In the Hotel Zone the fare is 12 Pesos, it doesn’t matter if you want to go one stop or all the way. Try to have Pesos rather than Dollars, you might not get the change you should have and it makes it easier for the driver.
The steps on Mexican buses are high and the driver wont wait for you to sit down before he pulls away, cling on tight!
The buses run 24 hrs a day and every few minutes (a little less late at night) I think buses are a much better and cheaper option than taxis.
A word of warning – it is very easy to become disorientated and miss your stop, try to remember a landmark close to your hotel, or when you pay your fare tell the driver where to stop. If you think you have gone past where you want to get off just shout alto por favor!
Mexican bus drivers are notorious for scaring their passengers, don’t be surprised if he swerves towards a cyclist or makes sure that the trees brush the windows, he’s only having a bit of fun and it will make you remember your trip! Sometimes you may get some live entertainment, a group of kids may get on and give you a rendition of a few Mexican songs or maybe a solo guitarist, its nice to give them a few pesos in appreciation.
The R-1 and R-2 routes are the main hotel zone routes and they run 24 hrs a day both ways. If your hotel is on the Caribbean Sea side of the street you catch the bus on the same side of the street if going downtown or cross the street and catch it if you are going towards the airport. Ask reception or the security guard which way to go when leaving the hotel to make sure you go in the right direction.
The best bus to go downtown is the R-1. You will be on the main road for most of the way and then make a curve to the right onto Tulum Ave. The first stop will be in front of a small flea market. You can get off here or at the next stop which is about 200-300 yards further.
In this area there are shops, bars and restaurants, a large supermarket (Chedarui) is just over the road, stock up here on cigs and drink, you will find grocery prices are about 50% if not cheaper compared to the Hotel Zone. When you get Downtown you may get hassled by people who want to sell you things or hassle you to eat in their restaurant, a polite but firm ‘no gracias’ should be enough.
For travels further afield downtown Cancun has a modern bus station with a variety of destinations on offer.
To get back to your hotel you will need to be on the side of the street opposite where you got off the bus. You can take the R-1, R-2 or any other bus that says Hotel Zone or Zona Hotelera on the front window.