How to get to Tulum Guide

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How to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport - 2023 Guide

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Are you planning a trip to this stunning Mexican town but don’t know how to get to Tulum?  

Tulum is a stunning Caribbean coastal town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with pearly white beaches, vibrant blue waters, luxurious resorts, amazing food, and vibrant nightlife. It also has plenty of sites to visit from historic Mayan ruins to the majestic cenotes, Sian Ka’an Biosphere, and national parks.

Cancun Airport Closest airport to Tulum
Cancun Airport is the closest airport to Tulum

While Tulum doesn’t have its own airport, getting to paradise is super easy and you’ll be there in no time. Many visiting this part of Mexico will also be heading to Cancun. Chances are you may even be flying into Cancun International Airport (CUN) which is conveniently located just 90 minutes drive from Tulum. With a bunch of transportation options, getting to Tulum doesn’t need to be one of your travel worries. This guide will inform you of how to reach charming Tulum from Cancun as well as from Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.

In a matter of no time, you’ll be basking in the Mexican sun, dipping your toes into the refreshing turquoise water, and more than likely relaxing on a beach, sipping a cocktail or two and eating some authentic tacos. In Tulum pure bliss awaits.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


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How to get to Tulum
The Beach Tulum

How to Get to Tulum 

If you’re visiting Tulum from the U.S., the most convenient airport to book your flights too is Cancun International Airport (CUN). With regular flights scheduled between the U.S. and Cancun, you’ll be given plenty of flexibility with your itinerary.  

How to Get To Tulum From Cancun

From Cancun International Airport (CUN) there are five practical ways to get to Tulum. From rentals to buses, it really depends on your budget and travel style as to which one you choose.

Private Transfer

There’s no doubt about it, arriving in Tulum by private transfer is the most comfortable and sophisticated option. And no one’s blaming you, you deserve to arrive in the utmost luxury!

This service will take you directly from the airport to your hotel. You’ll be effortlessly passed from concierge to concierge with little to no organization on your part. Sounds ideal right!? 

Not only will you not have to navigate any language barriers, but often private transfers are cheaper than a regular taxi. Depending on your accommodation choice, a private transfer can be booked through your hotel. Private transfers are great for an intimate carefree getaway or for those traveling with kids.

Renting a Car

If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing in Tulum, it’s a brilliant idea to hire a car. Renting a car from Cancun International Airport gives you the flexibility and freedom of spontaneous adventure.

There are a ton of reliable well known car rental companies including Europcar, Hertz, and Avis. With an abundance of vehicle choices across a range of budgets from super affordable to high-end, there’s a car for every kind of Tulum tourist. Organize and book a rental car before you arrive for even more convenience.   

Generally, you can be expected to pay between $250 and $300 per week for a rental car. This may seem like a lot at first glance, but it’s still more cost-effective if you are planning on spending a lot of time on the road, plus it saves you a bunch of time so you can hit more of the best Tulum and Yucatan attractions.

Tulum Mayan Ruins
Tulum Mayan Ruins

By Taxi

If you are not weighed down by countless suitcases, then taking a taxi is an easy option for traveling from Cancun International Airport to Mexico.  

It is best to book a ride ahead of time with an established company to avoid a costly taxi bill when you reach Tulum. Booking in advance gives you peace of mind and can save you money too. Generally speaking, a taxi from the airport to Tulum should be between $60 and $70 and will take around 90 minutes.

By Bus

Are you traveling to Tulum on a budget, then why not take the bus from the airport? Don’t worry, the buses that travel between the airport and Tulum aren’t like those rickety and noisy buses you see in Mexican movies; they are modern, complete with much-appreciated air-conditioning.

The bus goes from Cancun to Puerto Morelos, then Playa del Carmen before arriving in Tulum and continuing on to Merida. This wallet-friendly solution leaves from Terminals 2, 3, or 4 with departures between 10:55 am up until 9:45 pm every day. What is more, tickets are only $15 USD one way!

While the bus does take around 2 hours 40 minutes you can spend the time planning what you’ll spend your savings on! The only other thing you’ll need to plan is how to get from Tulum Centro (the bus station) to your accommodation.

