How to Reach Yucatan Peninsula by Airplane

International flights into the Yucatan are easy to come by

Photo credit: © Alberto Azparren

Covering such a wide range of area, tourists considering flights to the Yucatan Peninsula have several different airports to review. While there is more than one international airport in the region, for most people the Cancun International Airport will be their destination of choice.


Cancun International Airport (CUN) and Cozumel International Airport (CZM) both have direct flights coming in through the United States, Canada, and Europe. They are located in Cancun and Cozumel respectively.

Inside the country, travelers can also fly to Isla Mujeres, Playa Del Carmen, Chichen Itza,Holbox, and Majahual airports. These are exclusively for domestic flights. However, travelers may fly in to an international airport, then travel across the country to these smaller airports.

Cancun International Airport

Located at the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula is the Cancun International Airport (CUN), which will be the main point of entry for tourists visiting the region. It is the second busiest airport in all of Mexico, but the busiest with regards to international air travel. Because every major international airline offers regular and direct flights to this destination, it will almost always be the easiest place to book a flight to. From there, you will be able to fly to many of the other airports in the region or use ground transportation to get to your final destination.

Cancun International consists of two runways, two international terminals, and one domestic terminal. Those who will be continuing on via plane to the town they'll be visiting will be able to take a free shuttle from the international terminals to the domestic terminal to avoid a long walk. The terminals have been split into 68 gates, and throughout the facility you will find five sit down restaurants, a food court, plenty of shopping, and other extra amenities like medical and disabled services, rental car agencies, lockers, and VIP and business lounges.

Cancun International's security offerings include Mexico's first CT scanning system for luggage, and when you travel through customs you'll experience a randomized screening process in which a button you press will turn a light green or red to indicate whether or not you will be subject to further inspection.

Campeche Ingenerio Alberto Acuna Ongay International Airport [CPE]

Campeche is located in the southwest corner of the Yucatan Peninsula along the Gulf Coast. Campeche Ingenerio Alberto Acuna Ongay International Airport (CPE), better known as the Campeche International Airport is set about four miles southeast of the city. This airport is a very small one, that although capable of handling international flights on its 8,202 foot long asphalt runway, currently only sees planes fly in from Cancun International and the airport in Mexico City. Traveling from Cancun International to Campeche by car takes at least five hours, so booking a domestic flight with airlines like Interjet and VivaAerobus is a great way to save time.

Chetumal International Airport

Nearly as far away from Cancun International, but situated on the opposite coast, Chetumal has its own airport as well; the Chetumal International Airport (CTM). It is a small building with one terminal, a few shops, a cafe that only operates in the morning, and a few rental car agencies. Also like the Campeche Airport, Chetumal can handle international air travel, but currently only welcomes domestic and charter flights with InterJet being the main airline that lands here.

Cozumel International Airport

If you're visiting the island of Cozumel, which is located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Playa del Carmen, your best option is to fly to the Cozumel International Airport (CZM) in the city of San Miguel. A handful of international airlines offer direct flights to this airport, but you can also fly to Cancun International, then switch to MayaAir and fly to Cozumel. The airport has a 8,858 foot long asphalt runway and services 450 thousand passengers each year.

Playa del Carmen Airport

Another airport exists in Playa del Carmen, but the airport is so small that it is rarely used by visitors on their way to Playa del Carmen. Charter flights provide the majority of air traffic.

Flying to Yucatan Peninsula from the US

Most flights from the United States are nonstop to Cancun, and direct flights typically connect in San Juan or St. Thomas. Travelers looking to cross the country in planes will be able to tell the popularity of the flight by the price of the ticket. Lower-priced tickets are often on the most popular routes, and special deals may be offered.

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

Flying to Yucatan Peninsula from Canada

There are few places in the Caribbean that have as many direct flights to and from Canada as the Yucatan Peninsula. Over a dozen Canadian cities see service to Cancun International, so Canadian residents should face few problems reaching this paradise. Just keep in mind that some of the routes might be seasonal, so be sure to check with your preferred airline before getting your hopes up.

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
Cozumel International Airport Canadian Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Montreal, Canada YUL Air Canada

Flying to Yucatan Peninsula from Europe

European travelers benifit from Mexico's important status in Latin America - it is one of the easiest destination to find direct flights to. London, Paris, and Frankfurt all have direct flights, making it easy to cross the Atlantic. While these cities leave out Eastern, Southern, and the far Northern parts of Europe, the local airports there should all have flights to London and Paris.

Cancun International Airport European Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
London, United Kingdom LGW British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways, Virgin Airlines
Cancun International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize BZE Maya Island Air
Cozumel, Mexico CZM MAYAir
Cozumel International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Cancun, Mexico CUN MAYAir

Cancun is the easiest airport for most tourists to fly to, but as you can see, it certainly is not the only option. After reading a bit about each choice, you'll decide for yourself how to get to your getaway in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Air Charters

Opting for an air charter gives the traveler a greater degree of freedom. They get to fly on their schedule and take whichever route they want. Just be warned that charter flights often cost more, take longer, and tend not to have the backing of a multi-national company.

If you are considering an air charter, you can call one of the following regional companies:

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
Tropic Air (800) 422-3435 San Pedro Airport - San Pedro Ambergris Caye

Airport Security

Checkpoints staffed by security officers regularly check baggage, carry on luggage and passengers. Random passenger inspections are also becoming part of the routine at many airports. Travelers should plan to arrive at least two hours or more before the scheduled time of departure.

Regulations for carry-on luggage prohibit items such as scissors, nail clippers, knives and razors. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a full list of items at their website,, or call 866-289-9673 in the United States.

Taking note of the following standards for carry-on luggage and personal effects will help travelers to reach their plane in a timely manner:

Before leaving for the airport, call the airline to confirm the actual time of your flight's departure. Make sure to bring (and keep readily accessible) your passport and ticket or e-ticket confirmation page. All U.S. citizens, including minors, are required to produce a valid passport. Only ticketed passengers will be allowed to pass through security.

  • The carry-on limit per passenger is one carry-on bag plus one private item such as a briefcase, laptop case, or purse. Liquids, aerosols and gel toiletries must be contained in 3.4 ounce (or less) bottles, in a clear zip-type plastic bag measuring one quart or smaller, and placed separately in a bin to pass through the x-ray machine.

  • Loose change, cellular phones and other personal devices will also need to be removed, and placed on the screening belt, as well as your shoes, jackets, sweaters and other outer-wear.
  • Should you wish to bring food or beverages on board, you will need to purchase them after you have cleared security.

  • If you plan to bring gifts or presents with you, leave them unwrapped to avoid possible damage, or consider shipping them to your destination.

  • Bring a signed note from your doctor if you have any metal surgical implants to avoid further delays.

Travelers visiting Cancún will find flights a quick and easy option when trying to reach this vacation paradise.

To learn more specific information for flying into areas within Yucatan, read our local Air Travel guides for some of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

Yucatan Peninsula Air Travel Guides
Chichen Itza
Isla Mujeres
Playa Del Carmen
Riviera Maya



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