Cancun to Tulum

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Contents

Overview | Bus | Colectivo | Colectivo via Playa del Carmen | Shared Minivan | Taxi/Private Car | From Airport | FAQ | Where to stay

How to get from Cancun to Tulum?

Cancun might be the most famous destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, but many people actually prefer to spend their time in the Riviera Maya in Tulum. Despite the many things you can do in Cancun, with its busy nightlife and big, luxurious resorts, Tulum offers a more laid-back atmosphere. Also, the beaches are just as good as Cancun’s, if not better, due to less development and tourists.

Tulum is not just a beach destination either. The city was actually named after the famous archaeological Mayan ruins that sit upon a cliff overlooking the turquoise ocean. The 7.5m tall ruins are impressive on their own but cast against that backdrop, you can’t help but be in awe.

New to Tulum? We’ve written this compact Tulum guide to show you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Tulum!

5 ways to get from Cancun to Tulum

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus2.5 hours220 MXN ($11)Check Bus Tickets
Colectivo2.5 hours130 MXN ($6.50)Check Colectivo Tickets
Colectivo via Playa del Carmen3 hours87 MXN ($4)Read article for more info
Shared Minivan2.5 hours580 MXN ($29)Check Minivan Tickets
Taxi/Private Car2.5 hours2,030 MXN ($98)Book a Private Car

There are 5 ways to travel the 131km (81 miles) distance from Cancun to Tulum: 2.5-hour bus, 2.5-hour direct colectivo, 3-hour colectivo via Playa del Carmen, 2.5-hour shared minivan or a 2.5-hour taxi. Fares range between 87 MXN ($4) and 2,030 MXN ($98).

The bus offers a good combination of budget and convenience. You can take an ADO bus or AU bus, which goes directly from Cancun to Tulum and are reasonably comfortable. You’ll have more space and enough room for your luggage, unlike with the colectivo. Bus fares start from 220 MXN ($11) with the ADO Bus.

On a budget? You can take a direct colectivo from Cancun to Tulum for 130 MXN ($6.50). Although not as spacious as the bus, you can still have a comfortable 2.5-hour journey. Even cheaper is the indirect colectivo via Playa del Carmen. Combined fares are only around 87 MXN ($4), but you’ll have to switch colectivo around 1.5 hours into your journey.

If you want to skip any possibility of hassle, then a door-to-door shared minivan is a good option. It takes you straight from Cancun to Tulum starting at 580 MXN ($29).

Travelling with a group or just prefer a private drive? Taxi’s are a bit more expensive on this route, but it will be the quickest option to travel door-to-door. Taxi fares start from 2,030 MXN ($98).

Another option that we don’t discuss further in this article is renting a car. Prices start from $25/day when you rent a car via Skyscanner, but will be higher when you book with a local agent.

Transport from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus from Cancun Airport2 hours300 MXN ($15)Check Bus Tickets
Shared Minivan from Cancun Airport2.5 hours492 MXN ($24.50)Check Minivan Tickets
Private transfer/Taxi from Cancun Airport2 hours1,390 MXN ($67)Book a Private Transfer

Want to know how to get from Cancun airport to Tulum?

If you’re flying into the Cancun Airport on the Yucatan Peninsula, we have good news. Cancun Airport is the closest airport to Tulum and transportation to Tulum is very easy. No need to travel first to downtown Cancun. You can find out more about this in the last section of this article.

Transportation from Cancun to Tulum

ADO bus Cancun to Tulum

Cancun to Tulum by Bus


Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: from 220 MXN ($11)

Buses operating from Cancun to Tulum depart from ADO Bus Station along Calle Pino in the city centre. The terminal is easily accessible by foot or by a short taxi ride.

If you’re staying in the resort/beach area, you can save some money by taking the bus. Lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 all make a stop at Avenida Tulum, right in front of the bus terminal.

Step 1: Cancun to Tulum

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 220 MXN ($11)

Transportation from Cancun to Tulum is operated by two main bus companies: ADO Bus and AU Bus. Both are good in terms of quality, but most travellers take the ADO Bus as their departures are more frequent.

All buses are first class, meaning they include AC, a toilet and reclining seats. ADO buses also have TV, but you might not have any need for it as your eyes will be glued to the window view for most of the journey.

You can get a bus ticket from 220 MXN ($11).

Bus schedules from Cancun to Tulum

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
ADO Bus
Check on BookAway
07:10-09:40
09:20-11:50
12:10-14:40
13:15-15:45
20:50-23:20
2.5 hours220 MXN ($11)
AU Bus
Check on BookAway
16:05-18:40
18:10-20:45
2.5 hours260 MXN ($12)

ADO Bus from Cancun to Tulum

You can book your tickets online or buy them directly from the ADO bus terminal, where all buses depart from. When booking, pay attention to the departure and arrival points. Some buses depart from the airport and some will drop you off at Tulum’s archaeological site. Make sure you book the right bus journey!

Check Bus Tickets with BookAway

Step 2: Tulum Bus Terminal to City Centre

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 0 – 150 MXN ($7)

When you take the Cancun to Tulum bus of ADO or AU, the bus will arrive at the ADO bus station, the main bus terminal in Tulum. As it’s located in the town centre, your accommodation might be within walking distance. For those staying at the beach area, the best option is to take a taxi.

Taxis in Tulum are not metered so make sure to agree on the rate before stepping in. A good average rate to the beach area is 150 MXN ($7).

colectivo icon

Cancun to Tulum by Colectivo


Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 130 MXN ($6.50)

Most colectivos operating from Cancun to Tulum are indirect, meaning you’ll have to make a stop and transfer at Playa del Carmen. With combined fares from 87 MXN ($4), we can’t argue that this is the cheapest rate.

However, we also found a direct colectivo that is only $2.50 more expensive. With this economy minivan ride offered by Sindicato Lazaro Cardenas, you’ll have a more comfortable 2.5-hour journey from Cancun to Tulum. You won’t have to make a minivan transfer and you can complete your journey at least 30 minutes faster!

The direct colectivo from Cancun to Tulum departs every hour, on the hour, from 08:00 to 20:00. A ticket costs 130 MXN ($6.50).

Direct colectivo schedule

Colectivo OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Sindicato Lazaro Cardenas
Check on BookAway
Every hour from
08:00 to 20:00
2.5 hours130 MXN ($6.50)

You can board the colectivo from Puente Peatonal in downtown Cancun and you will be dropped off along Calle Jupiter in Tulum city centre.

We highly recommend booking your ticket online beforehand to avoid any hassle and to be guaranteed a seat. You can easily do so via BookAway, which offers great customer service.

Check Colectivo Tickets with BookAway

Indirect colectivo from Cancun to Tulum via Playa del Carmen

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 87 MXN ($4)

Do you prefer to take the colectivo the local way? And the cheapest way possible? If yes, then you can take the indirect route via Playa del Carmen. For this option, you’ll first have to take a colectivo to Playa del Carmen and then switch to another one going to Tulum.

Combined fares are only around 90 MXN ($4) and can be paid directly on the bus.

Step 1: Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 45 MXN ($2)

Colectivos from Cancun to Playa del Carmen depart from two stops that are located around Cancun’s Central Bus Terminal in the city centre.

There are two companies operating this route: Playa Express and Colectivos Foraneos. Each company has their own stop and their buses depart every 15 minutes, or when the vehicle reaches capacity.

Playa Express operates from 04:00 to 23:00, while Colectivos Foraneos runs 24 hours. Keep in mind that Playa Express’ vehicles are more comfortable with more space between seats and working AC, so we recommend making this your first choice.

The rate to Playa del Carmen is 45 MXN ($2,) but it can increase during peak tourist season between December to February. Unfortunately, there’s no option to book online. So you’ll need to go to the stop and pay directly to the bus driver.

