long beach shoreline filled with beachside homes in the famous city of Tulum Mexico

How To Get To Tulum from Cancun Airport

Are you planning a trip to Tulum? Or you’re currently at the airport searching online on how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

Well, either or, I’ve got you covered with this in-depth guide on how to get to Tulum from Cancun International Airport.

Having done this trip several times from Cancun to Tulum, I’m familiar with the route and different methods.

In this article, I will share the 5 best options for how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport and vice-versa when it’s time to go home!

I will cover the drive time, prices, and how to make a booking for each option.

Decide which of these 5 transportation options fits your budget and the conveniences when selecting your commute option.

street art in the streets of Centro, Tulum, on the way to ADO Bus, one of the best methods for how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport
Tulum Centro Streets – Credit: Chris Turgeon

How Far is Tulum from Cancun Airport?

The exact distance between Tulum and Cancun Airport is 73 miles or 118 km. And the travel time is 1 hour and 40 minutes and also depends on traffic and the transportation option you choose.

For those in a rush and looking for the fastest way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport. It’s by Private Shuttle Service; Cancun Airport Transfers is a service that operates several vehicle types you can book with an English-speaking driver.

Before going to Tulum: Browse my in-depth Tulum Guides!


a large ADO Bus driving in the streets of Mexico
ADO Bus – Credit: Busbud&ADO

Taking the ADO Bus is the cheapest and most convenient for solo travelers from Cancun Airport to Tulum.

The ADO Bus works best for those looking for an affordable bus from Cancun To Tulum.

ADO is one of the largest bus companies in Mexico, and they offer travel all over the country throughout various cities. – Once you arrive in Tulum, you will arrive at the ADO Centro Tulum station.

When booking your ticket, choose from Cancun Airport and NOT Cancun Centro.

Book your ADO Bus Ticket in advance. You can bring one piece of luggage onto the ADO Bus, and each passenger is allowed a backpack or personal bag. If you have more luggage, there will be additional charges.

There are Bus Terminals 2, 3, and 4 at Cancun Airport. Make your way there once you walk outside the airport, and ask the airport staff there if you need clarification.

How far is Cancun to Tulum? From Centro Cancun, It’s around 1 hour and 52 mins, with a 131 km or 81 miles distance.

If you’re wondering how to get from Cancun to Tulum when you’re already in Cancun, go to the ADO Centro station. From there, check the board stating which stand you should go to for your bus departure to Tulum.

Buy Ticket Here

COST: $20 – $30 US Per Passenger Each Way

TIME: 3 Hours

Why Take ADO Bus? Cheapest Way How to Get to Tulum

Take the ADO Bus if you’re traveling alone. For those worried, don’t. It’s very safe to take the ADO Bus in Mexico. I’ve taken it many times all over the country. It’s the most budget-friendly option!

Again, taking the ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum is an excellent option for those traveling solo and looking for budget-friendly transportation to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

The only downside is dragging your luggage to your hotel once you get to the Tulum ADO Centro station. And unfortunately, Tulum’s roads are a tad underdeveloped, so moving your suitcase here isn’t easy!

Shuttle (Private Service)

various vehicle types you can book for transportation from Cancun Airport
Private Shuttle Service – Credit: CancunTransfers

Taking a Private Shuttle from Cancun Airport is the perfect option for those looking for the fastest option to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

Not only is taking a Private Shuttle the fastest option, but you’ve got the added convenience of space for extra luggage space, an English-Speaking driver, and direct hotel drop-off, so you won’t have to worry about lugging your bags around Tulum’s undeveloped roads!

If your flight is delayed, a private shuttle will wait for you if your plane lands late. So you won’t have to worry about rebooking a bus ticket or a shared shuttle if you arrive late.

There are many conveniences when taking a private shuttle. No matter your party size, there are different vehicle types to book.

On a personal note, friends and I have always taken a private shuttle from Cancun to Tulum over the years. It’s just the most convenient.

You don’t have to worry about missing your ride; you can fit all your bags, and I’d highly recommend it, especially if two or more of you are coming!

Book Private Shuttle Here

COST: $155 US Each Way

TIME: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes

Why Take a Private Shuttle? Fastest Way How to Get to Tulum

Taking a Private Shuttle from Cancun Airport to Tulum would be best for several reasons.

If you’re coming to Tulum with a group of friends or perhaps your family, it makes sense to have private transportation from the airport to Tulum.

A Private Shuttle Ride is the Fastest way to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

As mentioned earlier, you will have the convenience of a personal driver waiting for you at the airport and being dropped off directly at your hotel. Ideal after a long flight!

Shared Shuttle

shared shuttle bus from Cancun via Nexus Tours Mexico
Shared Shuttle Bus – Credit: NexusTours&12GO

Another excellent affordable option for how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport is taking a Shared Shuttle. It’s a mix of the fastest/budget-friendly option.

