Mexico City to Cancun

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How to get from Mexico City to Cancun?

The vibrant coastal city of Cancun is the door to the Mayan Riviera. Here you’ll find a lively nightlife scene, lots of shopping and restaurant options, and stunning beaches with turquoise waters.

Cancun’s location makes it the perfect jumping-off point for a number of day trips, combining adventure, history and culture. From Cancun, you can explore the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza or go swimming at the nearby Cenote Ik Kil and Balankanche Caves.

Cancun has so much to offer and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s definitely worth a spot on your itinerary. Just keep in mind that it’s more for tourists who want to go on a relaxing holiday. If you’re looking for a more authentic Mexican experience, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

New to Cancun? Our compact Cancun guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Cancun!

2 ways to get from Mexico City to Cancun

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Flight3.5 hours668 MXN ($32.50)Check Flights
Bus28 hours1,915 MXN ($93)Check Bus Tickets

The best way to cover the 1,620km (1,006 miles) from Mexico City to Cancun is via a 3.5-hour flight (including transfers) with combined fares from 668 MXN ($32.50). Alternatively, you can take a 28-hour bus with rates from 1,915 MXN ($93).

A flight from Mexico City to Cancun takes just 3.5 hours, already including the airport transfers. Cheap flights are available all year round, much cheaper than a bus ticket! Still, we advise booking in advance for the best flight deals. Prices for airline tickets, plus transfers, start from 668 MXN ($32.50).

Even for the most seasoned travellers, sitting for 28 hours on a bus is a long time! Which is why flying is hands down our recommended option for this route. If the bus has any advantage though, it’s the opportunity to get a close-up look of Mexico’s unexplored little towns.

A suggestion for those who do choose to fly: consider including a carbon compensation fee to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Itinerary from Mexico City to Cancun

Mexico City to Cancun by Flight

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 668 MXN ($32.50)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 668 MXN ($32.50)

Flights from Mexico City to Cancun are both fast and cheap, making them the most convenient choice when travelling this route.

While we’re not always in favour of taking flights due to its environmental impact, we can’t deny that it’s the best option to get from Mexico City to Cancun.

Step 1: Mexico City to Mexico City Airport

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 30 MXN ($1.45)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 30 MXN ($1.45)

The departure airport for flights from Mexico City to Cancun is Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX), located 10km east of the city centre. You can get there in 4 ways: a 45-minute Metrobus, 25-minute taxi/Uber, 30-minute minivan, or 50-minute Metro.

For a combination of budget and convenience, we recommend taking the Metrobus, which only costs 30 MXN ($1.45). Take Line #4. You can ask the assistance of your hotel for the nearest bus stop or you can board one at Republica de Argentina, the closest bus stop to the main square.

If you prefer a private and fast ride, we recommend hailing an Uber with rates from 200 MXN ($9.50).

Staying outside of Mexico City centre? A Metro ride is the cheapest option at 5 MXN ($0.20). Note though that you may have to make at least one train transfer.

Another convenient option is a shared minivan that will pick you up from your hotel and take you straight to Mexico City Airport. Fares start from 180 MXN ($8.50) from the city centre and 315 MXN ($15) from other areas. You can conveniently book your shared minivan ticket via BookAway.

For more details, you can check out our guide on How to get to/from Mexico City Airport.

Step 2: Mexico City to Cancun by Flight

Duration: 2hrs 10m
Cost: 540 MXN ($26)
Duration: 2hrs 10m
Cost: 540 MXN ($26)

You shouldn’t have a hard time getting nonstop flights from Mexico City to Cancun. There are plenty of schedules to choose from, with flights departing every 20-40 minutes from 06:00 to 23:00.

The cheapest flight costs 540 MXN ($26) and flight time is a little over 2 hours.

There are 4 airlines flying from Mexico City to Cancun: AeroMexico, Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris. You can often get the cheapest flight prices with Viva Aerobus.

AeroMexico is a bigger airline and their service is superior, but this tends to come at a higher price. Interjet has mid-range prices, while Volaris is also on the affordable side.

For the best chance at cheap flights, it’s better to plan ahead and book your plane tickets some weeks in advance.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Cancun Airport to the City Centre

Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: 98 MXN ($4.80)
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: 98 MXN ($4.80)

Your arrival airport is Cancun International Airport. If you want to head straight to Cancun city centre or the beach/resort area once you arrive, you can do it by bus, shared minivan or with a private shuttle. All three options have an average duration of 30 to 40 minutes.

The bus is the cheapest option with ticket prices from 98 MXN ($4.80). These buses, operated by ADO, depart from the airport roughly every hour from 08:20 to 21:40. They park at Cancun’s main bus terminal, just within walking distance from many hotels in the city centre.

Shared minivans are a good option if you want to be dropped off at your hotel’s doorstep but don’t have the budget for a taxi. They depart every hour, 24 hours a day from Cancun Airport. You can book this service on BookAway, with rates starting at 158 MXN ($7.50).

The most comfortable option is to hire a private transfer, but as with most things, this comes at a higher cost. Rates start from 500 MXN ($24.50) for a 4-seater car. We recommend booking your ride online beforehand via BookAway for more spacious cars and trusted drivers.

For more info, visit our page for Cancun Airport.

