How to Fly to Tulum Mexico: Closest Airport + Transport Options (2023)
Are you dreaming of a bohemian beach getaway and wondering how to fly to Tulum, Mexico? Look no further!
I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, just north of Tulum, and in this article I’m going to share everything you need to know about getting to Tulum.
Although it’s not difficult to get to Tulum, there are a few important things you need to know before booking your flights.
In this post, I’ll provide an overview of how to fly to Tulum, including the closest airport to Tulum as well as your best transport options once you’ve landed.
Ready to start planning your trip to Tulum? Let’s get started!
How to Fly to Tulum, Mexico
The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is located about 1.5 hours north of Tulum. Flying into Cancun is by far the most popular way to get to Tulum.
From there, you’ll need to take a ground transfer in order to reach your Tulum hotel, vacation rental, or final destination in Tulum.
There are a number of transport options available for getting from the Cancun Airport to Tulum, including private transfers, shared airport shuttles, the ADO airport bus, taxis, and rental cars.
In case you don’t have time to make it through the entire post, here’s a quick summary of the best Tulum airport transfer options:
BEST TULUM AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION
🚐 Best Private Transfer: Cancun Airport Transportation ($120 USD)
🚍 Best Shared Transfer: Cancun Shuttles ($37 USD)
🚌 Cheapest Option: ADO Bus ($17 USD)
🚗 Best Rental Car Service: Discover Cars (from Tulum)
🚕 Taxi: Not recommended
Flights to Cancun
There are many direct flights to Cancun from international destinations, making it a popular arrival point for tourists traveling to Tulum from the United States or Canada.
Some of the major airlines that fly directly to Cancun from international destinations include Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
If you’re looking for cheap flights to Tulum, consider booking a trip with one of the many budget-friendly airlines that offer direct or connecting international flights to Cancun, such as Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and WestJet.
👉 Search for flights to Tulum Mexico on Skyscanner by clicking here!
Flights to Cozumel
Another less popular way to fly to Tulum is by flying directly to Cozumel International Airport (CZM), then taking a ferry over to Playa del Carmen, and then driving an hour south to Tulum.
Flights to Cozumel Airport are typically more expensive than flights to Cancun and the journey takes considerably longer with multiple transportation methods.
This is why Cancun International Airport is considered the best airport for Tulum, followed by a ground transfer to your final destination in Tulum.
How long is the ride from Cancun Airport to Tulum?
The travel time from Cancun Airport to Tulum is about 1.5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. The road distance is about 73 miles (118 km).
Driving from Cancun to Tulum is an easy drive on a major highway but you’ll likely face some slow-downs near Playa del Carmen, as well as occasional police checkpoints and traffic stops.
Be prepared for the long drive by stocking up on snacks and beverages. If you choose a private airport transfer, they’ll likely have some cold beers on hand!
Once you get to Tulum, you might face more traffic if you’re staying in the Hotel Zone on the main Tulum beach road, as there is normally a lot of congestion in this area.
🚧 As of 2023, there is an ongoing road construction project right outside of the Cancun Airport that is causing significant delays. You’ll want to budget extra time in your travel schedule for both arrival and departure from Cancun Airport.
Are they building an airport in Tulum?
Yes, construction is underway for a new airport in Tulum that is scheduled to open in 2024.
The new Tulum airport will be called “Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport” and the modern airport will be integrated with the new Maya Train project that is also under construction.
However, news reports have stated that the Tulum Mexico airport construction has been faced with significant delays, funding shortages from the Mexican government, and firm opposition so it’s not clear if and when the project will actually be completed.
For now, travelers will have to stick to flying into Cancun International Airport, and then taking a ground transfer to Tulum.
🚨 Do you need travel insurance for Mexico? Yes! Most insurance plans in your home country will not cover incidents abroad. I recommend using Travel Insurance Master, which is a handy travel insurance marketplace where you can compare policies. Get a FREE quote by clicking here!
When is the best time to fly to Tulum?
High season in Tulum typically runs from December to April, when the weather is warm and dry with the least amount of humidity.
