How To Get From Cozumel To Tulum: 9 Best Ways (2023)
In this post, we will give you all the information you need on various methods of transportation to travel from Cozumel to Tulum. With my knowledge gained from spending a few months in Mexico, I can help you choose the safest, easiest and most relaxed way to get there.
Traveling from Cozumel to Tulum is possible by various means of transportation. However, the best option will depend on factors such as your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences. I’ll present you with all the available options so that you can make the best posible informed decision according to your needs.
What are the options for transportation from Cozumel to Tulum or Tulum to Cozumel?
There are various transportation options available to travel from Cozumel to Tulum:
– Use the passenger ferry
– Take the bus
– Hire a taxi
– Drive yourself
– Arrange a private transfer
– Share a shuttle
– Join an organized tour
– Use a colectivo
For details on each transportation option, please continue reading. The information for traveling from Tulum to Cozumel is the same as traveling from Cozumel to Tulum.
Travel by Ferry
There is no ferry that goes directly from Cozumel to Tulum town. To get to Tulum, you first need to take a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen on the mainland. Ultramar and Winjet operate passenger ferries daily, depending on the weather.
The Cozumel ferry terminal is located in the center of San Miguel de Cozumel. Ferries depart from there for a 45-minute journey that is typically smooth. Ticket prices range from 150-250 MXN, depending on the month and time of day. While you can purchase tickets at the port on the day of your travel to Cozumel, we recommend that you book online ahead of time. Doing so will guarantee you the best price and a reserved seat. Here is a link to the terminal’s location on Google Maps.
Transportation Options from Cozumel to Tulum
The following table outlines all transportation options from Cozumel to Tulum:
One affordable way to travel from Cozumel to Tulum is by taking the bus. To do so, you will need to first take the ferry from San Miguel de Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. Once you arrive in Playa, you can catch a bus directly to Tulum. There are various bus companies you can choose from, such as ADO, Mayab, and Primera Plus. Their coaches are comfortable and equipped with air conditioning, and some even have WiFi.
The ADO bus station in Playa del Carmen is located conveniently near the ferry terminal, only a 2-minute walk (250 meters) away. Upon arriving in Tulum, it will depend on where your accommodation is located whether you need to take a taxi or walk. You can purchase bus tickets for around 150 MXN ($8 USD) each way either online or at the Playa del Carmen bus station. The trip usually takes around an hour and 30 minutes but may vary due to traffic.
Traveling from Cozumel to Tulum using a taxi is a convenient option, but it can be expensive. To do this, you’ll need to take the ferry from San Miguel de Cozumel to Playa del Carmen Port. After that, you can easily find a taxi to take you to Tulum. It is important to use only official, licensed taxis and agree upon a price before getting in the car. The cost of a one-way ride is generally around 600 pesos (approximately $32 USD), and it takes about an hour to reach Tulum.
Make sure to inform the driver whether you want to go to Tulum beach or the main town. The fare would be the same, but the driver needs to know the destination. You may also pre-book taxis here, but it usually costs more than negotiating a price with a taxi driver directly.
Renting a car to travel from Cozumel to Tulum is recommended as it provides flexibility and the opportunity to stop at various attractions along the way. The well-maintained highways make for smooth driving and allow for exploration of the beautiful beaches and cenotes of the Mayan Riviera. It is important to note that while there is a car ferry connecting Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, most car rental companies in Cozumel do not permit taking their cars to the mainland.
If you don’t have a car on Cozumel that you took across on the cargo ferry from the mainland, then you’ll likely need to take the passenger ferry to Playa del Carmen and rent a car there.
It takes about one hour to drive 65 kilometers on a well-paved highway to reach Tulum. There are plentry of rental car companies available, including international brands, and the rental process is usually fast and straightforward. However, it is very important to very carefully review all the documentation and inspect the car’s condition before starting your drive. Consider taking a video or pictures to ensure a smooth rental experience.
