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4 BEST Ways to Get From Cancun Airport to Tulum

Wondering about transportation from Cancun Airport to Tulum? Arrive at 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 it holds a special place in my heart as one of my personal favorites. I’ve personally visited Tulum for the first time in 2017, and since then Tulum has repeatedly drawn me back.

Tulum is located in the state of Quintana Roo and part of the Yucatan Peninsula. People come to bask on the pristine Tulum Beach, an endless stretch of soft, white sand. Plus, you’ve got some of the most amazing Mayan ruins to visit at your doorstep, the Tulum Ruins.

But I don’t want to make this introduction too long. For a deeper dive into the variety of experiences Tulum offers, don’t miss my comprehensive guide on the very best things to do in Tulum.

Man standing in front of Cancun Airport Transportation van, one of the best ways to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum.

Looking for how to get to Tulum from Cancun? There are several options for getting from Cancun to Tulum, Mexico; they vary in terms of cost and ease of getting to Tulum.

METHODCOST
PRIVATE TRANSFER$160-180 one wayBOOK IT HERE
SHARED SHUTTLE$48 per person one wayBOOK IT HERE
ADO BUS$25 per person one wayBOOK IT HERE
RENTAL CAR$20-50 a dayBOOK IT HERE

✈️ The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport (CUN Airport). Cancun International Airport also serves Playa del Carmen and the entire Riviera Maya area, all the way down to Tulum and further south.

However, the new Tulum International Airport (TQO) is (soft) opening in December 2023. Located just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southwest of Tulum, this airport will allow visitors to get to their destination a lot faster.

⌛ 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, more with traffic (which is unfortunately very frequent).

BOOK A PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO TULUM

Do you want to travel hassle-free and be driven straight to your hotel from the airport? Then a private driver is the best way to get from Cancun to Tulum. Private transportation is pricier than the other options on this list, but it’s certainly the most comfortable way to travel.

And if you travel as a group, it might be cheaper than the shared shuttle Cancun to Tulum where you have to pay per person.

Length:1.5 hours
💲 Price:160-180 USD one way (up to 3 passengers)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

I’ve personally used the services of Cancun Airport Transportation multiple times and have always had an exceptional experience. The drivers were always friendly and on time and the cars were comfortable and spotless.

Woman smiling sitting inside a private transfer from Cacnun Airport to Tulum.

We were offered refreshments during the ride and our drivers always drove carefully and safely, which is the most important thing of all IMO. That is why I always recommend Cancun Airport Transportation whenever someone asks me how to get to their hotel from Cancun Airport.

Sure, you can find cheaper services online, but as always, you get what you pay for. If safety and comfort are priorities for you, then don’t hesitate to book a transfer with them.

▶️ 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.

Cancun Airport Transportation - private service

💲The regular private transport to Tulum costs $160 for up to 3 people if you’re going to Tulum Town, and $180 if you’re heading to the Tulum Hotel Zone.

You can save a bit if you book a round-trip transfer. The round-trip transfer costs $310 for 3 people to Tulum Town and $345 to Tulum HotelZone, so you’d be saving respectively $10 and $15. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ If you want to travel to Tulum from Cancun Airport in style, or you’re traveling in a group of up to 6 people, you can also book a luxury transfer in a Suburban-type vehicle.

Cancun Airport Transportation - luxury service

💲 The cost of a luxury transfer to Tulum Town is $300 for up to 6 people to Tulum Town and $350 to Tulum Hotel Zone.

You can save some money by booking round-trip. The round-trip luxury transportation costs $585 to Tulum Town and $680 to Tulum Hotel Zone. ➥ 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!

Group transportation (up to 16 passengers)BOOK IT HERE
Transportation for disabled passengers (up to 2 wheelchairs)BOOK IT HERE
Limo transportation (up to 14 passengers)BOOK IT HERE

Book your private shuttle in the search box down below 👇

Pros and Cons of the Private Airport Transfer

✅ This is the fastest way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. Since you don’t have to share the transfer with other people going to other hotels, there won’t be any unnecessary stops.

✅ A private transfer is the most comfortable way to get to Tulum. Your driver will wait for you at the arrival area and will bring you straight to your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.

✅ Your driver is guaranteed to be a bilingual speaker, so you don’t have to worry about not speaking Spanish.

✅ No need to worry if your flight is late. Cancun Airport Transportation will be tracking your flight and will be there to pick you up whenever you arrive.

❌ The only downside I can think of is the price, as a private service is more expensive than the shared shuttle or the ADO bus. If you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to look at other options.

