cancun to tulum

The Ultimate Guide: How to Get From Cancun to Tulum

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The best way to get from Cancun to Tulum is by booking a private shuttle service from Cancun to Tulum. A private shuttle takes just 90 minutes, provides door-to-door service in a comfortable vehicle with a bilingual driver.

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Below you’ll find all the details on every transportation option for getting to Tulum from Cancun Airport, Cancun Hotel Zone, and Downtown Cancun.

how to get from Cancun airport to Tulum

The best way to get from Cancun to Tulum is by booking a private shuttle service from Cancun to Tulum. A private shuttle takes just 90 minutes, provides door-to-door service in a comfortable vehicle with a bilingual driver.

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The Ultimate Guide: How to Get From Cancun to Tulum in 2024

how far is tulum from Cancun airport?

Cancun Tulum distance is approximately 80 miles or 129 kilometers depending on exactly where you start in Cancun.

Here are the driving distances and times from the main Cancun districts:

  • distance from Cancun Airport to Tulum: 73 miles or 118 km. Drive time is around 1.5 hours in normal traffic conditions. This is the most common journey that travelers make.
  • From Downtown Cancun to Tulum distance: Approximately 81 miles or 131 km. With traffic lights and possible congestion in Cancun’s urban core, expect this drive to take 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • From hotels along Cancun’s Hotel Zone to Tulum distance: Roughly 85 miles or 137 kilometers. Drivers should plan on a 2 hour drive from the northern end of Cancun’s coastal hotel district to reach Tulum hotels.

As you can see, where precisely your trip begins in the stretched-out city of Cancun impacts overall distance, but you can expect a 1.5 to 2-hour drive under normal circumstances.

The Cancun-Tulum highway (Mexico 307) is modern and well-maintained, making the popular route an easy drive. Just be alert for speed bumps and occasional police traffic checkpoints along the way.

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Overview: travel Cancun To Tulum Transportation Options

Here is a quick overview of the main methods for getting from how to get from Cancun to Tulum with average prices, duration, and key details:

MethodTimeOne-Way CostKey Details
Private Shuttle90 minutes$100 per vehicleDoor-to-door service; up to 8 passengers
ADO Bus2 hours$15 per personLeaves from airport & downtown Cancun
Rental Car90 minutes$25+ per dayFlexible but requires driving
Collectivo4+ hours$5 per personCheap but very inconvenient

When choosing your transportation method, factor in your budget, group size, comfort preferences, flexibility needs, and more. Below you’ll find extensive details on each option.

How to get to Tulum from Cancun airport: Private Shuttle From Cancun To Tulum

Booking a private shuttle service is hands-down the best way to get from Cancun to Tulum. It’s the option I always go with. I’ve been to Tulum 3 times and we also got married in Tulum in 2019.

A private shuttle takes just 90 minutes and provides door-to-door service in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle with a professional bilingual driver.

For a relatively small premium over public transportation options, you save a huge amount of hassle and up to 3 hours vs. the cheap collectivo vans.

For solo travelers, couples or families wishing to save money, the total cost can be very economical when splitting the fare versus individual public transportation tickets.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/cancun-to-tulum/

The Best Private Tulum To Cancun and Cancun To Tulum private transfer

I highly recommend using Cancun Airport Transportation, which offers private shuttles, SUVs and luxury vehicles. With thousands of 5-star reviews. it’s a seamless and stress-free way to start your vacation.

Key Details

  • Cost of Cancun to tulum transfer: Starts around $100 one-way or $175 round-trip for a private sedan fitting up to 8 passengers. You save $11 by booking round-trip in advance. Splurge on luxury SUV and limo options if desired.
  • Time: 90 minutes direct to any Tulum hotel.
  • Service: Door to door with baggage assistance; bilingual driver.

For solo Tulum travelers on a budget, the ADO bus or collectivo vans make more financial sense. But for any group larger than 2 or for those simply wanting maximum comfort and ease, a private shuttle like Cancun Airport Transportation is absolutely worthwhile.

ADO Bus From Cancun To Tulum

Mexico’s ADO bus company offers a cheap public transportation option from Cancun to Tulum

For budget-conscious travelers, the convenient ADO bus from Cancun Airport or Downtown Cancun to Tulum is the top public transportation choice.

ADO buses are air conditioned and modern, with plenty of legroom, reclining chairs and even WiFi in many. Luggage is stored safely underneath the bus.

