Chichen Itza is one of the most popular attractions in Mexico, and a popular day trip from Cancun, Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. Because it’s quite far from Tulum compared to the other popular beach towns, getting from Tulum to Chichen Itza may seem daunting. Luckily, with our guide, we’ll make this as simple as possible for you.
Tulum to Chichen Itza is around 150km (93 miles) away and take approximately 2 hours to get there if you’re driving. There are several ways to get to this fantastic UNESCO world heritage site, and we’ll cover them all here for you .
How to Get From Tulum to Chichen Itza
The most affordable way to get to Chichen Itza from Tulum is by taking the ADO bus which can be found at the bus terminal in the town center.
Currently, there is only one bus heading to Chichen Itza and it leaves at around 9:30 am and costs around $170 to $330 MXN pesos depending on the day and time of booking. The total travel time is around 2 and a half hours, arriving at an ideal time around 12:15 pm.
There is also one bus returning from Chichen Itza to Tulum at 4:00 pm, so be sure not to miss it. This gives you at least 3 and a half hours to explore this magical Mayan archeological site, which is more than enough.
Rent a Car
By far our favourite option to get from Tulum to Chichen Itza is by simply renting a car. Not only is it a cheap option if you’re splitting the cost with friends, but it also offers flexibility so you can leave and return at your own chosen time.
Along the way to Chichen Itza you can stop at many attractions and little towns that you won’t get the chance to do on a bus or a tour. We highly recommend checking out the cute colonial town of Valladolid and many of the cenotes in the Yucatan along the way.
The best way to rent a car is by making a reservation in advance online. The other option is to wander around the town of Tulum and compare prices at several of the rental companies located throughout Tulum.
Remember to take a photo of your car before leaving on the trip as they may try and charge you for small scratches or damages that were there before you even rented the car. Also, you are not obligated to buy insurance from the rental company if you already have travel insurance.
Take A Tour
Taking a tour from Tulum to Chichen Itza is one of the most convenient and easy ways to get to the ruins. This is a great option if you’re travelling alone and prefer to meet others, or if you want a guided tour of the ruins.
The benefit of a tour is that they typically pick you up at your accommodation or meet at a central spot early in the morning, they are also usually a full day tour with other activities.
The tours typically include cool activities such as swimming in nearby cenotes, exploring Valladolid, and they sometimes have free food and tequila tasting. Free entrance to the ruins and return trip is of course included.
Colectivos are shared minivans that operate on specific routes. While they don’t go directly from Tulum to Chichen Itza, you can use them to reach Valladolid, a nearby city, and then catch a second colectivo or a local bus to Chichen Itza. While this is not the quickest or most comfortable option, it is very economical and gives you a chance to experience local transportation methods.
Things to Note & Consider
-Chichen Itza is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day.
-The entrance fee is $614 pesos ($272 if you’re a Mexican national)
-As with most sites and attractions in Mexico, it’s best to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
-Tour guides can be found in Chichen Itza itself and can be booked in advance – you do not need one so don’t let someone push you into paying for their service.
-The drive from Tulum to Chichen Itza is quite safe, but make sure to bring your passports if you’re driving yourself as the police may ask for ID when crossing the border from Quintana Roo to the state of Yucatan.
-To make the most of your day at Chichen Itza, aim to depart from Tulum in the morning to avoid crowds and maximize your exploration time.
-Bring essentials: Carry water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes
-Stay hydrated: The Yucatan Peninsula can be hot and humid, so staying hydrated is crucial. Keep a water bottle handy during your journey.
-Respect the sites: Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so treat the ruins with care and follow any guidelines or restrictions in place.
Tulum to Chichen Itza Conclusion
Getting from Tulum to Chichen Itza opens the door to a world of ancient wonders and cultural richness. Whether you prefer the freedom of a rental car, the convenience of a private transfer, the camaraderie of a group tour, or the authenticity of public transportation, there is a transportation method suited to your preferences and budget.
Whichever option you choose, your journey from Tulum to Chichen Itza promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with history, beauty, and adventure.