The best part about a Shared Shuttle is it’s cheaper than taking private transportation, but you still get the convenience of being dropped off directly at your hotel and avoiding having to move your bags around in the streets.

The shared shuttle carries up to 12 passengers. They have plenty of room for your luggage. That said, don’t show up with two or three large suitcases; they won’t accommodate this.

Taking a shared shuttle is one of the more popular options for how to get to Tulum from Cancun.

Your transportation time will vary depending on where guests stay in your shared shuttle commute. On the way to Tulum from Cancun are other popular beach cities, such as Playa Del Carmen, Akumal, Puerto Aventuras, Puerto Morelos, and Playa Paraiso.

Make sure to check in with your shuttle ride 30 minutes before departure from the airport. When you get your luggage and leave the airport, make your way to the appropriate terminal for pick-up.

Nexus Tours, the company operating these shared shuttles, will provide details after you’ve booked your ticket!

Book Shared Shuttle Here

COST: $32 US Per Passenger Each Way

TIME: 2 – 3 Hours

Why Take a Shared Shuttle?Cheap/Convenient Way How to Get to Tulum

If you’re a solo traveler or coming with your partner, it’s much cheaper than taking a Private Shuttle; a private shuttle will cost you much more because you aren’t splitting the cost with friends. A shared shuttle will be cheaper.

Take a shared shuttle if you’re looking for convenience, unlike the ADO bus that will drop you off at the ADO Tulum Centro station. A shared shuttle will take you directly to your hotel with your luggage.

If you take the ADO Bus instead of a Shared Shuttle to Tulum and then take a taxi from the station to your hotel, it will cost you $15-$20 to get to your hotel.

Keep that in mind when debating between taking the ADO bus or a shared shuttle.

Renting a Car from Cancun Airport

Renting a car to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport is a great idea, especially for those wanting to explore Mexico’s Quintana Roo and Yucatan regions to the fullest.

There are many beautiful places to explore not far from Tulum. Having a car means you can do day trips to these places easily. Below is a list of places you can visit and how far they’re from Tulum.

Not to mention, it’s no secret that getting around Tulum is not accessible by any means. You’ll either have to walk, take a taxi or rent a bicycle when visiting here. But if you’re renting a car, you can drive yourself around.

You should know some places you will drive to have Toll Road Highways (costing around 20US per way, depending on where you drive).

Discover Cars are great, you can book everything in advance, and they will search for you the best possible deal for the type of vehicle you’re looking for. Make sure you get insurance.

Save Money 728x90

Here are places/cities you can visit easily with a car rental in Tulum.

Akumal30 Mins Drive / Famous for its beach full of sea turtles you can snorkel with

Playa Del Carmen 1 Hour Drive / Famous for its restaurants, beach clubs, walkability score, and more

Valladolid1 Hour & 30 Mins Drive / Famous for its small-town charm, food, cenotes closeby, and more

Chichen Itza2 Hours & 15 Mins Drive / Historical Mayan City & most famous attraction in Mexico

Cozumel1 Hour Drive + 45 Mins Ferry / Beautiful island with lots to do/see & the largest reef in Mexico

You can always visit these destinations by taking the ADO Bus, but that does take longer, and of course, there’s the inconvenience of specific bus timing. Renting a car, you are free to explore on your time.

Rent a Car Here

COST: Depends on Vehicle Type and Insurance Purchase

TIME: 1.5 Hours

Why Rent a Car? Convenient for Explorers on How to Get to Tulum

You love to explore and want to explore on your own time. Or you’re with friends and enjoy the convenience of coming/going places on your time.

If you want to see as much as possible, renting a car is the best way to do that!

And as I mentioned earlier, Tulum is challenging to get around, and most things are far from one another, except for when you’re in the Centro area.

Mayan Train from Cancun Airport (Dec 2023)

digital renderings of The Mayan train speeding through a railway in the jungles of the Yucatan in Mexico
Credit: Alstrom/Government of Mexico

In the not-so-distant future, you can soon take the Mayan Train from Cancun Airport to Tulum. This will be the easiest and fastest way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum soon.

With a confirmed launch date of December 2023, the Mayan Train will operate through five different states on this side of Mexico. Two of those states are the Yucatan and Quintana Roo regions.

This will allow tourists to commute smoothly within the Quintana Region, which means going from Cancun Airport to Tulum quickly. I’m sure when finished; the Mayan train will be an ideal way how to get to Tulum from Cancun.

Other than a completion date, many things about the Mayan Train still need to be announced. Luggage passenger information, and ticket costs, still need to be answered.

