Planning to visit Cancun and the Riviera Maya for the holiday season? While a trip to paradise is always a good idea, nothing can put a damper on your vacation like a bad experience at the airport. Reports of being overcharged by drivers, dealing with unlicensed drivers, dodging scams at the airport, and the like are not uncommon for travelers. With so much to worry about, how can you prepare for your trip?
To help make for a stress-free and sun-filled Mexican vacation this winter, here’s what travelers should know when arriving at Cancun International Airport.
Cancun International Airport In 2022
The Cancun International Airport (CUN) is a bustling tourist hub in and of itself. The latest numbers have revealed that Cancun International Airport received over 22 million passengers for the months of January to September of this year, which is a 15% increase from 2019.
CUN is even amongst the top 10 busiest airports in the world for International travelers, climbing more than 50 spots from the year prior.
Book Your Transportation Beforehand
This is probably the most important rule or tip to keep in mind when planning your trip to Cancun and the airport.
According to the official Cancun Airport website, the airport is a little different than other airports in that all transportation via taxi/van/etc. should be booked before your arrival so that your official pre-arranged transportation should be waiting for you outside of the airport terminal. The airport cannot protect you or issue compensation if you book your airport transportation with an unauthorized company or individual.
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To know that you have officially booked your transport from the airport, you must have two things:
- The confirmed rate ($) for your transportation
- A confirmation number for the booking
You can check the Cancun Airport website for the official rates and recommendations for pre-booked taxis from Cancun Airport to your destination.
Plus, booking your transportation beforehand will help you avoid the issue of fake taxis, which has been an increasing cause for concern in recent months.
Notable exceptions to this rule would be if you don’t plan on visiting Cancun proper and are heading onward to Playa del Carmen or Tulum. In that case, many travelers just buy an ADO bus ticket outside of the terminal and hop on the bus to their next destination. The booking beforehand rule doesn’t currently apply to the ADO bus.
Which Terminal Will I Arrive At?
Cancun International Airport has four terminals in total, hosting both international as well as domestic airlines. Each terminal leads you to the exit so you can get your transportation and get settled in your hotel. But whichever terminal you end up landing at, you’ll have to pass through a slew of money exchange kiosks, shops, and even some timeshare sellers (which we’ll get to in the next point).
Terminal 1 mostly handles charter flights, and Terminal 2 handles most domestic flights (with the exception of Alaska Airlines and Sunwing), so you’ll probably end up arriving at Terminal 3 or 4. Each terminal is equipped with bathrooms, ramps, and elevators for accessibility, ATMs, pharmacies, security service, and 24-hour medical. To find out more about your terminal, head to Cancun Airport’s official website.
Beware Of The Timeshare Sellers
While some travelers do engage with the timeshare sellers and end up attending a meeting in exchange for a travel deal, many warn tourists to just stay away completely.
The timeshare sellers are typically located inside the terminal and not waiting outside with the rows of drivers and transportation companies. If one of them claims to be your pre-booked driver, please remember that your pre-booked transport will ONLY be waiting outside of the airport for you.
Like us, do you visit Cancun a lot? If so, anything that you think should be added to this list of arrival tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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Saturday 19th of November 2022
You failed to mention the appalling passport control.....2 hrs to get through...pathetic....then we had to queue for twenty to scan our luggage once we had finally found it.....we will not be going again ever
Thursday 17th of November 2022
We arrived at the airport from London on 10th November. From landing it took 3.5 hours to exit the terminal. Bear this in mind when confirming transport times
Thursday 17th of November 2022
Do you have any recomendations for car hire at the airport please
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Advise for buying prepaid phonecard inside terminals 3 and 4 also at night time would be a great help.