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Cancun Airport to Tulum transportation options for your vacation

Tulum to Cancun Airport

Transportation from the Cancun Airport to Tulum

Cancun Airport to Tulum is about 1.5 hours in transportation time. It is a pretty straight drive down the 307 Highway to Tulum. Although, what transportation you take will vary your time getting to your vacation. Here are the best options for transportation and the cost of getting between Tulum and the Cancun Airport.

You have 3 main ways to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum. Here they are:

  1. Private transfer service.
  2. ADO Bus from the Cancun Airport to Tulum
  3. Renting a car.

Now here is how you can do all three easily.

Private transfers from the Cancun Airport to Tulum

Since Tulum is a little further away from the airport, then other destinations tourists go to in the Rivera Maya, most people want a direct connection to get to their hotel or rental. Booking a private transfer from Cancun Airport is the best way to get to your hotel in Tulum in our opinion. It is fast, comfortable, and with this reliable company and better rates, you are in good hands.

Based on readers likes and reputation of transportation companies, this is the best one we recommend to our readers. Just click below and you will be taken to their transfer site. Here you can enter your hotel and flight details and pre-book your transfer for your trip.  Remember the price is for the whole vehicle and not per person. Tip: Booking round trip can save $25 USD.

Cancun Airport to Tulum

cancun airport to Tulum

These are what the private transfer vans look like that will transport you from the Cancun Airport to Tulum.

Why a private transfer is a good option from the Cancun Airport

Here are some reasons why we recommend this option for getting to Tulum from the Cancun Airport.

  • It is the fastest way to get to your hotel or rental. This can save you about 30 minutes to 1 hour each way in transportation time.
  • Less stress and hassle. Your private bilingual driver is waiting at the Cancun Airport for you.
  • No changing buses or taking a taxi from the bus station.
  • 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 the Riviera Maya. It also gives you the option to just rent a car for the days you need it.
  • It is a great option for large groups too!

Insider tip for the airport

We do not recommend taxis from the Cancun Airport. You will have a smaller car for this transfer and often cost more. There is no set cost for the taxis from the airport. You often have to negotiate. You also cannot get a round trip discount like the private transfers. Save time, hassle and money by pre-booking a transfer above. You will thank us later.

How to take the ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Tulum

ADO is the main bus company in the Riviera 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 for getting from the Cancun Airport to Tulum.

There are only a few direct busses a day from the Cancun Airport to Tulum. The ride takes 2 hours and 5 minutes. The cost of the ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Tulum is currently 262 pesos.

Canucin Airport to Tulum

What times does the ADO bus go from Cancun Airport to Tulum?

Buses leave from all four Cancun Airport terminals. The times are 10:55 am, 12:25 pm, 2:25 pm, 4:55 pm, 8:00 pm and 9:45pm. The exact time at each terminal will vary by a few minutes. Note: These times do change fairly frequently. Be sure to double check the ADO website for the exact schedule on the day you arrive if you wish to take the bus.

If these times do not line up with your arrival and you want to take the bus, the only other alternative is taking the bus to Playa Del Carmen and switch to a Tulum bound bus. Buses between Playa Del Carmen ad Tulum leave about ever 30 minutes. If you don’t want as much transportation time, we recommend the private transfers above.

Cancun Airport to Tulum

These are what the ADO buses look like at the Cancun Airport.

How to buy your ticket and catch the bus

After you go through immigration and customs you will exit into the airport. Here there are counters with car rentals and an ADO bus ticket counter. You can buy your timed tickets here for the next bus leaving the airport. They can advise you if you can catch a bus to Tulum or if it is better to take the next bus to Playa Del Carmen and transfer there to a bus to Tulum.

Most agents speak some English. You can buy tickets in pesos, credit card and small USD bills. Your change will be in pesos. After you have your ticket, exit the airport and look the ADO sign. There are seat numbers on the tickets, but often from the airport there is open seating. Large bags must be places under the bus. No luggage tags are given.

The buses are air conditions and comfortable. You might even get to enjoy some movie in Spanish that will amuse you while you travel down the 307 Highway.

Cancun airport to Tulum

This is what a ticket counter looks like for buying your ADO bus tickets at the Cancun Airport.

Connecting busses in Playa Del Carmen to Tulum from the airport

If you miss the Tulum bus you can take any bus to Playa Del Carmen since this is one the way to Tulum. 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. Buses are frequent to Tulum (about every 30 minutes) and the ride takes about 50 minutes.

Note: You can buy tickets to Tulum center (the main bus station) or Tulum Ruins. Both bus 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.

Arriving in Tulum by bus from the Cancun Airport

Once you arrive in Tulum you most 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. See our complete Tulum transportation guide here.

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.

Driving yourself in a rental car from the airport to Tulum

If you are going to be doing some sightseeing and day trips from Tulum you might want to have your own car. There are many car rental companies at the Cancun Airport. One alternative is renting a car in Tulum for just the time you need it and using one of the private transfers from Cancun to drive you from the airport to your hotel. It just depends  if you think you will need the car each day of your vacation and ease the cost of this option.

If you rent from the airport, follow the easy 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.

