ADO Bus update February 16, 2014
Once again the ADO bus has changed and is again doing once a day service to Mahahual. However, this bus is nno longer originating or stopping at the Cancun airport and the hours are such, that most will need to spend the night someplace south of Cancun the day they arrive and catch the ADO bus service in the morning to Mahahual. Check the “Fun Bus Trip Page” on this blog for the best way to do that. Otherwise, bus travelers from Cancun to Mahahual will need to travel to Lemones and take a taxi from there that last 30 minutes into Mahahual.
The new bus route is actually the same old bus route the company has run on and off for several years. The bus originates each day at 7:00 AM in Cancun from the central bus depot. That bus stops first in Playa Del Carmen at the ADO terminal on Juarez and 5th Avenue. It leaves that location at about 8:30. From there it makes brief stops to drop off and pick up in Tulum about 9:30 AM, Felipe Carrillo Puerto about 10:45, Lemones at 12:00 and arrives in Mahahual about 12:45 in the early afternoon. This is an ADO tourist class bus and very comfortable, with A/C, movies and resgrooms.
Recently, guest have told us that when they arrived, there were no taxis at the Quinta Sol Hotel, where the bus drops you, and the Quinta Sol concierge called them a taxi, and then charged them $180 pesos, or about $15 USD, which is a total rip-off. Local taxis have told us they are not allowed to wait on Quinta Sol property anymore and now must cruise up and down the street when the bus arrives, an inconvienience for both the tourist and the taxis. We contacted the hotel to let them know their employee was doing this and they did not answer our emails. That employee is still there, so we can only assume this is hotel policy. If you arrive, and there is no taxi, just walk to the street and a yellow taxi will drive by in just a minute. Do not go into Quinta Sol Hotel!
The ADO bus direct to Mahahual is not the only way to get there by bus. Visitors can take any ADO or Mayab, a second class service, that stops in Lemones. Just take the ADO shuttle from the airport to Playa Del Carmen. ($12US) From there, you will buy a ticket on any ADO or Mayab bus south that stops in Lemones. There are usually 2-3 a day on the ADO line, about $20 US per person, and one about every hour with Mayab, about $15 US per person. ADO is faster, as it does only schedules stops, while Mayab can stop anywhere and adds 30-45 minutes to the trip. Both have A/C but no restrooms or movie on the Mayab. In Lemones, the closest town to Mahahual along the main highway bus route, you can taxi the last half hour to Mahahual. The taxi stand is across the road from the bus depot in Lemones, so it is very easy to get a ride. A small sedan’s fee is $350 pesos, about $30 US and can carry 1-4 persons. A small van is $525 pesos, about $50 US and does5-7 persons. A large van is $700 pesos, about $65 US and can carry 7-11 passengers. These are the set rates as of February 1st 2014 to Mahaual city, so if you get asked for more, ask for the rate sheet they should have in their car.
What all this means is that to bus to Mahahual, you have two choices. If you want to try to make it the first day, you need to shuttle to Playa Del Carmen and take the next south bus to Lemones and taxi the remainder of the way. The other option is the fun bus trip, where you shuttle to Playa Del Carmen or Tulum, spend the night and catch the direct bus in the morning to Mahahual. Send your concierge a note and they will help you do a custom itinerary for your nights stay along the way.
We’ll keep you updated as to when and if we get another airport shuttle but for now, the one bus a day is better than nothing. Cheers!
Note: December 20 2013 ADO Schedule change.
ADO has temporarily stopped the daily shuttle from the Cancun airport to Costa Maya/Mahahual. At this time, it is unclear why or for how long the interruption in service will last. Keep an eye on this blog and it will be updated when the service continues.
Not having the service is inconvenience, but not really a big deal if you know how to use the bus and taxi system, which we do! Just take the ADO shuttle from the airport to Playa Del Carmen. ($12US) From there, you will buy a ticket on any ADO or Mayab bus south that stops in Lemones. There are usually 3-5 a day on the ADO line, about $20 US per person, and one about every hour with Mayab, about $15 US per person. ADO is faster, as it does only schedules stops, while Mayab can stop anywhere and adds 30-45 minutes to the trip. Both have A/C but no restrooms or movie on the Mayab. In Lemones the closest town to Mahahual along the main highway bus route, you can taxi the last half hour to Mahahual for $30 USD. The taxi stand is across the road from the bus depot in Lemones, so it is very easy to get a ride.
So no worry if you were planning on taking the bus. It is still very cheap and easy to get to Mahahual. The bus to Lemones is a bit cheaper actually and when you divide the taxi fare by the number of people in the taxi, the cost is just a few dollars more than the direct ADO bus. If you have concerns or questions, contact your concierge for answers and help. http://sandalsandskis.com/Concierge_Services.html\\
Below: Original blog “ADO Bus From Cancun Airport to Mahahual” May 9 2013
The bus transportation information is a hot topic for many wanting to visit Mahahual/Costa Maya, so now seems like as good of time as any to provide an update. For those wanting to get to Mahahual as fast as possible by bus, there is now an ADO airport shuttle once a day to and from the airport and with very good hours. If you miss that bus or arrive too early and don’t want to wait, you still have options and none are all that bad. You just need to know how to do them.
The airport shuttle direct to Mahahual/Costa Maya leaves the airport each day at 3:40 PM and arrives in Mahahual at about 8:50. The bus makes fast stops in Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and Filipe Carrillo Puerto before Mahahual, but you are not required to change buses and the stops are for less than 5 minutes. The bus will spend the night in Mahahual and depart at 8:30 AM for the return to the airport, arriving around 1:30 PM. What this means is that air travelers wanting to go direct to Mahahual must arrive in time to clear Customs and Immigration, which if you allow an hour to do, means your incoming flight must arrive before about 2:40 PM if you want to catch the shuttle to Mahahual that same day. On your return flight, guest should check the amount of time your airline requires you check in before your flight and add that to the 1:30 bus arrival time at the Cancun airport.
The ADO shuttle is not always an ADO bus and they sometimes use one of their charter line buses, so you need to keep a close eye out for the bus marked “Mahahual”. There are no loud speakers at the airport announcing the arrival and departures, but the bus to Mahahual has that name written on the destination sign posted on the front of the bus. Just remember it could be an ADO or a charter line, so watch both. They do work from the same parking area, the closest to the terminal, so they are easy to find no matter which bus is used that day.
So what do you do if your plane arrives early and you do not want to sit at the airport until 3:40? Good question! There are shuttles each hour that go to Playa Del Carmen, where the bus station is located on the world famous 5th Avenue, home to one of Mexico’s most interesting tourist areas and a great place to hang out for a few hours while you wait on the bus. Great shopping, restaurants, bars, galleries, you name it. Very fun place to wait a few hours for the bus to Mahahual.
Remember earlier when I said the airport bus makes a stop in Playa Del Carmen? It is at this same bus terminal that the Mahahual bus will stop at around 4:45 PM. So if you have several hours to wait, you might as well do it on 5th Avenue. From there, you catch the same bus that comes from the airport, you are just doing the first leg of the trip early and waiting there. You will need to buy two tickets, a shuttle to PDC, and your ticket to Mahahual when you arrive in PDC, and the two will cost you about $5 more than the single ticket direct to Mahahual bought at the airport. Well worth it for the fun. It also breaks up the long drive a bit too, so if you arrive early, go ahead and take the next shuttle to Playa Del Carmen and wait there. Much more fun!
So what do you do if your flight is too late to catch the airport shuttle or you just want to break up the bus ride a bit? Plan to spend the night in Playa Del Carmen and have a little fun! Ask you concierge where to stay but visitors can easily find very nice accommodations all along the 5th Avenue strand, among the many shops, galleries, clubs and restaurants from all over the world. Tulum is another easy stop and go place to spend a night and catch that same bus as it passes through the next day. Also great food, shopping and inexpensive hotels in the pueblo, or the town, where the bus station is located. The beach hotels are just a short 5 minute cab ride. The Mahahual bus from the airport stops and leaves the Tulum station each evening at 5:40.
What if we go to Playa Del Carmen to spend the night and do not want to wait for the later bus the next day to Mahahual? Do I have other options to still travel to Mahahual early the next morning? Sure, again your concierge can help with all this but the simple answer is yes, you can. You will just need to travel to a town named Lemones, the last bus stop on Highway 307, a couple miles before the turn to Mahahual. From there, you will need to take a taxi the last half hour into Mahahual. Your concierge can arrange to have a driver waiting at the bus stop, where you will know his name and taxi number, as well as the rate, which is usually $25 USD. The road into Mahahual is new, well paved and an easy and safe ride. If you know the name of your hotel, the driver will drop you at the door. They do charge more to drop you at a remote location but your concierge should negotiate that prior, so you will know the amount of any extra costs before you arrive. It is all very easy!
For small groups of 10 persons or less, transport vans can also be arranged to do custom pick up and drop off service at the airport for about $350 US dollars. These vans make the trip in about 4 hours and can be a bargain price if your group is large.
Riding the bus the 220 miles it is to Mahahual can also be just another fun part of the trip if you know how to do it. Local companies like Sandals and Skis Concierge Service can help guests with detailed itinerary planning and help coordinating your ground transportation options with your arrival into the Cancun airport. Check their website for local hotels, beach houses, transportation info and lots of general info on the area. http://www.sandalsandskis.com/English_Home.html
Visiting remote and beautiful Costa Maya, and getting away from the crowds and high prices of the Cancun/Riviera Maya in the process, has never been easier with the new ADO airport shuttle. Finally, a safe and inexpensive alternative that allows all to discover one of Mexico’s true hidden and off the beaten path treasures; Costa Maya/Mahahual!