Wondering about transportation from Cancun to Merida, Mexico? Check all the transportation options in this post and decide how to travel from Cancun to Merida.
If you’re looking how to get to Merida, let me tell you: good choice!
Merida is the capital city for the state of Yucatan in Mexico, and in my opinion it’s quite an underrated gem. This colonial city has a strong Mayan cultural presence, which appeals to the culturally- and historically-interested visitors. From its colonial architecture, Caribbean atmosphere and tropical climate, Merida has everything you could look for in a Yucatan city.
Many of those who visit the Yucatan region of Mexico opt to stay either in Valladolid or in Merida, as it’s easily connected to the main destinations in the region such as the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal. However, Merida is also a destination in itself, and you should definitely set apart a day to stroll around its city center.
If you are traveling from Cancun to Merida, you can do so via a number of transportation options. Merida is approximately three and a half hours away from Cancun. The two cities are separated by a distance of 309 km, with Cancun located in the east and Merida in the west.
READ ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to Cancun, Mexico
The length of time it takes to get from Cancun to Merida will vary depending on the type of transportation option you choose. Getting from Cancun to Merida, Yucatan will take you less than 4 hours (roughly 3 hours and 30 minutes non-stop) if you travel by land. If you fly from Cancun to Merida, the average flight time is 52 minutes.
Below are some of the common transportation options available to travel to Merida from Cancun or viceversa Merida Cancun.
Take a Private Transfer from Cancun to Merida
Taking a private shuttle from Cancun to Merida is certainly the most convenient, although by far the more expensive, option to get to your destination.
A regular private transfer to Merida for up to 9 people will cost you $345 one way from Cancun, and $645 if you decide to book round trip. The good news is that the cost is the same if you’re 2 or 9 people, which makes it a good deal if you’re with the family or a small group.
Bilingual staff will be welcoming you to the airport, so you won’t have any trouble finding your car. All vehicles are insured, new and air conditioned. ➤ BOOK IT HERE
You also have the option to book a luxury transfer in a Suburban type of vehicle.
The cost of the private luxury transfer is $545 one way or $945 for a round-trip, and the vehicle can be shared by up to 6 people. ➤ BOOK IT HERE
You can get a quote for a transfer in the search box down here.
Take the ADO Bus from Cancun To Merida
Taking the bus from Cancun to Merida is one of the best transportation options available. Buses in Mexico are reasonably priced and often a lot more comfortable than buses in Europe or United States.
I recommend choosing ADO buses rather than from other companies. ADO is Mexico’s leading bus company, and the standard ADO buses already offer a great service. In additional to the regular ADO buses (called Primera Class, or First Class), you can also find ADO Conecta and ADO Platino buses.
The ticket prices for ADO buses to Merida from Cancun start at 400 Mexican Pesos (21 USD) and can go up to 800 Mexican Pesos (43 USD). The buses from Cancun departs from either the Central Bus Station in Cancun or the Airport. The average bus trip duration can be anywhere from 3 hours and 15 minutes to 4 hours and 15 minutes (depending on how many stops a bus takes).
You can consult the ADO website for schedules, but be warned: the website is only in Spanish. Furthermore, you can’t book online on the ADO website unless you have a Mexican debit or credit card.
But then, how do you book? You’ve got two options:
• in person at any ADO station or office
• on the third party site ClickBus. I’ve used this site multiple times with zero issues.
Let’s see in detail what are your options for a Cancun to Merida bus ride.
➤ Regular ADO / Class: Primera, also called First Class
Regular ADO buses from Cancun to Merida have many departures scheduled throughout the day. The first bus departs at 1 AM and the last one at 11:59 PM.
After the 1 AM departure, the next ADO Cancun to Merida departs at 3 AM and there will be hourly departures after that, or even more in certain moments of the day.
➤ ADO Platino / Class: Lujo, also called Executive Bus
The most luxurious ADO bus option is the ADO Platino (Executive Bus), which starts at 578 Pesos. At the time of writing, there are 10 ADO Platino buses scheduled every day, from 7.15 AM to 21.15 PM. Obviously the Cancun to Merida bus price for the ADO Platino is higher, but you’ll get a leather seat, blanket, food… it’s comparable to a first class flight seat.
You can check out the ClickBus website for the exact schedule as the departure times could change seasonally.
