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Getting to Tulum

Tulum offers an Old Mexico vibe, reminding me of what Cabo used to be like 30 years ago ago. It has a huge art community on top of everything else it has to offer. All-day beach bumming. Unlimited view of spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Are you all ready for your Tulum trip? Let’s go!

The Flight

To get into Tulum, you need to fly into Cancun International Airport. Flights are plentiful from many US locations. We flew from our home base in Sacramento through DFW on American Airlines.

American has pretty good upgrade availability so we flew first class using our American Express points. Domestic first class is definitely a lower key experience than international, but the convenience of check-in, boarding and in-flight service is totally worth it.  

Getting To Tulum

Tulum is about 2-hours south of Cancun. So you’re gonna need to book a shuttle or rent a car. If you’re staying more than 6 days, consider renting a car. Not only is it cheaper than the shuttle, you have the flexibility to make detours along the way.

We used our American Express points to book a car through Avis. Great service and a good selection of cars. Plus you get vehicle protection through Amex – highly recommended in Mexico. 

If your day is only for five days or even less (which I do not recommend if you want to enjoy all that Cancun and nearby places have to offer), then it is more practical to book a shuttle bus. The only direct service to getting from Cancun Airport to Tulum is through a Cancun to Tulum Shuttle. There are several shuttle providers that offer this service. You may want to check out their websites for schedules and fares:

  1. Happy Shuttle Cancun

  2. E-Transfers

  3. Cancun Airport Transportation

You may also want to check out Cancun International Airport’s official website for more choices on public and private transfers to Tulum. There is no Uber in Tulum but taxis are plentiful and pretty easy to flag down

Tulum Travel Tips

DRIVING TIP: Tulum is a two-hour drive south, and most flights we looked at arrived in the evening. I would not recommend making this drive at night for a variety of reasons.

Make it easy on yourself and book a hotel near the airport. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott. We’re Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members, so this we an easy booking using points on the Marriott Bonvoy app.  We did this on both ends of our trip; we arrived late and flew out early. It made it much less stressful. 

LANGUAGE: Spanish is the obvious language. Brush up on your conversational Spanish before arriving so you navigate the basics. Most resorts have English speaking staff. 

MONEY: Pesos are the main currency used here although some places will accept USD. Most places prefer cash, so be sure to have enough in your wallet while doing some activities in and around Tulum. ATM’s and exchanges are limited. Prepare ahead and get your cash at the exchange on the main road outside the airport.

WATER: Tap water is not acceptable to drink here under any circumstances (definitely bring some sort of stomach medicine in case you get sick).

The good news! If you are a US citizen you don’t need a Visa to travel to Tulum. Now, pack that bag and see you in Tulum!

On The Way

The drive down is fun. Be sure to stop in Playa del Carmen. It’s about the halfway point and is a great spot for lunch. If you have time, take the ferry over to Cozumel. NOTE: If you rented a car, don’t take the car on the ferry. It’s against the rental car policy and is a huge fine. 

On to plan our next adventure. We hope you enjoyed the Maldives experience. We’d love to hear your comments below and hear more about your experiences.


Author Christopher

I'm a 40 something father, husband and entrepreneur. I love to travel and experience life in between being involved with my son's activities, and running 4 companies, one of which I own with my wife of 21 years. One month after taking the plunge to do an epic 26 day trip from Sydney Australia to Honolulu Hawaii I had a heart attack. I survived because of the quick actions of my wife and the fact that I had been a triathlete for the years leading up to the event. Now, more than ever before, I appreciate what life has to offer and making time to go experience it, not just dream about it.

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