Closest Airport To Playa Del Carmen

…you wouldn’t want to land in Cuba, would you?…

To say I’ve got some idiotic buddies would be an understatement.

There’s the one that fell asleep in the private room of a lap dance club (a.k.a. strip club).

And was billed for six hours…

I’ve got another buddy who booked some flights to London.

He gets on the plane and finds out he wasn’t going to see any red double decker buses – he was heading to London, CANADA.

Then there’s the one who calls me from Mexico City airport asking if I can come pick him up.


That’s like 1000 miles away…WTF???

Playa Del Carmen is on the Caribbean coast in the far east of Mexico.

And my buddies have managed to book flights to just about everywhere that isn’t within driving distance.

The closest airport to Playa Del Carmen certainly isn’t Mexico City.

So to help avoid any more confusion with my buddies I’ve written some advice.

Most Important Advice: Book Your Flight To Cancun International Airport (Then Take a Transfer)

Nearly 99% of you reading this will fly into Cancun International Airport.

You will then take some sort of aiport transfer. You can take a bus from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen, a taxi, a private transfer, etc…

  • Cancun International Airport Code: CUN
  • Distance to Playa Del Carmen: 50 minutes by car, bus, transfer, etc…
  • Transfer Options: Bus, Rental Car, Taxi, Private Transport, Resort/Hotel Transport
  • Cost: $10 – $150 USD

You can see the transport route in the map below:

NOTE: I’ve included a few other things on the map as well, so please don’t be confused. It will all make sense if you read this ENTIRE PAGE.


Need An Airport Transfer?

Talk to Oscar & Get the Absolute BEST PRICES In Town!

After about two weeks of searching, I found an apartment here in Playa Del Carmen. However, I had a whole bunch of belongings waiting at a moving company in Cancun.

I needed a truck.

My mom went out looking for someone who could help. Only 15 minutes later she returned. She had found a guy named “Oscar.”

“He seems like a nice guy,” my mom assured me. I had no choice but to take her advice.

Oscar also had a brand new pickup truck.

To make a long story short, Oscar ended up helping me transport my belongings for a really good price.

That’s how we became friends. We’ve been friends since then.

Thus, when Oscar told me that he was starting an airport transfer business, the first thing I thought was, “Hey, I’ll let my visitors know that they can get airport transfers directly from you!”

That’s exactly why I am introducing you to my friend, Oscar.

Meet OscarThe Airport Transfer Expert

Here are a few facts about Oscar that will help you get to know him a little better:

  • Oscar is originally from the northern part of Mexico, but he also lived in the US for 27 years.
  • He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
  • Because Oscar is bilingual, he can negotiate on your behalf (if necessary).
  • Oscar has lived in Playa Del Carmen for the last 4.5 years.
  • Oscar is a one-stop solution for everything in this city. He not only can provide incoming/outgoing airport transfers, but can also set up discounted package tours.
  • Oscar can save you a lot of precious vacation time by finding out exactly what you want and need (instead of just selling you a current promotion).
  • I strongly recommend Oscar for both airport transfers and helping you find whatever it is that you need.
  • Finally, Oscar also gets the “Mom Stamp of Approval” because, after all, it was my mom who recommended him to me!!!

But before you talk to Oscar, you’ll want a little more information.

airport transfer van graphic

Airport Transfer Information

There are a few facts that you should know about airport transfers before you reserve one.

One-Way or Round-Trip?

Essentially, there are two primary options when reserving your airport transfer:

  • One-way transfers
  • Round-trip transfers

One-way means transport from the airport to your hotel/resort UPON ARRIVAL ONLY. Round-trip means transport from the airport to your hotel/resort UPON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE.

Thus, if you’re coming to PDC on January 5th and leaving on January 12th, a round-trip airport transfer would include bringing you from the Cancun airport → resort on January 5th AND picking you up at your resort –> Cancun airport on January 12th.

Want More Freedom? – Hell Yeah I Want More Freedom!!!

Heck, you’ve come all the way from another part of the world. You want to start your trip right. Here are some freedoms that you get with a private transfer that you DO NOT get with public transportation:

You’re greeted in style upon arrival and catered to like a medeival princess:

  • Stop at the liquor store for beer, whisky, tequila, whatever
  • Stop at a convenience store for gum, candy, tampons, or whatever else you need
  • Because you’re taking a private transfer, you can do those things. If you take a bus or shared van, it’s not going to happen.

Do You Want To Get Dropped Off At Your Resort – Or In The Middle of the Jungle?

