There are plenty of ways to get around Cancun and the surrounding area. But, one of the best – and the cheapest – modes of transport to explore the Mexican Riviera is the ADO intercity bus system. Read on to find out more about the routes on offer, the kinds of buses used, the cost of travel, and the important issue of safety.
What routes does ADO run?
ADO buses run between many of the Mexican Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations. Cancun bus station is situated downtown and from there, you can quickly and easily visit the attractions of Playa del Carmen, or Tulum’s beachfront resorts.
Sometimes buses are direct, sometimes they will stop at other towns on route to their final destination. If traveling on the quickest route is important, you can check route information when you’re booking tickets.
What are ADO buses like?
ADO buses are, for the most part, very comfortable. They are large buses with modern facilities that are equally popular with tourists and local Mexicans. There are different classes of buses in the fleet, and we’ll look at each one here. Note that the cost of tickets will reflect the level of luxury, but all buses offer incredible value when compared to international bus travel.
- ADO Platino
These are the most luxurious buses in the fleet. Seats are larger than standard and have an almost-flat recline, making them perfect for napping. You’ll often see only 3 seats across the width of the vehicle – one row with two seats, and another row with a single seat. Each seat will have its own entertainment system, plus there will be wifi and connections for your electronics. You’ll usually be offered free snacks, and there are separate male and female toilets. Honestly, they make traveling a pleasure.
- ADO GL
A slight step down from Platino in terms of luxury, GL buses are still a great way to travel. Offering 2-and-2 seating, with super comfortable seats and a good recline, plus individual entertainment, refreshments, A/C and male/female toilets, ADO GL is a great option when Platino isn’t available.
These are the most common first-class buses, which you’ll see working a lot of routes. Offering the standard 2-and-2 seating configuration, seats are squishy and comfortable. There’s A/C (sometimes a bit too much A/C – we advise you to take a sweater) and communal screens where you’ll be able to watch the latest blockbusters – dubbed in Spanish, of course. There’s also the essential toilet on board.
Are ADO buses safe?
Travel on the ADO bus system comes with the usual proviso – be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave items unattended. But, other than what could happen anywhere, yes, ADO buses are quite safe. Luggage is checked into the vehicle before departing the bus station, and you’ll be given a stub to identify your bag.
Since the onset of Covid, there are also mini-screens between each seat, and all passengers must wear masks for the duration of travel – apart from when eating and drinking.
How much do ADO buses cost?
The cost of a ticket to travel on an ADO intercity bus varies based on the class of bus and the length of the journey. For example, here are some guide fares for travel on 21 February 2022:
- Cancun to Playa del Carmen
- Cost: USD $4-5
- Duration: 1 hr 5 mins – 1 hr 20 mins
- Cancun to Tulum
- Cost: USD $11
- Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins – 2 hrs 50 mins
How can I book tickets to travel on an ADO bus?
To check bus times and prices, you can visit the ADO official site. They accept US credit cards, so you can also book tickets on the site. However, as the site is in Spanish, a more user-friendly way of booking tickets is using Busbud, which is entirely in English.
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