How to Reach Tulum by Airplane

Tulum may get an airport one day, but for now visitors fly to Cancun International

For the last decade there have been rumors that an airport in Tulum would be opening soon. Although, construction seems to be going on sporadically, the airport is still not ready, even for small prop planes or domestic flights. Perhaps one day visitors will be able to fly direct to this budding tourist hot spot, but until then, the nearest international airport is located in Cancun.

Cancun International Airport

Serving 14 million passengers annually, Cancun International Airport (CUN) is the second busiest airport in all of Mexico, and one of the most modern facilities in the region. Because Cancun is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, finding flights that fit into your schedule and budget from an airport nearest you is incredibly easy, and made easier by the fact that every major airline from both the United States and Canada offer regular flights to this airport. This is even true during what would typically be considered the off-season of tourism in the Caribbean. Even during those times when you may not be able to find a direct flight to Cancun, flights with just one connection to a major hub near you will most certainly be possible.

In order to best service the large amount of people who visit each year, Cancun International Airport is constantly changing and expanding. Now, there are two runways, three terminals, and 68 gates. Two of the terminals are for international flights, while the third is for domestic flights, and there is a shuttle between the international and domestic areas for those who are flying to Cancun only to connect with a smaller airline and head elsewhere in Mexico. While awaiting their flights, visitors have access to five sit-down restaurants, numerous quick-service restaurants set up as a food court, duty free shops, specialty stores, a pharmacy, a convenience store, banking services, a business lounge, several VIP lounges, medical services, services for the disabled, and even a salon and spa.

As with all international air travel, you'll be required to pass through Customs when you arrive in Cancun. During your flight, you'll be given a customs form which you should have filled out and ready to present to an official along with your identification when you arrive. Those traveling from Canada will need a copy of their birth certificate as well as a picture ID, while everyone else will be required to show their passport and sometimes a visa.

There is something unique about customs in Cancun. In order to prevent profiling, the airport has randomized searches. As passengers pass through customs, they are to hit a button that will either turn a light green or red. Green and you are free to go; red, and you will be subject to further inspection. About every seventh passenger gets a red light.

Cancun International Airport U.S. Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Austin, TX, USA AUS AirTran
Baltimore, MD, USA BWI AirTran
Chicago, IL, USA MDW AirTran
Chicago, IL, USA RFD Frontier Airlines
Cincinatti, OH, USA CVG Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines
Cleveland, OH, USA CLE Frontier Airlines, United Airlines
Detroit, MI, USA DTW Aeromexico, Delta Airlines
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA FLL Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines
Fresno, CA, USA FAT Aeromexico
Indianapolis, IN, USA IND Frontier Airlines
Kansas City, KS, USA MCI Frontier Airlines
Lansing, MI, USA LAN Frontier Airlines
Las Vegas, NV, USA LAS Aeromexico
Los Angeles, CA, USA LAX Aeromexico, Delta Airlines, United Airlines
Miami, FL, USA MIA Aeromexico, American Airlines
Milwaukee, WI, USA MKE AirTran, Frontier Airlines
Minneapolis, MN, USA MSP Delta Airlines, Sun Country Airlines
Orlando, FL, USA MCO Aeromexico, Jet Blue
Pittsburgh, PA, USA PIT AirTran, Frontier Airlines
Salt Lake City, UT, USA SLC Frontier Airlines
San Antonio, TX, USA SAT Aeromexico, AirTran
San Francisco, CA, USA SFO Aeromexico, United Airlines
St. Louis, MO, USA STL Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines
Cancun International Airport Canadian Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Calgary, Canada YYC Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Edmonton, Canada YEG Sunwing Airlines
Halifax, Canada YHZ Air Canada
Montreal, Canada YUL Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Quebec City, Canada YBQ Sunwing Airlines
Regina, Canada YQR Sunwing Airlines
Saskatoon, Canada YXE Sunwing Airlines
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada YAM Sunwing Airlines
Thunder Bay, Canada YQT Sunwing Airlines
Vancouver, Canada YVR Sunwing Airlines
Winnipeg, Canada YWG Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines
Cancun International Airport European Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
London, United Kingdom LGW British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways, Virgin Airlines

Flying to Tulum from the Caribbean

Cancun International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize BZE Maya Island Air
Cozumel, Mexico CZM MAYAir

Next Stop, Tulum

Tulum is located about two hours south of Cancun along the main, modern coastal federal highway 307. In order to get to town you can take the bus to Playa Del Carmen, switch buses, and continue on to Tulum. The cost will be about $2(USD) to Playa Del Carmen, then another $2(USD) to Tulum. These buses are run by ADO and are spacious, comfortable, and air conditioned. Some routes even show movies.

If you choose to rent a car and drive, you will take the aforementioned Highway 307 the whole way.

Although you cannot yet fly directly to Tulum, the nearest airport is considered to be one of best in the region and you should have no trouble making plans to fly to this destination.

Be sure to look at this next chart if you want to get in touch with one of the regional air charter services.

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

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.