Wondering about transportation from Cancun Airport to Tulum? Arrive to the airport prepared. Check all the transportation options in this post and decide how to travel from Cancun to Tulum.
Tulum is one of the hottest destinations in Mexico, and is also one of my personal favorites. It’s located in the state of Quintana Roo and part of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is abundant in natural and historical attractions.
READ ALSO: 30 Best Things to do in Tulum in 2022
Looking for how to get to Tulum from Cancun? First things first. The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport. Cancun International Airport also serves Playa del Carmen and the entire Riviera Maya area, all the way down to Tulum and further south.
The distance from Tulum to Cancun Airport is approximately 118 kilometers, or 73 miles. It takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from Cancun airport to Tulum.
GOING TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN INSTEAD? READ
How to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen
There are several options for getting from Cancun to Tulum, Mexico; they vary in terms of cost and ease of getting to Tulum. Learn about them so you can decide what’s the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun airport, depending on whether you prefer a cheaper option or convenience.
Book a Private Transfer from Cancun to Tulum
If you want to travel hassle-free and be driven to your hotel from the airport, a private driver can is the best way to get from Cancun to Tulum. It can also be financially convenient if you are traveling as a group compared to taking the shared shuttle Cancun to Tulum where you have to pay per person.
You have a few options for your airport transfer via private driver: look for a taxi at the airport, pre-book a private driver, or pre-book a luxury transportation (such as a limousine).
You could get a taxi from Cancun airport to Tulum at the airport but I don’t recommend it. There are plenty of taxi offering transportation from Cancun to Tulum, but you’ll have to haggle hard to get a fair price and scams aren’t infrequent. That’s why I recommend pre-booking a Cancun to Tulum private transfer.
➤ The advantage of pre-booking a private transfer to Tulum from Cancun Airport is that you’ll get an English-speaking driver, a greeting service in the arrival area, and a transfer in an insured, new and air-conditioned vehicle.
The regular private transfer to Tulum costs $100 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip transfer ($175 for 3 people). If you’re 3, booking a private transfer is actually more convenient than the shared shuttle, and even if you’re just two of you, you need to think if the extra cost ($30) is worth the extra hassle. And if you’re up to 9 passengers, the price only goes up to $115, which is a great deal! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you want to travel to Tulum from Cancun Airport in style, you can also book a luxury transfer in a Suburban-type vehicle.
The cost of a luxury transfer to Tulum is $185 for up to 6 people and $315 if you book round-trip. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
If you’re with a bigger group of people, you need wheelchair-friendly transportation, or you’re celebrating something special, you might also want to take a look at these other interesting services. You could even splurge on a limousine hire to Tulum!
If you want, you can even get a quote for your transfer in the search box down below without even exiting this page.
Take the Cancun To Tulum Shuttle
If you are a budget traveler or want to save on your Cancun airport transportation, consider a shared shuttle from Cancun to Tulum. It’s cheaper than taking a taxi or a private transfer, although more expensive than the ADO bus Cancun to Tulum.
➤ The shared Cancun Airport-Hotel shuttle is air-conditioned and insured and will bring you to your hotel (main entrance or lobby).
The cost of the regular shared shuttle transfer to Tulum is 35 USD per person (one way). Bilingual staff will be at the airport to welcome you upon your arrival, so you won’t have trouble finding your driver.
⚠️ You can’t book a round-trip service for the shared shuttle at this time, so make sure you select “One way airport-hotel”. You can of course make two separate reservations if you want to book the same shuttle from Tulum to Cancun airport in advance. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
The downside to the shared airport transfer Cancun to Tulum is that the shuttle will make multiple stops along the way as it has to drop off several passengers. This could make your travel time to Tulum a LOT longer than usual! If you’re more than 2 people, booking the shuttle from Cancun airport to Tulum doesn’t make sense – and even if you’re two, what you’re saving (USD 30) might not be worth the extra time /hassle. Book here a private car instead.
Rent a Car at Cancun Airport
If you’re up for driving, renting your own car can be the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport. This is especially true if you’re planning to go on a few day trips from Tulum (and you should!). When you drive your own car, you can visit as many attractions as you want and go at your own pace. It gives you more freedom to explore.
The only downside with driving your own car rental is that you might have difficulty with parking. For example, parking is difficult in Tulum Beach. If you are planning to rent a car during your time in Tulum, make sure you check with your hotel if they have free parking. It also pays to do your research on parking options where you need to go.
Another downside is, of course, that there has to be a designated driver in your group that won’t drink alcohol. If you’re renting a car, you might still want to take a taxi at night when you want to go partying – that’s what my friends and I did.
⚠️ When you choose to rent a car at the airport upon arrival, make sure you are on the lookout for potential tourist scams. There are a lot of horror stories out there about tourist scams in the Riviera Maya.
One of the most prevalent scams from car rental companies in Mexico is the ones that require you to purchase insurance. They will tell you that buying insurance is compulsory, however, it isn’t. If you already have credit card travel insurance or have obtained travel insurance prior to leaving, there is no need to purchase the insurance that they offer. If the company insists that you get insurance even if you have declined the offer, look for another car rental company. There are plenty of them to choose from in the airport, so do not feel like you are obliged to agree to their conditions.
Another common scam among car rental companies in Mexico, especially at Cancun airport, is that they charge you with exorbitant fees on damages (even on little scratches) on the car. It’s important to take pictures of the vehicle’s condition before you use it and after you return the car, so you can’t be asked to pay for damages you didn’t do. Pay special attention when the car you are renting already has signs of damage, as you don’t want to be charged for the existing damage.
