The Best Tulum Transportation Guide
If you are going to Tulum, Mexico on vacation and need to figure out how to get from the Cancun Airport or just around Tulum while there, this guide will help you. In this article we will talk about the best way to get from the airport and all the Tulum transportation options like taxis, buses, bikes and colectivos. Let start with airport transportation to Tulum options.
Tulum Transportation from the Airport
Most people book a Cancun private transfer in advance for their trip. There are a few option for getting from Cancun Airport to Tulum. They are renting a car, taxi, ADO bus and a transfer service. There is no Uber service available in the Riviera Maya.
Since the trip is about 1 1/2 hours it is best to be comfortable and make it a quick as possible. We do not recommend taking a taxi because there are no set prices from the airport and often charge more then a transfer service. Taxis also use small cars only and there is no discount for round trips. The best options are a private transfer or the ADO bus. Below are more details for each of these transportation options.
Private transfer to Tulum from the Cancun Airport (most recommended)
The easiest and fastest way to Tulum from the Cancun Airport is a private transfer service. You can pre book this service by clicking below. A bilingual driver will be waiting for you at the airport upon arrival and this transfer will take you directly to your hotel. This company comes highly recommended from our readers and has been working for years providing great service.
Note: Booking a round trip saves you $25 USD. They also have luxury transfer options as well.
See also our complete guide on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum.
Shared shuttles to Tulum from the airport
If you want a more budget friendly option, a shared shuttle might be a good option for you. these small vans shuttle people between the airport and hotels or wherever you are staying. This can be a better option than the ADO bus because you do not need to get from the bus station to where you are staying. This is important in Tulum because taxis are expensive and this can eat into your budget.
These shuttles must be booked in advance. You can reserve below with the button. You will be taken directly to the booking website where they can also answer any questions you have about it.
Taking the ADO bus to Tulum from the Cancun Airport
ADO bus does service the Cancun Airport and is the only public transportation available. There are currently 6 busses a day that go from the Cancun Airport to Tulum. It takes between 2 hours and 5 minutes to 2 hours and 25 minutes to arrive in the downtown of Tulum. You can check the prices and schedule here on the ADO website.
This Tulum transportation option is best for those traveling on a budget and have the time to make the connection. It should be noted that if you are not staying in the downtown of Tulum, an expensive taxi will be needed to get to your hotel. This can make it a better option to get the private transfer to your destination. See taxi information below.
Transportation around Tulum
If you have not rented a car then you will want to get around Tulum to see the sights. It should be noted that Tulum is spread out and in different sections. Where you stay is going to impact you on how much and what kind of Tulum transportation you need (See our article on the best areas of Tulum to stay in. This will help you plan better and make sure you don’t stay on the edges of Tulum without knowing it.)
For example the beach area (aka Hotel Zone) is about 7 km long. From the center of Tulum (town) to the ruins it is about 3 1/2 km. From the main public beach near the ruins to the center of Tulum (town) it is about 8 km. This means that walking is out of the question for most people when moving between areas.
Biking around Tulum
Renting a bike or using one provided by the hotel is a great way to get around. It is a very ” Tulum” thing to do. Many people bike around town and to the beach.
Since the beach is separated from the downtown by several kilometers, riding a bike is a good option. There is a bike path from downtown to the beach road that is very convenient. There is also a bike path to Tulum ruins from the downtown.
Notes and tips for using bikes as transportation in Tulum
- Make sure you have a bike lock included in your rental or usage of a bike. You will need to lock it up wherever you go.
- Bike rentals are offered in the Hotel Zone, and downtown area. There are many available and cost about $5-10 USD a day.
- Use caution biking to cenotes just out of town in Tulum. You have to share the road with all the traffic and the shoulder of the road is not that large in places.
- The beach road is very congested at times and narrow. Some drivers, like taxis, like to get to where they want to go fairly fast. Keep aware of traffic.
Taxis in Tulum as transportation
Taxis in Tulum are plentiful especially in the downtown. In the Hotel Zone they can be hard to get sometimes. The larger hotels will have some waiting or have some on call.
Rates are more for taxis then many other places in Mexico and the Riviera Maya. In part the cost is because Tulum is spread out and driving in the Hotel Zone can be slow. Depending on the time of year, rates run much higher. Just about any taxi ride will cost at least 100 pesos and can be several hundred pesos. It is good to ask before getting in how much it cost.
Because taxis are expensive, this makes bike rentals popular. We will also say that we do not recommend taxis to the Cancun Airport. A private transfer in a large van is much more comfortable and can be less expensive. Here is one Tulum transportation company we recommend for getting to and from the airport.
