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Cancun Has Mostly Eliminated Major Traffic Delays To The Airport

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The end of a vacation is a hard time enough without having to worry about delays on the way to the airport. That was the case for hundreds of travelers a few weeks ago who ended up abandoning their rides and making a sprint for the airport after reported traffic delays of up to 5 hours. Thankfully, it appears as though most major delays on the highway to the Cancun airport have been resolved for now. While there are no longer 5 hour delays, expect the usual heavy high season Cancun traffic and give yourself at least 2.5 hours transportation time to the airport.

Our CEO of The Cancun Sun, Kashlee Kucheran, recently did the drive to the Cancun airport from Tulum and found that any problems that were occurring on the highways have now been swiftly resolved, with the 120km journey proving to be a breeze – and the subsequent airport check-in and security checks also proving to be a walk in the park.

“We actually didn’t experience any noticeable delays on the drive. Being right after the New Year, I was expecting massive delays but ended up the airport 5 hours hours early instead,” Kucheran reported.

“The security lines and check in lines were minimal, they had tons of staff and you can tell they were prepared.”

empty highway mexico desert

Here’s a look at what travelers need to know about traveling to the airport, and why it’s still advisable to make sure you leave early just to be safe. 

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As vacations wind down toward their inevitable end, thoughts turn from getting the best tan you can muster to planning a trip to the airport for that sad flight home. Yet regardless of how well travelers plan, some things, such as traffic often can’t be avoided.

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@texiejune it took us 4 hours to go 3 miles 🙃🙃 #cancunmexico #cancun #cancunairport ♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music

More recently, the local authorities’ decision to modernize their roads left travelers with massive delays as planned improvements to the city’s highways affecting some 10,000 travelers in the run-up to Christmas, causing several flights to be delayed and many travelers facing the worst-case scenario of missing their flights completely. With the road works coming as a record number of flights were seen at the airport, it was always going to be a recipe for a disaster – but thankfully the situation is now under control. 

busy traffic in mexico taxi

Delays Eliminated

According to the President of the municipality of Benito Juárez, Ana Peralta, cooperation between federal, state, and municipal authorities have “managed to normalize fluid vehicular traffic on Blvd Colosio, which allowed the arrival and departure of tourists from the Cancun International Airport without setbacks.”

The solution will see improvement work continue on the highways, but with alternative routes to the airport provided to improve the flow of traffic. This should put an end to the scenes seen throughout TikTok and Twitter of travelers abandoning taxis and heading to their airport on foot.

traffic jam overhead mexico

Such improvements have already been felt by our CEO, Kashlee Kucheran, on her recent trip to Cancun International Airport from the seaside town of Tulum. Despite the evidence of construction and road closures on the way, the drive to the airport was seamless, completing the 120km journey in just over 90 minutes – a feat that is bound to ease the worries of travelers contemplating similar routes in the upcoming weeks. Along with no traffic to be reported along the way, Kashlee’s experience in the airport itself was also a positive one. 

empty highway road sign tulum cancun

Kashlee reported that, despite the airport being busier than ever in recent weeks, the journey from airport front doors to the gate was seamless, with check-in completed quickly security a breeze, and virtually nothing in the way of hold-ups. Cancun has been working hard to make the arrivals process streamlined and easy, but it’s refreshing to hear that the departure process is just as quick too.

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Yet despite Cancun seemingly having gotten its act together with regard to airport traffic, it’s worth leaving nothing to chance. Travelers should always prepare for the worst, with leaving to the airport an extra hour or so before you’d normally consider it the best way to guard against another flare-up of congestion or issues. It’s important to remember the old adage that it’s better to be hours early than a minute late – especially when there are expensive flights at stake. 

cancun airport drop off busy

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Sunday 8th of January 2023

Had a similar experience as traveler in article on January 3rd....came from Playa del Carmen (Corasol) area. Took 45 minutes travel time and much less to check bags and get thru security. Was on the highway around 9am in the morning.

Dave Weisbrodt

Saturday 7th of January 2023

This story is not accurate. I drove from Tulum to the Cancun airport on Thursday January 5th, and the delays due to construction were horrendous. It took two and a half hours and we were so glad that we gave ourselves four hours to make the drive. The ridiculous part was that it could have gone smoother if every taxi and tour bus didn't try to save time by driving up the road shoulder, and then cut everyone off when they needed to merge back into the actual highway lanes. The police need to crack down on the shoulder drivers, but I guess that this is simply acceptable in Mexico. If you are traveling to the Cancun airport anytime soon, please leave hours before you think you need to. Just my 2 cents.

The Cancun Sun

Sunday 8th of January 2023

2.5 hours from Cancun to Tulum is the usual time it takes.

Dave C

Saturday 7th of January 2023

This article is based on one test run, maybe early in the morning? Jan 5th, coming from the south, there was a 4.5 mile backup from the south that took us 95 minutes to get thru.


Saturday 7th of January 2023

@The Cancun Sun, sitting in that traffic right now and it’s going to be at least 2 hours to go the last 5 miles… 4:00 on Saturday Jan 7

The Cancun Sun

Saturday 7th of January 2023

As you can see at the top of the article it says the 5 hour delays no longer exist but it is now back to the usual 2 hours it takes to get to the Cancun airport. This is nothing new and 2 hours has always been suggested.


Friday 6th of January 2023

Complete BS. Yesterday, Jan 5th, we were stuck in the bumper to bumper for 2 1/2 hours. The pilots were delayed getting to our plane because it took them 2 hours to get from one terminal to another!!! Insanity

The Cancun Sun

Saturday 7th of January 2023

As per the article, the 5 hours delays and people running to the airport have been resolved. 2-3 hours is the usual travel time to the Cancun airport during high season.


Thursday 5th of January 2023

Right...except for the 2+ hours it took to go from Puerto Morelos to the airport today😅


Sunday 8th of January 2023

@Mike, yes, it was the same for us yesterday.