Take a private transfer
Booking a private transfer is a relaxing and convenient way to travel from Cozumel to Tulum, Quintana Roo. This option eliminates the stress of navigating public transport or driving, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the ride. Keep in mind that to reach Playa del Carmen, where your transfer will be waiting, you’ll first need to take the passenger ferry from Cozumel.
As far as I know, there are no private transfers available for direct transportation from Cozumel to Tulum. However, if you have any information about such transfers, please share it in the comments below. Private transfers are available in different types, including minivans for bigger groups and luxury cars. The prices depend on the actual type of vehicle you choose, but typically range between $25-50 USD per person.
A private transfer from the city of Playa del Carmen to Tulum usually takes around an hour from start to finish, which is similar to taking a taxi.
Shared shuttles usually involve sharing the vehicle with other passengers, although it’s not always the case. For instance, I have taken several “shared” shuttles in Mexico that gave me the whole minibus to myself.
Shared shuttles are usually much cheaper than private transfers, costing around $15-20 USD per person. However, buses are still the least expensive option, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to save money. Bear in mind that shared shuttles can take longer than private transfers as they typically make stops and pick up passengers from different locations along the way. Therefore, the trip can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
Join a tour
Taking a tour is a convenient way to travel from Cozumel to Tulum. It eliminates the need to deal with logistics, but it can be more expensive. You can opt for a small group tour or a private guide, with different durations available. In addition to Tulum, many tours will also take you to other attractions in the area, including natural beauty spots, cenotes, beaches, temples, and historical landmarks throughout Quintana Roo state and the Riviera Maya.
Both Tulum and Cozumel offer unique experiences, but we recommend Tulum because of its holistic atmosphere, delicious gourmet cuisine, and exciting things to do and adventures that are not available in Cozumel.
You must be tired after your 2-hour trip on the ferry and bus or car. Don’t worry, there are many good restaurants located near the ADO bus station. Campanella Cremerie is our favorite dessert shop in Tulum. To get there, simply walk to the right for 5 minutes. We enjoy their best gelatos to cool off on hot days.
While you’re here, it is essential to visit at least one cenote. A cenote is a natural swimming pool with breathtaking scenery. Both tourists and locals enjoy swimming in the refreshing water, having picnics, and taking memorable pictures for Instagram.
For an extraordinary cenote experience, consider diving in Quintana Roo, Mexico at the Sistema Sac Actun. This is the longest underwater cave system in the world. Despite sounding daring, it is a must-see adventure, particularly with the excellent cenote tours and scuba diving guides available in Tulum. These are our favorite Cenotes in Tulum.
Mayan Ruins excursion
Finally, don’t miss out on visiting the ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum, including the Tulum Archaeological Site and Playa Ruinas. You can explore and learn about Tulum’s history while enjoying a sandy beach overlooked by the ruins and playing with the friendly iguanas.
Colectivos are shared minibus taxis that operate on specific routes and can be found throughout Mexico. They don’t follow a fixed schedule and only depart once they are full. To reach Tulum from Cozumel, you first need to take the passenger ferry to Playa del Carmen. Then, you can board one of the many colectivos operating between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, with travel time ranging from 1-2 hours.
If you’re trying to travel on a tight budget, the best option would be to take the bus. The tickets only cost 40 pesos, which is around $2 USD. However, keep in mind that the bus is cramped and not very comfortable. So, it might not be the first choice if you have with you a lot of luggage with you.
You can take a car ferry between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, but if you rented a car on Cozumel, you likely won’t be able to take it on the ferry to the mainland. So, you would only need to use the car ferry if you previously rented a car on the mainland and brought it to Cozumel.
The pier for the vehicle ferry is located approximately 2.5 kilometers south of the center of San Miguel de Cozumel, which is where the majority of large cruise ships dock. This pier is different from the one used for foot passenger ferries. You can view the location of the pier on Google Maps.