If you are departing from Cancun itself head over to the ADO bus terminal between Tulum Avenue and Uxmal Avenue. Buses depart regularly, you can view the full timetable here.

By Colectivo

Now the bus was the budget option. Are you ready for the ultra-budget option? The Colectivo (a minivan taxi) offers rides from Cancun International Airport to Tulum for as little as $4.   

The Colectivos may not be the most glamorous mode of transportation, but they are dependable. The only catch is that you need to take two Colectivos (twice the funright!), the first from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and then catch the second to Tulum.


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How to Get To Tulum From Playa del Carmen 

Now you might be visiting Playa del Carmen and wondering how to get to Tulum. Playa del Carmen is around 40 km north of Tulum and there are a couple of options of how to get there.

By Bus

Again, you can travel by bus. Taking the ADO bus is the most efficient mode of transport between these two destinations The bus station is on 5th Avenue and Benito Juarez and buses leave at regular intervals throughout the day. You can check the full bus schedule here. Tickets are 66 pesos (around $3.50), and the journey takes one hour.

By Bus By Colectivo

The trusty and cheap Colectivo will take you from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. The Colectivo bus station is at Calle 2 between 15th and 20th Avenue. Buses depart between 5:00 am and 11 pm. It should be noted that they will only depart as soon as there are enough passengers on board. You might have a tiny wait, but the good news is, the entire trip will only set you back $2!

Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico
Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel

How to Get To Tulum From Cozumel 

There’s no driving from Cozumel to Tulum and that’s because Cozumel is a beautiful Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea. Located east of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is a dreamy island paradise.

Believe it or not it is super easy to move between the two destinations. To get from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen, you’ll need to take the ferry. The journey is around 45 minutes and costs $7. For an additional $3 you can take a faster boat that will get you there in half the time. Whichever you choose it’s a lovely experience being on the water with the wind in your hair and stunning views. Then from Playa del Carmen select either of the aforementioned transportation options. All in all, you should be in Tulum in around 2 hours (depending how long it takes for your Colectivo to leave).

Getting to Tulum, Mexico: Practical Tips 

How Far Is Tulum From the Airport?

Cancun International Airport is just a 90 minute drive from Tulum. If you are traveling between December and March (the most popular months for tourists) you may want to factor in a little extra travel time as there’s more traffic during peak season.

What Is the Best Way to Get To Tulum From Cancun?

It really depends on your priorities but hiring a car is an excellent choice. If you plan on visiting a lot of places in Tulum and nearby, then you’ll save money and be at your hotel in no time. There’s nothing better than the convenience of being in control of your own transportation plans.


Is there UBER in Tulum or Cancun?

The short answer is no. There is no Uber in Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Typically it exists and you can power up the app but the likelihood of getting an actual ride is very low. The citizens of Quintana Roo have been denied the privilege of utilizing UBER due to a powerful taxi lobby that has made it extremely difficult and potentially hazardous for UBER drivers. As such, they were forced to abandon their efforts in providing this service.

How far is Cancun Airport from Tulum?

Cancun is 73 miles (118km) away from Tulum. Its a 90 minute drive on the Carretera Federal, the road that links Cancun to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, spans 118 kilometers.

What’s better Tulum, Cancun or Playa del Carmen?

Looking for a go-to travel destination? It can be hard to make the call, as each spot has its own unique appeal that appeals depending on who you are and what kind of experience you’re looking for. Luckily, I have just the thing! Check out this comprehensive guide to help narrow down your options so you can find your dream vacation spot today. Cancun vs Playa del Carmen vs Tulum.

Is renting and driving a car in Cancun safe?

Embarking on a Mexican car journey is generally secure; however the degree of safety depends on the area. If you’re visiting Cancun, renting a vehicle will give you an unrestricted holiday experience! On the other hand, if your destination is Tulum, consider reserving an organized transfer to that region and then hire a car for several days – this approach allows enough time to explore picturesque Tulum without any pressure!

Does Tulum have an aiport?

Although there is currently no airport in Tulum, a project to construct one is underway. Thus, for international travel to the area, you must fly into Cancun – its closest available border crossing. With access just south of Tulum’s borders, it makes for an easy and convenient entrance route!

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and 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.

🚙 Cancun Airport 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.