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Everything Travelers Need To Know About The New Tulum International Airport

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Things seem to be heating up for one of the highly anticipated projects in the Mexican Caribbean, as the new Tulum International Airport (Felipe Carrillo International Airport) is set to begin operations before the end of 2023.

Why is it highly anticipated, we hear you ask? 


Well, the new state-of-the-art airport is expected to bring yet another surge of tourists to the already record-breaking destination, taking off the heat ever so slightly from the bustling Cancun International Airport, which has been close to capacity this summer. 

Hailed to be “a magnificent opportunity to discover the wonders of the Maya World” by the governor of Quintana Roo, Mara Lezama Espinosa, Tulum International Airport is 65% complete and scheduled to open this December. 

ruins in Tulum

Many hugely popular flight operators have already announced new air routes to the airport from popular places in the U.S. such as San Francisco and Chicago, and will be flying directly to the Riviera Maya, just in time for winter vacation time, high season in the Mexican Caribbean. 

So here are all the things you need to know about this exciting project to help you decide if it could be the next airport you’re flying into…

Passenger Capacity

The new airport is expected to have a capacity for 5.5 million passengers annually, according to project supervisor Brigadier Gustavo Ricardo Vallejo Suárez, as well as having up to 32,000 annual operations. 

tourists in airport

These numbers are truly impressive and will be a welcome help to Cancun International Airport, which is currently the busiest in the region due to it being one of the top destinations to travel to for Americans. 

Up to 75% of the expected arrivals will be of international origin and is set to become the second busiest airport in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Where Is It?

Well, apart from the obvious (yes, it is in Tulum), the new airport is going to be extremely close to the busy beach destination, only 25 kilometers southwest of the center of Tulum. 

tulum beach with lots of tourists

This means it will be extremely accessible by bus and car transfer, and perfect if you are hiring your own vehicle. 

The airport will also be 130 kilometers from Cancun, meaning you can just as easily travel to the most popular destination in the Mexican Caribbean for the day or a short trip. 

When Will It Be Open?

As we mentioned above, Tulum airport is reported to be 65% complete and is going full steam ahead to begin operations by December after López Obrador’s most recent visit to the construction site. 

tulum statue

There seems to be no sign that there will be any delays in the opening, which is welcome news for tourists who have already booked tickets for the inaugural flights, which seem to be filling up fairly quickly. 

The construction of the new airport has also created over 14,690 jobs, which is yet another win for the tourism industry and its workforce. 

What Airlines Will Have Flights Out Of It?

The most exciting airline to announce its operations to and from Tulum is Aeroméxico, which is flying direct flights from Toronto, Canada and San Francisco and Chicago in the U.S., from the very first day of opening on December 1st. 


The low-budget airline Viva Aerobes has also announced that it will be launching new routes to Tulum from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana as well. 

Now that the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restored travel safety measures to Category One, it is expected that even more flights and routes will be announced in the coming months. 

For the past two years, Mexico was considered Category Two, which had a negative impact on flights and tourist numbers due to the safety of the region being brought into question. 

The Maya Train 

Another exciting part of the Tulum International Airport opening is the fact that it will be connected to the other hugely anticipated flagship project, The Maya Train, which has an onsite station. 

high speed train at station

The Maya Train has been built to connect travelers all over the Yucatán Peninsula, bringing greater connectivity to the area, and is also set to be open by the end of the year. 

This means tourists can make their way from Tulum to incredible ancient archeological sites, stunning magical towns, and other hugely popular tourist hotspots easier than ever while still enabling them to pick Tulum as their base. 

So what are you waiting for? Time to start booking your next trip!

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