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How To Get From Cancun Airport to Tulum – 2023 Best Prices

How To Get From Cancun Airport to Tulum – 2023 Best Prices

Getting from the Cancun Airport to Tulum is pretty straightforward and way easier than you might think. There are hotel shuttles, private drivers, rental cars, and buses. We have been to Cancun and Tulum more times than we can count and have taken every mode of transportation from the airport.

Getting in and out of the Cancun airport is super easy, and there is something for everyone’s budget and travel style. Here are all your options for getting to Tulum from the Cancun airport:


Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen priv

Private Driver to Tulum

The easiest and fastest way to Tulum and get your vacation started is by a private driver. There will be tons of drivers at the Cancun airport that will be willing to take you to your hotel in Tulum.

We, however, think it’s best and cheaper to arrange this online at home in advance. The last thing you want to do is haggle over prices and fight with drivers at the start of a Mexican vacation.

If you’re traveling as a group, this is the best option. Click here to book online for $100 one-way or $175 round trip for up to 3 people.

Related Articles: Mexico’s Best Cenotes

Cancun Airport Shuttle to Tulum

Shared airport shuttles are another great option. Most shuttles carry 1-12 passengers. We have been on many shuttles where we happen to be the only guests from the Cancun airport, but we’ve also been on full shuttles too.

If there are several people on the shuttle, you’ll be stopping to drop off people along the way, and it takes a lot longer than if you opt for the private shuttle. You could wait to book this at the airport or book online in advance. It’s $42 one-way or $84 round-trip.

Because there is no incentive to book roundtrip, I would book a oneway first, and then if everything is great, just book the way back online when in Mexico. If you are traveling as a couple, it is only $7 more to book a private roundtrip car. This is a no-brainer to us as you won’t be stopping at other hotels. You’ll go straight to & from your hotel, which means more vacation time. Book a private car online here.

Related Article: How To Get From Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

a couple sitting on the roof of a rental jeep in Aruba during a honeymoon
Explore on your own
#1 Tip – Rent a car in Mexico
Have ultimate freedom and save tons of money on tours with your own rental car! Don’t worry – It’s safe (we’ve rented 20+ times), the roads are good, and it’s easier than you think! We always rent from Discover Cars, it’s easy & they have the best prices.

Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum – ADO Bus

If you aren’t in a hurry and want to save money, then the ADO bus from Cancun airport to Tulum is your best bet. On our first trip to Tulum, when looking at how to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum, we thought our only option was an expensive taxi or airport shuttle. Thankfully we were wrong and found a much cheaper option.

The best option is to take the ADO bus directly from the airport to the center of Tulum. If you stay in Tulum Beach, you’ll have to take a taxi from the bus station. Read our where to stay in Tulum article before booking your accommodation. Check for current times at The website is in Spanish, but even if you don’t know the language, you can figure it out for the most part, and your internet browser should translate it. If booked online, the ticket prices vary depending on the time of day.

There are generally three trips in the afternoon from the airport to Tulum. Buses depart from the airport at 10:30 am, 12:05 pm, 1 pm, 2:40 pm, 4:40 pm, 7 pm, and 10:20 pm (confirm times before you travel, these are subject to change).

If you land in the morning or after these times, there are other options with buses that go to Playa Del Carmen and then on to Tulum. The ADO ticket agent will give you all the options.

Related Article: Why Merida is Worth the Trip

How to find the ADO bus at Cancun Airport

  • After clearing customs and immigration, there will be an ADO booth where you can buy a ticket. If you ask anyone for the ADO bus, they’ll point you in the right direction.
  • With your bus ticket in hand, walk past all the taxi drivers and tour operators trying to get you on their overpriced rides and towards the buses.
  • You can purchase your bus ticket inside or outside the buses. Sometimes the inside ticket booth will have a sign saying “no agent available” or something. That just means going outside to purchase your ticket.
  • The buses stop and pick up passengers at all terminals.
  • Cost 242 pesos, or you can pay in USD, but you will get a better deal if you pay in pesos.

Related Article: Things to do in Tulum

Playa del Carmen travel guide - Playa transportation White and blue taxi

Taxi/Uber Cancun to Tulum

If you are used to just opening the Uber/Lyft app and getting picked up at the airport, don’t plan on that at the Cancun airport. You will not be able to find an Uber from the Cancun airport to Tulum or really anywhere. The taxi union basically doesn’t allow them to come to the airport. 

You can catch a traditional taxi at the Cancun airport and have them bring you wherever you’d like but make sure to agree on a price first. We also suggest having exact change and making sure you agree on the price in whatever currency you are paying.

