how to get to tulum mexico

Where is Tulum: The Ultimate Guide

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Where is Tulum located? If you want to visit the tropical paradise of Tulum but not sure where it is or how to get there, I’ve traveled to Tulum multiple times and actually got married there so I have answers to your questions.

This ultimate how to get to Tulum Mexico & my Tulum travel guide will tell you everything you need to know about traveling to Tulum with tips on the best ways to get there, places to stay, things to do, and more! Wanting to visit Tulum is why you’re here, so where is Tulum in Mexico? Read on to find out more.

best way to get from Cancun airport To Tulum

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Where is Tulum Mexico? where is tulum quintana roo

Tulum is a beautiful beach destination located along the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Cancun. Known for its ancient Mayan ruins overlooking white sand beaches, cenotes, amazing restaurants, and beautiful turquoise waters, Tulum has grown into a trendy hotspot with boutique hotels, hip restaurants, beach clubs, and a laidback bohemian vibe.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

Where is Tulum Located on a Map? 

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

As you can see, Tulum occupies a coveted spot right along a beautiful white sand beach area on the shoreline of the Caribbean Sea.

It sits about 80 miles (130 km) directly south of Cancun’s main hotel and beach zone. Heading north from Tulum, it’s about a 1.5-2 hour drive along the scenic Highway 307 to reach Cancun International Airport.

The famous Mayan ruins after which the town is named are situated on the coast just south of the Tulum town center itself.

To the southwest of Tulum (inland), across the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve tropical forests, you’ll find the ancient Mayan city of Cobá near extensive lake systems.

So now that you know where Tulum Mexico is, the next thought is how do you get there? Read below to find out all the details.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

How To Get To Tulum Mexico

best options for getting from Cancun Airport to Tulum:

I recommend you book a private Cancun to Tulum private shuttle. It’s the option I always use and it’s the best way to get to Tulum especially if you are flying in at night.

  • Private Transfer: Cancun to tulum shuttle – More luxury and convenience. Pre-booked sedans or vans will pick you up at baggage claim in your own private air-conditioned vehicle. See Rates here
  • Cancun to Tulum Rental Car – Convenient way to explore more freely. Rates start around $30 USD per day. Roads are good quality.
  • Taxi – Readily available but generally more expensive than other options without pre-booking. Expect to pay $80+ USD each way.
  • Bus – Inexpensive and reliable option. ADO buses run frequently between the Cancun Airport and Tulum with tickets around $15 USD each way.

RELATED: Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Places and Hotels

Airports closest to Tulum Mexico: airport by Tulum Mexico

The closest airport to tulum Mexico Cancun International Aiport (CUN). Tulum does not have its own commercial airport currently. 

Where do you fly into for Tulum

To get to Tulum nearest airport, you will want to fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN), receiving direct flights from across North America and Europe.

where is tulum mexico

how far is tulum from cancun

From there, it’s just a short 1.5-2 hour trip down to Tulum.

Cancun to Tulum Distance

The distance from Cancun to Tulum is approximately 80 miles or 130 kilometers if driving directly along the Caribbean coastline.

RELATED: Best Places To Stay In Tulum

How to fly to tulum: which airlines fly to tulum Mexico

Some of the major airlines operating frequent flights into Cancun Airport from the United States, Canada, and other international cities include:

Check flights on Google Flights ( Learn a hack to how to get Google flight price alerts)

  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Air Canada
  • Southwest Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Frontier
  • Volaris
  • VivaAerobús
  • Interjet
how to get to tulum mexico

How to travel to tulum Mexico: how to get to tulum mexico from usa

Here are the best options for getting to Tulum Mexico from the USA:

Fly into Cancun International Airport The vast majority of travelers from the United States to Tulum will fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN). It offers the most nonstop flights from major US airports on popular domestic carriers like American, United, Delta and budget airlines like JetBlue.

Take Ground Transportation to Tulum Cancun Airport provides easy access to ground transportation options for the 80 mile (130 km) trip south along the Riviera Maya coastline to Tulum. Door-to-door shuttle buses, private transfers, taxis, rental cars and public bus routes will get you there in about 1.5-2 hours.

I recommend you book a private Cancun to Tulum private shuttle. It’s the option I always use and it’s the best way to get to Tulum especially if you are flying in at night.

Coco’s Tip:

Visiting Tulum? See my Comprehensive Tulum Travel Guide! Everything you need to know about visiting this dreamy destination.