People like to save money. I understand. There are always cheaper options than a private airport transfer. However, the public transport options will drop you off in downtown Playa Del Carmen. Then you must take another transport option from downtown to your hotel/resort. Vacation time is precious. Don’t waste it riding around town with some filthy taxi driver.

It’s Cheaper? – (Really, It Often Is)

If you are coming as a group of four or more, it is usually cheaper to take a private transfer than everyone paying for individual bus tickets, several taxis, or some crappy shared transport option.

“Bus pass, please…” GIVE ME A BREAK!!! NO WAY!!!


Full Price List:


  • $50 USD – 1-4 People, Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen
  • $65 USD – 5-8 People, Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen


  • $100 USD – 1-4 People, Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen + Playa Del Carmen to Cancun
  • $130 USD – 5-8 People, Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen + Playa Del Carmen to Cancun


With that said, fill out the form below and Oscar will get back to you as soon as possible.



The Actual Closest Airport To Playa Del Carmen

The closest airport to Playa Del Carmen is, believe it or not, in Playa Del Carmen.

Yes, Playa Del Carmen has its own airport.

But before you start typing this into any flight comparison site, let me tell you that there are no commercial flights landing at Playa Del Carmen.

The Playa Del Carmen airport is used by private planes.

So it’s where the celebrities land in their privately chartered aircrafts.

It’s also where people like you and me take off from when they go skydiving in Playa Del Carmen.

The airport code for Playa Del Carmen is PCM.

However, don’t use this airport code and book a flight to Playa Del Carmen.

You’ll end up in some town called Meuo on the island of New Caladonia.

I’m already envisaging my dumb-ass buddy making this very mistake.

Plane Taxis In Playa Del Carmen

Probably the best thing about the Playa Del Carmen airport is the air taxis — if you’ve got money.

Forget London black taxis or New York streets full of yellow cabs.

Playa Del Carmen is serviced by a plane taxi!–“Just pick me up and fly me to Chichen Itza please pilot.”

“No problem, I’m on my way.”

So it’s a little pricey, but you can fit up to six passengers in their little Cessna aircraft.

And you can fly halfway across the state for less than $1000 USD.

The Best Closest Airport To Playa Del Carmen

You can’t really land at Playa Del Carmen (if you’re not a high roller), so you need the next best thing.

The closest usable airport to Playa Del Carmen is Cancun International Airport.

This is a very big airport and handled 21,415,795 passengers in 2016. (Up from 16 million passengers in 2013.)

There are currently three terminals, and a fourth one is under construction.

Almost certainly, your best airport entry point when coming to Playa Del Carmen is going to be Cancun.

Or you can simply use the airport code: CUN.

You can check out my flights to Playa Del Carmen page for some information on how to save money and get the best deals when flying to Cancun International airport.

I’ve also produced an article about airport transfers and getting from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.

So no calling me up and asking for a lift…

Where Does Cancun International Fly To?

From Cancun International Airport there are direct flights to a lot of major cities in Mexico, the US, South America and Europe.

It’s used by 60 different airlines, so there’s a good chance that they’re flying out of an airport near you.

Some popular direct flights are:

  • US – Take your pick really – Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Denvor, Houston, Kansas, LA, Miami, Minneapolis, NYC, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, San Francisco
  • Canada – Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver.  Plus seasonal flights to Halifax, Ottowa, and Winipeg, Calgary, Quebec, and Saskatoon.
  • Europe – Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome.
  • Central and South America – Buenos Aires, Havana, Santiago, Lima, Belize City. There are also flights to pretty much every airport in Mexico.

So if you’ve been an idiot and landed 1000 miles from Playa Del Carmen, then you can get a connecting flight to Cancun.

Another Airport That’s Close To Playa Del Carmen

If you measure things in miles then Cozumel International Airport is closer to Playa Del Carmen than Cancun is.

However, as most of you know, Cozumel is an island, so once you land, you’ll have to take a ferry to Playa Del Carmen.

It’s pretty expensive to fly to Cozumel, and there are only about 200,000 passengers a year.

Again, it is more expensive to fly to Cozumel and only a tiny percent of you will even have to worry about it. Just keep thinking about CUN, CUN, CUN!!!! (And be very careful with the spelling!!!)

So I won’t go into much detail about it.

Why It’s Good Not To Have A Large Airport In Playa Del Carmen

Some people might think that it would be better if the closest airport to Playa Del Carmen was in Playa Del Carmen.

But just imagine.

You’re sunbathing on a great beach, sipping on a cocktail, chatting to some hot chicks in bikinis, and you’ve just made a killer joke or compliment…but she hasn’t heard it because some jumbo jet has just flown past.