We personally haven’t had many, if any at all, good experiences with taxi drivers at the Cancun Airport. We would avoid taking a taxi to or from the airport. 

woman standing next to a rental car in Cancun after picking it up from the airport

Renting a car to get from Cancun to Tulum and beyond

DO NOT RENT A CAR AT THE AIRPORT. This is our preferred way of exploring the Yucatan and one of the cheapest. However, after several terrible experiences picking up rental cars at the Cancun airport, we no longer rent a car at the airport. Let’s just say every time we have, we have waited 2+ hours trying to get our car, and lots of arguing because they change the price we booked it for, and they never give you the vehicle type you booked.

So we now always take the private shuttle to our hotel, and then that same day or the next morning, we rent a car in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. We’ve done this since 2019, and it is much better than getting off the plane and dealing with the car rental people. 

We usually rent a full-size car on, but be prepared for them not to have the type of car you rented available. Read our complete renting a car in Cancun guide to answer all your questions. It is seriously easy and safe!

This is by far the best way to explore Tulum. You’ll have a car to see all the great things in the Riviera Maya without expensive and boring tours.

There are many things to do in the Yucatan, cenotes to explore, and beaches to swim in. You’ll want a car. Check out some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, too. Our favorite is El Fogon.

Related Article: Xpu Ha, The Best Kept Secret In The Yucatan

highway to Tulum

FAQ How to Get to Tulum

Can you fly to Tulum?

No, you cannot fly to Tulum. There is no international or domestic airport in Tulum.

What is the closest airport to Tulum, and where should you fly into if going to Tulum?

The closest airport is Cancun International airport (CUN) which is just under 2 hours away by private airport shuttle.

Is Tulum in Cancun?

No, Tulum is not in Cancun. It is 73 miles south of Cancun.

How is the drive from Cancun to Tulum?

The drive is super easy and smooth. The entire drive is on Mexico 307, which is a main 4+ lane highway with a few stop-n-go lights and checkpoints along the way.

How long is the drive to Tulum from Cancun?

This varies on your mode of transport. If you book a private shuttle, it takes less than 2 hours to get to Tulum. If you take a shared shuttle, you’ll have to rate for all the passengers to get through immigration and customs before settling into the shuttle.

Then from there, it will take an average of 2.5-3.5 hours, depending on how many other passengers there are and the number of hotel stops. The bus will take 3+ hours after leaving the airport.

The bus will most likely stop in Puerto Morelos & Playa del Carmen dropping off and picking up passengers, which adds on time.

Related Article: Things to do in Cancun

Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Tulum

If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico, there are some amazing places in Mexico you should check out. If you can’t go on this trip, consider them on your next trip. Make sure to check out some of our other Mexico articles to fuel your wanderlust.

We hope we have helped you decide what the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun airport is. No matter which way you choose to get there, you’ll still end up in paradise. 

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Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

I've been to Tulum twice and getting ready to go back in a few days and still found this information to be very helpful as there is not a lot of straight forward information on the internet about transportation options. Thank you!!


Tuesday 21st of January 2020

Hi. Is the price for the ADO bus still pretty accurate? Or is it outdated? I saw much higher prices but they could have been in pesos 🤣🤣


Tuesday 21st of January 2020

It is accurate. If you book online the price can vary depending on times from 190-270 pesos.


Monday 22nd of July 2019

Hi! Thank you so much for this guide. I used it to book our car for our upcoming trip. Just wanted to say that I appreciate the work that you put into creating these guides.


Monday 22nd of July 2019

Great! Thanks for the kind words and we hope you have an amazing trip! Be patient at the rental counter, but once you are behind the wheel we hope you will agree it is an awesome way to see Mexico! Let us know how it goes!

Kelley M Ward

Thursday 6th of June 2019

Did you feel like you were safe driving from Cancun to Tulum and when you were driving around the greater Tulum area? And what are the "check points" you mentioned?


Thursday 20th of June 2019

We feel safe driving from Cancun to Tulum, it's a popular road bringing tourists back and forth. The road is somewhat busy during the day but not difficult or dangerous - it's literally like one or two turns from the airport to Tulum. The checkpoints are just a few speed bumps in the road where you drive past police slowly, sometimes they wave, sometimes they are too busy with their newspaper or phone - nothing to worry about.


Sunday 18th of November 2018

I have looked at Orbitz and Expedia, and the prices of a minivan rental for 7 days is around $500. While that's not unreasonable in the States, it's drastically higher than I expected. Am I doing something wrong? Our travel dates are 12/28/18 - 1/3/19.

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Saturday 24th of November 2018

I think the two issues are your travel dates are during peak season and the holidays and you are looking at renting a van. The prices we have always paid have been for an economy/compact/midsize car. I don't think you're doing anything wrong it's just the weak, the type of car, and it's just over a month away during the busiest week of the year. We hope you find a car that fits your travel needs.