This is also the busiest time of year, so expect higher prices for Tulum flights and accommodations.
If you’re planning a trip to Tulum during high season, it’s important to book transport in advance and start your search for flights as early as possible.
That said, there are some great deals to be found during the off-season. In the summer months, you can still expect warm weather in Tulum but without the crowds and slightly lower prices.
And although the chances of rain will be higher, there will still be plenty of sun.
How to Get to Tulum from Cancun: Best Tulum Airport Transportation Options
These are the best transportation options for getting from Cancun Airport to Tulum:
A private transfer is the absolute best option for those looking for a door-to-door, stress-free experience.
It’s such a nice treat to be picked up from the airport after a long flight! Plus, it’s the quickest way to get to your hotel or resort in Tulum.
These Cancun airport transfers can be booked in advance and will pick you up from the airport to take you directly to your hotel or resort in a private car.
I personally use and recommend Cancun Airport Transportation for private transfers in the region.
They have a variety of different vehicles available depending on the size of your group and have the friendliest English-speaking drivers. You will be in great hands!
Rates to Tulum are as follows:
- Private Van (up to 3 pax): $120 USD one way / $225 USD round-trip
- Luxury (up to 5 pax): $240 USD one way / $425 USD round-trip
- Group (up to 16 pax): $220 USD one way / $399 USD round-trip
👉 Book a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation by clicking here! You’ll automatically get 10% off by booking a round-trip service.
Shared Airport Shuttle
Another option is to take a shared shuttle service from the airport to your hotel or destination. These shuttles can be booked in advance online, and they offer door-to-door service with multiple stops along the way.
This is a great option for those traveling on a budget or in small groups. However, keep in mind that these shuttles make multiple stops and can take longer to reach your destination compared to private transportation.
For example, the normal 1.5-hour ride to Tulum could take 3+ hours with multiple stops along the way. But, it’s a reliable option for door-to-door service.
I recommend using Cancun Shuttles for reliable shared Cancun Airport shuttle services in the area.
Rates to Tulum are as follows:
- $37 USD per person each way
👉 Book a shared shuttle with Cancun Shuttles by clicking here!
ADO Airport Bus
The cheapest way to get from Cancun International Airport to Tulum is by taking the ADO Airport Bus.
This large, charter-style public bus has regular departure times from the airport and can be taken to downtown Tulum.
This is the cheapest option and great for those traveling solo or on a tight budget, however, keep in mind that it can take longer to get to Tulum.
The ADO bus will drop you off at the ADO bus station in downtown Tulum, and then you’ll still need to take a taxi or walk to your final destination. The Hotel Zone in Tulum is located about 3 miles (4.5 km) from the ADO station.
ADO bus tickets can be purchased at the red ADO counter located in the Cancun Airport’s arrivals terminal right after exiting baggage claim. You’ll then be able to hop on the next departing bus.
Rates for ADO buses to Tulum are as follows:
- $340 pesos ($17 USD) each way
🚌 Read my full ADO bus guide for more information and step-by-step instructions for using the bus service.
Another Cancun Airport transportation option is to book a rental car but this is something that I wouldn’t really recommend.
Cancun Airport is known for car rental scams, and it can often be a huge hassle and headache to pick up your car from the airport.
Car rental companies at the Cancun Airport might do the bait-and-switch trick or nail you with extreme upcharges for insurance and additional fees.
Instead, I recommend sticking with one of the above options for airport transfers or renting a car once you get to your hotel in Tulum.
This is a more reliable option and then you’ll have a car to get around Tulum or explore some of the popular day trips from Tulum in the Yucatan peninsula.
Rental cars are a good option if you want to explore some of the nearby archaeological sites like the Tulum Ruins or Chichen Itza or see some of the more off-the-beaten-path attractions around the state of Quintana Roo.
I would just avoid renting a car directly from the airport if possible. Once you’re in Tulum, I recommend using Discover Cars for rental cars, where you can see detailed reviews and ratings for both Mexican and international car rental companies.