Not good!!!

However, Playa Del Carmen is peaceful.

We don’t want ridiculous noise from massive planes taking off and landing all day.

Think of the photos as well.

Perfect beach, white sand, blue sky, girls in bikinis, and what’s this…A BOEING F***ING 737! WTF???

“Get out of the way you beast I want a perfect photo for my Facebook page…”


So it’s a 50-minute transfer to Playa Del Carmen.

But that’s not really a long time is it?

Another Airport Close To Playa Del Carmen Might Be Built

According to some government sources, there are plans to build a new airport in Tulum.

The truth: it may never happen; Mexicans can’t plan anything, and an airport is a pretty big thing.

Tulum is also 45 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen, although in the opposite direction from Cancun.

So perhaps this will become the next closest airport to Playa Del Carmen.

However, government officials have been giving out some contradictory information about this project.

Some say it’s definitely happening.

Others are probably waiting for some more bribes before they commit.

Corrupt Mexican government lice!!! Corruption is a way of life for so many here. Sad. Mexicans really need to do something decisive for once! Ughhh!

Don’t Be An Idiot – Know The Closest Airport To Playa Del Carmen

Okay, in summary.

Don’t fly to Mexico City, Monterrey, or anywhere else in Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen has an airport.

Don’t fly there either.

Realistically, the closest airport to Playa Del Carmen is Cancun.

I will see you there soon…

Lots of love,


Rufus signature

It’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts about this article? Please leave them in the comments section below!

12 comments on “Closest Airport To Playa Del Carmen

    • Muscular Morales,

      I have absolutely no idea where you’re coming from, so that’s a hard question to answer.

      Most of the small aircraft flying into the Playa Del Carmen Airport arrive from the surrounding airports (i.e. Cancun, Cozumel, Chetumal, etc…).

      If the type of pilots you’re referring to are those that fly between these surrounding airports, yes, there are several here.

      If you’re talking about international flights, no, I don’t know of any because there are no international flights to the little airport here; the vast majority of tourists fly into Cancun (sometimes Cozumel as well).

      I hope this helps…


  1. Many years ago my husband and I and 6 others took a 14 seat plane (AeroCozumel) from the Playa Del Carmen Airport to Chichen Itza. Do you know if there are any flights of that sort anymore? My son and his wife are heading down there for their 15th Anniversary the first week on November and Chichen Itza is one place they would love to see.

    • Superlative Cindie,

      I will check on it this evening and see what I can find out (if it’s not raining here tonight; the last few days have been thunderstorms). I know there is an airport in the Chichen Itza area, but I don’t think it’s functional. I have NEVER heard of anyone flying to it.

      Here’s a link to the Google Maps location:

      It looks quite rundown and the Google Streetview shows it almost completely empty. Nonetheless, I’ll see what I can find out and get back to you ASAP!!

      Talk to you soon…


  2. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your article! Love the sense of humor and tips! I bookmarked your page and will definitely check it out for my upcoming trip in November! Thank you!!!!

    • Radiant Rose,

      Thank you so much! I write everything on the website for people like you!

      I hope you enjoy your trip in November, and if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know…

      Lots of love….


  3. Great page and great sense of humor! My wife and I visited on a cruise for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it. We will be back for an extended visit. We have added it to or list of possible retirement places (12 years).

    • Kingly Keven,

      Thank you so much for the comment! I’m glad you like the page. A lot of people get confused about the airport when they decide to book their vacation here. “Which airport do I fly into when I am visiting Playa Del Carmen?” is a question I often hear.

      It’s hard to live without some humor, so I’ve tried to add as much of it as possible to both this page and this website. Some people get the humor; other people don’t. I’m glad you are one of the people who enjoyed it!

      I’m happy to hear that you had the time to stop here while on a cruise with your wife! Sometimes the amount of time cruise ships provide off-boat is ridiculously short. Nonetheless, Playa Del Carmen has been getting more and more cruise passengers. Because most of them only have a very limited time to spend in Playa Del Carmen, they plan out EXACTLY what they will be doing while they’re here. In the long run, I think it really helps this site (i.e. when people are planning things nowadays they look online first).

      I think Playa Del Carmen is a decent place to retire. However, make sure you investigate everything thoroughly. This city, along with all Mexican cities, offers a nice front to visitors. Nonetheless, you will need to be prepared to handle a lot of nonsense if you live here, and you’ll learn to be patient quite quickly! The culture here is surprisingly different than in the United States/Canada/Western Europe, so some adaptation is usually necessary.