Step 2: Playa del Carmen to Tulum

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 42 MXN ($1.90)

When you arrive in Playa del Carmen, get off at the last stop. This is where you’ll also find the colectivos to Tulum. They are operated by the same two companies and run every 15 minutes as well.

The ride from Playa del Carmen to Tulum costs around 42 MXN ($1.90), but prices can increase during peak tourist seasons.

The colectivo’s last stop is just a couple of blocks away from the main bus station in Tulum. However, unlike buses, you can get off prior if your accommodation is on the way or if you want to go to the archaeological ruins before entering town.

Colectivo’s between Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Tulum

Colectivo’s running on the route from Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Tulum are originally not intended for tourists. They mainly transport locals and workers from the resorts and tourist attractions.

But in the past years, they have become popular among independent travellers and low-budget tourists to bring them around the Riviera Maya. The advantage is that they stop everywhere so they allow people to visit multiple beaches, cenotes and ruins without paying for expensive tours.

cancun to tulum bus

Cancun to Tulum by Shared Minivan


Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Cost: 580 MXN ($29)

If you want to avoid going to/from bus terminals, shared minivans conveniently take you door-to-door. This service is offered by several companies and is commonly booked online.

Although still more expensive than the bus, this shared minivan may be a good option if you’re staying far from the bus terminals and want to save some money on taxis. You can book this service via BookAway.

Shared minivans include hotel pick-up and drop-off and cost around 580 MXN ($29). They run every hour from 08:00 to 19:00. Travel time varies depending on the number of passengers and additional stops on the way, but travel time from Cancun to Tulum is normally between 2.5 to 3 hours.

Check Shared Minivan Tickets with BookAway

Taxi icon

Private transfer from Cancun to Tulum


Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 2,030 MXN ($98)

If you’re with a group, travelling by taxi or private car is a more practical option compared to taking the minivan. Prices start from 2,080 MXN ($100) for a taxi ride with trusted companies. Some taxi drivers from the streets may be willing to charge a lower rate. But keep in mind that they may not be as reliable as taxi drivers from established companies.

Another option, which we highly recommend, is to rent a private car. It’s a bit cheaper than a taxi with rates from 2,030 MXN ($98) for a 4-seater car, but you’ll get a more spacious vehicle and a professional driver. You can also conveniently book one online through BookAway.

Important: When booking your ride online, make sure that your car’s departure point is downtown Cancun or the Hotel Zone, wherever you’re staying. Fares for taxis and private cars from Cancun Airport to Tulum are about $30 cheaper and may look tempting, but keep in mind that the airport is 20 minutes away from Cancun’s tourist area.

Book a Private Car with BookAway

From Cancun Airport to Tulum Shuttle

Travelling from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Cost: From 300 MXN ($15)

If you want to travel directly from Cancun Airport to Tulum, you can take a direct bus, taxi, shared minivan/airport shuttle or a private shuttle. As it’s the closest airport to Tulum, you’ll have plenty of options!

All four options have an average duration of 2 hours, but the bus may take an extra 15 minutes as it makes a stop in Playa del Carmen.

Transportation from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum2 hours300 MXN ($15)Check Bus Tickets
Minivan Shuttle from Cancun Airport to Tulum2.5 hours492 MXN ($24.50)Check Minivan Tickets
Private transfer/taxi from Cancun Airport to Tulum2 hours1,390 MXN ($67)Book a Private Transfer

Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: From 300 MXN ($15)

Buses from Cancun International Airport to Tulum are run by the ADO bus company. They depart five times a day from 11:05 to 21:45 (roughly every 2 hours). A very popular company in Mexico, you are assured of a comfortable and secure ride when taking an ADO bus.

Make your way to the ADO bus counter in the arrivals hall to purchase your ticket or book it online through ClickBus. A bus ticket costs 300 MXN ($15).

All buses park at the main ADO bus station in Tulum Centro.

Shuttle from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: From 675 MXN ($33)

Shared minivans are an intermediate option between buses and private transfers. They depart every hour, 24 hours a day, from Cancun International Airport and will drop you off at your accommodation in Tulum. You can book a Cancun airport shuttle from Cancun to Tulum on BookAway with fares from 492 MXN ($24.50).

Taxi from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 1,390 MXN ($67)

Another good option from Cancun Airport to Tulum is to hire a private transfer. Your driver will be waiting for you outside the arrivals gate to take you to your accommodation in Tulum.

A private transfer is a convenient way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum, even cheaper than the bus or minivan if you’re travelling with a group. Through BookAway, you can get a 6 to 8-seater minivan for 1,390 MXN ($67).

You can get a private shuttle from one of many companies providing them at Cancun Airport. Better yet, check the availability and book one online. Two local agencies with the best reviews and cost/benefit ratio are eTransfers and Happy Shuttle Cancun. Rates start at 1,400 MXN ($70) for a one-way trip.

Taxis are also available 24/7 at Cancun International Airport and the average rate to get to Tulum is 1,600 MXN ($80). You can purchase your ticket at any taxi counter inside the arrivals hall.

Tulum to Cancun guide

Looking for the opposite route? Check out our guide from Tulum to Cancun.

FAQ How to get there

Frequently asked questions

Can you rent a car from Cancun to Tulum?

Yes, you can be your very own private driver when traveling from Cancun to Tulum.

Rental cars in Mexico are very cheap. Prices start from 570 MXN ($28) for a 24-hour rental and 2,375 MXN ($116) if you want to rent for a week. For the cheapest rentals and most extensive selection, book one through Kayak or Skyscanner. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license! We also recommend that you check out our Top 10 Tips on car rentals to help you save money.

  Hotel

Our favourite places to stay in Tulum


Turquoise Petit Hotel Tulum - Treating yourself

Put on your complimentary bathrobe and enjoy the tranquility of this hotel. Every aspect of the hotel is so beautifully and intricately designed that you can’t help but be relaxed here. The decor is truly stunning with splashes of turquoise all around you.

There’s not one, but two pools to take a refreshing dip after you enjoyed your complimentary breakfast. The vibrant rooms are the perfect place to retire to at the end of the day.

  • 2 outdoor swimming pools
  • Beautifully decorated
  • Attentive and friendly staff

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Hotel Casa Santiago Tulum - Mid Range

There are too many great things to mention about Casa Santiago. It’s an eco-sustainable hotel with a refreshing pool and sun-loungers, perfect for relaxing around. An added bonus, all rooms offer balconies with pool views.

The star of the show though? The staff! They’re always there to help you out. Whether it be answering a question or helping you to organise a tour in Tulum.

  • Outdoor pool and sun terrace
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Eco-friendly
  • Natural toiletries made in the region

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

La Palmita Budget Boutique Hotel - Mid Range

The creative murals that you’ll find throughout the entire hotel, give La Palmita a vibrant and artistic feel.

The beds are massive and incredibly comfortable, offering a great night's sleep after a busy day in Tulum. You can also chill on your own private balcony or the big roof terrace. Plonk yourself in one of the many hammocks and enjoy the sunset.

  • Bike rental available
  • Rooftop with hammocks and yoga mats
  • Excellent location
  • Huge beds

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Tubo Tulum - Budget Friendly

Looking for something a bit different? Tubo Tulum makes sleeping an experience on its own. You can opt to sleep in a tent or in one of their large concrete tubes that house a comfy double bed.

The eco-friendly concept of the hostel, alongside their tropical garden, makes you feel like you’re chilling in the middle of the jungle. A very memorable stay for a very reasonable price.

  • Great location
  • Communal kitchen
  • Original and eco-friendly hotel

Private tents start from $19 per night, including breakfast

Check Latest Price

 

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