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 turquoise water beaches. It’s location makes it the perfect jumping-off point for a number of day trips, combining adventure, history and culture. You can enjoy exploring the ancient Mayan ruins or swimming in any of the captivating cenotes in the surrounding area!
As you can see, Cancun has a lot to offer and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. Cancun is a long-established, popular tourist destination, suited more to holiday goers than travellers. It’s still worth a spot on your itinerary, but make sure that you leave plenty of time for some more authentic places in Mexico.
What transport options are available to Cancun?
The two main ways to cover the 1620km (1006 miles) from Mexico City to Cancun are a 2-hour 10 minutes flight or a 25.5-hour bus ride. Fares range between 1,000 – 6,720 MXN ($45 – $300).
25.5 hours on a bus is a long time even for the most seasoned of travellers! If you don’t think you’d be able to sit on a bus for that long, then flying is most likely the best option here.
Flying takes a little more than 2 hours, and if you book some time in advance, you’re more likely to find yourself a cheap flight. If you’re good at planning or just lucky, you can actually find a flight that’s equal to or just a little above the bus fare!
Those that do choose to fly, 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||25.5 hours||From 1,666 MXN ($74)||Check bus tickets|
View itinerary from Mexico City to Cancun
- Mexico City
- 2 hours 10 minutes
- Cancun Airport
- 40 minutes
- Cancun City Centre
- Mexico City
- 25.5 hours
- Cancun Bus Terminal
- 5 – 25 minutes
- Cancun City Centre
Mexico City to Cancun by Flight
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 1,094 – 6,720 MXN ($49 – $300)
Flights from Mexico City to Cancun depart every 20-40 minutes and take a little over 2 hours.
When you arrive at Cancun airport, you can choose between 3 forms of transport to get to Cancun city centre, all of which take around 40 minutes.
Step 1: Mexico City to Cancun
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cost: 1,000 – 6,054 MXN ($45 – $270)
Flights to Cancun depart from Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City. Departures are frequent, every 20 – 40 minutes from 06:00 to 23:00, with a flight time of approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.
There are 4 airlines covering this route AeroMexico, Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris.
In terms of service 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 VivaAerobus and Volaris are the most affordable options.
To get the best rates it is better to plan ahead and book some weeks in advance.
Step 2: Cancun Airport to the City Centre
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: From 94 MXN ($4)
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 40 minutes.
Bus from Cancun Airport to the City Centre
Buses from the airport to Cancun’s main bus terminal are run by the company ADO, which depart several times a day from 08:20 to 21:40 (roughly every hour).
The price for the bus is 94 MXN ($4). Look for the ADO counter in the arrivals hall to purchase your ticket or you can book it online through ADO’s website.
Buses will drop you at Cancun’s main bus terminal, located within the city centre. If you’re lucky enough to be staying nearby, you can just walk to your accommodation. Otherwise, if you’re a bit further away you can hop in a taxi or use the city’s public transport network.
Shared minivan from Cancun Airport to the City Centre
Shared minivans are an intermediate option between buses and private transfers. Their main advantage is that drop-off to your accommodation is included, so you don’t have to spend extra money and time on additional taxis or buses. They depart every hour, 24 hours a day from Cancun’s airport.
You can book this service on BookAway, with rates starting at just 157 MXN ($7).
Private transfer from Cancun Airport to the City Centre
The most comfortable option is to hire a private transfer, but as with most things, this comes at a higher cost.
This service is provided by several companies including eTransfers and Happy Shuttle Cancun, who both have some of the best reviews for transfers in this area. Their rates start at 538 MXN ($24). If you book this service online, once you arrive you’ll find your driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals gate.
You can also hire a taxi from one of the many taxi counters at the airport. However, you may not get as good a rate as booking online.
Mexico City to Cancun by Bus
Duration: 26 hours
Cost: 1,681 MXN – 1,876 (USD $75 – $84)
There’s a direct bus which goes straight from Mexico City to Cancun if you’ve decided not to fly for any reason. As it’s a long ride, we’d recommend stocking up on water, snacks and maybe a podcast or two to pass the time.
Step 1: Mexico City to Cancun
Duration: 25.5 hours
Cost: 1,666 MXN (USD $74)
Buses to Cancun depart from ADO’s northern bus terminal ‘Central Mexico Norte’ in Mexico City. A key thing to note is that there is only one departure a day at 14:30, so make sure you don’t miss it!
The company covering this route is Mexico’s most popular bus company, ADO, who offer first class buses with AC, reclining seats and a toilet.
Along 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 journey.
A plus of taking the bus is that if you had chosen to fly, you probably wouldn’t have got the chance to see these smaller cities within Mexico. We’re not sure whether this ‘plus’ is worth the 25.5 hour ride though!
You can easily book your tickets online via ADO’s website, or you can buy your ticket directly at the bus terminal,. Do keep keep in mind that as there’s only one departure a day, so it’s better to book ahead.
|ADO||14:30 – 15:55 (next day)||25.5 hours||1,666 MXN ($74)||Check bus tickets|
Step 2: Cancun Bus Terminal to the City Centre
Duration: 5 – 25 minutes
Cost: 15 – 210 MXN ($0.70 – $10)
Cancun’s main bus terminal is conveniently located within the city centre, with many hotels and hostels located close by or just a few blocks from the bus terminal. This gives you the perfect opportunity to exercise your legs after the long bus journey.
However, if you are staying more than a few blocks 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 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 connect the bus terminal with the beach and hotel area. The rate for the buses is 15 MXN ($0.70), to be paid directly to the bus driver.
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