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Tourists Seen Walking To Cancun Airport As Highway Renovation Causing Traffic Chaos

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Tourists traveling to Cancun International Airport have reported significant delays in the past week as a result of the ongoing renovation of the city’s Colosio boulevard, which leads to the airport. With delays of up to two hours reported, some tourists have been seen getting out of their taxis and walking to the airport in order to catch their flight.

In recent weeks, authorities have been warning both residents and tourists of possible delays due to the massive construction project. Combined with a record-breaking summer vacation season, many tourists are struggling to catch their flight on time. Last weekend, several local media outlets released reports of tourists having to exit their taxis while en route to the airport amid a traffic standstill. Some passengers were seen making the remaining segment of the trip on foot in a frantic effort to reach the airport’s croweded terminals. 

The highest amount of traffic occurs between 6 to 10 AM from the center towards Cancun International Airport, whereas 5 to 8 PM sees the most traffic from the airport towards the city center. In order to alleviate traffic build-up, authorities have taken several measures, such as removing some traffic lights and prioritizing public transport including buses. 

Travel agencies, tour companies, and hotels are working to keep tourists updated about possible delays. However, according to Eduardo Paniagua Morales, head of the national Mexican Travel Agency Association (AMAV), more needs to be done to raise awareness among visitors about the ongoing disruptions. Furthermore, visitors are being told to add at least an additional hour for their airport transfers in order to avoid missing their flights, which may prove pricy. 

The chaotic traffic situation around the airport has prompted some organizations to call for more action from authorities to address the worsening problem. One such suggestion includes deploying units from the National Guard to direct traffic during peak hours, helping avoid potentially conflictual situations. 

Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean remain some of the most popular destinations for international travel. Amid growing travel numbers, it’s more important than ever to maintain the city’s travel infrastructure up to date and in good condition. That’s why authorities have been working on a significant renovation of the city’s main highway, Colosio boulevard, which runs from the airport to Cancun’s center.

Being one of the most transited points in the city, authorities gave the green light to begin the costly upgrade of the highway, which will see its capacity increased as well as improvements to the general state of the road. Once complete, it will be able to accommodate a growing number of road users and help cut down traffic. Overall, the projects are estimated to take more than a year.

The massive overhaul will see new hydraulic concrete added along the length of the 13.5-kilometer boulevard. Moreover, several new overhead bridges will be built, and Chac Mool Avenue will be widened and connected with Huayacan Avenue and Colosio boulevard. Meanwhile, traffic authorities have pointed out that the following alternate roads may be used while Colosio boulevard undergoes renovation:

  • Avenida Huayacán
  • Avenida 135
  • Avenida José López Portillo
  • Carretera 180 Mérida-Cancún, also known as “Gas Auto”

This past weekend saw some of the highest passenger numbers of the summer so far in Cancun International Airport (AIC), with delays of up to one hour to enter or exit the terminals. According to the airport’s daily aircraft traffic update, more than 183,000 passengers transited through the airport’s terminals over the weekend. Moreover, hotel occupancy in Quintana Roo is at a whopping 88%, indicating strong growth in international travel this summer. 

cancun airport entry

In addition to the current road construction projects, a massive new 8.8-kilometer-long vehicular bridge is being built to connect Cancun’s hotel zone with the city center.

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Mary White

Sunday 7th of August 2022

How is it getting into Playa Mujeres/Costa Mujeres?

José Guadalupe

Saturday 6th of August 2022

As usual; they had two whole years of COVID to do all these mess and help the economy, but instead they decided to do it in the worst moment of all.

That's whay "México es Mágico!"


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

I will be driving a rental car from Tulum to the airport. Is the congestion only from downtown Cancun to the airport? Is there congestion on the Carretera Ramal Aeropuerto? Has the affected carretera 180? We usually give 2 hours for driving to the airport plus extra time for dropping the car off and checking into the airport.

Dan Cady

Friday 5th of August 2022

@Joan, going to the airport from playa del carmen or tulum you will need 4 hours to be safe and catch your flight


Friday 5th of August 2022

@Joan, you may run into bumper to bumper traffic from Puerto Morelos onwards. Trying to take the Merida Cancún highway will not help, for it is also under construction. You may consider taking a shuttle flight from Cozumel to Cancún and drop the rental car off at Playa del Carmen