➤ ADO Conecta
ADO Conecta are buses that usually link airports to airports, or airport to cities. At the time of writing, there are 4 ADO Conecta buses a day, two from the city of Cancun and two from the airport.
If you can avoid it, I’d recommend booking a regular ADO bus instead, as depending on the number of passengers, the ADO Conecta could be shuttle vans rather than buses, which are a lot less comfortable.
➤ Bus From Cancun Airport to Merida
Are you going from Cancun airport to Merida? No worries, you don’t need to go through the city of Cancun. There’s a number of buses going directly from Cancun airport to Merida.
At the time of writing, there appear to be 4 direct buses a day. However, the first ADO bus Cancun Airport to Merida is at 2.05 PM, so if you’re arriving in the morning, you’ll need to depart from the Central Bus Station in Cancun. I recommend you to check in any case the Cancun Airport to Merida bus schedule before your trip.
Rent a Car in Cancun
In Cancun, you can find a wide range of car rental companies where you can rent a car for driving to Merida, Mexico. Car rentals are available both in the city and at Cancun airport. This is a great option for anyone who wants to travel at their own leisurely pace, or if you are planning to go on a Yucatan road trip. Driving a car definitely gives you more freedom to explore.
You can drive from Cancun to Merida in 4 to 5 hours with a couple of stops(or 3 hours and 30 minutes for non-stop drive) for a total distance of 303 km. You must traverse the Mexico Highway 180D to reach Merida.
The average rental cost per day in Cancun is anywhere from 10 to 25 dollars a day for a medium car (four-door sedan), to 40 dollars for an SUV.
I usually use Rentalcars.com to book a rental car in advance. This search engine compares all the major rental cars companies.
Check out here below rates and availability for rental cars from Cancun:
➤ If you choose to rent a car, be on the lookout for potential tourist scams as they’re unfortunately pretty common in Yucatan and the most touristy areas of Mexico.
Some car rental companies in Mexico will tell you that you’re required to purchase insurance at all costs, but it’s not true. If you already have insurance through your credit card or other provider, you don’t need to purchase another. If they insist, go to another rental car company.
Make sure you take pictures of the rental car before you use it and after you return the car, so they can’t charge you for damages that you didn’t do. There are many stories of car rentals that want to charge exorbitant fees for tiny scratches, so it’s something to pay attention to. Also, return the car with plenty of time before your flight/bus, so if anything happens you don’t risk missing it.
Flights from Cancun To Merida
Multiple international airlines fly directly to Merida from cities in the US and Mexico. However, most international flights will fly to Cancun rather than to Merida since it’s a much bigger airport.
If you prefer to fly from Cancun to Merida rather than going by land, there is only one airline that connects the two cities with direct flights to Merida, MAYAir. All other companies have a layover in Mexico City, which really makes no sense as it would take you longer than by bus.
MAYAir offers one flight a day from Monday to Friday at 8.20 PM from Cancun to Merida, and at 7.30 AM from Merida to Cancun.
I honestly don’t recommend Cancun to Merida flights though. Flying from Cancun to Merida is way more expensive, and you don’t get to save that much time when you take into consideration that you need to be at the airport in advance and the bus leaves you probably closer to your final destination. Plus, it’s less eco-friendly.
How To Get from Cancun to Merida – Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Merida from Cancun?
The distance from Cancun to Merida is 303 kilometers. Driving from Cancun to Merida takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes with no stops.
What’s the distance from Cancun Airport to Merida?
308 km. It takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes to travel from Merida to Cancun airport or viceversa.
What airport do you fly into for Merida Mexico?
The closest airport to Merida, Mexico, is Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport, which is located in the southern edge of Merida.
However, in most cases it’s cheaper to fly to Cancun International Airport and take the bus Cancun to Merida. The Cancun to Merida drive takes only approximately 4 hours, so it’s worth to look into it.
Where’s the ADO bus station in Merida?
There are actually multiple ADO stations in Merida. The main ADO terminal is called Came and is located close to the city center, so you’ll probably want to select this option when you travel from Cancun to Merida, Mexico. The other two terminals are Fiesta Americana in the hotel zone, and Altabrisa in the north part of the city. Ask your hotel which station is the closest one.
And it’s a a wrap. Hopefully this info is useful for you to get from Cancun to Merida. I have lots of other content about Cancun, Yucatan, and the Riviera Maya so make sure to check out my most popular articles to plan a fantastic trip in this region!