Monday, May 13, 2013

Transportation Options in Puerto Morelos

People often ask me "What is the best way to get around when I am visiting?" The truth is that there isn't one right answer. It really depends on your vacation itinerary, budget, group size, and personal preferences.

So, here is a run-down of the options that you can consider:


Rental Car: 

The first decision you want to make is whether or not you will be renting a car. If your plan is to plant yourself on the beach and tootle around town during your time here, then you probably don't need to rent a vehicle. If you plan on making trips down the coast and exploring, then you might find it advantageous (and less expensive) to have your own car.

Many visitors choose to rent a car at the airport and if you are renting a car, it is what I would recommend that you do.  Be sure to rent the vehicle online BEFORE your arrival to obtain the best rates. Upon arrival, find the representative for your car rental company. They will take you via shuttle to their lot where you can complete the paperwork and drive away with your vehicle. Be sure to call your credit card company so that you know what types of insurance you can decline at the time of rental. Not all credit cards have 100% coverage. Rates will vary by company, what type of vehicle you rent, and the time of year.

Airport Transfer Company:

There are lots of great private transfer companies that offer airport transfers to and from the airport. At Mayan Riviera Properties, we recommend USA Transfers to our guests. Rates will vary depending on the number of people in your group and will usually be listed on the transport company's website.

After arriving in town using the Transfer Company, you will need to rely on public transportation or a daily rental car for getting around during your stay.


From Airport to Puerto Morelos - Taxis are available to take you from the airport to PM, but can be more expensive than pre-arranging service through an Airport Transfer Company.

From Puerto Morelos to Airport - PM Taxis can take you to the airport from PM. Price for a regular-sized taxi is 350 pesos. Larger vehicles are also available.


Taking the bus to Puerto Morelos is easy and the most economical. The bus leaves every 15/20 minutes from the airport and the first stop on along the coast is Puerto Morelos. You can buy a bus ticket at the airport from the ADO desk. (Current cost to PM is 68 pesos.) The bus is air conditioned with TV and WiFi. It also has luggage storages compartments underneath the bus body, and the staff will load/unload your bags.

The buss will drop you off at the bus depot on the highway in PM. There is always a line of taxis to take you into town from there.


Rental Car:

Shoe-sized Car
Cars can be rented by the day here in town. You should know that the daily rental rate is higher than the weekly rate - so expect to pay $50-60 USD for a small, basic (think shoe-sized) car for the day.


Large Colectivo

Smaller Colectivo
Colectivos are buses that run around Puerto Morelos. You'll see them in 2 different sizes. They will take you on a circuit around Puerto Morelos -- the port side and the colonia -- for a whopping 5 pesos. Cheapest tour in town! Flag one down to hop on at any time or catch one in the town square.

It's a great way to get over to the colonia to do fruit/veggie shopping. If you haven't ever went for a Colectivo ride, I'd recommend you hop on one.


Taxis are available to take you around town. You can call them to pick you up (998.871.0090), flag one down, or jump in at any of the taxi stands in town.

Puerto Morelos Taxis Have Gold Stripes.
You'll find each town has a different color.
Most destinations within downtown/colonia are between 20-50 pesos in taxi fare. Properties on the north and south ends of town are a higher rate. Rates to hotels are always higher than to private houses, so be sure to mention a private property if that is your destination for the best fare.

If you have questions about rates, you can check the main taxi stand in the town square for the price list. It's always a good idea to check the price before taking the ride.

Taxi drivers can also take you to Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Due to regulations, they cannot take anyone back with them -- so your rate will be the price of a round trip. Oftentimes, its better to have them wait with you and return in their vehicle - rather than paying for 2 round trips for only one run into Cancun or Playa.


Taking the Bus in Mexico is a great way to travel! Be sure to book the first class bus tickets.

To Playa del Carmen: The luxury bus leaves every 40 minutes, 66 pesos. The regular buses leave every 15 minutes, 26 pesos. The Playa del Carmen bus depot is right on 5th Avenue, in the heart of Playa.

To Cancun: Every 20 minutes, 26 pesos. The Cancun Bus Depot is in Downtown Cancun, on Tulum Avenue. You can take a second bus or grab a cheap cab ride into the Hotel Zone upon arriving at the Depot.

Check the ADO website for bus schedules.


Lots of places in town rent bicycles. Always fun to grab bikes for the day or week.

Important to Know:

There are very specific rules regarding professional transportation that travelers should be aware of when making travel plans.
  1. As I mentioned above, each taxi is a part of a syndicate, which can only operate in a defined region. (Thus, the different colors for each syndicate.) Taxi drivers can only operate within their region. If a passenger desires for them to take them out of their region, it is perfectly acceptable. However, they can only return with that passenger or must return empty. For this reason, it is often easier and less expensive to have the same driver stick with you while you are out of town.
  2. Private Transport Companies are only authorized for airport transfers and tours that have been pre-booked with the transportation company or with a tour company, respectively. Private transportation companies must carry a log sheet that accounts for the pre-reservation of each passenger. (This is why private transport companies stress that ALL passengers must be listed at the time of reservation...and freak out a bit if you haven't -- You've put them in quite a bind.) This is strictly regulated, and it is not unusual for their passenger log to be inspected by transportation authorities.
  3. For transportation needs that have not been pre-booked (#2), a taxi is the way you should travel. 

While the rules/regs are strict for carriers, it is easy for the user: If you are using a private transportation company, be sure that it is only when you have pre-booked your trip. Remember to include all passengers. If you are serendipitously heading for adventure, grab a cab. 

It is important to realize that these laws are in place, in part, for your protection. By booking your transportation with a professional company or by utilizing the public system/taxis, it assures that you are traveling with a transporter that has the proper insurance for their passengers.

However you get here, I look forward to seeing you in Puerto Morelos!!

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.