      Make sure you stop by this site and say hello again, Keven!

      Take care, and I will talk to you soon…


  4. We are among 6 r 7 other couples looking for a vacation some time next year…we r looking for an adults only resort. Beautiful…all inclusive..including airfare front st Louis…got any ideas where e should start

    • Tempting Theresa,

      First of all, congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen for your vacation. I think the twelve (or fourteen) of you will have an incredible vacation here. There are so many things to do.

      In regard to your decision about which resort you will stay at, there are a number of options. In all honesty, almost all of the all-inclusive resorts are beautiful with excellent service and high ratings by guests. None of the resorts could afford to survive here if they didn’t take care of guests. Despite this, there are two resorts that immediately came to my mind when I saw your comment: The Royal and the Royal Hideaway Playacar.

      I’m going to tell you a little bit about each of them.

      Both of these resorts are adults only, as you have requested. Both of them are also all-inclusive. Moreover, they are both 5-star resorts.

      In addition, I have heard raving reviews about them from people who have stayed at each. I know that their employees are trained to meet or exceed the expectations of guests, so I think you would be in good hands at either one.

      Despite their similarities, there is one primary difference: location (and by extension, convenience).

      The Royal is located in the center of Playa Del Carmen. It is close to everything, convenient, and in walking distance of the hottest shopping, restaurants, and bars that this city has to offer. The beach in front of The Royal is also quite busy with a younger crowd and a lot of water sports. There is a ferry dock nearby, and you will see a lot of locals, tourists, and other visitors in the area. It is the perfect resort if you want to “mix” with the city and its culture (i.e. it has a “busy” feel to it).

      The Royal MAP:

      On the other hand, the Royal Hideaway Playacar is also a beautiful, adults-only, all-inclusive resort. It also has a very high standard of service. The primary difference between the two is that the Royal Hideaway Playacar is located in an exclusive, gated community called Playacar.

      Royal Hideaway Playacar MAP:

      Playacar is on the south end of Playa Del Carmen, is full of expensive rental properties and homes, and was built around a golf course at its center. In regard to property values (just to put things in perspective), it is the most expensive area of this city.

      Moreover, the beaches are serene, quiet, and peaceful. There are not many people on the beaches, and the people who are on the beaches are not locals but mostly tourists staying at the all-inclusive resorts or vacationing in one of the rentals inside of Playacar. It is cordoned off from everyone else, except via the beach, which is public property (by federal law) in Mexico. Needless to say, it has a bit of a smug feel to it.

      Although the area is quite luxurious, there is a major drawback to vacationing there – convenience. The Royal Hideaway Playacar is located 1.5 miles (2 km) from downtown Playa Del Carmen. This means that you will either have to take a shuttle bus, taxi, or rental car into town every time you want to visit the city’s center. For some, this is an acceptable inconvenience, but for others, it gets old quickly.

      If you are going to be spending most of your time inside of your resort, it really won’t matter (other than the difference in beaches that I mentioned above). If you want to go shopping, hang out at the local restaurants, and get a feel for the vibe that this city gives off, you will just have to keep transportation in mind as you make the decision. Either way, you will have a great time, but these are things that you need to consider.

      In regard to your flights, almost all of the major travel sites offer flights/all-inclusive packages included together.

      Although you will have to decide which company you want to fly with, I strongly recommend the two resorts mentioned above.

      I hope this helps, and I hope that all of you have a wonderful vacation here!

      Send me a message when you arrive in town and maybe we can go out for a beer or two!

      Lots of love,


      P.S. If you want to know about some of the fun things that happen around town on a daily / weekly basis, take a look at my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar!

  5. We live in the Pacific Northwest USA and have a condo in Belize on ambergris Faye.
    We will be staying at a resort in play Adele Carmen and want to know what choices we have for air into either ambergris key or Belize city that we don’t have to go back to Cancun for Any suggestions would be appreciated

    • Riki,

      I’m not sure about flying in and out of Belize, but I would recommend contacting a good travel agent familiar with both Mexico and Belize.

      In regard to flying in or out of Playa Del Carmen, it’s not gonna happen. The current airport here is small and is really only used by skydiving companies, a few commercial tour/photography outfits, and the military now and then.

      They are supposed to be building a new airport specifically for this city in the near future, but nobody knows if it will ever happen. It appears to be buried in government red tape. In Mexico, that could mean years—or never!

      I hope you enjoy your vacation here, and good luck finding a flight to Belize!

      Take care,


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