akumal beach in tulum

How To Get From Cancún to Tulum

Travelling from Cancún to Tulum? You’re in luck – they’re not far away from each other, and there are several modes of transportation depending on how much time you have and how you like to travel. Whether you’re exploring Cancún and its high-rise hotels, flashy restaurants, and pristine beaches, or if the airport is just your gateway to getting to Tulum, you’ll find getting from one to the other to be pretty easy. To help make your decision, take a look at our handy guide of how to get from Cancún to Tulum.

Taxi

tulum beach and ruins

One of the most convenient, albeit expensive, ways to get from Cancún to Tulum is via taxi. It takes up to 2 hours, straight down the 307 Highway, with beautiful views along the way. And in that Mexican heat, the car’s air conditioning will be a welcome respite. You can easily find taxis either by the airport or Downtown, although the prices vary slightly. If you get a taxi at the airport you can expect to pay upwards of $100, while from Downtown Cancún it’ll be at least $120. So it is the least affordable way of taking the journey, but if you’re short on time, want a hassle-free journey, or you just simply value the convenience of ordering your own taxi, then it’s a good option. Plus, taxis will take you door-to-door, whereas some modes of transport will drop you off at a specified location.

Tour

Akumal Beach tulum

If you’re staying in Cancún but would love to see Tulum, including some of Mexico’s other wonderful sights, then this is a great option for you. With a tour, you can take all the stress of planning and organising off your shoulders, and relax knowing it’s all sorted for you. They’ll typically pick up and drop you off at your hotel, as well as provide lunch, so you can really enjoy your trip care free.

Tours typically include visiting the Tulum Ruins as well as the town and sometimes include trips to pristine beaches nearby, where guests can relax, swim, and snorkel.  For example, Akumal Beach is a popular place to stop off, famous for its diverse and colourful snorkelling and healthy coral. You can spot sea turtles, manta rays, and an array of tropical fish.

When it comes to the ruins, it’s always handy to have an expert guide with you, deepening your knowledge of the fascinating history of the Mayans. You can do half-day tours, full-day tours, or overnight tours, so it’s really up to you.

Bus

The cheapest way to get from Cancún to Tulum is undoubtedly by bus. Mexico’s bus system, ADO, is incredibly convenient, reliable, safe, air-conditioned, and comfortable. And most importantly, it’s very affordable, with buses starting at around $11. Buses from Cancún to Tulum are very regular, too, with at least one bus departing every hour. They depart from both Cancún Airport and downtown Cancún, so super convenient whether you’re staying in Cancún or simply flying there to get to Tulum. There’s also plenty of space underneath for your luggage, so that won’t be a problem.

You can purchase tickets online or at the ADO counters. Buses run to both Tulum town and the Tulum archaeological zone, so be sure to specify which it is you’re going to.

Car

tulum mayan ruins

Hiring a car is always the most flexible option. There are a multitude of car hire firms around Cancún Airport and around the city, so finding the best deal for the car you want is the first step. Getting from Cancún to Tutum by car is easy as pie, taking just under 2 hours down the well-maintained 307 Highway. The daily rate of hiring a car is typically cheaper than a taxi, so it’s a great and affordable option whether you’re just visiting Tulum for the day or if you’re planning on staying there.

Although it’s just a 2-hour drive, the 307 is very well connected to other hotspots in Mexico, so you can always visit places along the way. You could extend your trip and stay in the luscious city of Playa del Carmen, or stop off there for lunch and soak in the laid-back bohemian vibe. There are plenty of underground rivers and caves nearby to explore, too. Of course, the Tulum Ruins are extraordinary, but the benefit of having a car means you can easily visit the nearby (and much less touristy) Coba ruins too. And be sure not to neglect Tulum’s incredible beaches, characterised by thatched roofs and wooden beach bars.

Shuttle

If you’re flying to Cancún just to get to Tulum, hopping on a shuttle is a good option. You can get private shuttles, which is ideal for those in a bigger group. These tend to be upwards of $100 for one way, but this price would be considerably lower when shared amongst a group and it varies depending on how many of you there are. Your driver will drop you off at your accommodation, so it’s convenient, comfortable, and affordable.

Alternatively, you can book a shared shuttle. This is best suited to those travelling alone or on a budget, as prices can be as low as $35 for one way. Prices tend to fluctuate, so be sure to do some research first. However, as everyone in the shuttle will be being dropped off at their accommodation, and you have to wait for all of the passengers to actually get on the shuttle, it can take around 3 hours.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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