Tulum Private Tours

How to get to Tulum?

how to get to tulum

How to get to Tulum?

Tulum, a vibrant and captivating destination, is located in the southeastern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This magnificent coastal town is nestled in the Quintana Roo state, renowned for its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage.

Getting to Tulum is a breeze, ensuring that your journey is as seamless as possible. Whether you’re arriving from near or far, there are various convenient transportation options available.

How to get to Tulum in 2023?

Where Is Tulum and where is Tulum closest airport?

Tulum is a small town on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Caribbean coast in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, about 90 minutes south of Cancun. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Cancun International Airport.

Exciting news is on the horizon, as the Tulum International airport was inaugurated in December 2023 and is expected to welcome its first visitors in 2024. This upcoming international airport, aptly named Felipe Carrillo Puerto Tulum International Airport, will be situated a mere 12 miles south of the enchanting town of Tulum. Get ready to embark on unforgettable journeys, as this future hub promises to enhance accessibility and open up a world of possibilities for all who venture to this remarkable region.

How far from Cancun airport to tulum?

The distance between Cancun International Airport and the magical town of Tulum is 118 km (73 miles). The journey by road typically takes between 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic. Tulum is roughly 80 miles or 1 hour 45 minutes of driving time over Highway 307 from Cancun Airport.

  • Renting a car is the easiest way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. You have a few options: Rent a car at the airport from companies like Hertz, Avis or Europcar. The drive south down Highway 307 is straightforward. Just look for the Tulum exit and head east.
  • Book a shuttle transfer in advance to take you directly from the airport to Tulum. Companies like Canada Transfers and Cancun Transfers offer shuttle services for around $20-$30 USD per person each way.
  • Take a taxi from the airport to Tulum. Fares will be higher, around $100-$150 USD each way. Taxis are not metered in Mexico so agree on a price before getting in.
  • There are also public bus services from Cancun Airport to Tulum center for around $10-$15 USD per person. ADO and Mayab bus lines run services a few times per day but the journey can take 2 to 3 hours with stops. Busses depart from the bus station at Terminal 2 of the airport.


Once you arrive in the Tulum town center, most hotels and accommodations will be within a 15 minute drive. The famous Tulum ruins and beach area are just a few miles south. With stunning beaches, mystical ruins and adventure activities galore, Tulum is worth the extra effort to get there. The journey from Cancun Airport may be long, but the reward of discovering this magical place will make it worthwhile.

The new Tulum airport, first international flights in 2024!

The newly established Tulum airport, situated just 12 miles from the heart of Tulum, promises to revolutionize access to this popular tourist destination.

Anticipated to launch its inaugural international flights in March 2024, this airport aims to enhance convenience and connectivity for travelers exploring the stunning landscapes and cultural richness of Tulum.

For further insights and detailed information, we invite you to peruse our dedicated article highlighting the features and significance of this transformative addition to Tulum’s transportation infrastructure.

How far is Tulum from Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is about an hour’s drive north of Tulum, so many travelers like to visit both destinations on the same trip. The actual distance between the two towns is around 64 km (39 miles). Driving time can vary from 1 to 1.5 hours depending on traffic.

The drive itself is quite scenic, passing through the jungle along the coast. You’ll want to stop for photos! Once in Playa del Carmen, you’ll find a lively beach town vibe with lots going on. Some highlights include:

  • La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) – This pedestrian walkway lined with shops, restaurants, and nightlife is always buzzing. Pop in and out of stores, grab a bite to eat, or just people watch while sipping a drink.

  • Beaches – Playa del Carmen’s beaches are just as stunning as Tulum’s. Spend a day relaxing in the sun, swimming in the turquoise Caribbean waters or trying out beach activities like stand-up paddle boarding.

  • Cenotes – There are many cenotes (sinkholes) in the area you can visit. Some of the most popular are Cristalino Cenote and Cenote Azul, perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

  • Nightlife – When the sun goes down, Playa del Carmen comes alive. Head to a beach bar along the shore, go bar hopping on La Quinta, or check out a nightclub with live DJs spinning until the early morning.

