Thinking about coming to this beautiful beach town but not sure how to get from Cancun to Tulum? No worries, it’s actually quite simple and you’ll have many options. In this post, we’ll outline the best ways, cheapest ways, and quickest ways to get from Cancun to Tulum in a breeze.
How far is Tulum from Cancun
Tulum is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) from Cancun and around 2 hours to 2 and a half hours depending on which mode of transportation you decide to take. If you’re coming directly from the Cancun airport then the journey will be even shorter at around 1 hour and 40 minutes as it’s a little further south of Cancun city.
Tulum is becoming more and more popular in recent years thanks to more developments in infrastructure, more resorts, apartments, and popularity on social media such as Instagram. Because of this lots of tourists are flooding here to escape the Americanized and crowded beaches of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.
What is the Nearest Airport to Tulum, Mexico?
The nearest airport to Tulum is the Cancun International Airport (CUN), the second busiest airport in Mexico, located approximately 120 kilometers north of Tulum. Offering both domestic and international flights, it serves as the primary gateway for many tourists visiting Tulum.
With flights arriving from major cities around the world, the Cancun International Airport provides the most direct and accessible route to the enchanting locale of Tulum.
Once you land in Cancun, there are various ways to get to Tulum. You can opt for a private taxi, a shared shuttle, a local ADO bus, or you can rent a car and drive on your own, which we will of course discuss further in this blog post.
How to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum
The first thing you should know is that there is no Uber in this area, so don’t even bother trying to open the app and looking. You’ll also be harassed by all kinds of taxi drivers and shuttles when exiting the airport.
If you’re looking for a taxi or shuttle there are “official” ones and “unofficial” ones. Keep looking around for the best price until you’re satisfied. Some resorts and hotels will have shuttles included with the price.
ADO Bus – The Best Option
In our opinion the best option to get to Tulum is via ADO bus – it’s also the cheapest at around 340 pesos ($16 USD) and runs about every hour from the morning until around 11:30 at night. You can easily buy tickets online here: https://www.ado.com.mx/ or wait in line at the ADO booth outside the terminal, you will see it as you walk outside on your right side (Terminal 2). Ask someone for assistance if you can’t find it.
The ADO buses are very safe, clean, and modern and there is a spot underneath the bus to easily store your luggage. One tip is to buy your ticket online while waiting in line so you can effectively skip it. You can show a digital ticket, you don’t need a physical one.
The second best option to get from Cancun to Tulum is by shuttle. There are a plethora of companies offering shuttle services to Tulum, you’ll see many booths as you exit the airport, and they will be shouting at you to go with them.
The best option is to organize a shuttle with your hotel or resort beforehand (if they offer this service) to make everything less of a hassle for you. You can also find many shuttle services online to pre-book. Shuttles are more expensive than the bus, around 500-1000 pesos but can be cheaper if you book in a big group.
We don’t really recommend this option at all as it’s the most expensive and the drive can’t always be trusted, depending on where you find them. However, this will be the quickest option to get from the Cancun airport to Tulum as there are many and they are always ready to go right away.
If you’re planning on staying in Tulum and Quintana Roo for a while then renting a car will be ideal for you and it’s not as expensive as you’d think. Booking online beforehand will be cheaper than last minute at one of the booths inside the airport, but both options work.
Driving yourself from Cancun to Tulum is also a good idea s you’ll be able to easily go on all the awesome day trips that Tulum has to offer, drive to the beach, explore nearby towns and head back to the airport with ease.
Yes, it is possible to get from Cancun to Tulum via helicopter. If money is no object for you, then this is definitely the best way to get there. There are a few helicopter transfer companies at the Cancun Airport ready to whisk you away anywhere in the Maya Riviera.
Tulum Naval Airbase will be the main landing spot for helicopters in Tulum. The cost is around $1000 USD or more per hour depending on which company you use. The ride is around 30 minutes but is one of the most breathtaking views you can have in Quintana Roo.
How to get from Cancun Town to Tulum
ADO bus is once again the best way to get from the main downtown area of Cancun to Tulum, colectivos are also an excellent option. The best part is they are both located in the same area. Colectivos are cheaper and smaller.
The ADO bus will take around 2 and a half to 3 hours to get from downtown to Tulum, because it also makes a stop in Playa Del Carmen for pick-ups and drop-offs. You can find the schedules also online here: https://www.ado.com.mx/
The tee price is around $200+ pesos depending on the time of day you depart.
The colectivos can be found in the same place as the ADO terminal (located on the map above). You’ll have to get the colectivos to Playa Del Carmen, and once there you can easily transfer to Tulum. The colectivo is around 50 pesos to PDC and then another 50 to Tulum.
There are two different colectivos to choose from: Playa Express, which is right in front of the ADO station in Cancun and arrives on Avenida 20 in the middle of PDC. Normal colectivos, leave from the smaller plaza behind Soriana Super grocery store which is across from the ADO terminal. When you arrive at PDC you’ll have to walk to the main road (Carretera Federa) which is under the bridge, and you’ll find the vans going to Tulum.
Once again this is going to be the most expensive, but also the quickest option to get from downtown Cancun to Tulum. The price is going to be around 2000 pesos ($100 USD) or more to get to Tulum.
Is there Uber in Tulum or Cancun?
There is no Uber in Tulum or Playa Del Carmen, however, there is Uber in Cancun. This is convenient for getting to the hotel zone from downtown Cancun. However, there is no Uber at the Cancun Airport, it is still controlled by the local taxi and shuttle companies.