COST: Currently Unknown

TIME: Estimate – 90 minutes

Why Take the Mayan Train? Fast/Convenient Way How to Get to Tulum

Once completed, it will be one of the fastest and most convenient ways to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

The critical question right now is what the cost will be; this will determine whether many take it or not—factoring in both time/convenience and the cost of the ticket to get to Tulum from Cancun.

Once the price and other details are revealed soon, I will update this article with everything you need to know about how to get to Tulum using the Mayan Train.

Tulum Archaeological Zone and ruins with clear skies in the background and palm trees
Tulum Ruins – Credit: Anna Sullivan

Getting from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Your time in Tulum has ended, and you must get to Cancun Airport from Tulum. Let’s talk about your options for getting to Cancun Airport from Tulum.

The same options for how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport are all options to leave Tulum as well.

Remember, you can always purchase roundtrip transportation before you get to Tulum. That way, you have your transportation back to Cancun Airport all sorted out.

ADO Bus to Cancun Airport from Tulum

You can book your ADO Bus ticket from Tulum to Cancun Airport and go to the Tulum ADO Centro Station.

I’d recommend arriving 15 minutes early to make sure you ride. You’re catching a flight from the airport, after all.

Shuttle (Private or Shared)

If you didn’t initially purchase a roundtrip booking when initially booking a private airport shuttle. Please book your Private Shuttle Here to Cancun Airport from Tulum.

And if you didn’t initially purchase a roundtrip for your Shared Shuttle ride, you can book your Shared Shuttle Here to Cancun Airport from Tulum.

Mayan Train to Cancun Airport from Tulum

Once more details about the Mayan Train are released, I will update this article with all you need to know for going from Tulum to Cancun Airport by train and vice-versa.

Things To Do in Tulum

Now that you know how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport, let’s discuss things to do in Tulum.

You can walk the Centro area in the evening, bar-hopping, go to one of Tulum’s beach clubs, swim in cenotes, or visit one of Tulums best restaurants; it’s hard to be bored in Tulum!

Some of you may be coming for a limited time or only a weekend. Here is a short list of recommendations for things in Tulum.

dense jungles of Tulum during sunset with the sun slowly casting downwards and palm trees everywhere
Tulum National Park at Sunset

Where to Stay in Tulum

Are you looking for a place to stay in Tulum? Here are some hotel recommendations for every budget!

Tulum has various hotels, resorts, luxury boutique hotels, and several hostels.

First, decide what area you’d like to be in, by Tulum Beach, Aldea Zama, or Centro.

Tulum Luxury Boutique Hotels: Be Tulum Hotel/Spa & Casa Malca

Tulum Hotels: Layla Tulum & Hotel Bardo

Tulum Resorts: Dreams Tulum & Bahia Principe Tulum

Tulum Hostels: Mayan Monkey Tulum & Che Tulum Hostel

Tulum Airport – Coming Soon

Tulum International Airport will open on December 1st, 2023.

The only route announced is 14 weekly flights from Mexico City to Tulum directly. Other domestic routes from the US should unravel in the near future.

While this is exciting news, Tulum Airport won’t be a major international airport like Cancun International Airport. It will only have flights coming into it from Mexico and a few US cities.

Cancun to Tulum FAQs

What is the Cheapest Way to get from Cancun to Tulum?

The cheapest way to get to Tulum from Cancun is by Collectivos, a form of local transportation. These white vans operate like buses in a sense but aren’t. But there’s no room for your luggage this way.

While it is the cheapest, taking them is inconvenient, and taking the ADO Bus will only cost you a few more dollars!

What is the Fastest & most Convenient way to get from Cancun to Tulum?

The fastest and most convenient way from Cancun Airport to Tulum is to book a private shuttle service.

Is it safe to take any of these transportation options?

All transportation options listed in this article for how to get to Tulum are safe to take in Mexico. You have nothing to worry about. I’ve taken every transportation option in this article several times.

Is there Uber in Mexico?

Uber was not operating in Cancun and this region of Mexico because of a lawsuit by taxi unions. But recently, in early 2023, that changed with a critical court hearing allowing UBER to operate within the region.

That being said, Uber drivers cannot go to Cancun International Airport, so taking Uber to Cancun Airport or leaving the Airport using Uber is not an option.

How to Get around Tulum?

Now that you know how to get to Tulum. Getting around Tulum isn’t easy; everything is far from each other, and there isn’t any public transportation other than the local Collectivos.

Use taxis, but I recommend you firmly confirm prices with twice drivers before going. Taxi Drivers in Tulum tend to love charging a “tourist tax.” Or you can always rent a car in Tulum.

The last one I will mention is possibly the most popular way to get around Tulum, by bicycle. Some hotels even offer free bike rentals!

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Featured Image Credit: Spencer Watson / Other Photos via Unsplash

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