Update on ADO Bus Service to Mahahual

This is the time of year when a lot of people from the USA and Canada start showing up in Mahahual and Costa Maya for the winter. So because of this today I am going to do an update on the ADO bus service to Mahahual.

I took the bus from Playa del Carmen to Mahahual a couple of weeks ago, and I noticed some things have changed since I last wrote about how to get to Mahahual on a ADO bus.

310 pesos, 8am to Mahahual.

310 pesos, 8am to Mahahual.

The bus now leaves at 8am and costs 310 pesos for the three and a half hour trip from Playa to Mahahual. The bus leaves Mahahual at 5:30pm to return to Playa del Carmen and gets there about 9pm, and also costs 310 pesos.

The bus makes stops at Tulum and Felipe del Carrilllo for 5 minutes, but besides that, it is a direct bus to Mahahual, and drops people off at Quinto Sol in Mahahual.

The bus is a mini-bus, kind of like a shuttle bus, with air conditioning and plenty of room, and leg room. The seats are big and comfortable, and all in all it is a pretty comfortable trip.

ADO bus to Mahahual.

ADO bus to Mahahual.


At the moment, it is the easiest and most convienent way to get to Mahahual if you arrive in Mexico from a flight to Cancun. I was talking to some know- it -all guy from the USA last week in Mahahual on the malecon. He was in town looking to buy a condo, and I ran into him and we were talking about Mahahual and the future of Mahahual. He is married to a Mexican women from Florida, so he knows everything about Mexico and Mahahaul supposedly. He started telling me Mahahual will really start to grow once the airport in Chetumal gets expanded. I asked him why, he said then people from the USA and Canada will start flying into Chetumal instead of Cancun, because the car ride or bus ride from Cancun to Mahahual was too long. I then tried to explain to this genius, that to get to Chetumal, you have to fly through Mexico City, because Chetumal does not accept flights from the USA and Canada. Plus it would add 3 or 4 hours flying time to say fly from Houston or Miami, to Mexico City, and then take a flight from Mexico City to Chetumal. Chetumal is an hour and a half away from Mahahual, and Playa del Carmen and Cancun are three and four hours away respectively.

The flights into Cancun are relatively inexpensive, in fact I have a guy flying down from Buffalo to visit on Tuesday this week, and he bought a one way ticket for around $165 into Cancun. So as I tried to explain to this man the other day in Mahahual, if you fly into Chetumal it will cost you around $1,000 USD, and take you three to four more hours of flight time, and you still have to take bus or shuttle to get from Chetumal airport to Mahahual.

So as I tried to explain to him, if you fly into Cancun from the USA, take the shuttle from the airport into Mahahual, your cost could be around $200 USD versus $1,000 USD and up flying into Chetumal from Mexico City. Also the average flights from the USA to Cancun are between 2 and 4 hours. So technically you can be in Mahahual in 6 to 8 hours from the time you leave your home in the USA. Also as Mahahual and Costa Maya continue to grow more and more bus routes and transportation outlets will be added.

I deal with people like this guy from the USA all the time, they read some things on the internet, know somebody who lives here, or someone in their family is married to a Mexican, and they know everything. How to get to Mahahual, real estate, laws about Mexico, they know it all, and are not afraid to tell you about it. He then proceeded to tell me he was going to buy a condo in Mahahual, and fly into Chetumal to get to Mahahual. I then asked him who he was buying his condo from, and he told me, and I thought to myself, this guy is going to get a rude awakening with the realtor he is dealing with, and he probably deserves it.

ADO bus station on 5th Ave. in Playa del Carmen.

ADO bus station on 5th Ave. in Playa del Carmen.

Entrance to ADO station in Playa.

Entrance to ADO station in Playa.

So to sum up, the best, cheapest, and easiest way at the moment, if you cannot take the direct weekend shuttle, to get to Mahahual, is to fly into Cancun, take the ADO shuttle to Mahahual from the Cancun airport, or spend a night in Playa del Carmen and take the morning ADO shuttle from there to Mahahual. The ride is not bad, and there are a lot of things to see along the way. I take it all the time.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

22 thoughts on “Update on ADO Bus Service to Mahahual

  1. Donna Norstadt says:

    Every time we come to Mahaual, the ADO fare keeps rising. Just from airport to PDC end of Jan 2015 it was 156 pesos one way. I always go to PDC and then head to Mahahual the next day. Is there really a shuttle from the airport to Mahahual to avoid the hotel night in PDC?

