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 I can count and have taken every mode of transportation from the airport.
Getting in and out 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:
The easiest and fastest way to Tulum and getting your vacation started is a private driver. There will be tons of drivers at the airport that will be willing to take you to your hotel.
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.
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Cancun Airport Shuttle
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 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 and other hotels. You’ll go straight to & from your hotel which means more vacation time. Book a private car online here.
Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum – ADO Bus
If you aren’t in a hurry and want to save some 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 direct from the airport straight to the center of Tulum. 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. T
here are generally 3 trips in the afternoon from the airport to Tulum. Buses depart from the airport at 12:05 am, 11:05 am, 12:25 pm, 3:15 pm, 7:45 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.
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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 either purchase your bus ticket inside OR right outside by the buses. Sometimes the inside ticket booth will have a sign saying “no agent available” or something. That just means go 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.
Renting a car to get from Cancun to Tulum, and beyond
This is our preferred way of exploring the Yucatan and one of the cheapest. For some reason, car rentals are crazy cheap in Cancun. We just rented a full-size car for $1 a day on Rentalcars.com The car rental place will tell you that you have to take their daily insurance of roughly $15 per day but you can deny it and they will put a hold on your credit card.
If you have good travel credit cards you may have car rental coverage, we do on our Chase Sapphire Reserve. 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 get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum and as a bonus, you’ll have a car so you see all the great things in the Riviera Maya without expensive and boring tours.
There are tons of things to do in the Yucatan, cenotes to explore, and beaches to swim in you’ll want a car. Make sure to check out some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen too, our favorite is El Fogon.
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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 us 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 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.
Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Tulum
If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico there are some amazing places nearby 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 hoped we helped you decide what is the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun airport. No matter which way you choose to get there you’ll still end up in paradise.
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