Cancun Airport Arrival Guide - Evrything you need to know in 2023
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This is a comprehensive step by step guide to Cancun Airport. From the moment your plane touches down until you settle into your destination and back to the airport to begin your journey back home. Jam-packed with helpful tips and invaluable information, we make navigating through Cancun’s Arrival Terminal as seamless as possible. Even if it is your first time at this airport – no worries! With our guidance, passing through the terminal will be a breeze!
In this post I will take you through every step of arriving and departing from Cancun Airport so that it’ll be a smooth experience. If this is your first time traveling alone, don’t stress out – airports in Mexico are typically much easiest to navigate than Cancun Airport. Even Mexico City Airport isn’t as complicated as Cancun Airport can often seem!
Before you jet to Cancun, be sure to review this checklist of most items. Let’s go through it quickly so you can start packing!
Don’t forget to check if your passport is valid or will expire soon—it must have a minimum validity of 6 months for the day you leave. In case you realize your passport has lapsed at the last moment, see if you meet all requirements for an emergency passport by visiting this site.
Be sure to obtain a copy of your passport and keep it with you while keeping the original stored away in a secure location.
To avoid surprise charges at the airport, ensure you are well-versed on your airline’s baggage regulations.
Make sure to bring some extra cash with you, just in case.
Don’t forget to pack your prescription medication and the associated documentation in case you are questioned by Mexican Immigration.
To save yourself time (and potentially embarrassment!) in the security line, double-check on the TSA website what items are approved and which aren’t before you depart.
Now that we’re thoroughly prepared for our trip to Mexico, let’s board the flight and cruize to Cancun!
The breathtaking beaches, archaeological sites, all-inclusive resorts, tantalizing Mexican cuisine and vibrant party scene are waiting there for you. But before we can take full advantage of these delights in person, one last step…
As of August 2022, Cancun Airport travelers will be exempted from completing customs (FMM) forms upon arrival. This project aims to expedite the process for international tourists entering Mexico and will soon include all major airports within the country.
Brimming with tourists, Cancun is Mexico’s busiest airport, this bustling hub has been the first to launch an initiative designed to expedite immigration procedures and shorten queues, so travelers can quickly check in at their hotel upon arrival!
This entry policy only applies to travelers, who will be awarded a stamp in their passport plus an electronic permit of up to 180 days. Exceptions are made for tourists from Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and Brazil; they shall receive a one-time 30 day entry pass instead.
You still need to fill out the customs form.
Immigration at Cancun Airport Arrivals Terminal
Upon arriving at the Cancun Arrival Terminal, your first step is to get in line for Immigration – it might be a lengthy wait but you’ll have plenty of time! Put away any phones or other devices so that you can focus on the task ahead.
Before you progress any further, present your passport and the immigration form that should have been filled out on the plane – don’t forget to bring a pen! Once you’ve gone through customs and securely stored away the second part of your paperwork, then you’re ready for take-off.
Collect your checked baggage and head to Cancun Aiport Customs
The next step is to retrieve your luggage! You can easily find a cart nearby, but remember that this must remain inside the terminal. Now you’re ready to start enjoying Cancun’s stunning beaches!
How long does it take to get through Cancun Airport customs?
Entering Mexico through the Cancun Airport can be a taxing endeavor, or an effortless experience. It’s near impossible to provide you with a definitive time frame since much depends on how many flights land simultaneously, immigration speediness, baggage delivery quickness and the number of agents working at once.
As you approach customs, a friendly agent awaits at their station with an inviting red button. Pressing the button will activate either a green or red light – if it turns to green, your journey is complete and you’re free to go! However, if the light glows in scarlet hues instead then they’ll want to take a look inside all of your bags. Fear not though as this simply means you shall be inspected before being allowed out into the world again.
Avoid scammers after clearing Cancun Airport Customs
You thought you were nearly out of the woods, but alas – there is one more test to pass before entering paradise. A couple of things:
Don’t be enticed to convert your US dollars at the money exchange office you’ll find there. They charge far too much for their services, and you can get a better deal elsewhere.
Look out for folks dressed in beige attire – they’re not here to genuinely help you. Although they may appear friendly, their goal is to try and sell you a timeshare apartment, so don’t waste your time conversing with them!
