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How to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum

Your options by bus, private tansfer, or taxi.

Tulum Ruins beach

So you want to get from the Cancun airport to Tulum. Cancun airport is the only airport that serves the Tulum area and is about 1 1/2 hours away. It is a pretty straight drive down the 307 Highway to Tulum. Here is how to make the transfer.

How to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum

You have three main was to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum. Here they are.

Now here is how you can do all three in detail.

How to take the ADO  bus to Tulum

ADO is the main bus company in the Rivera Maya. They connect all the towns and use large air conditioned busses like the one below in the photo. ADO is the only pubic bus company that services the airport. So this is the only public transportation option.

There is NO direct bus service from the airport to Tulum but it is possible with a stop in Playa Del Carmen. You must first take the ADO bus from the airport to Playa Del Carmen. It takes about one hour to get to Playa Del Carmen on ADO. For a very detailed instruction on how to get the bus from the airport complete with photos, see our article here.

Cancun Airport Bus

Terminal 3 ADO stand to buy tickets at curbside.

Once you arrive in Playa Del Carmen you will be at the ADO bus station on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue. This is the ONLY bus station the airport bus goes to in Playa Del Carmen (there are two bus stations in Playa Del Carmen). At this station you will need to get on another ADO bus to Tulum.  You might be able to purchase a ticket at the airport for this separate trip (Playa Del Carmen-Tulum) if not you can purchase it at the station. Busses are frequent to Tulum and the ride takes about 50 minutes.

Since this bus station is right on 5th Avenue you might want to eat something and then take a bus to Tulum in an hour. Buses are very frequent between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum (there are about 30 buses going each way daily). There are basic restaurant near here. If you want something that is going to be good you have to walk at least three blocks. One good option is the Mercado Paseo Del Carmen food court. There are many different type of food here but if you have a lot of luggage it will be a little hard.

Note: You can buy tickets to Tulum center or Tulum Ruins. Both stops are close to town and you can take a taxi to your hotel from either stop. It is slightly preferable to take the bus to the center and get a taxi there because it is less about the ruins and tourist and more about transportation for people around town.

Once you arrive in Tulum you mostly likely will want a taxi to get to your hotel. Tulum is spread out and the beach area is very separate from the downtown. Taxis do not have meters in Tulum so be sure to ask the price before getting in or ask your hotel how much a taxi should be so you know.

If this option of getting to Tulum sounds like too much you might want to consider a private transfer which will take you directly to your hotel.

Private transfers to Tulum from the Cancun Airport

Since Tulum is a little father away from the airport then other destinations tourist go to in the Rivera Maya, you might be more likely to want a direct connection to get to your hotel or rental house. Booking an airport transfer is the best way to get to your hotel in Tulum in our opinion.

We have asked around about what transfer services everyone liked and what was recommended. We teamed up with them so you can get the best prices and service. You can check the price to your hotel below on the Book Now button. Remember the price is for the whole vehicle and not per person. Tip: Booking round trip can save $25 USD.

Why a private transfer is a good option

Here are some reasons why we recommend this option for getting to Tulum.

  • It is the fastest way to get to your hotel or rental.
  • It can cost less than the public bus especially for larger groups.
  • Less stress and hassle. Your private driver is waiting at the airport for you.
  • You can book a stop for groceries or lunch stop for an extra fee. This is a nice option if you had a long flight and want to have something to eat, and maybe drinks!
  • No waiting in line to get a car and no need to think about driving in Mexico. It also gives you the option to just rent a car for the days you need it.

Driving yourself in a rental car to Tulum

If you are going to be doing some sightseeing and daytrips from Tulum you might want to have your own car. There are many car rental companies at the Cancun Airport where you can get a car and return it after your vacation. One alternative is renting a car in Tulum for just the time you need it and using a transfer service to drive you from the airport to your hotel. It just depends on if you think you will need the car each day of your vacation and ease over cost of this option.

If you rent from the airport it is very easy to see signs leading you to the highway. The 307 “Highway” is the only road that runs through the state, so it is not a true highway, however it is easy to drive. When you get to the highway you only need to go right to Tulum and then it is a straight shot. You will drive through Puerto Morelos, Playa Del Carmen, and Puerto Aventuras. All of these towns have highway bridges that go over local traffic so it speeds your way to Tulum.

There are three police check points on this highway. Usually traffic funnels into one lane and police check to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. Occasionally police ask people to pull over and they might want to see your rental papers and drivers license. This is all standard procedure and they are just doing there job to make sure people are not driving drunk, carrying illegal items or driving without a license.

Once you arrive in Tulum it is easy to see the turn for the beach hotels or if your hotel is in the town, it is not too big and with a little map you should be able to find it easily.

For more on driving in the Rivera Maya, see our article here on things to be aware of.

We hope you have a great vacation in the Riviera Maya and Tulum area if that is where you are staying. Be sure to use the search box on this site to get more information on tours, cenotes and much more to do on vacation in our area.

Have you taken a private transfer from the Cancun Airport to Tulum? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.