a taxi or booking a private transfer from Playa del Carmen to Akumal.
And if you’re looking for a day trip, an Akumal snorkeling tour with pickup from Playa del Carmen is the easiest and most hassle-free way to go.
Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to have a great time exploring Akumal!