How to Reach Playa Del Carmen by Airplane

Playa del Carmen visitors fly to Cancun, then drive the rest of the way

Photo credit: © Alberto Azparren

Although there is a small airport in Playa Del Carmen it is so rarely used that tourists will have to make arrangements to fly into another airport in Mexico. Luckily, the nearest international airport is less than an hour away by car, and is one of the best in the region.

Cancun International Airport

About 45 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen is the Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is the second busiest airport in all of Mexico next to the international airport in Mexico City. This airport is hailed as one of the most modern in the region, and serving 14 million passengers each year, it is extremely busy. Every major airline from the United States and Canada has regularly scheduled flights to Cancun, which makes it easy to plan a direct flight from your home town. When that isn't possible, connecting flights are never hard to find.

Most tourists report having great experiences at this airport, which houses a wealth of services including banks, duty free and specialty shops, sit down and quick service restaurants, car rental agencies, a business lounge, pharmacy, a salon and spa, several VIP lounges, and even facilities for the disabled.


Traveling to Mexico, citizens of Canada will only need to present their birth certificate and another form of photo identification. Everyone else will need a passport and in some cases a visa. While you're on the plane, you will receive a customs form to fill out and present to an official when you arrive. After doing so, you'll be asked to press a button which will turn a light green or red. When the light turns green, you can continue on, but if it is red, you'll be required to undergo further inspection. In order to prevent a prolonged inspection, don't over-pack and make sure to bring a prescription signed by your doctor for every medication you bring along with you.

Cancun International Airport U.S. Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Austin, TX, USA AUS AirTran
Baltimore, MD, USA BWI AirTran
Chicago, IL, USA MDW AirTran
Chicago, IL, USA RFD Frontier Airlines
Cincinatti, OH, USA CVG Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines
Cleveland, OH, USA CLE Frontier Airlines, United Airlines
Detroit, MI, USA DTW Aeromexico, Delta Airlines
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA FLL Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines
Fresno, CA, USA FAT Aeromexico
Indianapolis, IN, USA IND Frontier Airlines
Kansas City, KS, USA MCI Frontier Airlines
Lansing, MI, USA LAN Frontier Airlines
Las Vegas, NV, USA LAS Aeromexico
Los Angeles, CA, USA LAX Aeromexico, Delta Airlines, United Airlines
Miami, FL, USA MIA Aeromexico, American Airlines
Milwaukee, WI, USA MKE AirTran, Frontier Airlines
Minneapolis, MN, USA MSP Delta Airlines, Sun Country Airlines
Orlando, FL, USA MCO Aeromexico, Jet Blue
Pittsburgh, PA, USA PIT AirTran, Frontier Airlines
Salt Lake City, UT, USA SLC Frontier Airlines
San Antonio, TX, USA SAT Aeromexico, AirTran
San Francisco, CA, USA SFO Aeromexico, United Airlines
St. Louis, MO, USA STL Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines
Cancun International Airport Canadian Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Calgary, Canada YYC Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Edmonton, Canada YEG Sunwing Airlines
Halifax, Canada YHZ Air Canada
Montreal, Canada YUL Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Quebec City, Canada YBQ Sunwing Airlines
Regina, Canada YQR Sunwing Airlines
Saskatoon, Canada YXE Sunwing Airlines
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada YAM Sunwing Airlines
Thunder Bay, Canada YQT Sunwing Airlines
Vancouver, Canada YVR Sunwing Airlines
Winnipeg, Canada YWG Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Cozumel International Airport Canadian Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Montreal, Canada YUL Air Canada
Cancun International Airport European Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
London, United Kingdom LGW British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways, Virgin Airlines

Flying to Playa Del Carmen from the Caribbean

Cancun International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize BZE Maya Island Air
Cozumel, Mexico CZM MAYAir
Cozumel International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Cancun, Mexico CUN MAYAir

Next Stop, Playa Del Carmen

There are a few way to get to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun International Airport. First, don't expect to arrive and hail a cab. Regular taxis are prohibited from picking up passengers here. If you'd like to take a cab, you'll have to walk down to the main road and hail a ride there. Instead of doing this, you can arrange for private transportation with a company approved by the airport in advance of your arrival. If you do this, the driver will meet you in baggage claim with a sign that has your name on it. Some resorts in Playa del Carmen will arrange this for you free of charge, so make sure to find out if this is a service that is offered before you pay for anything. renting a car is possible from one of the international rental car chains located at the airport as well.

The least expensive way to get to Playa Del Carmen from the airport is to take an ADO bus. The cost is about 106 pesos per person, which depending on the rate of exchange comes out to be around $8(USD). The buses are known for their nice conditions and comfortable seating. When you arrive in Playa Del Carmen, you'll be dropped off at the bus stop at the junction of 5th Avenue and Jaurez, from which you can walk to many beach side hotels. If this isn't possible for you, taxis can get you to your final destination for less than $6(USD).

Although you can't fly directly to Playa Del Carmen, the location of one of the top airports in the country and the region makes it so that flying to your getaway is still the easiest and most convenient option available to international travelers.

The following chart indicates how to reach one of the regional air charter services.

Charter Operators
Name Phone Location
Aero Saab Main Office (998) 873-0501 Playa Del Carmen Airport - 1.3 mi. (2.0 km) South West of Playa del Carmen Mexico
Aero Saab Service from CUN (998) 873-0501 Cancun International Airport - 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) South of Cancun Mexico
Aero Saab Service from CZM (998) 873-0501 Cozumel International Airport - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) Northeast of San Miguel Cozumel
Aero Saab Service from Holbox (998) 873-0501 Holbox Airport - Holbox Holbox
Aero Saab Service from ISJ (998) 873-0501 Isla Mujeres Airport - 1.2 mi. (2.0 km) North-Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Cancun Executive VIP Transport (998) 850-3084 Cancun International Airport - 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) South of Cancun Mexico
Sky Tour (866) 420-9265 5.6 mi. (9.1 km) South West of Playa del Carmen Mexico

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