The Playa del Carmen ferry is something that many travelers rely on when traveling to the Maya Riviera mainland. You can pick the ferries up on the island of Cozumel, and the ride over to Playa del Carmen only takes about 45 minutes. Two high-speed ferries from different companies handle the bulk of the work, and they generally run every hour on the hour. Since the Playa del Carmen ferry schedule changes from time to time, however, familiarizing yourself with the hours as they relate to your time in town is recommended.
Playa del Carmen flights arrive at two different airports—the airport in Cancun and the one that can be found on the island of Cozumel. Should you be flying to the Maya Riviera and your arrival point is Cozumel, then you will need to take a ferry to get to the mainland dock in Playa del Carmen. Taking a taxi from the Cozumel Airport to the Cozumel ferry dock is both cheap and efficient, and once you get over to the Playa side, you can also rely on taxis to get to your hotels or vacation rentals.
Not all of the passengers on the Playa del Carmen ferries fly to Cozumel. This island is also a popular arrival point for Playa del Carmen cruises. Regardless of how you got to Cozumel, it won't really matter which ferry company you opt to go with when trying to get to Playa del Carmen. The ferries that the two companies offer are similar. Refreshments, such as beer and soda, are available onboard, and often TVs are turned on to help passengers pass the time. Of course, taking in the beautiful Caribbean Sea views might be preferable to watching TV, though if it is especially hot outside, the air-conditioned interior of the ferry might be hard to pass up.
Tickets for the Playa del Carmen ferries are easy to find on both sides of the route. In Cozumel, many travelers purchase theirs at the ferry dock in downtown San Miguel. Over on the Playa del Carmen side, a number of booths on 5th Avenue sell ferry tickets, and you will also notice booths around the docks.
In case you are wondering, the Playa del Carmen ferry pier is located right in the heart of town. Just a block and a half away is the town's main square and a plaza where many people join Playa del Carmen tours. This plaza is known as Plaza Playacar. The Cozumel ferry terminal can be found in the downtown area, or San Miguel. A block away is the San Miguel town square, and even closer are a shopping mall and one of the island's cruise ship piers.
As a side note, you might stick to buying only one-way tickets for the Playa del Carmen ferries. The ferry companies only accept their own tickets, so you can enjoy greater flexibility by avoiding the round-trip route and taking whichever ferry is ready to go first. There isn't a lot of risk associated with buying one-way tickets, as rare is the ferry that completely sells out.
Also worth noting is that car ferries run routes between Cozumel and the Maya Riviera mainland should you need to transport a vehicle. On the mainland side, these ferries dock at the Calica pier, which is located to the near south of Playa del Carmen's upscale Playacar community. Most tourists rely on the other ferries, though it is helpful to know that these are available as well.