Taxi prices in Tulum
Taxis in Tulum are not metered. The taxis charge by zone. It will be hard to find a rate chart and just about as difficult to find a driver that charges the price on the chart. Below is a sample of taxi rates from the Chedraui grocery store to parts of Tulum.
Note: The most expensive routes are from the beach road to town. Taxi drivers know there are very few options of getting around and tourist will pay.
Public buses in Tulum
There are some small bus routes that locals take to work. These however are very inefficient and never really used by tourist. The main route is from the center of Tulum to the Hotel Zone. It is infrequent and often packed with people. It is also very slow because of stops and traffic. Most locals have bikes and scooters to get around because it is faster.
Tulum transportation for visiting the local area
If you are wanting to go to come cenotes, other towns, or eco parks, these forms to Tulum transportation are going to come in handy.
ADO Bus Station in Tulum
ADO is the main bus company that operates in the Yucatan Peninsula. The buses are clean, modern and airconditioned. Their busses are great for visiting Coba ruins, Bacalar, Valladolid or Playa Del Carmen for example. The main bus station for Tulum is in the center of town. It is a small bus station with a ticket office, paid bathrooms and luggage storage. There is a second bus stop near the Tulum ruins. This mainly is for people coming from the north of Tulum. ADO buses drop people off and pick up from here.
Most of the time you can buy tickets the same day and get seats but it is best to buy at least a day in advance to make sure you get the bus you want. Christmas and Easter week at the peak times for bus travel in the area and it is best to buy a least a week in advance during these times. You can buy tickets on the ADO website but most foreign credit cards are not accepted. So that means going in person to buy tickets.
Other local bus companies for transportation out of Tulum
There are local buses like Mayab that service Tulum (this bus company is so local there is no website for it). These buses are for small destinations, most of which tourists are not going to. These are classified second class buses and will cost a little less but take longer due to the amount of stops. The only time from Tulum this might come in handy is going to and from Coba ruins. There is limited ADO bus service here and you might catch a local bus there or coming back.
Colectivos to Playa Del Carmen and the coast
What are colectivos? These are small vans that run on the highways between towns and will stop and pick up and drop off anywhere you want. The cost is around 20 pesos to 45 pesos for most destination. Colectivos are not for luggage or transporting items, just people going places. Colectivos are great to go north to some of the cenotes and other towns (see our guide on the best things around Tulum to see).
There is one main colectivo route from Tulum that runs north from the center of town on the 307 Highway. It goes all the way to Playa Del Carmen. Colectivos start in the center of Tulum near the ADO Bus Station and pick people up along the main 307 Highway. They do tend to get full by the time they leave Tulum so if you are going to take one, it is better to get on near the center of town.
For more on colectivos between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, see our article here. It also has details on where to get it to come back to Tulum.
Colectivos going south of Tulum
If you need transportation from Tulum going south there are a few colectivos servicing this route. We only recommend this for shorter distance places from Tulum like Muyil ruins, and Kaan Luum Lagoon.
You can find these colectivos in the center to Tulum and south end along the 307 Highway. These colectivos will say Tulum-Chetumal or Tulum-Felipe Carrillo. These colectivos run all 7 days a week but are less frequent since this route is not as traveled.
Cost can start around 20 pesos. Colectivos are very affordable options for getting around and much cheaper then taxis for going places just south of Tulum.
Thank you for reading our article about Tulum transportation. Let us know if you have any questions or comment below. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible. We hope you have a great trip to the Tulum area.
This is just what I need because I am heading to Tulum for the first time this summer. I will not make the mistake of booking in La
Veleta because it is so far from the beach. I have seen a lot of cheaper rentals but now know why they are that way. Good tips and info, thanks for writing this. I will be sure to check out your other guides.
Thank you Steve for reading this. We hope you have a great time in Tulum and get t explore around the area.
I’m not if the ADO bus or colectivo is best to go from Tulum to Playa Del Carmen. What is the difference?
The ADO bus is larger and more comfortable but will take about 14 minutes longer. It also cost a little more. The colectivos between Tulum and Playa stop and pick up people along the way. ADO has no stops but this does not make them faster. The colectivos do drive faster. We hope this helps you.
Taxis in Tulum are very expensive! I tries to get on to the beach and they wanted 400 pesos! I mean really, it is only about 10 minutes to go a few kilometers. It is best to have a bike or scooter.
Not many people talk about how spread out Tulum is. It is nice to bike but also can be very hot in the summer months. The beach is 3km or more to get to the beach. Wear sunscreen.
