Getting to Tulum, Mexico

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Surrounded by exceptional vegetation and natural beauty, Tulum is one of the new Mexican destinations not to miss. Getting there is made simple by its proximity to the already popular Cancun International Airport. Buses from Cancun start at $15, shared rides at $21, and private options at $80. From Playa del Carmen there are cheaper options ranging from $1.75 to $4. Once there, local buses cost $0.80 and renting a bike to move with freedom is $6 per day.

Tulum Key Information

There are 2 main areas where travelers stay in Tulum: Pueblo or the town, where you can actually enjoy more of the local culture and where you'll find more affordable hotels and restaurants.it's about 10min away from the beach. The 2nd area is the private and public beach divided into 3 areas: the North (very quiet), the Middle (more nightlife, clubs and restaurants), and the South (this is the more family friendly area). Both are very good options depending on the travelers type of vacation.

The tricky part

Temple of the God the Winds

Renting a car is always the most convenient option but keep in mind that it might be difficult to find free parking spaces in the beach or in town during the high season and, while you always have the option to take a taxi, they can often be overpriced, especially during the nighttime.

In general Tulum is not credit card friendly as most places are cash only. ATMs are available but keep in mind that even though they expend USD and EUR it is best to have Mexican pesos as you will get better purchase prices. Also, it is recommended to exchange Mexican pesos before getting there to avoid any problems as ATMs are not the most reliable and there are many scams happening with credit card cloning.

Tulum is considered one of the safest places in Mexico. Still, travelers are recommended not to walk alone in beaches at night or to wander around the streets, also to stay in well-lit areas and never accepting a cab that is not clearly identified as one since robberies do happen. Also, it is recommended to exchange money to the local currency beforehand specially due to scammers trying to deceive tourists when making purchases, paying at local restaurants, or even when paying for gas.

Getting to Tulum

Best known for its white-sand beaches and Mayan ruins, its cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, Tulum is a great gateway for tourist looking for one of the world's greatest beach destinations.

Arriving at Tulum means you'll be landing at Cancun International Airport, approximately a 81 miles 131 km ride. Depending on your choice of transportation it may take between 1:30hrs and 2hrs to get there.

Those options include:

  • Bus service from Cancun International Airport starting at $15 with a local company ADO, buses usually run early in the morning at 7am and 3pm in the afternoon.

  • Shared transfers also from Cancun International Airport to Tulum starting at $21 with Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels and private services door to door services start at $80 with the same companies Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels.

  • If you are departing from Playa del Carmen you may also find ADO buses for $4 that run hourly from the Bus station that is at the southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar. This bus makes 2 stops along the way at Xcaret and Xel-ha. Another option is the Mayab bus for $1.75 that makes more stops but it is a cheaper option if you are on a budget. Both options have a/c.

  • Car rental: due to the short distances and convenience, this is a popular option for travelers. You can book in advance and pick up at the airport with the option to drop off in Tulum. Price starts at $19.

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Map from Cancun International Airport to Tulum

The Frugal Option

The best option is flying to Cancun International Airport then take ADO Bus, they pick up from different locations outside each terminal. You can buy in advance from ADO Bus starting at $15. They have no luggage restrictions and drop offs are at the main bus terminal in Tulum.

A shared shuttle is considered a good option to get to Tulum, it’s economical to get directly to your hotel. This form of transportation is available 24hs from Cancun airport. The shared rides start at $21 per person with Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels

Rides to Tulum starting at $69
ADO Bus

Private Transfer Options

Private services are also available 24hours, mostly recommended for groups of people traveling together. Rides start at $79 on a private sedan for 4 passengers with the company Easy Transfers and Tours.

Private Transfers starting at $69

The Mozio Recommendation

The most practical transportation option to get to Tulum is a shared ride. It’s the most economical and fastest way to get directly to your hotel and it’s available 24 hours from the airport.

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Moving AROUND Tulum

Cariben Beaches in Tulum

If you are looking for a great "local experience", then buses are the best choice, they are like a shared van with fixed stops, the cost is around $0.80. If you are not in a hurry and want to save money, it’s the way to go. Keep in mind that it's the main transport for locals so it can be very crowded at times.

Taxis are also a good option to explore Tulum and the nearby area, they are always available and depending on the area the prices range from $2 up to $12.

The Frugal Option

While in Tulum, many hotels offer bikes with your stay. You can also find bike shops everywhere in town. Renting a bike is also possible from Ola Bike Tulum starting at $6 per day. There is a nice sidewalk connecting the town and the beach to get your way around.

Buses are also a great choice, they are like a shared van with fixed stops, the cost is around $0.80. If you are not in a hurry and want to save money, it’s the way to go.

Rental Bikes in Tulum

Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In Tulum?

  • Uber

    Uber

    Not Available
  • Lyft

    Lyft

    Not Available
  • Cabify

    Cabify

    Not Available
  • Bolt

    Bolt

    Not Available
  • Grab

    Grab

    Not Available
  • FreeNow

    FreeNow

    Not Available
  • GoJek

    GoJek

    Not Available
  • Didi

    Didi

    Not Available

Car Rental Options

There’s a large rental car center in Cancun including worldwide brand and local agencies: Alamo, Avis Renta de Autos, Hertz, Renta de Autos en Tulum | America Car Rental:

Pick up point: Cancun International Airport, prices start at $19 per day and the distance is 117 kilometers to Tulum. Pick up point: Playa del Carmen ADO Terminal, prices also start at $19 per day and the distance is 64 kilometers to Tulum. The basic rate includes total insurance.

Rental requirements are passport or ID card, driving license, and a valid credit card. There is no distance limit to your rental usage.

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Day Trips Around Tulum

Xel-Há Park

Considered one of the most beautiful natural water parks in the world, it is a great day trip destination for families. Located 18 kilometers from Tulum, you can take the ADO bus at the Terminal, the ride takes about 20 minutes and the cost is $4. Taxi cost is around $15 and car rental starts at $19.

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Snorkelers at Xel-Há Park

Playa del Carmen

Best known for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, Playa del Carmen is considered to be the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is located 65 kilometers from Tulum, the ADO bus ticket costs $4 and only in 1 hour you can be at the beach enjoying a sunny day. Taxi cost is $30 and car rental starts at $19.

From Playa del Carmen you can also take a ferry to the popular island of Cozumel. There’s only one ferry company operating the service, Ultramar. The ferry takes off every hour starting at 7am to 11pm, the cost is $10 per passenger.

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Playa del Carmen

Coba Ruins/Pyramids

Surrounded by two large lagoons, it is considered to be one of the most important ruins sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is located 44 kilometers from Tulum, the ADO bus ticket costs around $6 and the ride takes about 1 hour. Taxi cost is around $20 and ride time is about 40min. Car rental starts at $19.

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Coba Ruins/Pyramids

Chichen Itza

Considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a must destination. It is located 126 kilometers from Tulum, taking the ADO bus the ride takes about 2:30 hours and the ticket cost starts at $12. Taxi cost is around $15 and car rental starts at $19.

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Temple of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza