Several options for transfer to Playa del Carmen and surrounding resorts along the coast are available on arrival at Cancun Airport or by reserving in advance (and sometimes full pre-payment using a credit card prior to arrival).  Some packages included transportation, often for a higher fee than private companies charge.  Many people chose to book a private van in advance for a round trip ride to and from the airport. Many others, depending on group size and destination, chose a private or shared van upon arrival or using the safe, air conditioned and economical ADO Bus upon arrival.  Return by ADO Bus from the station at 5th and Juarez or a taxi for $35-$50 from Playa and a little less for resorts north of town. Also, some hotels have shared transportation available for their guests, you may want to confirm with your hotel this options prior to making other arrangements.

Why prebook your private transfer?

Reserving on-line private transportation gives you the chance of comparing prices with different companies offering services on the Internet and offering extra discounts for reservations online. Many prefer the reassurance of knowing that a certain company will be waiting for them upon arrival and secure a time for return pickup to the airport.  Private transfers, cost more but offer a direct airport to resort ride with only your party; also this is a good option if traveling on a large group.  Shared transfers stop in order for guests closest to the airport and then resorts south. Private vans, shared vans, cars and even limos are available from many private transportation companies. If interested on booking online, you may find the following article highly helpful: 

Why arrange on site?

For those staying in town or in Playacar, single travelers and couples, many prefer arranging transportation on site without the need of previous reservations.  No need to look for a company employee in a certain type of uniform or a sign broadcasting your name and chose the time for return trip to the airport.  The cost is often quite comparable for on site vans ($25 per person one way shared ride for PDC, no reservations needed) or even more economical and convenient ADO Bus.  Luggage stored safely underneath and A/C for about $11 USD, one way, per person provides the least expensive option.  There is an ADO booth inside the airport or tickets can be purchased right at the door, no waiting in ticket lines.  Return tickets to the airport may be purchased up to 24 hours in advance at the station on 5th Ave and Juarez.

Another option if wanting to have your ADO tickets ready is to book online directly on their official website: just make sure to consider the approximate time it will take you to pass through immigration and pick up your luggage which commonly is around 45 minutes to 1 hour after your plane lands.

Taking the bus from the airport to Playa and returning in a taxi is also a cost effective option at around $40 for a RETURN trip to the airport.  Be aware that leaving the airport in a taxi is subject to a hefty fee and vouchers must be purchased inside.