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:
- Best Option– Private Driver (click here for the company we use)
- Quickest Way – Private Driver $60 for up to 3 people
- Cheapest Option – ADO bus
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.
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 www.ado.com.mx. 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
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.
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 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 book.
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 Discovercars.com, 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
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 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.