Picture it: you’ve arrived in Cancun, the sun is shining, immigration was a breeze, and you’re ready to get to your resort and crack open your first beer. The last thing you want to do is waste precious hours figuring out how to get from the airport to your hotel.
So, to maximize your relaxation time, here are some handy tips on the main modes of transport for the half-hour transfer between Cancun airport and the luxury resorts of the Hotel Zone.
Shuttle – Private
A private shuttle is one of the fastest ways to transfer from the airport to your resort. You can pre-book your shuttle service online and will receive a confirmation email with all the information you need. The driver will wait for you in the meet and greet area of the arrivals terminal holding a sign with your name on it, so you’ll know exactly who to approach.
● There are no delays waiting for other passengers
● Shuttles are available 24/7.
● Because of their size, shuttles can accommodate larger groups.
● More expensive than a shared shuttle or public transport.
Many services are heavily discounted due to Covid, so these prices will likely change over time. But as of August 2021, if you book through Cancun Transfers, you can expect to pay $35 for up to 3 passengers in a standard van, or $60 for up to 6 passengers in a VIP class vehicle.
Shuttle – Shared
This is the most popular option for visitors transferring from the airport to their hotel and bookings can be made before arrival in Cancun. Although in non-Covid times there are plenty of companies offering this service, there are currently fewer shared services available.
● It’s affordable.
● Shuttles are available 24/7.
● You may have to wait for other passengers to arrive – anything from a few minutes to an hour is standard.
● The journey takes longer, as the shuttle will drop passengers at various locations.
As with the private shuttles, many of the shared shuttle services currently available are discounted. As of August 2021, you can expect to pay $10+ per person each way for a shared shuttle transfer.
You cannot book a regular taxi to collect you from Cancun airport. Instead, there are airport-regulated taxis that charge a set fee based on the distance to your resort. All authorized taxi drivers wear a uniform, have a Cancun Airport ID, and they display a badge on the windshield of their vehicle.
Watch out for people soliciting travel outside the airport, as not only is this illegal, but they are usually uninsured and are likely to charge you extortionate rates.
● You can pre-book.
● A fair price for a private transfer.
● Available 24/7.
● Won’t work for large groups of people.
A pre-booked authorized taxi transfer will cost upwards of $30 for up to 3 people.
Some hotels offer a shuttle service to and from Cancun Airport. Check with your hotel whether this is an option, and ask if they charge a fee.
The only public buses that can enter Cancun Airport are run by ADO, which offers a comfortable, air-conditioned bus service to Cancun Centro, as well as other destinations in the Mexican Riviera. The journey from the airport to downtown Cancun takes around 25 minutes.
● Services are regular and comfortable.
● Bus tickets are cheap.
● Buses only travel to downtown Cancun, not the Hotel Zone, so you’ll need to get a cab or another bus from Cancun Centro to your resort.
You can expect to pay around $5 for a one-way ADO bus ticket from Cancun Airport to Cancun Centro.
If you want to explore further afield than Cancun during your vacation, a rental car may be a good option for you. It’s hard to beat the freedom a car brings, and many Hotel Zone hotels offer free parking. There are plenty of international car rental companies operating out of Cancun airport, including Alamo, Budget, and National.
● You can choose your own timetable, there is no waiting around.
● Freedom to travel off-route if you want to.
● Can be expensive.
The cost of renting a vehicle varies depending on the size and class of the car. Expect to pay from a minimum of $200 per week for a small car to over $1,000 per week for an SUV or van.
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