Mexico City to Cancun by Bus

Duration: 28 hours
Cost: 1,915 MXN ($93)
Duration: 28 hours
Cost: 1,915 MXN ($93)

If flying’s not really your thing, there are also buses operating direct trips from Mexico City to Cancun. But there’s a catch, they take around 28 hours to complete the journey.

We don’t really recommend the bus as apart from the travel time taking more than 1 day, fares are at least 2x more expensive compared to taking a flight. Even round trip flights are cheaper than a one-way bus ticket! But if you’re up for it, make sure to stock up on water, snacks and maybe a podcast or two to pass the time.

Step 1: Mexico City Centre to Central Norte Bus Terminal

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 100 MXN ($4.90)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 100 MXN ($4.90)

Buses from Mexico City to Cancun depart from ADO’s northern bus terminal called Central Mexico Norte.

The easiest and most direct way to get to the northern bus terminal is via a 30-minute Uber/Taxi. Rates from the city centre start from 100 MXN ($4.90).

A more budget-friendly option would be to take the Metro, which only costs 6 MXN ($0.25). However, you’re going to have to make several transfers as there are no direct trains from the city centre to Central Norte. And since you already have a 27-hour bus ordeal ahead of you, we don’t recommend taking the Metro for this route.

Step 2: Mexico City to Cancun by Bus

Duration: 27 hours
Cost: 1,800 MXN ($88)
Duration: 27 hours
Cost: 1,800 MXN ($88)

Mexico’s most popular bus company, ADO, is the sole operator for buses from Mexico City to Cancun. All buses are airconditioned and equipped with reclining seats and a toilet. There are 4 bus departures daily.

Throughout your journey, the bus will make a few stops in different towns including Villahermosa, Campeche and Merida. Here, you should be able to stretch your legs, go to the toilet and grab a few snacks to keep you going for the rest of the trip.

One “advantage” of taking the bus is that if you had chosen to fly, you probably wouldn’t have the chance to see these smaller cities within Mexico. We’re not sure whether this “advantage” is worth the 27-hour bus ride though!

Bus schedule from Mexico City to Cancun

Bus CompanySchedulesDurationCosts
ADOArrival on next day
13:00-17:00
14:00-19:50
16:30-20:30
22:00-02:30
Around 27 hours1,800 MXN ($88)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

It’s best to book your tickets online at least a day before so you won’t have to worry about them on the day of your trip. We recommend using BookAway, where tickets are cheaper than when you book them directly on the ADO website.

Step 3: Cancun Bus Terminal to the City Centre

Duration: 5 – 25 minutes
Cost: 15 MXN ($0.70)
Duration: 5 – 25 minutes
Cost: 15 MXN ($0.70)

Buses park at the ADO Bus Station in downtown Cancun, with many hotels and hostels located close by or just a few blocks away. This gives you the perfect opportunity to exercise your legs after the long bus journey.

But if you’re staying further away or in the beach areas, you may want to take a taxi to get to your final destination. Taxis are available from outside of the bus terminal and are metered, so rates will depend on the distance and time. An average taxi ride to the beach area is around 210 MXN ($10).

Another option is to use public transport. Buses pass in front of the bus terminal on Avenida Tulum and lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 can take you to the beach and hotel area. The rate for the buses is 15 MXN ($0.70), to be paid directly to the bus driver.

  Hotel

Our favourite places to stay in Cancun


Sina Suites - Treating Yourself

Resorts in Cancun can cost you a bomb! Sina Suites gives you that resort-style feel without the high prices. Ever wanted your own private marina in a hotel? Now you probably do, and Sina Suites has one. It also has a large swimming pool set amongst gardens that overlook the lagoon.

You can enjoy a continental breakfast and delicious Mexican food in their poolside restaurant and bar that sits underneath a traditional thatched hut! You’ll also get more than just a room, most suites also offer a kitchenette and balcony.

  • Views overlooking Cancun lagoon
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Great location

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Viento Suites - Mid Range

Viento Suites is somewhat of an escape from the busy and hectic cancun. Once you’re inside the walls of the hotel, chilling in the garden beside the swimming pool, you’ll forget about the outside world.

The location couldn’t be more perfect. It’s situated within Downtown Cancun but also very close to the Hotel Zone and beaches. The rooms look like those from a high-class hotel, but without the extortionate prices.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • BBQ facilities
  • Great location
  • Clean and spacious rooms

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Yellow Capsule Hotel - Budget Friendly

Looking for a unique sleeping experience? The Yellow Capsule Hotel will definitely give you that. Instead of traditional rooms, you’ll get to sleep in a pod. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the future when you clamber into your bright and spacious pod.

The capsules are clean and include everything you need for a comfy stay, a mirror, outlets, a safe and storage space. When you’re done hangin around in your pod, you can chill at the hotel's terrace and enjoy their free breakfast.

  • Cool capsule sleeping experience
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Great location

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

Estancia Tulbayab 36 - Budget Friendly

If you prefer a homely feel compared to hotels then definitely stay at Estancia. The owners will instantly make you feel welcome and are always there to offer advice.

The homestay offers a very convenient location, close to the local markets and not too far from the ADO bus station. The rooms are clean and spacious, plus a steal for their price. If you fancy doing some cooking whilst in Cancun, you can make use of the communal kitchen.

  • Great location
  • Clean and spacious rooms
  • Helpful and friendly hosts
  • You’ll feel like home

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

 

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