The Riviera Maya is the touristic area of the Mexican Caribbean in Quintana Roo, it goes from Puerto Morelos down south to Tulum. The closest airport is located in the city of Cancun, just 30 minutes away from Puerto Morelos and 60 minutes away from Playa del Carmen.
If you are visiting any part of this amazing paradise, most probably you will be landing in Cancun airport. Transportation is very accessible from this point. As soon as you claim your luggage, you will be able to see many transportation booths along the corridor of the airport´s exit, all of them offering different options for transportation to the different places around the area.
The cheapest and way to get out of the airport zone is the ADO bus. They offer shuttle services almost every 30 minutes to Cancun downtown, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras or Tulum. You will also find private or shared taxi services. If you decide to hire a taxi service, we highly recommend to hire it directly on the booths you see at the luggage claim corridor and try to avoid the men standing at the very exit gate, they will normally charge more money for the ride.
If you decide to get a rental car, we recommend to do the reservation on line prior to your arrival and be sure they have the delivery at the airport. Don´t be afraid of driving in this part of Mexico! The highways are really safe and in good conditions, you will find that all the main places and references are very easy to find and the streets and highways have lots of signs so you don´t get lost or have no clues where to go.
The main cities and/or towns you may visit are mainly distributed in a line along the coast. At the top north of the area you will find Cancun city, though it is a well-known touristic city, it is not considered part of the Riviera Maya concept.
South from Cancun at 30 minutes approx. is Puerto Morelos. It is a small town with a big history behind it. It has been a very important harbor since before Spaniards arrival to the Peninsula who took advantage of the geographical location and used it also as a commercial port too.
If you keep traveling another 30 minutes south you will find Playa del Carmen. Though it is a very young city, this place was the port where ancient Mayans started a pilgrimage trip to Cozumel Island to visit Ixchel goddess sanctuary. Now a days we relive this pilgrimage in canoes every year from the park Xcaret.
60 minutes away from Playa lies the city of Tulum. This place used to be very important for the ancient Mayans who called the city Zamá. You can find the ruins, beautiful beaches, amazing cenotes, great food and wonderful national parks to spend some time in contact with nature.