Is it easy to get a bus from Tulum to Chetumal or the Belize boarder? How frequent are these buses? Thanks
ADO bus provides service between Tulum and Chetumal and also buses to Belize City that cross the boarder. You can buy tickets in the bus station in Tulum. Buses run daily but it is good to buy a few days in advance because it is a popular route.
Are the colectivo stops in Tulum marked by bus stops or are you just flagging them down?
The colectivos start in the center of town and you can see them. Tulum has added bus shelters and pull off spots on the main road in town. There are general places that are places to get on. Once along the highway you can get on and off at any point.
If I get a transfer to Tulum for my arrival is there any other local services in Tulum that is cheaper going back to the airport?
There are no local services that will take you except taxis. These have no set price for the trip. The best option is booking a round trip with the private transfers and getting the discount. This should eliminate any advantage to doing it piecemeal.
We will be staying in Tulum the first three nights of our vacation and then going to Playa Del Carmen. What is the best transportation method between these two places? We will have our luggage with us.Thanks
You have three options for trnasportation. If you are in the center of Tulum and also staying in the downtown of Playa you can take the ADO bus. This is the cheapest way. A taxi will be expensive but is door to door service. The last option is booking a transfer just like the one listed in this article from the airport. They do point to point transfers for a set price. This can be very comfortable and door to door service. We hope you have a great vacation.
I was at the Cancun Airport the other day and was going to take a taxi to Tulum. I asked the driver and he said it was $120 one way. Such a rip off! Taxi drivers get a bad reputation for a reason. It is so much better to pre book your transfer from the airport. It is cheaper and more professional.
Нi eveгybody! I want to say that taking the ADO bus to Tulum from the airport is nice if you are on a budget but really hard to line up flights. One option is take the bus to Playa and then eat lunch. I know you have luggage but it does break up the trip. We had been to Playa before so this time we did not want to stay there but rather enjoy Tulum and the beaches there.The ADO has lots of busses between Playa and Tulum during the day. I will say that taxi in Tulum are expensive even compared to other places in the world. They sort of have a monopoly and not meters.
Hello to all. Here are some tips we learned while in Tulum this week. The colectivos are easy to go to cenotes north of town. They come about every 10 minutes and usually have space for a few pople. You dont need to speak full on spanish to get around. They are used to tourist. The beach and cenotes south of town as well as grand cenote are good to bike to. The taxis in Tulum charge a lot and it is not worth it unless you cannot bike or it is bad weather.
I had no idea the taxis were so expensive in Tulum. I wish there was uber in Tulum. Bikes it will be for me.
Tulum is a growing town and that means the bus system and transportation is a little patchy. I lived in Tulum for about a year and mainly used a scooter and bike. Albeit when it did not rain. Then it is a taxi or no go.
Great website! Learning a lot! Coming to Playa in a couple of weeks. What would you recommend as the best form of public transportation from Playa del Carmen to the Tulum Jungle gym? Thanks in advance.
All of the transportation from Playa to Tulum will drop you off on the 307 Highway. You will either have to take a taxi or rent a bike in town to use. Each way has its perks and disadvantages.
You’re are very right about taking the shuttle that is private. It is far to Tulum from the airport and you really want to get to your hotel without having to negotiate with a taxi and being in a taxi car for over an hour. We loved Tulum and the vibe. We plan on going back in November when it is a little change of season. There are some great deals on hotels.
We just got back from Tulum. It was a great trip and the transportation was ideal. There were not that many people in Tulum and we had great weather. We think October is a great time to visit and will most likely do so again next year.
Hello. I have never been to Tulum but looking forward to our first trip. I wonder how is the weather in November? Can you still swim? Thanks.
November weather is really nice in Tulum The season starts to pick up since people are flocking to Mexico for the warm weather. The ocean is still warm and many people swim year round in Tulum. We hope you have a great trip and let us know if you need anything else for your trip.
I think these private vans are going to be the best option after corona virus. No more busses and share rides for a while.
For those coming from Europe, the flight is longer and it is really good to have a driver waiting for you so you can get to Tulum. We thought about renting a car but the drive is long to Tulum and we are not used to driving on the right side of the road also. We loved Tulum and it was easy to bike around or walk, so we did not need a car anyways. Cheers and safe travels all.
