Transportation is a must to go see amazing things while in the Caribbean. I collected this information through my research and wanted to share. While in Cancun, I used public bus but anywhere far, you may want to use Collectivo vans. Not as cheap as bus, but way cheaper than taxi.
The collectivos runs from Cancun to Playa del Carmen then from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and back, all-day, every day. They are a van with air-con which holds around 14 people in at any one time. They have a colored strip running down the side of the bus either red, blue or orange i see when i used them and also has the word collectivos on them. The running times on these is 5.00am till 10.00pm and estimated waiting time is 5 minutes but there is so many your never waiting more than 2 or 3 minutes. From our hotel to playa del carmen it cost us $2.50 but in a taxi would cost $25, therefore there is a massive saving. We seemed to be the only tourist on this bus when we used them and talking to people around the hotel they didn’t seem to know alot about them, it seemed to be for locals alot but we never got any issues from using these buses.
It would cost around $3 to run from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and the same from playa del carmen to Tulum. If you got off any time before them it might have worked out slightly cheaper like for us at $2.50.
I advise using these when in this area, they save you money and quite alot at that and the drivers seem helpful even though they speak little english.
Do note that if you are traveling from Cancun to Tulum, you will need to get on 2 different Collectivo during your trip. Collectivos run from Cancun to Playa, then Playa to Tulum. Therefore if you were traveling from Cancun to Tulum, you would need to catch the Cancun to Playa Collectivo in the right direction and then switch in Playa del Carmen to the Playa to Tulum Collectivo van. Reverse when traveling back to home. Also, know beforehand on a map where your going as you will need to shout or tell the driver of Collectivo to let you out. Please note they let you out on the side of the highway, therefore walking to your destination is common after that. That’s why it’s important to know where you are and how far the walk is. If you need a ride back, stand on the same highway they let you out on in the direction you need to go with your hand out.