If you will be renting a car at the Cancun Airport be sure to read our guide on gas station scams. This will help you avoid some of the common things that some attendants try to pull.

cancun airport to tulum

Renting a car will make you visit the gas station. Be prepared with our guide.

Police checkpoints on the way to Tulum

One thing that is different in Mexico are the topes (speed bumps) and police check point. There are three police check points on the highway from Cancun Airport to Tulum. Usually traffic funnels into one lane and police sometimes 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 their job to make sure people are not driving drunk, carrying illegal items or driving without a license. It is nothing to be nervous about, it is just different.

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. It should be noted that cell service is not that good in some parts of Tulum. So be prepared and know where you are going.

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

Since you are headed to Tulum, Mexico……

Here are some other articles we have written that can help you with your stay in Tulum.

For the best things Tulum has to offer and all the activities around the area, see our guide here. If you are headed for Spring Break to Tulum see our guide here. For the best areas to stay in Tulum see our very detailed guide here.

 

Thank you for reading our guide on all the options for getting from the Cancun Airport to Tulum and back. We hope you have a great vacation in the area! If you need any other information or have questions, feel free to comment below and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. 

Cancun airport to Tulum

The naturally beautiful beaches of Tulum Mexico. Just one of the reason people are flocking to the area.

 

13 Comments on Cancun Airport to Tulum transportation options for your vacation

  1. We are coming to the east side of Mexico for the first time. We are looking at resortts in Cancun or staying in Tulum. I know these are different places but also want to find something that is not too touristy but also has a lot of facilities. We would like a resort but I dont see a lot of resorts in Tulum? Can you reccomend something to us? Thanks

    • Hello Barbara

      Cancun and Tulum are very different places. Cancun is all about the hotel zone and large all inclusive hotels. Tulum is about 1 and a half hours from the airport and in more of a natural setting. The beach in Tulum has no large hotels, only boutique places. There are some labeled as “Tulum” but these are to the north of the city of Tulum. These do allow you access to the southern Riviera Maya and some of the adventures it holds out. You might like some of the resort properties between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. Some of these are very large and have a lot of facilities. Sirenis is one near Tulum that is very large. Paladium is also another one to look at. We hope you find something you like and have a great vacation.

  2. Alan Janston // March 26, 2019 at 2:57 AM // Reply

    We just booked our first trip to Tulum. We hope we will have god weather in May when we are there. Can you tell us what to expect? Also what are your thoughts on Papaya Playa project for a hotel? THe beach cabins look nice. Thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 26, 2019 at 8:07 AM // Reply

      Hello Alan

      May is our dry period and is a good time to be at the beach. The woods get very dry in this time, so things are less green. The Papaya Playa Project is a youthful hotel. We would recommend this for people under 37 year old. There is a loungy chill vibe and some active beach parties there. We hope you have a great trip!

  3. Shela Cummings // March 26, 2019 at 11:17 PM // Reply

    This will be my first time to Tulum ans before I book a hotel, are there any hotels that offer transfers from the airport? It is just expensive to get there from Cancun. Thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 29, 2019 at 7:36 AM // Reply

      Hello Shela

      We do not know of any hotels that offer free transfers from cancun Airport to Tulum. The price for the transfers is based on an hour and half of driving. A taxi that distance anywhere in the world would cost a little. The only alternative cheaper option is the ADO bus. That can take a little longer but can save you some money.

  4. Tania Brigette // April 8, 2019 at 8:56 AM // Reply

    My frined and I just booked a trip to Tulum. We are very excited to visit for the first time. Waht is your favorite cenote in Tulum we can visit?

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 8, 2019 at 9:32 AM // Reply

      Hello Tania

      There are some cenotes close to Tulum. Grand Cenote is the closest and most popular cenote almost in Tulum. It is beautiful but also gets a lot of people.

  5. David Levy // April 8, 2019 at 2:53 PM // Reply

    We are headed to Tulum in a couple of weeks and I have a few questions for you. Can I have a pick up from a different locations from where I am dropped off? What are the best tours from Tulum to go on? Whcih is the better ruins to visit? Tulum or Coba from Tulum? Thanks in advance.

    • Mr.Yucatan // April 9, 2019 at 9:32 AM // Reply

      Hello David

      You can get a different pick location with the transfer. It is good to book a round trip so you get the discount, you just need to make a note on your account. For tours, Since you are going to one of the ruins, Xel Ha is close to Tulum and a really good place to snorkel and have fun. Cobs ruins are more adventurous and a little further away but it does give you a chance to get out of town. Tulum is nice but they are a smaller site to see and are best for the views.

  6. Barbara Newton // April 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM // Reply

    I love Tulum! I cannot wait to go back! Last time we rented a car but found we did not use it a lot since we stayed at the hotel and just went into town once to eat. There are a lot of nice places in the hotel zone to eat, so this time we will just take the transfer and stay there.

  7. Is there a shared service that goes from the airport to Tulum? Not the ado bus something smaller?

    • Hello Kate

      There are some services but we don’t recommend them because they make stops on the way and the trip is already over one hour from the airport. It is well worth spending the money to go direct to your hotel and unwind. If you are traveling on a budget, the ADO bus is going to be just as fast or faster than any combined shuttles. We hope you have a good trip to Tulum.

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