Traveling to Chichen Itza by Airplane

Cancun International is the nearest airport to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza stands as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the the Yucatan Peninsula, and many people plan their entire getaway around visiting this site. To get as close to the ruins as possible, you'll want to book a flight to the Cancun International Airport.

Cancun International Airport

The Cancun International Airport (CUN) offers daily flights from most major locations around the world, and regular service from many smaller airports. Over 14 million passengers visit the region by flying here first, and every major airline from the United States and Canada has scheduled flights to this destination. Direct flights from regional hubs throughout both countries are extremely easy to find and book, and the abundance of flights keep prices competitive.

The airport has two runways, two international terminals, and one domestic terminal, plus a shuttle bus that will take international travelers to the domestic terminal if they are planning to connect with a smaller local airline to travel to their final destination. Facilities here include sit down and quick service restaurants, duty free and specialty shops, a pharmacy, a spa and salon, facilities for the disabled as well as medical services, and business and VIP lounges. There are also several local bank and rental car locations on property as well as a massive parking garage.


When you're traveling internationally, going through customs is a process you simply can't avoid; but knowing what to expect in advance may help you to make the process a little easier. You'll receive a customs form while still in the air and be expected to fill it out and have it ready when you arrive. At the airport, you'll wait in line then meet with a customs official who will review your paperwork and identification, then have you press a button. The button is connected to a light which will flash either green or red. If it turns green you can go through without issue. If you are unfortunate enough to get the red light, further inspection is required. This process is completely random.

Flying to Chichen Itza from the Caribbean

Next Stop, Chichen Itza

There are a variety of ways to see Chichen Itza after arriving in Cancunincluding dozens of tours geared towards introducing foreigners to this and many other Mayan attractions in the surrounding area. If you'd prefer to go it alone, you can make arrangements to take the bus or rent a car and drive yourself.

ADO, which is the first class bus line of the Yucatan offers one daily bus that leaves from Cancun at 8:45 a.m. and takes about two and half hours of travel time. The trip costs between $16 and $17(USD) each way depending on the current rate of exchange, and the return trip leaves from Chichen Itza at 4:30 p.m. if you plan to stay just for the day. Second class buses also leave from the airport more frequently, but the trip takes four hours with this option.

If you plan to drive yourself, give yourself between two and three hours to get there. From the airport, you'll head south and exit the roundabout onto Highway 180. There, you'll follow the signs to merge onto Cancun Kantunil/Mexio 180 D on the left headed towards Merido/Chichen Itza/Valladolid/Tizimin. After driving straight on this road for awhile, you'll take the Yucatan 79 exit going towards Chichen-Itza/Piste/Dzitas, keep to the right at the fork in the road and continue to follow the signs for Yucatan 70/Chichen Itza/Piste. You'll turn left onto Mexico 180 E, and after taking a slight right, Chichen Itza will appear on the left.

Many people spend their whole lives dreaming of exploring the ruins left behind by the Maya. To do so, a bit of planning has to come in, especially figuring out how to get there. Flying into the Cancun International Airport will be the method chosen by most because it makes the most sense financially and is the fastest way to get there. If you're planning to visit Chichen Itza, review all of your options as you determine whether flying is the best choice for you.

See the following chart to find out how to reach a regional air charter service.

Charter Operators
Name Phone Location
Aero Saab Main Office (998) 873-0501 Playa Del Carmen Airport - 1.3 mi. (2.0 km) South West of Playa del Carmen Mexico
Aero Saab Service from CUN (998) 873-0501 Cancun International Airport - 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) South of Cancun Mexico
Aero Saab Service from CZM (998) 873-0501 Cozumel International Airport - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) Northeast of San Miguel Cozumel
Aero Saab Service from Holbox (998) 873-0501 Holbox Airport - Holbox Holbox
Aero Saab Service from ISJ (998) 873-0501 Isla Mujeres Airport - 1.2 mi. (2.0 km) North-Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Cancun Executive VIP Transport (998) 850-3084 Cancun International Airport - 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) South of Cancun Mexico
Sky Tour (866) 420-9265 5.6 mi. (9.1 km) South West of Playa del Carmen Mexico

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