Learn More

where is tulum

RELATED: Best Area To Stay in Tulum

how to get to tulum mexico from nyc

Getting to Tulum, Mexico from New York City (NYC) is very convenient with multiple daily nonstop flight options and seamless ground transportation connections.

Here is an overview of the best ways to get to Tulum from NYC:

Fly Nonstop to Cancun Take a direct flight from one of New York’s major airports (JFK, EWR or LGA) to Cancun International Airport (CUN) with a flight time averaging around 4 hours.

Popular airlines operating frequent NYC to Cancun nonstop routes include:

  • Delta
  • United
  • American Airlines
  • JetBlue

Travel from Cancun Airport to Tulum Upon arrival at Cancun Airport, ground transport options like shuttle buses, private transfers, taxis, rental cars or public buses will get you to Tulum in about 2 hours total.

how to get to tulum from cozumel

Take Ferry to Playa del Carmen

From Cozumel, take a passenger ferry across to Playa del Carmen on the mainland Riviera Maya coast.

There are several ferry operators to choose from like Mexico Waterjets, Ultramar, and Winjet. Ferries depart frequently and journey takes about 45 minutes.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

Travel from Playa del Carmen to Tulum


Once in Playa del Carmen, you have ground transport options like ADO bus, taxi, Playa Del Carmen to Tulum private transfer or rental car to complete the last leg down to Tulum – about 45 miles (75 km) south. I recommend you book a Playa Del Carmen Transfer to Tulum

ADO bus is the most economical option at around $3-4 USD each way. Total bus ride takes roughly 1 hour from Playa station stop to Tulum.

A private taxi or pre-arranged transfer will be faster at about 35 minutes travel time but more expensive at $60+ each way.

Key Tips for Cozumel to Tulum

  • Purchase ferry tickets in advance online when possible
  • Bus and taxi services run frequently Playa del Carmen to Tulum
  • Pack motion sickness remedies – ferry crossing can get choppy
  • Allow 3-4 hours total transfer time each way
  • Stay overnight in Playa del Carmen to break up travel

Coco’s Tip:

Visiting Tulum? See my Comprehensive Tulum Travel Guide! Everything you need to know about visiting this dreamy destination.

Learn More

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

How To Get To Tulum From Cancun Airport

Let’s go into more detail on the best and easiest ways how to get to Tulum mexico from Cancun for your vacation.

Shuttle or Private Transfer from airport 

For a seamless and stress-free ride, consider booking airport shuttle transportation or a private transfer service to take you directly from Cancun Airport to your Tulum hotel.

While a bit pricier than public bus or collective van options, the convenience of having pre-arranged private transport waiting for you when you get off the plane can’t be beat – especially after a long international flight.

Rates typically range from $100-150 USD each way for private sedans fitting up to 3 or 4 passengers. For larger groups and families, there are also private vans and mini-buses available.

Be sure to book at least several days in advance to secure your spot and get the best price. Most will include 24/7 customer support too in case your flight is delayed.

Private Transfer Tips

  • Pre-book online for lower rates
  • Allows door-to-door service directly to your Tulum hotel
  • Ideal for convenience, especially with lots of luggage
  • Share with friends to save money if traveling in a group
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-is-tulum/

Rental Car Cancun & Rental Car In Tulum

Renting a car is another convenient option that gives you maximum flexibility to explore Tulum and the surrounding areas at your own pace without having to rely on public transportation.

Rates for compact economy vehicles typically start around $30-40 USD per day. Be sure to verify what is and isn’t included so you aren’t surprised by any hidden fees

 Generally, comprehensive liability insurance is a requirement. You will need to opt-in and pay extra for collision/damage waiver insurance. Discover cars includes liability insurance so you’re covered. but you can opt to buy enhanced coverage. 

I recommend you reserve a rental car in advance through Discover Cars.

The drive from Cancun Airport down to Tulum takes about 1.5-2 hours depending on traffic conditions. While the main highway is well-maintained, be wary when going through smaller towns, as roads can get narrow and bumpy.

Use Google Maps and make sure you have a working phone service with data/GPS to navigate, as signage is not always clear, especially for smaller hotels tucked away.

There are two gas stations right outside the Cancun Airport area. I recommend filling up before making the full drive down to Tulum. Gas prices are comparable to US prices.

