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Why Cancun Tourists Are Having Trouble Visiting This Super Safe City Near Cancun Right Now

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Cancun travelers in town for the end of the winter holiday travel season have experienced challenges visiting a Yucatan travel hotspot recently due to the lack of bus tickets being available for transportation.

Sold Out Merida Buses

Anyone in the Mexican Caribbean looking to get to or from Merida recently has experienced that nearly all of the bus tickets are sold out due to strong demand from locals as well as tourists.

Merida bus

That’s even despite the fact that local bus operators have increased their runs to the city by more than 40 percent in anticipation of strong holiday demand.

ADO, one of the primary bus companies operating out of Merida, was recently requesting that travelers book their tickets well in advance to avoid the disappointment of arriving at the bus station just to find out that the desired bus is sold out.

Because of this, many have had to skip the express buses to locations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum for more regional buses with increased stops.

Merida church at nightfall

That makes a trip from Merida to Cancun a nine-hour ordeal for some travelers, as the regional buses can make up to ten stops in between the two destinations.

What’s Behind the Increase?

While the increase in passengers is common during the busy winter travel season with locals heading to and from Merida to spend time with family, this year’s demand is higher than normal.

colorful colonial building in merida with sunrise

“This time of year, we usually have about 180 buses in operation, but given the extraordinary demand, we have added nearly 80 more,” ADO Director Angeliuca Marroquín told a magazine in Merida.

However, the recent popularity of Merida as a destination to visit in 2024 has also increased the demand for bus tickets to the travel hotspot.

However, there are some alternatives available for travelers, including a new option that just recently started.

Passenger vans at Cancun bus terminal

Travel Options for Merida

Visitors heading to and from Merida do have transportation alternatives, although some will cost them dearly.

For example, there are some private taxis and vans that will transport travelers between Merida and Cancun for about $300. A recent search for an Uber from the Cancun Mall to Merida was priced at $6,860.47 Mexican pesos, or about $400.


A new option for travelers debuted recently with the start of the Tren Maya route between Cancun and Merida.

It is expected that tickets for the train route to Merida will be substantially cheaper than the other two options available. However, the prices were unavailable to compare on the official ticketing website and travelers should be aware that there are only two trains available daily.

Tips for Travelers

the new maya train tracks in the Mexican caribbean

As travelers to the Mexican Caribbean are learning to adjust to, reservations connected to a vacation in the area, from transportation to resort hotel rooms, should all be booked well in advance of travel.

Those who wait until shortly before the date of departure will not only find limited availability of transportation options but will also face high prices for the limited options still available. For example, the rates of $300-$400 dollars for alternative transportation to Merida, not including Tren Maya.

The good news is hopefully, the prices and availability for bus transportation between the Cancun area and Merida should adjust back to normal once the winter holiday travel period comes to a close.

Scenic evening view of Merida

However, visitors planning to travel to Cancun for the spring holiday travel period should expect a similar situation to occur with limited availability and high prices for transportation.

If Merida is on the bucket list for travelers this year, it is best to investigate and book future transportation plans sooner rather than later.

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