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Cancun Airport Starts Year With Huge Increase In Passengers – 5 Tips Travelers Should Know

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The number of travelers vacationing in Cancun continues to skyrocket as 3.7 million sun-seeking tourists flocked to the Caribbean destination in January. The seaside resort town has seen impressive growth figures ever since the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, and there seems to be no end in sight to how popular Cancun can become.

With most travelers entering the city through Cancun International Airport – one of the busiest in the world – it’s more important than ever to understand how to navigate the region’s largest aerial hub. In this article, we’ll go over some key tips travelers need to understand prior to visiting Cancun’s airport.

Inside view of one of Cancun airports terminals

Take Advantage Of New High-Tech Migration & Customs 

Officials in the popular destination are fully aware of the city’s endless allure. This year, they’ve implemented several measures to ease long migration & customs lines by introducing new high-tech passport scanning machines. Cancun International Airport is currently one of the most advanced in Mexico, and for U.S. and Canadian travelers (currently the only ones eligible for the new entry procedure), travel is smoother than ever before. 

New passport machine at Cancun International Airport

Plan Your Transportation In Advance 

One of the best things travelers can do to ensure a hassle-free arrival in Cancun is to plan their transportation in advance. There are several viable options for reaching Cancun’s hotel zone, where most large popular resorts are located. With the ongoing dispute over Uber, travelers are advised to rely on shuttle services and other modes of private transport – often provided free of charge by resorts. 

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A passenger waiting to board a taxi in Cancun

If you’re opting for a taxi, make sure to negotiate the price beforehand to avoid being overcharged or outright scammed. In the long run, Uber might become a safe and affordable option for travelers, but it’s unclear how long that might take as authorities attempt to sort out the issue. 

Know The Difference Between Cancun’s 4 Terminals 

Cancun International Airport is among the busiest in the world, handling some 30 million passengers last year. The airport currently has 4 terminals, with terminals 2 and 3 being the largest. Most domestic flights, as well as those headed to South America, depart from Terminal 2, whereas Terminals 3 and 4 house most international flights, including major U.S. routes. Make sure to know which terminal your flight departs from to avoid time-consuming and potentially costly transfers.

Outside view of one of Cancun airport's large terminals

Show Up To The Airport Well In Advance

Arriving at Cancun International Airport is usually a lot easier than getting there; with unpredictable traffic flows and constant renovations taking place around the airport’s main roads, it’s highly advisable to show up at the airport up to three hours prior to your flight. Many airlines, including Delta and Air Canada, have urged passengers to arrive at the airport up to 5 hours before their flight.  

Busses and taxis waiting outside Cancun International Airport

While road works are expected to improve the city’s lacking infrastructure, for the time being, they’re also causing traffic disruptions and upsetting travel plans. Travelers should always check with their airline for the latest estimates on arrival times to avoid missing their flight.

Crowd of passengers in Cancun International Airpot with shops in background

Watch Out For These Airport Scams 

Traveling through Cancun International Airport is a safe experience, although petty crime remains a major issue. With so many wealthy travelers hailing from the U.S. and elsewhere, crooks and scammers are always on the hunt for a potential target.

A more common scam faced by travelers includes the notorious timeshare scam, in which fraudsters lure unsuspecting visitors to attend a sales presentation. Always remember to walk all the way outside the airport before looking for your ground transportation. Anyone inside the airport trying to convince you they are your ride is most likely a timeshare salesmen in disguise.

Cars, Taxis, and Shuttles Outside of Cancun International Airport

While not technically a scam, travelers should avoid exchanging their currency at the airport due to bad rates and high fees. Instead, get enough Pesos prior to departure or exchange enough dollars at the airport to reach your hotel or resort, which offers better rates.

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Riqtaz Walporeie

Monday 13th of February 2023

Stay away from indoor sales people, they will make you visit other resorts and they will sell their vacations plans to you. I wish, I knew this beforehand. Hope this is helpful to you…