A private van from the Cancun Airport Transportation private service in Mexico

Cancun Airport Transportation (Brutally Honest 2023 Review)

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I travel to Mexico frequently. I have personally used Cancun Airport Transportation several times to go from Cancun International Airport. I have also taken all of the major alternative transportation options as well. In this Cancun Airport Transportation review, I’ll share my honest take on this Cancun airport shuttle service.

The short version is: it’s the fastest, most convenient, and safest way to get from Cancun International Airport, period. While the bus may be cheaper, it’s a much bigger hassle. And taxis cost more than either option, yet somehow are even more of a hassle than the bus! 

My honest advice?If you can afford it, just pre-book your transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation now and move on with planning your trip. When you arrive and waltz past all the other travelers stuck in the chaos of the Cancun Airport arrivals area, you’ll be glad you did.

Review Summary
Cancun Airport Transportation

My preferred service for getting from Cancun airport (and, yes, I pay just like a regular customer). I think it's the fastest, safest & easiest service there is. Just be sure to pre-book!

So you want to dig in more? Well, for a more detailed review of Cancun Airport Transportation, read on to learn my personal experience.

First, here’s a summary of key rates for Cancun Airport Transportation (one way, prices in USD): 

One WayRoundtrip
Cancun Downtown$39$75Book Here
Cancun Hotel Zone$39$75Book Here
Playa del Carmen$80$155Book Here
Tulum$155$299Book Here
Tulum Hotel Zone$175$335Book Here

The above chart is for their base Private Transportation Services, but they also offer:

Cancun Airport Transportation Review Quick Summary

The author Nate Hake's partner posing by the door of Cancun Airport Transportation service
Although my partner Clara and I were delayed 3 times during the Omicron travel crisis, they still were there for us waiting!

I’ve gone through Cancun International Airport at least 30 times over a decade of travel along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. I’ve tried every method of airport transportation I can think of: public buses, airport taxis, private vans – you name it, I’ve tried it. 

Here’s the thing: Cancun’s airport is honestly just a truly terrible place. It’s incredibly small and so gets super crowded. There’s almost nowhere to sit, and the limited food and drink vendors charge ridiculous prices ($8 for a bottle of water – no joke!).

Bottom line: you do not want to spend more time at Cancun International Airport than you have to. Going through that money trap is a necessary evil of visiting the beautiful Riviera Maya, but treat it like a public bathroom: get in, do what you have to do, and get out asap.

In my opinion, Cancun Airport Transportation is the overall best way to get out from Cancun International Airport and on to your hotel. I have used it multiple times and can confidently say it is the fastest, easiest, safest, and most convenient way to get to and from Cancun Airport. 

Although there are cheaper airport transportation options for single or solo travelers on a budget and willing to navigate the bus, if you’re with a group or a family you may find that Cancun Airport Transportation actually works out to be cheaper per person anyway.  

Pros of Cancun Airport Transportation

  • Safest, fastest & most convenient way from Cancun Airport
  • Avoid the hassles of Cancun taxis
  • Transparent and fair pricing (just remember to tip your driver)
  • Comfortable private vehicles
  • Bi-lingual drivers
  • Can pre-order drinks and snacks
  • Local, family-run business 

Cons of Cancun Airport Transportation

  • Buses are cheaper (although for groups it can still add up!)
Review Summary
Cancun Airport Transportation

My preferred service for getting from Cancun airport (and, yes, I pay just like a regular customer). I think it's the fastest, safest & easiest service there is. Just be sure to pre-book!

Cancun Airport Transportation is best for:

  • Groups
  • Families
  • Luxury travelers 
  • Anyone who values safety and convenience

Cancun Airport Transportation might not be a fit for:

  • Budget backpackers 

Cancun Airport Transportation Full Review

The author (Nate Hake) posing by the door of the Cancun Airport Transportation service
When we arrived at 1 am, I definitely SO glad we pre-arranged private transportation to Tulum

Overall, Cancun Airport Transportation is my personal preferred Cancun Airport transport service. I’ve tested several transport methods and found that it’s the lowest hassle and quickest way to get out of Cancun International Airport, which is honestly one of my least favorite places in Mexico.

The locally-owned company offers convenient private Cancun airport transportation to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and really any destination in the Yucatan. 

But of course, every traveler is looking for something a little different, so let’s get a little more specific on what features of the private transportation service I like best.

Here are the aspects and features of Cancun Airport Transportation I tested and rated for this review:

  • Booking Process (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Arrival Process (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Convenience (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Comfort (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Speed (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Safety (5 / 5 Stars)
  • Cost (4 / 5 Stars)

Shuttle Booking Process

⭐ Booking Process Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

A screenshot of the booking process from Cancun Airport Transportation’s website
Cancun Airport Transportation’s website makes for a smooth booking process

The booking process is very easy and intuitive.

Just go to the Cancun Airport Transportation website, enter the name of your hotel and select one way or round trip transportation. If staying in an Airbnb, put a nearby hotel or just the name of your city or “Cancun Hotel Zone” or “Downtown Cancun” as relevant. 