While the ADO bus lacks the privacy, flexibility and door to door service of a private shuttle, the approximately $15 price tag makes it downright cheap for getting from Cancun to Tulum.

Keep reading for key details on taking the ADO bus from both Cancun Airport and Downtown Cancun to Tulum:

ADO Bus From Cancun To Tulum

  • Cost: Around $15 per person each way
  • Time: Approximately 2 hours
  • Frequency: 10 departures per day from Cancun Airport
  • Tickets: Buy at airport kiosks or reserve advance tickets here to skip ticket lines.

Be aware the Cancun Airport to Tulum ADO bus schedule has limited departure times. If none fit your flight arrival, take the frequent bus to Playa del Carmen and transfer to a Tulum-bound bus there.

ADO Bus From Downtown Cancun To Tulum

golden ado bus leaving cancun centro terminal

  • Cost: Approximately $8 per person each way
  • Time: Around 2.5 hours
  • Frequency: Nearly hourly departures all day from the main Cancun ADO bus station.
  • Tickets: Buy at station ticket counter upon arrival. OR online at ADO bus website

With more flexibility on departure times, frequent and cheaper buses to Tulum, traveling via Downtown Cancun instead of direct from the airport often makes more logistical sense.

Cancun To Tulum Mexico ADO Bus Tips

ADO buses like this one are clean, modern and generally very safe, though solo female travelers should take basic precautions as on public transport anywhere.

  • Arrive at stations at least 15 minutes early to find your bus bay and load luggage.
  • Travelers report the $2 “VIP” ticket upgrade is worthwhile for extra legroom seats.
  • While generally safe, take normal solo traveler precautions and try not to sleep if traveling alone at night. Store valuables out of sight.
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 Cancun To Tulum Driving

Renting a car from Cancun Airport provides freedom to explore Tulum and the surrounding region.

For travelers hoping to explore more areas on day trips or who value flexibility, renting a car for the 1.5 hour drive from Cancun Airport to Tulum is a great option.

Having your own wheels makes getting around Tulum itself far easier, as the single narrow road to the beaches and major attractions often gets clogged with traffic.

With a rental car you can come and go as you please to Tulum’s beaches, boutique hotels, shops, cenotes and more.

Most major car rental agencies have airport locations offering everything from economy cars to SUVs. Be sure to understand insurance requirements and watch for hidden fees.

Key Tips For Renting A Car in Cancun To Tulum:

  • Rent from Cancun Airport for the widest selection and best rates. Downtown Cancun agencies are also plentiful.
  • Mandatory insurance from rental agencies makes the real daily cost $25+ for an economy car.
  • Use Discover Car Hire to compare Cancun rental rates across companies.
  • Avoid driving at night; watch for topes (speed bumps) and police checkpoints.

With a compact rental car fitting up to four passengers, the drive from Cancun Airport to Tulum hotels takes approximately 90 minutes via smooth, well-maintained Highway 307. Make sure to stop for photos overlooking the incredible Caribbean Sea!

Navigation and cancun to tulum Driving Tips 

  • Download an offline map app like Maps.Me to ensure you have GPS and navigation without mobile data or WiFi. Cell signals can be spotty in remote areas.
  • Get a Mexico SIM card or enable international roaming before arrival so you can use Google Maps. Don’t count on finding public WiFi.
  • The Cancun to Tulum highway (Mexico 307) is very well marked with plentiful signs, so fairly easy for driving. But still prepare contingencies in case you get turned around.
  • Do I need car insurance in Mexico? Yes you do. I recommend you book a car with Discover Cars as they have affordable car insurance that covers you 100%. 

Consider a larger group? Many agencies offer 5-seat sedan, 7-passenger van and SUV options fitting up to 8 at reasonable incremental cost.

Public Vans From Cancun To Tulum

While very cheap, public collectivo vans from Cancun to Tulum are extremely inconvenient.

Looking to save every peso possible getting to Tulum? Collectivo vans offer public transportation from Cancun to Tulum for around $5 per person.

However, what you save in cash you more than pay in wasted vacation time. There is no direct service from Cancun to Tulum; you’ll need to switch collectivos in Playa del Carmen. End to end the journey takes 4+ hours, making frequent stops along the Riviera Maya to drop off locals.

With no luggage room, no air conditioning, and sometimes no spare seats whatsoever during busy seasons, collectivos should only be used as an absolute last budget resort. Spend the couple extra bucks for the simple 2 hour ADO bus instead!

