How to get from Cancun to Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world with over 20 million inhabitants. Don’t let that slightly overwhelming number of people put you off though, the city has a unique charm and it’s definitely worth exploring. It’s an easy place to get lost in time, with its unique contrast of pre-Columbian, colonial, modern and contemporary buildings.
Mexico City is a history hub and a great place to learn about the entire countries culture, traditions and cuisine. The city actually has the highest number of museums in the world! Some very interesting ones to add to your list are; National Anthropology Museum, the Soumaya museum, The National Palace of Fine Arts and the House and Museum of the renowned painters Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. Essentially there’s plenty to keep you occupied!
What transport options are available to Mexico City?
The main two ways to cover the 1620km (1006 miles) from Cancun to Mexico City are a 2-hour 10 minutes flight or a 27.5-hour bus ride. Fares range between 1,000 – 6,720 MXN ($45 – $300).
If you immediately ruled out taking the bus as soon as you saw that it took over a day, then flying from Cancun to Mexico City is your only option.
Flying will save you a lot of time and also from having a bad back! Some of the airlines offer very affordable rates, especially when you book in advance, meaning you may not spend much more than the bus.
If you choose to fly, why not consider including a carbon compensation fee to help reduce your impact on the environment.
|Flight||2 hours 10 minutes||from 1,000 MXN ($45)||Check flights|
|Bus||27.5 hours||from 1,666 MXN ($74)||Check bus tickets|
View itinerary from Cancun to Mexico City
- 2 hours 10 minutes
- Mexico City Airport
- 40 minutes
- Mexico City Centre
- 27.5 hours
- Mexico Bus Terminal
- 30 minutes
- Mexico City Centre
Cancun to Mexico City by Flight
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 700 – 6,720 MXN ($35.20 – $300)
Flying from Cancun to Mexico City is the easiest and most convenient option in this case.
A large number of flights cover this route, especially during peak tourist seasons (December – February, Easter). This can mean that if you plan ahead it’s likely you’ll still get a good rate even during busy periods.
Step 1: Cancun to Mexico City
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cost: 700 – 6,054 MXN ($35 – $270)
Flights to Mexico City depart from Cancun International Airport (CUN), located 30 km from Cancun city centre. The flight departures are very frequent and leave every 20 – 40 minutes from 06:00 to 23:00, with a flight time of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The airlines flying from Cancun to Mexico City are AeroMexico, Interjet, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.
In terms of service AeroMexico has the best standard, but the price is often the highest. Interjet offers mid-range rates, while Viva Aerobus and Volaris are the most affordable options. Their rates can go as low as 700 MXN ($35) for the 2.5 hour flight.
Step 2: Mexico City Airport to the City Centre
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: from 5 MXN ($0.20)
When you arrive in Mexico City, you’ll land in Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX), located on the eastern side of Mexico City.
Fortunately, it’s easily accessible by different means of transport including public transportation. If you prefer to have some more comfort, you can also book a shared minivan or private transfer.
Public transport from Mexico City Airport to the City Centre
The two main forms of public transport available from the airport are the Metrobus and Metro, which both run every day from 05:00 to 00:00.
Metrobus to Mexico City Centre
If you’re heading to the city centre, the easiest and most direct option is to take Metrobus line #4, which you’ll find right outside of Terminals 1 and 2.
The Metrobus rate is starts at 30 MXN ($1.40). After around 40 minutes on the Metrobus, you’ll reach ‘Republica de Argentina’, which is the closest stop to the main square ‘Zocalo’.
Metro to Mexico City Center
If you’re not looking to go to the main square and want to get to other areas within the city, then the best option is the Metro.
Going to the city centre with the Metro is still possible, but it will take around 40 minutes and you’ll have to switch lines at least once. Therefore, we think it’s better to take the Metrobus when heading to the city centre.
If you still want to take the Metro, you can take line #5 from the airport which connects with a number of other lines throughout the city.
A Metro ticket costs just 5 MEX ($0.20), so it’s also a budget friendly option. The station is located right outside Terminal 1 and is called ‘Terminal Aérea’.
Want to know which station is closer to your destination? Apps like Moovit or Google Maps can be very helpful when planning your route.
Apart from showing you suggested routes, Moovit is a dedicated transport app that also allows you to explore bus lines and stations, allowing you to look for alternative routes on your own. It also notifies when bus lines are not operating, or when schedules change. This feature can make it a better tool than Google Maps, as long as you have a local data plan on your phone.
Shared minivan from Mexico City Airport to the City Centre
Shared minivans are an intermediate option between buses and private transfers. They will drop you at your accommodation, but as you share the ride with other travellers the fare is cheaper than a taxi.
They depart every hour and are available 24 hours a day. You can book this service on BookAway with rates starting at 315 MXN ($14.90). It takes about 20 minutes to get to the city centre, but you’ll have to wait for your stop which can add on time if you’re one of the last.
Taxi from Mexico City Airport to the City Centre
The most convenient and hassle-free option is to take a taxi, but it is also the most expensive. You must pre-pay your taxi at one of the counters at the airport. The rate will depend on the distance to your destination but it’s usually above 300 MXN ($14).
If you have internet access, a more affordable option is to use Uber. A ride to the city centre can cost between 150 and 220 MXN ($7-$10). For both options, the time to reach the city centre is around 20 minutes.
Cancun to Mexico City by Bus
Duration: 28 hours
Cost: 1,671 MXN – 1,876 (USD $74.20 – $84)
If for whatever reason you couldn’t/didn’t want to fly and need to take the bus from Cancun to Mexico City, here are the directions to do it.
Thankfully it’s just one direct bus straight from Cancun to Mexico City, so once you’re on you can sit back and relax. We recommend stocking up on water, snacks and a podcast or five, plus wearing comfortable clothes.
The journey of 28 hours will be a pretty long one, but luckily the views will help to keep you distracted from time to time.
Step 1: Cancun to Mexico City
Duration: 27.5 hours
Cost: 1,666 MXN (USD $74)
Buses to Mexico City depart from ADO Terminal Central located in Cancun’s city centre. There are two departures a day at 16:30 and 18:30.
ADO is a popular company throughout Mexico that offers first class buses with AC, reclining seats and a toilet. You can expect the bus to stop a few times so you can eat, restock your supplies and take a little walk around to stretch your legs.
You can book your tickets online on the ADO’s website, or you can buy your ticket directly at the bus terminal. Since departures are limited, it is better to plan ahead.
|ADO||16:30–20:05 (next day)|
18:30–21:40 (next day)
27 hours 10 minutes
|1,666 MXN ($74)||Check bus tickets on ADO website|
Step 2: Mexico City Bus Terminal to the City Centre
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 5 – 210 MXN ($0.20 – $10)
Mexico City has a number of different bus terminals, but the buses coming from Cancun will drop you at ‘Central Mexico Norte’ in the city’s northern area.
Mexico City’s extensive Metro system makes travelling around the large city an easy task for even an inexperienced traveller. Most parts of the city are connected by the Metro, so you can make it your go-to form of transport.
Right outside the bus terminal you’ll find the station ‘Autobuses Norte’, where you can take the yellow line #5 towards Pantitlan to connect with the other metro lines. The Metro to the city centre takes around 20-30 minutes.
The stations situated in the city centre area are called Zocalo, Pino Suarez, Allende, Bellas Artes, Isabel La Catolica and Salto del Agua. We’d recommend checking which one is closest to your accommodation using apps such as Moovit or Google Maps.
If you are staying in other areas of the city like Condesa, Polanco, Coyoacan or Chapultepec, the Metro is also a convenient option.
Taxis are also available 24/7 outside of the bus terminal. They are metered and the rate will depend on the distance to your destination. It usually takes around 25-30 minutes, similar to the Metro, to get to the city centre and will cost around 130 MXN ($6).
If you have internet access, an Uber can be a cheaper alternative, with rates starting at 80 MXN ($3.70).
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