Looking for the best way to get from Tulum to Chichen Itza? You’re in the right place! Check out all the transportation options to choose the one that best works for you.
Chichen Itza, one of the New 7 Wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is definitely worth the hype. No trip to the Yucatan Peninsula is complete without visiting Chichen Itza.
Since the ruins are so popular (thousands of visitors flock to the site every day) there are plenty of options that can get you from Tulum to Chichen Itza.
Before we check them out, you should know that the distance from Tulum to Chichen Itza is 185 kilometers (115 miles) and it takes a little over 2 hours to get there if you’re diving.
COMING FROM A DIFFERENT CITY?
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Join a Chichen Itza Tour from Tulum
The first and most popular option to visit the ruins is taking a tour. You’ll get round-trip transportation and, besides exploring the site, you’ll also get to swim in the nearby cenotes or visit the charming town of Valladolid.
These are the best tours from Tulum to Chichen Itza.
➤ The most comprehensive one is the Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour. It lasts a whole day and it takes you to explore Chichen Itza with a certified guide, vital for really understanding the role this Mayan city played in pre-Columbian times and its history. Once the visit is over, you’ll be taken to the Samaal cenote for a swim and enjoy a buffet lunch; you’ll end up the tour strolling around the colonial city of Valladolid. Pickup and drop-off from you hotel is included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you’d rather go on a private Chichen Itza tour from Tulum, check out this Private Tour with Sacred Cenote. Your expert guide will answer all your questions as you roam around the archaeological site, and you’ll then get to cool off in an ancient, sacred cenote nearby. Lunch is included and you’ll enjoy it in a local establishment, before heading to explore the colonial city of Valladolid. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Book a Private Transfer to Chichen Itza
Another great transportation option is booking a private transfer to Chichen Itza, and enjoying the comfort of having your own driver at your disposal. You’ll be picked up at your hotel at the time you choose, although I recommend starting the journey as early as possible, as you’ll have about 2 hours to get to Chichen Itza.
During the drive, you’ll learn interesting facts about the history and traditions of the Mayan people.
🍺 Complimentary beer and water is included for your trip.
You can then explore Chichen Itza at your leisure, or hire an on-site guide. After your visit you can choose to visit some of the nearby cenotes or head to Valladolid, a charming colonial city you shouldn’t miss if you have the chance. You can enjoy lunch at one of the local establishments before you decide to head back.
Since you’re the one in charge, you’re free to choose your next stop and the time you want to spend in each place, with no one rushing you or planning the day for you; it’s fantastic if you want the freedom but prefer not to be driving yourself! ➥ CHECK IT OUT HERE
Take the ADO Bus to Chichen Itza
If you’re traveling on a budget, the best option is taking the ADO bus from Tulum to Chichen Itza.
Take the one that departs at around 9.10 AM from Tulum; the ride will take around 2.5 hours and the ticket costs around $24 at the time of writing.
To get back from Chichen Itza to Tulum, the last bus departs at 4.10 PM. As you can see, there’s not a wide bus schedule from Tulum to Chichen Itza or the other way around, so be mindful of your time!
➤ A good alternative if you want to enjoy more time in the area is taking the ADO bus to Valladolid, and from there taking a colectivo (shared van) that will get you to Chichen Itza in about an hour. I recommend staying the night in Valladolid, so you can take your time visiting the ruins but also stroll around this gorgeous city, and even get to visit some of the Valladolid cenotes.
⚠️ If you visit Chichen Itza on your own, remember to get your tickets in advance so you don’t have to queue at the site! ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
Rent a Car in Tulum and Drive to Chichen Itza
🚗 If you’d rather go driving from Tulum to Chichen Itza, take the QROO 109 road towards the Coba Ruins, and when you see the sign of Chemaz, turn left and take the 180 Highway. Soon enough you’ll pass by Valladolid; keep going until you reach Chichen Itza.
Renting a car is a great idea if you’re planning to visit the area around Valladolid. You can visit some stunning cenotes or the Las Coloradas pink lakes!
➤ If you’re renting a car, I recommend using Rentalcars to compare prices and book your car online; this way, you’ll be sure to avoid scams. ▶ COMPARE PRICES HERE
Otherwise, you can check prices in the box down here ⬇
⚠️ Sadly, some car rental companies try to scam tourists, especially in Cancun and Cancun Airport, but you can get scammers all around the Yucatan Peninsula. If you decide to rent your car once you’re there, be on the lookout to avoid potential scams.
➤ Among the most common tourist scams is the request that you buy insurance with them; they’ll even say that is mandatory. However, you’re under no obligation to buy insurance from them. As long as you have your own travel insurance or credit card travel insurance, you’re already covered. If they insist on the subject, it may be better to go to another rental company.
➤ Also, make sure you take pictures of your vehicle as soon as you get it, before using it, because they may want to charge you for damages if they find even the tiniest of scratches when you return it. If you have proof that the scratches were already there when you received the car, you’ll avoid a lot of stress and arguing (and quite a handful of dollars!).
Tulum to Chichen Itza FAQ
The Tulum to Chichen Itza distance is 185 kilometers (115 miles). The drive takes around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The drive to Chichen Itza from Tulum is really easy and safe, as you’ll be driving on two highways; no backroads or dirty paths to be worried about! The drive will take you a little over 2 hours.
A taxi ride from Tulum to Chichen Itza can cost you around 2000 pesos (almost 99 dollars) at the time of writing. If there’s just one of you, it could be cheaper to go on a tour that includes lunch and visits to nearby places, like cenotes or the city of Valladolid.
Possibly the best Chichen Itza day trip tour from Tulum is the one offered by Get Your Guide that includes a swim in a nearby cenote and a visit to Valladolid, a beautiful colonial city about an hour from the ruins. You can check out the tour here.