How to get from Cancun to Mahahual on the same day as your flight.

I got this question from a blog reader over the weekend, so I thought I would answer on this blog.

“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?”

To answer your question, yes, there are several ways to get to Mahahual from Cancun, and avoid an overnight stay in Playa del Carmen.

First the shuttle from the airport to Mahahual leaves Cancun at 7am and arrives in Playa del Carmen at 8am and leaves shortly after that. This shuttle leaves way too early for most flights coming from the USA and Canada, so not many people can take advantage of this. This is why most people spend a night in Playa del Carmen, and then catch the Mahahual shuttle the next morning to Mahahual.

There are several different options you can use, if you prefer to get to Mahahual on the same day of your flight, and avoid a stay in Playa del Carmen. I will now break these options down for you, because trust me I have used them all.

First of all, get out of the Cancun airport as quick as you can. Take a cab or collectivo (van), to the main ADO bus terminal in Cancun. From there book a direct bus to Chetumal, they leave every hour, and buy a ticket to Limones. Limones is the last town before the exit to Mahahual off of Highway 307. You can take an ADO bus or you can choose a Mayab bus, they are a lot cheaper, and run the same routes as the ADO bus. Get off in Limones, a small bump in the road, and catch the Caribe bus that comes through on its way to Mahahual at 6pm. The Caribe from Limones to Mahahual is 40 pesos, and arrives in Mahahual at about 715pm.

Limones, last stop before Mahahual.

Limones, last stop before Mahahual.

This route is good to take if say you flight gets in late morning or early afternoon, because it is about 4 hours from Cancun to Limones. Just remember the Caribe leaves Limones at 6pm, and it is the last bus to Mahahual for the day. If you take the Mayab from Cancun and catch the Caribe into Mahahual, it should run a total of about 200 pesos, more or less. There are also vans and taxis that can bring you from Limones to Mahahual, but those prices vary on the day and the time. I take the Mayab bus because it is a lot cheaper than the ADO busses, and the only drawback is, it makes more stops. So say if your flight gets in at noon or so, you have plenty of time to make it to Limones.

If you are like me and like some adventure, and want to travel Mexican style, you can also catch collectivos (or cumbees as they are called here) from Cancun all the way to Limones. This is the cheapest route, and you will also get to Limones quicker. It involves changing vans from city to city, but it is cheap and quick.

First take a collectivo to Playa del Carmen, then from Playa take a collectivo to either Tulum or Felipe de Carillio. These will run you about 50 pesos apiece from town to town. When you get to Felipe de Carillio, take a collectivo to Limones, and then the Caribe to Mahahual. The last time I did this from Playa del Carmen it cost me about 100 pesos to get to Limones. This is the way a lot of locals travel from point to point. I would not recommend these on the weekends though, might be a little crowded.

I think both the options I have listed above are possible on most USA and Canada flights because from my understanding most flights arrive in Cancun from the USA and Canada late morning or early afternoon.

I hope I have answered any questions any of you might have about reaching Mahahual from Cancun in one day. If you need more details contact me, and I can walk you through it.

Thanks for reading.
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

7 thoughts on “How to get from Cancun to Mahahual on the same day as your flight.

  1. Shannon says:

    Hola, Stewart:

    My name is Shannon Cash (male)…I live in Deerfield Beach, FL. I will be in Mahahual Feb. 25th thru March 2nd…would like to hook up with you…read your posts all the time !

    My first time to Mahahual…but, I will be traveling with Pete and Sandy…frinds from WI…they have been going to Mahahual/ PDC for 15+ years !

    I’m renting a car…so we can travel quickly in a limited time. Heard many different stories about renting a car in MX…mostly about insurance…paying for gas…and driving at nite ! Could you share with me your info/insight on this subject ? Don’t mind if you make it a blog topic !

    Hope to see ya’ soon,

  2. Barbara & Wayne Schroeder says:

    I am going to land in your town in June. I want to blog others that have had moved there. Is that possible? We are looking for a place to rent for ^ months to 1 year. In that year we will explore to find that spot to retire. I am open to all areas. Can I rent a car in Mahahaul? Or should I try Chetumal?

  3. Stewart, the ADO to Mahahual does not originate or even go to the Cancun airport anymore. It comes from Cancun centro at 7:00 AM and from there to Playa Del Carmen. There is no ADO service from the airport except to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen centros. There are also no collectivos from inside the airport. Your only option to leave the airport is via ADO shuttle, taxi or private shuttle. It is also worth noting that you can get from Lemones via taxi any time of day for about $30 US per vehicle up to 4 people. They wait right next to the bus stop. You do not need to wait until 7:00 for the Caribe bus. And of course do not forget the weekend AGI shuttle direct from the airport to Mahahual on Friday and Saturday afternoon at 4:00. Thanks for helping people get to Mahahual and keep up the good work!!

  4. Courtney says:

    My husband and I are traveling from Texas to Mexico in July for a two week adventure. We are carrying our backpacks with a tent. Are there any places to pitch a tent in Majahual? Side note: I do not speak Spanish, but my husband grew up in Mexico and lived 15 years in Cozumel.

    We are also hoping to find places to camp around Tulum and Akumal, if you have any recommendations.


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