Driving from Cancún airport, follow the signs on Carretera 307. Shortly before town, take the overpass up and descend at the Avenida Constituyentes exit. Turn left under the overpass and follow Constituyentes into town.
Buses traveling south from Cancún stop at Playa del Carmen's bus terminal at Avenida 20 and Calle 12, a short walk from downtown and the main drag, Avenida 5, known as "la Quinta." Buses headed to Cancún from Playa del Carmen use the main bus terminal at Avenida Juárez and Avenida 5. ADO runs express, first-class, and second-class buses to major destinations. You can hire taxis in Cancún to go as far as Playa del Carmen—price is about $55 for the one-hour drive. Shared vans from Cancún airport generally cost $80 for a six-person van, or $120 for a 10-person van; if you're traveling with a group or even find some other Playa-bound travelers at the airport, a van can be a good way to go.
The town is set up on a grid system that's easy to navigate, if you know the rules. North–south avenidas are numbered in multiples of five, with Avenida 1 along the beach, and then moving westward through Avenidas 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. East-west calles are even numbers only, starting with Calle 2 and progressing northward through 4, 6, 8, and so on. The Playacar resort development is south of the numbered calles, starting at Avenida Juárez, but is of little interest outside of its large beachfront luxury resorts, a golf course, and the small shopping mall Plaza Playacar. To get there from Cancún, stay on the highway past the Constituyentes exit and turn left after the overpass at the Playacar sign.
In Playa del Carmen, parking is prohibited at yellow curbs. If you're ticketed, your license plate will be taken to a nearby police station and returned only after the fine has been paid.
ADO (984/873–0109 in Playa del Carmen; 983/832–5110 in Chetumal. www.ado.com.mx.)