Key Tips For Riding Collectivos From Cancun To Tulum:

  • Starts at Downtown Cancun collectivo terminal, located across from central ADO bus station.
  • Switch to a second collectivo van headed to Tulum in Playa del Carmen, midway along the route.
  • Ensure your luggage fits before boarding and keep valuables tucked away and out of sight during the trip.
  • Use small bills to pay fare (no change provided) upon boarding.

Unless you literally only have $10 to your name, avoid the collectivo option and take the comfortable, direct ADO bus instead. Or for groups consider booking a private Cancun Airport shuttle where the per-person cost is likely cheaper than even collectivos!

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/cancun-to-tulum/

Transportation From Cancun Hotel Zone To Tulum

Already staying in Cancun’s famed Hotel Zone area? You’ll need to connect through the airport or downtown to catch ground transportation to Tulum.

The zone of mega hotels, resorts, restaurants and nightlife along the sandy Cancun Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera) lacks direct public ground transportation options to Tulum.

However, travelers have a couple excellent choices to get from their Cancun beach hotel to stunning Tulum:

Cancun to tulum shuttle From Cancun Hotel Zone

A private shuttle makes the approximately 2 hour drive from any Cancun hotel along the coastal hotel zone to your selected Tulum hotel simple and direct. Leave straight from your resort’s lobby.

We again suggest using Cancun Airport Transportation. Tell them your Cancun hotel address when booking and they’ll pick you up right on time. Rates start around $100 one-way.

Rent A Car At Your Hotel Or Airport

Alternatively, you could rent a car from Cancun International Airport or check if your Cancun hotel offers on-site car rentals. The drive yourself takes roughly 2 hours from hotels along Boulevard Kukulcan to reach Tulum.

While pricier than public transport, having your own rental car allows stopping along the stunning Turquoise Coast and avoids potential taxi scams in Tulum using ride shares instead. Shop rates and book rentals via Discover Car – Car Rental here.

Connect Through Airport Or Downtown For Public Transport

To take the cheaper ADO bus, collectivos or shared shuttles, first take a taxi from your hotel to either the Cancun Airport terminals or Downtown Cancun bus stations. Then connect to your chosen onward ground transport to Tulum from there.

Transportation Options Within Tulum

Once in Tulum, renting a bike or scooter offers easy, cheap transportation along Tulum’s beaches and access roads.

Tulum itself lacks any form of public transportation system. You’ll be getting around primarily via taxi, private transfer, rental car, bike or scooter. Here are some key tips:

  • Taxis in Tulum don’t use meters; agree on a rate per ride before getting in and have them write down the price.
  • Ask your hotel if they offer complimentary bikes or scooters for guests. If not…
  • Rent bikes affordably in Tulum Pueblo starting around $8 USD daily. Lots of shops along Avenida Tulum rent cruisers and even rent child bike seats.
  • For more power and to venture farther out to cenotes, ruins and beaches, rent a scooter starting around $25 per day or $80 per week.
  • Avoid long walks along the road; there are limited sidewalks and the sun and humidity are intense.

Where To Stay In Tulum

Tulum offers diverse hotel and lodging options between Tulum Town, Aldea Zama and the beaches.

Tulum offers a wide variety of areas to stay to fit any budget or style:

Downtown Tulum

Also called Tulum Pueblo or Tulum Town, staying in downtown Tulum puts you next to plenty of taco joints, shops and cafes in an authentic small Mexican town.

  • Hostels and budget hotels are plentiful.
  • Lively location better suits single travelers, groups and night owls.
  • Reach Tulum Beach via taxi, rental car or long walk.

Aldea Zama

This residential area between the beaches and Tulum Town offers modern condos and mid-range lodging options.

  • Central location makes exploring Tulum area without a car feasible.
  • Newer construction with better amenities than many beachside eco-lodges.

Tulum Beach Area

Tulum Beach offers eco-chic hotel and resort options directly on the area’s famous white sand beaches. This is the best area to stay in Tulum and where I recommend you stay especially if it’s your first time in Tulum. 