Fran has heard with his own ears employees of a rental company at Cancun’s airport laughing at tourists who couldn’t speak the language and were scammed into paying hundreds of dollars for a scratch. When you return the car to the airport, come with plenty of time, as scams mostly happen to people who are rushing to get on their flight and can’t spend time arguing with the rental company.
READ ALSO: 41 Super Fun Attractions in Cancun
➤ Below are additional tips for renting a car in Mexico:
• Always carry your rental agreement in your vehicle.
• Always bring your valid driver’s license with you. It is also recommended that you carry your passport or at least a copy of your passport.
• Carry a copy of your insurance.
• Always stay within the speed limit. Tourists are an easy target for being pulled over by cops if you’re going too fast.
• Driving in Mexico is on the right side, just like the US and Europe.
The best option for renting a car from Cancun Airport to Tulum is to book in advance online. I usually use Rentalcars to compare prices. The average rental cost per day is anywhere from 10 to 25 dollars a day for a medium car (four-door sedan), to 40 dollars for an SUV. ➥ COMPARE PRICES HERE
Take the ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum
The ADO bus is a public bus that has direct routes from Cancun Airport to Tulum on a daily basis. It is a convenient option for those who want to get to Tulum from the airport in the cheapest possible way.
ADO is the main bus company serving all of Mexico, so you can stay assured that the quality of the service is good. ADO buses connect all the major towns in the Yucatan Peninsula, and they are large buses with air-conditioning. ADO is the only bus company that serves the airport, which makes it the only public transportation option from the airport.
➤ The ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum departs from the Cancun Airport at various times throughout the day, from terminals T2, T3, and T4. Here are the times of bus departure schedule from Cancun airport to Tulum at the time of writing (make sure you check if they’ve changed):
• 10:30 AM
• 12:05 PM • 1.15 PM
• 2:45 PM
• 4:40 PM
• 7:00 PM • 8.20 PM
With multiple departures throughout the day, you can find a bus that you can take to get you to Tulum regardless of what time your flight arrives at the airport unless you arrive in the evening. The exact time of departure for the ADO buses can vary depending on the terminal, though, so be sure to check this information beforehand.
The cost of each ADO bus ride from the Cancun Airport to Tulum is 330 MXN, approximately 16 USD at the time of writing.
➤ If you miss the direct bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum, no worries: you can take another bus headed to Playa del Carmen. Once in Playa del Carmen, you can take another bus to Tulum. There are buses that depart from Playa del Carmen to Tulum every 30 minutes.
Whatever route you choose, depending on your flight arrival time, you can purchase your ADO bus ticket at designated counters in the airport. Once you complete the immigration and customs check at the airport, you will walk out to a hall where you will find booths for car rental and tour companies. Look for the ADO bus booth.
If you miss the direct bus to Tulum, you can purchase the tickets to Playa del Carmen and the transfer to Tulum from the booth at the same time.
The ADO bus is the cheapest option to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. Obviously, the ADO bus will not take you directly to your hotel. But if cost-saving is your priority, this is the best transportation option available, and a pretty comfortable way too.
The main ADO bus station in Tulum is in Tulum Centro. This is also where you’ll need to go if you choose to take the bus from Tulum to Cancun airport on the way back.
Tulum is spread out so unless you are staying in Tulum town, you’ll need to take a taxi to get to your hotel. There are usually many taxis waiting outside the bus station, so finding one won’t be a problem. The taxi should cost around 150 MXN (8 USD).
How To Get from Cancun to Tulum – Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the airport near Tulum, Mexico?
There is no airport in Tulum. Cancun International Airport is the airport that serves the region, and the one you’ll fly into to get to Tulum, Mexico.
How far is Tulum from Cancun?
The Cancun to Tulum distance is 131 kilometers (81 miles), while the distance from Cancun airport to Tulum is slightly shorter, 118 kilometers (73 miles).
It takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from Cancun airport to Tulum, and 1 hour and 40 minutes to drive from Downtown Cancun to Tulum.
How to get from Downtown Cancun to Tulum?
To travel from Cancun to Tulum, a colectivo (shared van) is a good option if you’re on a budget. You will have to take a colectivo from downtown Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and then switch to one from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Colectivos in Cancun departs from across the street from the ADO bus station. Prices are not fixed, but it should cost you around 100 pesos (5 usd) for the two colectivos, so this is definitely a cheap option.
The bus is also a great option. The ADO Cancun – Tulum bus runs multiple times (over 20!) per day. The ADO station in Cancun is in Downtown Cancun (Calle Pino, SM23, MZ56, Lt 1 y 2, Centro, 23, 77500 Cancún). A ticket costs anywhere between 10 and 16 USD depending on the time.
And finally, a taxi from Cancun to Tulum should cost you around $120. It would be cheaper to take a Uber if available.
How much is a shuttle from Cancun to Tulum?
A shared shuttle from Cancun to Tulum costs $35 per person (one way). A luxury shared shuttle costs $42 per person (one way). Please refer to the “Take the Cancun to Tulum Shuttle” paragraph above for more information and booking a shuttle.
Is there Uber in Cancun? Is there Uber in Tulum? Can I Take a Uber from Cancun to Tulum?
Possibly, no, possibly. I’ve been told that Uber has started operating again in the Cancun area, and an UberX ride from Cancun Airport to Tulum will cost you an estimate of $50. I haven’t personally visited the area in the last few months, though, so I recommend you do your own research regarding the availability of Uber before your trip and the feasibility of it (Uber drivers get harassed often in Mexico). If you can afford a private transfer, I would still recommend that option.
There is no Uber in Tulum currently, so you’ll have to rely on normal taxis when there.
And it’s a wrap. Hopefully, this info is useful for you to get from Cancun to Tulum. I have lots of other content about Cancun, Tulum and the Riviera Maya so make sure to check out my most popular articles to plan your trip in the area.
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