Read what the reviews say:

“We looked through a number of reviews for various companies offering transportation from/to the airport in Cancun. This service offered a round trip in a private van/car for a reasonable price compared to several other companies. They exceeeded our expectations in all regards. When we got to Cancun, we found our car waiting for us. When we decided to change the pickup time for our return trip, we were able to do that easily and got a confirmation email in return. Our driver for that return trip was a few minutes early and guided us to the correct spot for our check-in. Rarely does one have absolutely not a single complaint about a service, but this is one of those times.”

ladyluke – Check out other reviews

TAKE THE CANCUN TO TULUM SHUTTLE

If you are a solo traveler or simply want to save on your Cancun airport transportation, consider booking a shared shuttle from Cancun to Tulum. It’s cheaper than taking a private transfer, although more expensive than the ADO bus Cancun to Tulum.

The shared Cancun Airport-Hotel shuttle is comfortable and air-conditioned and will bring you to your hotel or Airbnb in Tulum.

Length:2 to 3 hours
💲 Price:48 USD per person (one way)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

⚠️ You can’t book round-trip service for the shared shuttle. However, you can of course make two separate reservations if you want to book the same shuttle from Tulum to Cancun airport on your way back home.

Pros and Cons of the Shared Shuttle

✅ The shuttle service is a cheaper option than the private transfer, and it’s particularly recommended for solo travelers.

❌ The downside to the shared transfer from Cancun Airport to Tulum is that the shuttle will make multiple stops along the way as it has to drop off other passengers. This could make your travel time to Tulum a LOT longer than usual!

If you’re more than 3 people, booking the Cancun Airport to Tulum shuttle doesn’t make any sense – and even if you’re 3, what you’re saving (16 USD if you’re going to Tulum Town) might not be worth the extra time /hassle. Book here a private car instead.

Read what the reviews say:

“The shuttle van awesome. A brand new van with nice seats. Great air conditioning and a friendly driver. The reservation was easy, and the information provided helped us to check in easily.”

Maurice H. – Check out more reviews on Viator

TAKE THE ADO BUS FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO TULUM

Red ADO bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum parked at Tulum bus station.

The ADO bus is a public bus that has a direct route from Cancun Airport to Tulum multiple times a day. 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 this part 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. I’ve personally taken ADO buses plenty of times and never had any issues.

Length:2.5 hours
💲 Price:25 USD per person (one way)
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

The ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum departs from the Cancun Airport at various times throughout the day, from terminals T2, T3, and T4.

10.30 AM
12.00 PM
1.25 PM
2:40 PM
4:00 PM
5.20 PM
6.40 PM
8.05 PM
9.25 PM

This is the bus departure schedule from Cancun Airport to Tulum at the time of updating this post from Terminal T2.

If you’re departing from Terminal T3, the bus will depart 20 minutes earlier (so at 10.10 AM, 11.40 AM, and so on).

If you’re departing from Terminal T4, the bus will depart 10 minutes earlier (so at 10.10, 11.50 and so on).

With multiple departures throughout the day, you can find an ADO bus ride from the Cancun Airport to Tulum regardless of your flight arrival time – unless you arrive in the evening.

You can double-check the timings on the ADO website. However, the website is only in Spanish and doesn’t let you book tickets with a foreign card. I personally use GuateGo to book my ADO tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

ADO bus screenshot in GuateGo

➤ If you miss the direct bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum, or there’s just too much wait before the next one, 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. However, this will make your trip quite a bit longer.

➤ If you don’t buy your ADO bus ticket in advance, you can purchase it 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.

However, I recommend buying it online to avoid standing in line after your flight. Plus, if you’re traveling in high season, tickets run out and you might have to wait longer in the airport.

Pros and Cons of the ADO Cancun-Tulum Bus

✅ The ADO bus is the cheapest option to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. If cost-saving is your priority, this is the best transportation option available, and a pretty comfortable way too.

❌ Obviously, the ADO bus will not take you directly to your Tulum hotel. It will take you to the main ADO bus terminal 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. However, they are really expensive. I was once asked 20 USD for a one-mile ride and that was the Spanish-speaking price (my husband is Argentinian). I heard of people being asked a lot more for a very short ride! So the whole thing might end up costing you more than a shared shuttle.

RENT A CAR AT CANCUN AIRPORT

Car rental sign at Cancun Airport.
Length:1.5 hours
💲 Price:20-50 USD per day
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

If you’re up for driving, renting your own car can be the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

The best option for renting a car from Cancun Airport to Tulum is to book in advance online. I’ve personally started using and recommending Discover Cars to book rental cars in Mexico. ➥ COMPARE PRICES HERE

Discover Cars is a car rental booking service that offers a wide range of rental options from various car rental agencies in Cancun and makes it easier to find a rental car that suits your needs and budget.