Tulum Rental Car Tips

  • Reserve online in advance for best rates and availability
  • Pay for full insurance coverage
  • Fill up on gas before leaving Cancun area
  • Use phone GPS to navigate to your hotel
  • Provides maximum flexibility for exploring on your own timeline
how to get to tulum mexico

Driving From Cancun To Tulum

By car, expect a travel time of around 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic conditions. Driving from Cancun to Tulum is very straightforward:

  • Head south out of Cancun’s Hotel Zone down Kukulcan Boulevard (Hwy 307)
  • Turn onto Hwy 307 at Cancun Centro, staying straight as road turns into Carretera Federal 307
  • Continue along Route 307 down the Riviera Maya coastline, passing through Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen
  • Arrive at Tulum’s north entrance along Highway 307

Tolls along the Cancun to Tulum highway currently range from 63 pesos to 97 pesos ($3-$5 USD) at two booth points depending if paying cash or card. Always have some pesos on hand for tolls.

While distances between Cancun and Tulum may not seem very far, travel times can take longer than anticipated due to lower speed limits of no more than 80 km/hour (50mph) and delays going through the various small towns and developments scattered along this coastal stretch.

The scenery however is gorgeous with vibrant jungle brush and Caribbean vistas surrounding Highway 307 most of the drive. Just be sure to gas up outside Cancun before heading out since stations can be more limited further south along the route.

how to get to tulum mexico

Tulum ADO Bus

For budget-friendly public transportation from the Cancun Airport directly to Tulum, ADO bus service is your best bet.

ADO runs modern, comfortable buses with plenty of legroom, A/C, bathrooms and WiFi service. Luggage can be stored conveniently underneath the bus.

Buses depart from right outside the Cancun Airport exit gates from early morning through late evening, making schedules frequent and flexible enough for most flight arrivals.

Current rates are around $18 USD one-way and $36 USD roundtrip. Tickets can be purchased easily on-site at the bus departure area just look for the ADO ticket booth.

The total trip takes about 2 hours depending on the number of stops. Try to avoid buses that stop in Playa Del Carmen as this will add another 45 minutes to your ride.

Once you arrive at the ADO Tulum bus terminal station in the downtown “Centro” area, taxis are available right outside, making it easy to reach hotels scattered around town. Expect to pay $3-10 USD for a taxi depending on proximity.

Alternatively, some hotels may offer shuttle pick-up service from the bus station for free or a small fee. Be sure to inquire directly and arrange this service ahead of time.

Tulum Bus Tips

  • Purchase tickets onsite at Cancun Airport ADO ticket booth
  • Stow luggage conveniently under bus
  • Avoid routes stopping in Playa Del Carmen to save time
  • Arrange taxi or hotel pickup from Tulum Centro bus station

Taxi in Tulum

Taxis are readily available for hire just outside the airport exit gates whenever you arrive. However, fares are NOT regulated so be sure to always agree upon a fixed rate BEFORE getting into any taxi.

Depending on the type of vehicle (sedan or van), number of passengers, and your negotiation skills, expect to pay between $80-150+ USD each way.

While often the quickest means of airport transfer, using standard street taxis can also end up being pricier than pre-arranged shuttle or private car services.

I strongly advise avoiding any taxi drivers randomly soliciting you inside the airport or before you clear customs. Only work with regulated taxi companies that provide receipts and have vehicles clearly labeled with license information.

Be prepared to pay your fare in cash (either USD or pesos). Have exact change ready since drivers rarely carry or provide change.

As with all taxis, traveling in groups can help lower costs as the rates are per vehicle, not per passenger.

Tulum Taxi Tips

  • Agree upon set rate BEFORE getting in taxi
  • Avoid non-regulated drivers soliciting inside airport
  • Pay in cash (prefer exact change)

tulum to cancun airport

Transport Options for getting from Tulum to Cancun Aiport

Some top options for getting to Cancun International Airport from Tulum:

  • Private Transfer: Worth the extra cost for convenience of direct CUN Airport drop-off. Pre-book 24 hrs in advance. Rates around $100 USD.
  • Shuttle Bus: ADO bus service from Tulum to CUN Airport with schedules aligning with most departure flights. Inexpensive fares around $15-18 USD each way.
  • Taxi: Easily flagged down but agree on pricing upfront first before departing Tulum. Expect to pay $80+ USD.
  • Rental Car: Provides maximum flexibility for entire vacation but returning takes more time and planning. Remember to refuel before drop-off.

I’d recommend 3+ hours for travel, parking and check-in buffer at CUN Airport prior to flights. Pre-book transfers for reliability. Avoid non-regulated taxis randomly soliciting rides.

mexico Travel guide & articles

Here are my top travel resources and helpful travel articles & tips to help you get started with traveling.

Mexico Travel Resources

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