The normal buses running through Cancun are quite run down, and kind of have an odor to them. They are quite cheap though, and will get you anywhere you can imagine in the main part of hotel zone, or the port of Cancun. If you don't have a ride and need a cheap and quick way to get around I would recommend this. However, if you have any other alternative you would be best to use it. We had to use this to get to a resort where our normal tour bus was going to pick us up. Overall not a bad experience but one that I wouldn't have cried had I not experienced it
The bus system in Cancun is wonderful! The Hotel Zone busses stop in front of each hotel. For about 60 pesos, the bus will take you for miles in each direction. It is extremely convenient, runs every few minutes, and is available all night long. They driver will make change, but it's always easier if you have the proper amount needed. They will then give you a paper receipt. Much cheaper than taxi's! Take the bus bar hopping or shopping - everyone does it!
We went around Cancun using the bus they used for the day trips... Otherwise when we were just shopping or just going around the general area... we would take the bus... Its very easy and cheap! Most people will tell you which bus to take to the Market, Wal Mart or shopping!
Because we had an hotel near Playa del Carmen we had to go for an other travel that day. Just about 1 hour drive in a bus. It was daytime so we werent that worried, after the other year been in a busride in the dark for 4 hours in the Dominican Republic. The roads are a lot better in Mexico then on the islands we have been so far in the Carribean.
The least expensive way to travel around Cancun (from the Hotel strip) is by bus. What would be about a $10 or $15 dollar trip (one way) in a taxi, will cost you 65 pesos (or about .65 cents). Granted, it will take twice the time, but as long as you have a seat and a little extra time to spare, it is s good way to go.
I took the bus from the end of the strip (near the Grand Oasis hotel) to the Market in downtown Cancun. The trip took about 45 minutes. It was very hot (July is sweltering), but I had a seat, and that made the trip easier to handle. A combination of locals and tourists are on the bus and you can take any bus to get to the downtown area. To get back, you will need to find out which bus goes by your hotel. In my case, R2 was the bus I needed.
You can get from the airport to your hotel in the Hotel Zone for $4.20. Inside the airport terminals look for the ADO (bus company) booths. AT an ADO booth, you can purchase a bus ticket to take you from the airport to the downtown bus terminal for $3.50. Upon arrival at the bus terminal have someone direct you to the nearest curb where you can jump on the R1 bus to the hotel zone. The bus fare is 6.5 pesos (approximately 70 cents).
IF YOU GIVE THE BUS DRIVER PAPER MONEY, MAKE SURE YOU COUNT YOUR CHANGE. IF THE BUS DRIVER SEES YOU WITH LUGGAGE HE MAY TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FACT THAT YOU MIGHT NOT BE AWARE OF THE BUS FARE OR FAMILIAR WITH THEIR CURRENCY. It happened to me. I handed the bus driver a 50 peso bill and he gave me back two tickets (13 pesos) with a 20 peso bill underneath. He should have given me back 37 pesos.
Assuming you are unfamiliar with the Cancun Hotel Zone, tell the driver the name of the hotel you want to be dropped off at and he will drop you off at the closest bus stop. It's a good idea to know what KM (kilometer) on Blvd Kukulcan the hotel is located. You can follow the KM markers on the side of the road so you will know when you are approaching your destination.
Additional tip: If you haven't exchanged any currency for pesos at an ATM at the airport, I suggest you do so at an ATM at the bus terminal or at the currency exchange across the street from the bus terminal so you will have pesos for the R1 bus. The advantage of the currency exchange is that you can change travelers checks there without commission. The rate at both the ATM and the currency exchange was 10.65 pesos per dollar as of Jan 18, 2008 which wasn't bad (the highest exchange rate I saw all week was at Walmart: 10.90 pesos per dollar.)
Cancun is just one long strip of hotels and restaurants. The main street is Kulkulcan. Taxis are expensive. Save your money and take the bus. (If you stay in the hotel zone, you'll need the extra money to pay the exhorbitant food and drink prices.) Buses run every minute or two and cost just 60 cents. Route 1 and Route 2 buses traverse from the end of the hotel zone to the center of town. You can get on or off the buses wherever there is a blue parada sign. It's easy, cheap and convenient.
From airport to downtown Cancun, the most economical and compfortable way to travel is with the 1st class ADO bus. It'll cost you 150 pesos (1,5 USD) and take you to the terminal downtown in full compfort, with air conditionning and luggage stowed away for you..
Find these buses near the car park. When you exit airport, walk along the building to your right till you reach the end of the building.. you'll see large coaches parked in the parking lot and most certainly someons will come and offer you to buy a ticket. You can also catch a bus to Playa del Carmen from the same place.
The ADO bus station is downtown, easily accessable by the Route 1 bus from the hotel zone.
From here, buses go south and west. We took a bus to Xcaret. The trip was about 1 hour, the bus was comfortable and reasonably priced..
Take a bus to get around Cancun. They are fairly convenient as everything in Cancun the Hotel Zone is all along the main road. Also, it is so much cheaper than a taxi. They have recently raised their price to 8.50 pesos per person but that is only 1 peso more than the fare was before. The buses can get crowded at night if you are planning to go to the night club areas, so be prepared for the crowd, but even on a crowded bus, people are really friendly. You will mostly be taking the bus with people who work in the hotel zone (so locals) and a few tourists. And if you are on the bus for a while, you will get to know some very nice people.
The easiest (and cheapest!) way to go Downtown from the Zona Hotelera is to take a bus. They are quite frequent, clean and very cheap (45 pesos). You also get to see a bit of the local life: workers going to and from worker, house wives going to the market etc.
Small groups of musicians will often ride along, playinmg for a few coins. The usually consist of one or two guitars and a singer, and the songs are very Mexican.
Hop a bus! It's cheaper than renting a car (by far!) and very quick. You can bus-it around Cancun to the farthest tip & back again very affordably.
They run down the main strip every few minutes, really, so you don't have long to wait when ya want to get out & explore.
The R-1 that goes down Tulum Ave / Hotel Zone is cheap and quick. It's only about 7 Pesos, and you can find bus stops all along that route. Sometimes when you're walking along the Hotel Zone, just wave it down and it'll stop, but usually it doesn't when you're Downtown. There are literally one bus after the other, so if one comes along that looks packed, it's safe to wait about five minutes for another, more empty one to come by. The R-1 does get packed in the late afternoon/early evening as locals are getting off work and heading home and around that time, it does get trafficky getting into downtown so do expect to be on the bus for about 30 minutes at that time, when usually it would take 15 minutes without traffic.
We found this a very quick, cheap, convenient mode of transportation especially for the morning/early afternoon when it's not crowded at all.
We took the bus everywhere (except one night when I had too much to drink!) They are very cheap ($.60 U.S.) and so convenient. You can tell the driver when you get on where you'd like to stop, or just get up right before your stop and he'll know to slow down. This was a great way to get around and also to meet different people. It's SO much cheaper than a taxi, which is like $6 or $8 to go anywhere.
Travelling by bus is the cheapest and most convenient option. The R-1 bus which zooms around the Hotel Zone will take you to the shopping areas, beaches and bars and clubs. You don't have to worry about trailing home alone after a night out on the town either because these buses operate well into the early hours of the morning.
Don't forget to keep 'change' handy for the bus driver and "yell" when you want to get off because he'll carry on driving until you say so!