I particularly like their cancelation policy. Typically, with Discover Cars, you can cancel your booking for free up to 48 hours before the pickup time – a much more generous cancelation policy than other platforms. However, it’s always important to read the specific terms and conditions of your rental agreement for exact details, as policies can vary based on the rental company and the rate you choose.

Pros and Cons of a Rental Car

✅ Renting a car is particularly beneficial 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.

❌  A downside of driving your own car rental is that you might have difficulty with parking. Parking is very 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 who 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.

Tips for Renting a Car at Cancun Airport (and Mexico)

⚠️ When you choose to rent a car at the airport upon arrival, make sure you are on the lookout for potential tourist scams.

▶️ 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 legally compulsory. If you already have credit card travel insurance, there is no need to purchase the insurance that they offer.

However, if the company insists that you get insurance even if you have declined the offer, you only have two options. You can purchase the additional insurance, or you can 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 (although the price of the rental might be higher since it’s a last-minute hire).

▶️ Another common scam among car rental companies in Mexico, especially at Cancun airport, is that they charge you exorbitant fees for damages (even on little scratches) on the car, even if it wasn’t your fault.

It’s ESSENTIAL 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.

My husband 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.

▶️ Here are a few additional tips for renting a car in Mexico:

  • Always carry your car 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.

OTHER WAYS TO GET TO TULUM FROM CANCUN AIRPORT (Not Recommended)

There are a few more ways to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. Although I don’t recommend them, you should have all the necessary information to make the best decision possible.

Taxi

If you haven’t pre-booked a transfer, you can get a taxi at Cancun Airport to Tulum at the airport. There are plenty of taxis offering transportation from Cancun to Tulum, but you’ll have to haggle hard with your taxi driver to get a fair price and scams aren’t infrequent.

A one-way transfer by taxi from Cancun Airport to Tulum will set you back about $120-150, depending on your ability to haggle (it helps if you speak the language).

👉 Do you really want to put yourself through that after your flight? That’s why I recommend pre-booking a Cancun to Tulum private transfer instead.

Uber

Uber is legal and working in Cancun as of 2023. However, Uber drivers cannot pick up passengers at the airport as they are not allowed inside Cancun Airport. If you really want to take an Uber, you’ll have to walk outside the airport. This is not only uncomfortable if you have luggage, but you will also need to have a SIM card with internet access.

Depending on the time you arrive, you might also have trouble finding a car available. However, it is slightly more affordable than a regular taxi ($80-120 one way), so if you find yourself at the airport without a ride and don’t want to take the bus, you can try it.

👉 I absolutely recommend booking a private transfer in advance if you can.

HOW TO GET FROM CANCUN TO TULUM FAQs

Does Tulum have an airport? What’s the airport near Tulum, Mexico?

There is currently 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.

However, the new Tulum International Airport (TQO) is (soft) opening in December 2023. Arriving at the Tulum Airport will make the journey a lot faster.

How far is Tulum from Cancun? How far is Tulum from Cancun Airport?

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 with no traffic, 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 $17 at the time of updating this post.

And finally, a taxi from Cancun to Tulum should cost you around $120-150. It would be cheaper to take an Uber if available.

How much is a shuttle from Cancun to Tulum?

A shared shuttle from Cancun to Tulum costs $48 per person (one way) at the time of writing. A private shuttle to Tulum costs $160 for up to 3 passengers.

Is there Uber in Cancun? Is there Uber in Tulum? Can I Take a Uber from Cancun to Tulum?

Uber has started operating again in the Cancun area, and an Uber ride from Cancun Airport to Tulum will cost you approximately $80-120. However, Uber drivers cannot pick you up inside the airport, so you’ll have to walk outside the airport. I absolutely recommend a private transfer rather than taking a taxi or an Uber.

There is no Uber in Tulum currently, so you’ll have to rely on normal taxis when there.

Is there Lyft in Cancun? Is there Lyft in Tulum?

Unfortunately, there is no Lyft in Cancun (but Uber is available).

There is no Lyft in Tulum or any other ride-share service.

And it’s a wrap. Hopefully, this info is useful for you to choose the perfect Cancun to Tulum transportation. Have a good trip!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you book something through one of my links I might get a commission, at absolutely no extra cost to you.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

Mahima Manhas

Monday 16th of January 2023

Do you tip the shuttle drivers? I never know in new places!

Steph

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

Hi Mahima, it is not mandatory but it is custom to give a small tip to drivers in the case of private transport (5 to 10 dollars). You can give a tip for shared shuttles as well, but a couple of dollars will be fine in this case.

Akshay

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Hi, I got the answer about "How to get from Downtown Cancun to Tulum?" I so so confused about that but after reading this blog I got all my answers. Thank You and keep traveling!