  2. Howard Sugarman says:

    Is the Ado bus still leaving Mahahual every day at 5:30 PM? I have friends that want to get to Tulum on May 4. What are their options??

    • Yes, the bus leaves from Quinto Sol, and it stops in Tulum on the way to Playa del Carmen and Cancun airport. Gets into Tulum about 730 pm. I think 240 pesos to Tulum. I hope this helps. I have taken it several times. You can also leave earlier and go to Limones and catch bus to Tulum there. I have more on that if you need it.

  3. Howard Sugarman says:

    Thanks Stewart, I will happily take that info on Limones option, just in case they want to leave earlier. Would that be more of a local bus with more stops??

  4. Hi I am due to visit Mahahual and I wanted to say that your information is really helpful as I have been struggling to plan my routes. It now seems that ADO bus will be a good option for me but I just wanted to check how safe it is as I will be a female travelling alone… I also wondered about where the luggage is stowed is it beneath the bus or in the carriage with you. Hope to hear from you soon. Many thanks

    • Donna N says:

      My husband recently arrived at 1120am to Cancun. He traveled from Cancun to PDC using the ADO bus right outside the terminal. Ended up having lunch in PDC and catching the 4:30 bus to Mahahual. He arrived Mahahual at 8:30pm. I think that fare was 320 pesos. I arrived with a girlfriend a week later and took same bus to PDC, FYI 156 pesos one way. Our luggage is stored below the bus. I have taken this route with a girlfriend several times. I would feel safe doing in alone. Just for safety, I would keep money with you. I have never had issues with my luggage but this last time, the bus driver wanted me to pay extra for the large pieces of luggage I had (9 between both of us). He said only 2 pieces per person was allowed but I have been traveling with lots of luggage forever and never experienced that. we gave him a five dollar tip and all was well. I stayed in Mahahual but my friend took a 7am ADO bus from Mahahual to Cancun airport for 337 pesos. It arrived at noon and her flight left at 2pm. She said she had to walk about 1/4 mile after he dropped her off to get to the terminal. The bus from Mahahual to Cancun was very convenient and cheaper then the cost of gas to drive her. There is also a bus that leaves Mahahual at 5pm. So this might work for your return. It stops in Tulum and PDC so if you need to get off there and spend the night, its convenient. Hope this helps.

      • Yes this is really helpful thanks Donna. 🙂
        The only thing I am a bit confused about is the ADO bus times as I picked up from the thread it is weekend only and one ADO per day. Have they increased the journies now to weekdays and having more than one journey a day? It’s just I don’t want to arrive on a day when there is no ADO.

      • Donna N says:

        the bus from airport to PDC is daily every 30 minutes. the bus from Mahahual to cancun only leaves 7am and 5pm. There are other ways and times to get from Mahahual to cancun but require more local buses or vans. You should be more concerned about getting here. Once you are here, go to Fernandos 100% Agave restaurant and they can show you where the store is to purchase your ticket for returning and give you options. Relax it will all be good.

  5. Yes that was really helpful thanks Donna. The flights happened to be cheaper to Chetumal than to Can Cun from Mexico City on the day I wanted to travel. The cheap flights to CanCun also arrived in the evening and I was concerned that there may not be more buses to Mahahual at that time. Therefore I will be travelling to Mahahual from Chetumal. I understand there is a shuttle bus from there but not ADO. Have you taken this route at all/any thoughts?
    On the return when I do not have any time restriction I look forward to Confidently using the ADO from Mahahual to CanCun and utilising stop over in Playa Del Carmen to explore that area for a few days.

    • Donna N says:

      I personally have never flown into Chetumal but it certainly is alot closer to Mahahual. There are vans that go between Chetumal and Mahahual. I have never used them, They are white or yellow vans. Someone else on this blog will have to answer with more details but I am sure you can get information once you get to Chetumal.

    • Donna N says:

      I came down 3 months ago with a flight arriving Cancun at 0930. I arrive PDC by 1130 and had to wait for the 4:30 bus. I was thinking there has to be a better way? That doesn’t involve changing collectives every few towns. You see lots of buses on hwy 307. Probably out of the main Cancun terminal heading to Chetumal but I do wonder if there is a more frequent bus direct from Cancun to Mahahual?

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