How to get from Cancun Aiport to your hotel
Rent a car
When planning your trip, consider reserving a car rental at the airport if you’re looking to explore Yucatan peninsula. This option offers more freedom than relying on buses as it allows you to discover hidden places off the beaten path and have an authentic experience. Bear in mind that booking from airports may be slightly pricier due to taxes, but not always!
Get a taxi
Avoid the hassle of public transport by taking a taxi outside customs. Generally, these rides to hotels in Cancun will be around 50 USD; however, if you’re heading to Playa del Carmen or to Tulum then it could double and cost up to 160USD – so always make sure you enquire about the fare before getting into the vehicle! Keep in mind that there is no Uber in Cancun (read more about Uber in Cancun here).
Enjoy traveling in comfort with A/C buses from Cancun airport to town, to Playa del Carmen and to Tulum! Prices range from 5 USD for the first destination and up to 13 USD for the last. Discover more information about schedules on their site.
If you’re staying in one of the hotels in the Hotel Zone, it’s not advised to take the bus because that will bring you all the way downtown and then require a taxi from there. That option would waste precious time while only saving minimal money – far better to opt for alternative two.
When traveling, there are two ways to book a transfer: with an authorized company or at the same hotel where you’re staying. Some hotels offer this service in both shared and private capacities. With a shared transfer, your travel time may be extended if your hotel is last on the route. However, these transfers ensure that you’ll remain comfortable throughout without having to change vehicles until reaching your destination! Cancun Airport Transportation is our favorite private transfer company.
For tourists visiting Cancun looking to enjoy a vacation, Terminal 1 of the airport is not relevant since it only handles charter and private flights.
Terminal 2 (Domestic Commercial flights)
The Cancun Terminal welcomes travelers from both abroad and domestically. With an extensive list of airlines, the terminal offers Aeromexico, Aviacsa, Belair, Condor, Air Canada, Airlines Click de Mexicana, Tran Airways, Champion air, Air Transat Air, , Copa Airlines, Cubana de Aviación, Jetblue, Airways, Jetair, Mexicana, Sky ServiceAirlines, SunWing Airlines, Varig LanChile, Magnicharters MartinAir, Viva Aerobus, First Choice, Interjet, Volaris and much more!
Terminal 3 (International commercial flights)
Terminal 3 at Cancun Airport is primed to serve the influx of travelers coming from North America and Europe. To further optimize their experience, Terminal 3 boasts multiple airlines such as American Airline, ATA Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, T Air Europa; Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines–just to name a few! Moreover for visiting passengers’ convenience an airport shuttle service runs between terminals every 10 minutes–free of charge.
Facilities at all terminals of Cancun airport
During your travels, the locker services at the Cancun airport provide an easy solution – whether you’re departing from or transiting through Cancun. For just $100 pesos per day (24 hrs), store away any luggage and navigate around freely for as long as necessary! With this convenient option available, no need to worry about lugging a heavy bag anymore; let us do all of the work for you!
Are you arriving in Cancun and need free Wifi? Prodigy Mobile provides complimentary Wireless Internet Access (WiFi) to all passengers at each of the terminals at Cancun Airport. With this service, you can instantly connect your laptop or mobile device to a rapid internet connection for no charge!
Enjoy luxurious comfort at Cancun Airport’s VIP Lounge, available from 6 am to 9 pm in both Terminal 2 and 3. Keep a close eye on the time as it is limited to three hours for an international flight departure and two hours for domestic flights! Make sure you plan ahead so that your time can be spent conveniently relaxing instead of waiting around.
Airports near Cancun, Mexico
Searching for affordable flights to the main airport in Cancun? Check out these nearby airports as a cost-effective option!
Cozumel International Airport (CZM / MMCZ): 101 kms from Cancun
Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID / MMMD): 325 kms from Cancun
Corozal Airport, Belize (CZH): 393 kms from Cancun
Caye Caulker Airport, Belize (CUK): 401 kms from Cancun
Orange Walk Airport, Belize (ORZ): 435 kms from Cancun
Cozumel International Airport (CZM / MMCZ): 101 kms from Cancun
Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport(MID / MMMD): 325 kms from Cancun
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 CancunAirport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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