The approximately 2 mile strip of lodging options with beach access drives Tulum’s Instagram fame. Offerings run the gamut:

  • Thatch-roofed cabañas and tent lodges for backpacker budgets
  • Boutique hotels and holistic retreats for mid-range travelers
  • Luxury resorts and spas for those wishing to spoil themselves

Where you wish to stay depends largely on your budget and vacation style – Tulum has options across the spectrum. For more help deciding,

Cancun To Tulum Transportation Comparison Chart

For quick at-a-glance summaries of your options to travel from Cancun to Tulum, refer to this comparison chart:

MethodTimeOne-Way CostKey Details
Private Shuttle90 minutes$100 per vehicleDoor-to-door service; up to 8 passengers
ADO Bus2 hours$15 per personLeaves from airport & downtown Cancun
Rental Car90 minutes$25+ per dayFlexible but requires driving
Collectivo4+ hours$5 per personCheap but very inconvenient

Expert Tips For Transportation From Cancun To Tulum

Keep these pro tips in mind when deciding how best to reach Tulum:

  • For groups larger than 2 or for those wanting maximum comfort, a private shuttle often costs less per person than public transport when splitting the fare.
  • When taking the ADO bus, pay the couple extra dollars for a reserved “VIP” seat with extra legroom if desired.
  • If renting a car, be sure your booking includes mandatory insurance plus basic liability protection in case of any incidents.
  • Trying to save every penny by taking the collectivo public vans will make for an extremely long and uncomfortable trip – spend a few dollars more for quicker and more direct ADO bus or shared shuttle services instead.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling From Cancun To Tulum

How much is cab from Cancun to Tulum?

Expect to pay $85 to $125 USD for a one way taxi from Cancun to Tulum. Ride share taxis at Tulum Beach are also notorious for severely overcharging tourists without agreed upon set rates, so arrange pricing ahead of time or – better yet – don’t use taxis to get to Tulum in the first place.

What’s the cheapest transportation option?

Technically public collectivo vans are the cheapest at around $5 USD per person. However, the journey will take over 4 hours with various stops, whereas the direct ADO bus starts from $15 USD and takes just 2 hours.

Is there Uber or Lyft from Cancun to Tulum?

No rideshare programs officially operate anywhere near Tulum. Uber is available within Cancun proper but cannot pick up from the airport curb and few drivers will journey as far south as Tulum.

Can I take a bus from Cancun to Tulum at night?

Yes, ADO buses safely run throughout the night along the well-traveled route from Cancun Airport and downtown bus stations to Tulum. Last buses generally depart around midnight. Solo female travelers may still wish to exercise caution.

Is the ADO bus safe for solo female travelers?

Generally yes. The ADO bus is highly secure and utilized by locals and tourists of all backgrounds. However, solo women travelers should still exercise normal safety precautions when riding overnight buses in any country around the world. Try to sit closer to the driver, store valuables securely out of sight, avoid riding while sleeping, and upon arrival have taxi or transportation already arranged to your destination rather than lingering at bus stations.

How much does it cost to take a bus from Cancun to Tulum?

Bus tickets start around $15 USD per person each way when booking direct ADO bus services from either Cancun Airport or Downtown Cancun to Tulum. Taking non-direct routes with transfers can cost a couple dollars less.

What’s the fastest way to get to Tulum from Cancun?

Without question, booking a private shuttle service like Cancun Airport Transportation is the fastest transportation option. The drive takes approximately 90 minutes direct to your Tulum hotel, with no stops at additional hotels or terminals to slow things down like when using shared transportation.

Is there a Cancun Airport to Tulum shuttle?

There are no shared shuttles from Cancun Airport. However, private transportation providers like Cancun Airport Transportation will take you directly from Cancun Airport to anywhere in Tulum in around 90 minutes. Shared shuttle services only run from major tourist destinations like hotels in Cancun Hotel Zone to Tulum, not from the airport.

Should I rent a car to drive to Tulum?

Renting car in Cancun makes the most sense for those wishing to explore Tulum’s less accessible beaches, inland cenotes, and nearby landmarks like Coba’s ancient pyramids without relying on group tours. Having your rental car allows you to make spontaneous stops. However, driving any unfamiliar foreign roads brings responsibility; protect yourself with robust insurance when booking vehicles.

For traveler’s content simply relaxing on Tulum Beach itself, taxis or hotel transport will suffice without the cost of a rental car you won’t fully utilize. Traffic and parking also prove frustrating to less experienced drivers.

I hope this gives you an exhaustive overview on all your available options to journey from Cancun – whether Cancun Airport, Downtown Cancun or popular Cancun Hotel Zone districts – to spectacular Tulum!

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