Playa Del Carmen /Tulum - Is a Rental Car Needed?

Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 09:09 PM
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Playa Del Carmen /Tulum - Is a Rental Car Needed?

Hi All-

I will be staying in Playa del Carmen for about 2 weeks to begin our Yucatan journey. Is a rental car needed for our time in town? Is it a hassle to park the car and get around Play del Carmen? I am not sure if the car would make it easier to visit the sites just outside of Playa del Carmen.
Our next stop after Playa del Carmen would be about a 1-2 week stay in Tulum. It sounds like a car would come in handy in Tulum and the outskirts but not sure. We will be traveling around the Yucatan for 1-2 months and was thinking about beginning our car rental after our stay in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. Hopefully, someone can shed some light if we should begin our rental car before/after Playa del Carmen /Tulum.
Thanks for any tips!!
hallen is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 11:05 PM
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You do NOT need a rental car to get from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Whether it would be an advantage while in Playa del Carment depends on what you want to do while there. You can use rome2rio.com to identify your public transportation options -- just be sure to click through to the underlying web pages, as the main site is not sensitive to seasonal variation in schedules. OR consult one of the guidebooks that covers transportation options -- the Moon Guide and Rough Guide typically provide very good coverage of those issues -- and each provides excellent coverage of the Yucatan, IME. What's more either of those guidebooks will provide a wealth of information that should prove useful for other reasons, including things you won't even know to ask, easily justifying their nominal costs.
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Old Oct 4th, 2019, 04:31 AM
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You won't need a car while in Playa del Carmen. You can take collectivos or the Ado bus to get places.
Look into getting some maps/guides from Mapchick. They give a LOT of information and are great for planning. https://www.mapchick.com/
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Old Oct 4th, 2019, 05:16 AM
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You do not need a car in Playa, everything can easily be done on foot. If you plan on staying in Tulum, you need to make a choice between the beach area and the city itself which is several miles away by car. The YucatŠn peninsula transportation infrastructure is very well laid out and very well served. ADO bus lines are top notch with well equipped A/C buses that criss*cross the 3 states in a matter of hours. There schedule system is unbeatable and you get great discounts when you purchase ahead of time. The colectivo van system is also very reliable and cheap and you can get on, get off with your back pack in no time. The main colectivo station in Playa is at the corner of Calle 2 and Ave. 20. That said, we*have rented cars in the past for long periods of time and have had no major problems. If you do rent, take pictures of your rental before you take possession...but then again, renting cars in Mexico can be an entirely new post with lots of doís and dontís... happy trails.
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Old Oct 27th, 2019, 08:05 AM
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Yes-I agree with everyone here. You might consider just renting a car 1-2 days to explore down the peninsula. Otherwise IMO a car is more hassle than it is worth in Playa itself. Do you know where in Play you are staying? Because that might change my advice a bit depending on that-but most of the "core area" is easy by foot or bus or cab. We stayed 3 weeks in Playa 2 years ago with no car and it was super simple-but we were about 3 blocks off of 5th-the main shopping eating street. We were in an area that some folks call little Italy which is north. We love that area because it is just a but calmer than down south of Constituyentes closer to the ferry. We prefer to stay a few blocks off of 5th to avoid noise at night.
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Old Oct 28th, 2019, 08:57 AM
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I like having a car in Tulum if I am planning to do any sightseeing. if I am mostly just going to hang out on the beach with maybe 1 trip into town or take guided tours rather than go places on my own, then I'd skip the car for Tulum too.
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Old Oct 28th, 2019, 09:08 AM
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Yes-I agree about Tulum. It totally depends on how you are going to spend your time there. Also, just a couple of other comments. Taxis are pretty cheap in the area so sometimes easier than dealing with a car rental. And if you aren't going to venture too far away from the highway the buses also work pretty well.

If you do rent a car (or even if you don't) I would highly recommend visiting Akumal as well. The beach area near the Hotel Caribe is one of our favorites and so far we have been lucky to still be able to swim with the turtles-although I will say the little town is getting more and more crowded over the past few years. But the restaurant at the hotel is pretty good and they make amazing and strong margaritas
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