How to save money by using the Colectivo in Mexico

Colectivo in Playa

When people hear that I took public transit on my trip to Playa Del Carmen they are a bit surprised that I found it safe and reliable. We saved a lot of money using the colectivo during our daily trips to Tulum, Akumal and different cenotes along the highway.  

The colectivos travel on Highway 307 and there are two main routes:

  • Cancun to Playa Del Carmen
  • Playa Del Carmen to Tulum

If you are travelling from Cancun to Tulum you will find they do not provide a direct route, so you will have to transfer vans in Playa Del Carmen.

Where do I catch the Collectivo in Playa Del Carmen?

In Playa Del Carmen there is a depot on Calle 2 between 15th and 20th Avenues, when you arrive at the depot there will be many white vans waiting to take you south to Tulum. The vans are clean and have air conditioning which is ideal if you travel to Mexico during the hot months. There will be someone calling out the destination “Tulum, Tulum” and he will also ask you where you are going. When you are getting close to your destination you may have to remind the driver of your stop, but only do this once as they tend to get annoyed if you remind them constantly.

Quintana Roo, Mexico

How do I catch the Colectivo on the Highway?

To catch a colectivo on the highway between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen just stand on the side of the road and raise your hand when a colectivo approaches. If you are in Tulum you can catch the colectivo van near the ADO Bus station or on the corner of Highway 307 and Coba Ave. The colectivo stops at many destinations along the highway between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum including resorts, towns and centotes. If requested they will stop at the Tulum Ruins but this is not a regular stop.

Stay Organized

Here are a few tips to having an enjoyable colectivo experience:

  • Know how many pesos your ride will cost.
  • Have exact fare ready when you exit.
  • Exit the colectivo as quickly as possible.
  • Have a map so you can tell when your destination is coming up.
  • If you have luggage you may be better off taking a taxi as the colectivo does not have much room.

Colectivo Prices from Playa Del Carmen:

  • Cancun: 34 Pesos
  • Puerto Morales – 22 Pesos
  • Akumal – 34 Pesos
  • Tulum – 40 Pesos

Remember: The colectivo will only stop along the highway, if your destination is a resort it my be located a kilometer or more from the highway and you may have to take a taxi or walk from the highway. Also they do not go to the Cancun airport so if you are catching a flight your better option is to take an airport shuttle from your hotel or resort.