👉 Search for car rentals on Discover Cars by clicking here!
Taxis (Not recommended)
The final option for Cancun Airport transportation is to take a taxi from the airport but I would honestly only do this as a last resort.
Only official airport taxis are allowed at the Cancun Airport, which means they can get away with charging exorbitant rates and can be a real hassle to haggle and negotiate with the taxi driver.
Plus, payments cannot be made with credit cards, so you’ll need to have a lot of cash on hand.
It’s honestly way safer and around the same price just to arrange a private airport transfer in advance.
Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your private driver will be waiting for you when you step off the plane and you’ll have a safe and reliable ride.
🚫 Avoid hailing taxi services at the Cancun Airport and instead opt for one of the above options for your airport transfer.
Flying to Tulum Mexico: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how to get to Tulum:
The easiest way to get to Tulum is by flying into Cancun International Airport, and then booking a private transfer to drive you to your hotel in Tulum.
This is the safest and most reliable option that will get you to your destination quickly and efficiently.
Other budget options for getting from the Cancun Airport to Tulum include taking the ADO bus or booking a shared airport shuttle, although these will be more time-consuming than booking a private transfer.
At this time, it is not possible to fly directly to Tulum on commercial flights. The closest airport to Tulum Mexico is Cancun International Airport, which is about 1.5 hours north of Tulum.
There is currently not an airport in Tulum. The closest international airport is Cancun International Airport, which is located 1.5 hours north of Tulum.
No, it is not possible to fly from Cancun to Tulum on commercial flights. The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport, which is located about 1.5 hours north of Tulum.
However, small charter flights can be arranged directly to fly into Tulum via private charter companies.
No, Uber is not available at Cancun Airport or anywhere in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico. The best way to get a ride from Cancun Airport to Tulum is by booking a private transfer in advance.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly Cancun Airport Uber alternative, I recommend taking the ADO bus or arranging a shared airport shuttle.
🚙 Related Reading: Is there Uber in Mexico? Where you can Uber in Mexico
Conclusion: How to Fly Tulum
I hope this article has helped to answer all of your questions about flying to Tulum!
While you can’t fly directly to Tulum on commercial flights, the closest airport is Cancun International Airport, which is located 1.5 hours north of Tulum.
The easiest way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport is to book a private transfer in advance, which will get you quickly and safely to your hotel or resort.
I personally use and recommend Cancun Airport Transportation, which offers a range of reliable airport transfer services depending on the level of luxury desired. And don’t forget, you’ll get the best price by booking a round trip service!
Other budget options include taking the ADO airport bus or arranging a shared airport shuttle, although these will be more time-consuming than booking a private transfer.
Whatever airport transfer option you choose, I recommend being prepared for the long drive and make sure to have some cash on hand for a tip.
Are you ready to book your flight to Tulum Mexico? Click here to search for flights now!
Traveling to Mexico soon?
These are the Mexico travel resources I use and recommend:
🏨 Hotels: I always find the best deals for Mexico hotels and resorts on Booking.com. If you prefer a vacation rental, check VRBO as they are often cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: I recommend using Skyscanner for the best Mexico flight deals. Be sure to sign up for their price alerts for your preferred travel dates.
🚗 Rental Cars: I like to use Discover Cars because you can compare multiple car rental companies and see detailed ratings for overall value, ease of pick-up, efficiency of agents, car condition, and overall time spent.
🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation for the quickest and most hassle-free option!
🤿 Tours & Activities: I always use Viator or GetYourGuide for booking tours and activities in Mexico. You can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund, plus they have excellent customer service if you were to have any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: After my Dad broke his hand in a taxi accident in Playa del Carmen, I always recommend buying travel insurance before your trip for added peace of mind! I recommend Travel Insurance Master for short trips or Safety Wing for digital nomads.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Don’t forget to add biodegradable sunscreen to your Mexico packing list! Regular sunscreen is prohibited when swimming in the ocean and cenotes in Mexico, so you’ll need to pack some biodegradable sunscreen for sun protection. I recommend Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is reef-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free.