Hello. We are flying down to Cancun and going to Tulum. Our hotel has a restaurant and we are basically going to chill there. We just need transportation to the hotel and back to the airport. How is everything else in Tulum? Are things open and how much should we expect? Thanks
More things are open in Tulum than other places in the Riviera Maya. Tulum has been busy since it is more of just a tourist town. Once you arrive from the airport you can walk around, go to the beach and enjoy many restaurants. The ruins are closed currently but there is a plan to possible open Tulum ruins by the end of August. We hope you have a good flight to Cancun Airport and enjoy your stay in Tulum.
Just a note to other people arriving at the Cancun Airport. There are a lot of touts outside waiting for clients to offer rides. They try to get the best price out of you and even lie about your ride being at the airport or no services of vans. They are pretty bad people. So book a head and don’t listen to these people.
We staying in the Hotel Zone in Tulum and thought about going into the downtown area. Taxis were cray expensive so we just stayed around the hotel and walked to shops and restaurants. The road to the hotel zone is small and a dead end, so it can get busy and take a while to get around. When it is busy it can take over 30 minutes to get into town.
I am glad we stayed in the center of Tulum and could bike to the beach. The taxis were not always available and standing in the sun when you needed one was not that great. Plus the taxis charge a lot for such short distances.
I am really excited about going to Tulum this year after a long break from traveling. I se the ADO website have only a few buses to Tulum from the airport. Is this correct? What is cheaper for three people to get from the airport to Tulum? Taking a taxi or is it worth waiting for a bus or booking a transfer?
There are fewer buses now doing the route. Be sure to check the times to see if they line up with your arrival. It is best to count 40 minutes to one hour after landing to catch a bus. Taxis have limits for people now of two people. So this is not an option for three currently under the covid regulations. A private transfer is a gret option and faster. Remember that from the bus station in Tulum to the hotel zone, it is another taxi ride if you are staying there and this can be 20-30 USD
Is there a bus that goes from Tulum to Coba Ruins? Or is a taxi the best way to get there? Thanks
There are local buses that go from the central bus station in Tulum to Coba. They are not that frequent, so it is good to check the schedule for both directions. If you are traveling with someone, it is good to rent a car to get here because you can stop along the way at interesting stands and also visit cenotes. Taxis are very expensive from Tulum because the distance and one way option.
I am headed to Tulum this next week. I assume all these options are still good? Thanks
Yes, everything is still running as normal and you have these options to get from the airport to Tulum. We hope you have a good trip.
Hi, trying to plan a day trip to the Coba ruins with some stops at cenotes on the way. Is it possible to rent a car in Tulum for the day, to make a trip to Coba ruins and back? What about scooters? Do tourists ride scooters or is it a bit dangerous? TY
Scooters are not often rented because they are only good in town and not for highway travel. There are car rentals in Tulum that can get you to Coba and cenotes. The prices are about $45-50 USD a day. They are not as cheap as some places but it is a good option for transportation. Just note that you will mostly likely need to buy liability and any prices online will not have insurance. In Mexico is it mandatory to have liability insurance and often just saying your credit card has it will not work.
Is Aldea Zama in the downtown or hotel zone of Tulum? I wondering how long it takes from the airport. And getting around for my stay, how is that area connected to the rest of Tulum?
Aldea Zama is a large new area of Tulum that is lines with trees and between the downtown and beach. Most of the time you wont walk anywhere unless it is something in Aldea zama. Bikes are a good option to go to the beach or to the downtown. From the Cancun Airport to Aldea Zama it is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
I am traveling with a friend and arriving at the airport together, but we are staying at different places in Tulum. So how does it work with the transfers? Is it one price or more expensive with other stop?
There are several different areas of Tulum where people stay, so the price can be different. It is best to ask the transport company when you book. There is a box to ask questions.
Thanks for your detailed guide. I am coming to Tulum for the first time and need to figure out how I am going to get around. I don’t speak much Spanish and do not want to rent a car.
Hi. Is it possible to get transportation for 12 people from the Cancun airport to Tulum? We want to go in one or two vans. We are all arriving at the same hour but from different locations on different flights. We don’t mind waiting for each person in our group to arrive.
Hello Bob. It is possible to arrange. It will be good to contact the transportation company directly with the link in this article. They can go over the options for you. Are you all staying at the same hotel in Tulum? It might be good to have two vans in case one person is late or going to different hotels.
I have not found much information about transportation in the center of Tulum. I am glad you included the colectivos going north and south of Tulum.
Don’t count on Uber being able to give you a ride from the Cancun Airport to Tulum. Even though it was approved there are not enough drivers and Uber drivers tend to avoid the airport runs because of issues with the taxis blocking them. I think a transfer in the vans is still best. There is a set price and professional. I hate having to talk to the taxi drivers and negotiate each time.