You can take these ferries for vehicles that go to Calica, a location on the mainland situated approximately 9 kilometers south of Playa and in the direction of Tulum (see on Google Maps). It’s in close proximity to the Xcaret theme park.
The journey takes around an hour and there are multiple departures throughout the day. The route is served by two companies, Transcaribe and Ultramar Carga, both charging around $30 USD for a one-way trip for a standard car.
I suggest booking your ferry tickets online and well ahead of time because spots tend to fill up quickly. Visit Transcaribe or Ultramar for more details.
FAQs on travelling from Cozumel to Tulum
Is there a direct ferry from Cozumel to Tulum?
Unfortunately, there is no ferry that goes directly from Cozumel to Tulum. Your best option is to take a ferry from Cozumel to the town of Playa del Carmen and then continue your journey to Tulum by either car or a private shuttle.
How long does it take to travel from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen by ferry?
The ferry journey from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen typically lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you’re wondering about the travel time from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, it takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours using a bus or car.
Can I take a bus from Cozumel to Tulum?
Unfortunately, there is no direct bus available to travel from Cozumel to Tulum. Nevertheless, you have the option to take a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and then board a bus or colectivo to reach Tulum. There are regular services of both bus and colectivo available for this route.
Are there any organized tours or shuttle services from Cozumel to Tulum?
Transportation from Cozumel to Tulum is available through organized tours and shuttle services, making it easy to reach the beautiful city. Regarding the ferries from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, they run regularly throughout the day, with departures as frequent as every 30 minutes during peak times.
Is it easier to get to Tulum from Cozumel or Cancun?
Traveling from Cancun to Tulum is easier and faster because there are more transportation options available. However, if you are coming from Cozumel, don’t worry, it’s still an easy trip! You just need to take a ferry and then either a car or bus to reach Tulum. It’s that simple!
How to get from Cozumel airport to Playa del Carmen?
There are two options to get a ride – you can hail a taxi or make a reservation for a transfer.
What is the best way you can get to Tulum?
Getting to Tulum has different options depending on your budget, time constraints, and preferences. The easiest but rather more expensive way is to book a taxi or private transfer. On the other hand, taking a colectivo is the cheapest but less comfortable option. If you wish to have the most flexibility, renting a car could be a good idea, and it also permits you to explore different places on the way to Tulum.
How long does the ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen take?
The ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen operates every day of the year, with multiple crossings per day, as long as the weather permits. A typical one-way trip duration is around 45 minutes.
How much does a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?
The cost of a taxi ride from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is approximately 600 pesos, which is equivalent to $32 USD.
Can I take an Uber to Tulum?
Unfortunately, Uber is not available in Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
How many days is enough in Tulum?
The appropriate duration for visiting Tulum depends on your plans, but it is recommended to allocate a minimum of three days to discover the ancient ruins and beaches.
Why is Tulum so famous?
Tulum is well-known for its remarkable archaeological site, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, attractive white sand beaches, and the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
When’s the best time to visit Tulum?
For pleasant temperatures and minimal rainfall, it is recommended to visit Tulum during the spring (February-May).
Best hotels in Tulum
There are many great hotels in Tulum that cater to different budgets and preferences. You can choose from affordable hotels with basic amenities to luxurious beachfront properties, as there is a wide variety available.
I suggestå four hotels in Tulum:
1. Casa Almendro (budget)
2. Casa Elda (mid-range)
3. Casa Colibrí Tankah (high-end/luxury)
4. Mi Amor a Colibri Boutique Hotel (super high-end)
La Valise (super high-end)
Bottom Line: The best way to get from Cozumel to Tulum
I appreciate the variety of transportation choices available to travel from Cozumel to Tulum. For me, I prefer taking the ferry followed by the ADO bus service because it offers a good balance between comfort and cost-effectiveness.
If you want to explore more of Yucatan on your own schedule, I suggest renting a car. By the way, how do you usually travel from Cozumel to Tulum? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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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