How to Get from Cancún to Tulum

Tulum is by excellence one of the main destinations in Mexico. This city is able to amaze all kinds of visitors from all around the globe. Either its breathtaking beaches or the ruins along the seashore.

In the past years, Tulum started becoming increasingly popular with digital nomads. Improving wifi in the town, easy visas, scenic beaches aside, hipster cafes, and more co-working spaces are attracting those who want to run their businesses remotely. Although Tulum isn’t the cheapest place to stay, you can still find ways to live there even for less than $25 a day.

I’m honestly not surprised by the growing interest in this destination. I happened to stay in Tulum for over 3 months this year and after experiencing its incredible hospitality, view, and really good vibes, I think it’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico! For me, it was even better than Playa del Carmen and I liked Playa a lot.

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Enjoying morning coffee at my apartment in Tulum. What a beautiful view to start your day with!

Before I came to stay in Tulum, I was having a lot of fun in Cancún for a while. When the time came and I started craving more of a tranquil and relaxing getaway, I did my research and found out there are several ways to reach Tulum from Cancún. In today’s post, I will share with you some of my favorite ones that I highly recommend based on my and other travelers’ experiences.

Take a Bus

One of the cheapest ways to get to Tulum is by bus. The distance from Cancún to Tulum is about 118 km. The time of transportation takes around 2.30 hrs depending on the traffic and climate conditions.

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A typical ADO bus you can take to travel from Cancún to Tulum affordably and comfortably.

The main lines you can find are: ADO, OCC, Mayab, or Playa Express, and the price goes around $170 MXN per person. Some lines can have discounts for children or elderly people. Make sure to check out all the information on the web page or any social media platform of the bus line you choose.

The principal reason to recommend this option is the reasonable prices and amenities you can find in some buses such as wi-fi and electrical outlets. On the other hand, buses are very frequent and leave the terminal almost every 2 hours but they are not available 24 hours.

Keep in mind that you will be limited to certain schedules if your plan is to move through public transportation. Also, if you are not willing to spend extra money, check out the final destination. Buses can take you to Tulum downtown or the Archaeological zone.

Rent a Car

If you are coming to Cancún probably you are arriving at the airport. There you can find different possibilities for Cancun Airport Transportation. Most rental companies in the airport are open 24 hours a day, for collection and delivery.

Renting a car in Cancún is hands down the most comfortable option for mobility. Not only to travel to Tulum but to explore any other destination around.

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Enjoying my car ride! As you can tell from my face, I love road trips. :)

The prices for renting a car are around $200 MXN per day but it all depends on the category of the vehicle and insurance included. Rents in Mexico typically include the legally required liability insurance but it can vary depending on the company.

Even though insurance coverage is at your discretion we recommend acquiring insurance in addition to the legally required. This is because if you get involved in a car accident you may be responsible for the damage. Besides, if you choose to decline additional coverage a considerable hold will be placed on your credit card.

Driving in Cancún is very easy. Most roads are well cared for, although you have to be careful on the roads that connect Cancún with ruins or cenotes. Taxi drivers can drive pretty recklessly, so it is advisable to pay special attention to them.

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Hitting the road and enjoying the view. The road from Cancún to Tulum is pretty good to drive.

Important to mention, Cancún can have heavy retentions in the early hours so it’s better to avoid the main avenues during those hours. Consider starting your route a little earlier to avoid traffic jams causing you long delays.

It’s preferable to book your car in advance in order to avoid large lines or long waits during your arrival. Keep in mind that once you arrive at Cancún Airport it can get tricky with all the car rental companies trying to catch your attention.

We recommend only speaking with employees of the company where you hired your Cancún Airport Transfer with the logo on his/her shirt.

Take a Taxi

Taking a taxi is always a great option, either you need to take it at the airport, a terminal or directly from your hotel. This option gives you a comfortable and private journey just as renting a car. But as easy as it can get, the prices are not usually cheap.

The price for a taxi from Cancún to Tulum goes around $1,000 MXN depending on the season. Usually, taxi companies outside the airport are cheaper. The best you can do is get an agreement about the price with the driver before taking the taxi or share the travel with more companions to reduce the rate.

Take a Van/Colectivo

Colectivos or Vans, as called, are a cheaper and faster option than buses. Vans sometimes pick up people and drop them off along the way but are smaller and not available directly from Cancún to Tulum. You have to translate first from Cancún to Playa del Carmen and then from Playa del Carmen to Tulum.

The price for a Van to Tulum is around $65 MXN per person. The good thing about this option is that departures are frequent. Vans almost depart to Tulum every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day.

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Colectivos (Vans) are a cheaper and faster option than buses.

The bad thing is the scale you have to do in Playa del Carmen. Although this can be good if you travel alone because this will let you visit more places. This scale is not recommended if you are traveling with a large number of people because you might not fit in one van.

Rent a Bike

Even though this is not an option to move from Cancún to Tulum, renting a bicycle is a great option for your mobility once you reach Tulum. Most tourist destinations are very close so this can be perfect to also enjoy the view and travel through the city.

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Bikes are awesome to explore Tulum! I tried it and highly recommending it.

Some hotels can include this service but if this is not your case there are many companies around. The price of renting a bicycle is around $170 MXN per day. As a recommendation please bring along a bottle of water and use sunblock.

Try to protect you as much as you can because the sun can be very intense, especially during may and july.

I hope this information is useful for you if you are planning to discover as much as you can from Quintana Roo. Tulum is definitively a perfect destination. Either for the breathtaking beaches or all the activities, you can find. Make sure to enjoy all the corners of this amazing place!

Have you been to either Cancun or Tulum? Or maybe both? How was your experience? Share it with me in the comment section below.

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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