Even though the towns have distinct personalities, visiting Playa del Carmen in addition to Tulum will give you a well-rounded experience of the magical Riviera Maya. The short drive between them means you can enjoy the best of both places at an unhurried pace. Spending a few days in each spot is ideal, but even just visiting Playa del Carmen for a day trip from Tulum is worth the adventure

cancun letter
playa del carmen letter
Playa del Carmen

How to get to Tulum from Cozumel?

If you’re in Cozumel and eager to explore Tulum, there are a few exciting ways to make your way there! First, you’ll need to hop on a ferry to Playa del Carmen, and luckily, there are two fantastic ferry companies to choose from. Brace yourself for a delightful one-hour cruise that will transport you to the mainland.

Once you arrive in Playa del Carmen, the gateway to Tulum, you’ll have several options at your disposal. For a convenient and comfortable journey, consider taking the ADO bus, conveniently located near the ferry pier. Alternatively, if you prefer a more personalized experience, you can opt for a taxi or a rent a car.

If you’re seeking an extraordinary adventure, why not indulge in a Tulum private tour? This exceptional option allows you to sit back and relax as you’re whisked away to Tulum from Playa del Carmen. With this tour, all the intricate details of your day trip will be meticulously arranged for you, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable experience.

Embark on your Tulum adventure and let the enchanting wonders of this ancient city captivate your senses!​

Best Time to Visit Tulum

The best time to visit Tulum depends on the experience you’re looking for. November and early December are excellent times to visit Tulum with pleasant weather and fewer crowds. High season from December to April offers warm and dry weather, but comes at a high price with bigger crowds and more expensive accommodation.

November to Early December (Shoulder Season)

If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, November and early December are ideal. The weather is still pleasant, with average highs of 82 F, and the beaches are less crowded. You’ll find lower hotel rates and more availability. The downside is that some shops, tours and restaurants may have limited hours or be closed for the season. But for a more peaceful beach getaway, the shoulder season can’t be beat.

December to April (High Season)

Tulum’s dry, warm winter from December through April sees the biggest influx of tourists escaping colder weather. Daily highs average 82 F, with little chance of rain. The vibrant social scene is in full swing, with most bars, restaurants and shops open extended hours. However, hotel rates triple, advance booking is essential, and popular spots will be very crowded, especially around the holidays. If a lively atmosphere is a priority and budget isn’t a concern, high season is ideal. Just be prepared for the crowds.

The summer rainy or “green” season from May to October tends to be very hot and humid, with frequent afternoon downpours. Many hotels and tour operators shut down for the summer. Unless heat and rain don’t faze you, it’s best to avoid Tulum during these months.

In summary, for smaller crowds and lower costs visit in November or early December. For a vibrant social scene and perfect beach weather, December through April can’t be beat, if you don’t mind paying more and dealing with bigger crowds. Whenever you go, Tulum’s natural beauty and bohemian vibe are sure to enchant you.

Once you're arrived in magical Tulum...

Once you’ve arrived in magical Tulum, you’ll find most of the town situated along a single main road dotted with colorful shops, cafes, and restaurants. The biggest draws here are the spectacular beaches and well-preserved Mayan ruins. Pay a visit to the Tulum Ruins archeological site to see the ancient walled city perched atop a cliff with postcard-perfect views of the turquoise sea below. Afterward, head to one of the secluded bays like Playa Paraiso or Playa Ruinas to lounge in a hammock under swaying palm trees and soak in the peaceful vibes.

If you’re looking for adventure, you can go snorkeling in an underground river cave called Cenote Dos Ojos, zip line through the jungle canopy, or spot sea turtles while scuba diving off the Mesoamerican Reef. As night falls, catch live music on the beach at places like Mateos or head to the main strip to bar hop between cocktail bars with bohemian flair like Batey Mojito Bar or Gitano.

Whether you come for the nature, culture, nightlife or a bit of everything in between, Tulum’s laid-back charm is sure to cast its spell on you. Paradise found, indeed!

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Meet Mateo: Your Tulum Insider Mateo, a passionate travel blogger, is your go-to source for all things Tulum. He uncovers the town's hidden gems and shares invaluable travel tips to make your Tulum experience extraordinary. Beyond his blog, Mateo collaborates with local experts to bring Tulum's culture and history to life. His passion for sustainable travel is evident, as he champions responsible tourism practices that protect the environment and support the local community. With Mateo as your guide, you'll unlock the secrets of Tulum and embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary and leaves you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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