After booking, you get a confirmation email that includes a confirmation number. While the email says to “print this voucher” with your confirmation number, in my experience all they need is the number and your name when you arrive. 

Airport Arrival Process

⭐ Arrival Process Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

Busy crowd looking for transportation service outside Cancun Airport
The Cancun Airport is a mess! Be sure to pre-book to avoid the chaos

One of the best things about the company, in my opinion, is that it takes the hassle out of arriving at the airport in Cancun.

And, honestly, Cancun International Airport is a mess. There is essentially no arrivals hall. You pass through customs, and enter into a long hallway that feels like walking through a gauntlet of vendors. Rental cars, taxi companies, tour companies – they are all there trying to extract money out of you, often at above-market rates. 

Once you pass through that hallway, you exit to a public outdoor area filled with touts and taxi drivers, many of them who will be overly pushy.

Here your only task is to find the company’s representative – which is made easy by their distinctive bright orange sign. From there, the representative connects you with a driver, you load your luggage, and off you go.


⭐ Convenience Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

The convenience factor is a major reason I choose Cancun Airport transfer services instead of taking a taxi or a bus. This is especially true if you are going further in the Riviera Maya than Cancun.

Here’s an example:

Last January my partner Clara and I were traveling from Puerto Vallarta to Tulum during the Omicron crisis. Our connecting flight in Mexico City was delayed several times, and we ended up arriving in the middle of the night. 

I was so thankful we had pre-booked our Cancun shuttle to Tulum. Though essentially no one else was at the airport at that hour, this company was! They waited for our flight through all the delays, and honestly saved our trip! 

Shuttle Comfort

⭐ Convenience Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

I have used the service to go from Cancun Airport to Tulum several times, and always found it quite comfortable. Sometimes they have given us private vans, which are especially spacious, while other times the vehicle has just been a sedan. In all cases, the vehicles are as close to luxury transportation services as I’ve experienced in Mexico.

Pro tip: When booking, consider selecting the option to pre-purchase water, beer, or snacks. If you try to buy water at the airport, you’ll find they charge $8 USD! It’s much more convenient just to have it pre-booked and waiting in your private vehicle.  

Speed of Transport

⭐ Speed Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

This is the fastest form of Cancun transportation I think is possible. You arrive, hop in a vehicle, and immediately get on your way. No time wasted haggling to find a taxi, or waiting for the bus.


⭐ Speed Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

While Mexico is safer than most think, it’s still important to find reliable Cancun airport transfers with a trusted partner. Personally, I’ve always felt very safe with all the drivers I’ve used. They drop you off right at your hotel too – which is especially safe when you’re arriving in the middle of the night! 

Cost of Private Transfer

⭐ Cost Rating: 4 / 5 Stars 

This is the only category where I will dock a star, and that’s only because the service is more expensive than taking the ADO Bus. However, it’s cheaper compared to taking a Cancun airport taxi. And, since the pricing is per vehicle, it can actually work out to be very affordable for group transportation!

Alternatives to a Cancun Airport Shuttle

View of the booths of transportation alternatives in Cancun Airport
The area after baggage claim in Cancun Airport is filled with transportation options – but it’s a mess to navigate unless you’ve pre-booked!

While I think Cancun Airport Transportation is the best way to get from Cancun Airport, it’s not the only way. 

Here are some alternative transportation options to consider:

Cancun International Airport Taxis

I have taken a taxi from Cancun’s airport before, and I swore never to do it again. Regular taxis from the city aren’t allowed in Cancun airport – only official Cancun Airport taxis associated with companies that pay the concession fees are there. 

The price of a taxi from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone typically runs about $55 USD – and that’s assuming your driver actually gives you the official rate. 

Considering that the same ride with Cancun Airport Transportation starts at only $39, and it’s all pre-booked and reliable, I don’t understand why anyone would choose a taxi unless they just didn’t know any better.


View inside the ADO bus filled with passengers from the back part
Though it takes longer, if you’re on a budget, the ADO Bus is the cheapest airport transport

The cheapest form of transportation from Cancun International Airport is the ADO Bus. The buses are reasonably comfortable, there is luggage space underneath the bus, and buses leave from right outside the arrivals terminal. I have taken the ADO Bus many times, and it works just fine.

However, there are no buses directly to the Cancun Hotel Zone. 

In my opinion, the ADO Bus is a reasonable option to consider if you’re going from Cancun Airport to Tulum, to Playa del Carmen, to Bacalar, or somewhere further afield. 

It can also be a viable alternative if you’re staying in downtown Cancun, where buses do run, but it’s not worth the cost or hassle if you’re staying in the Hotel Zone, in my opinion.

Moreover, even for longer connections elsewhere in the Riviera Maya, I personally prefer to use a private transportation service when my budget allows. The bus times almost never align with my flight arrival, direct buses to Tulum are few and far between, and the entire process usually takes double the time of a private transfer. 

If you’re on a budget, though, the ADO Bus is the way to go.

FINAL VERDICT – Is a Private Cancun Shuttle Worth It? 

Cancun Airport Transportation is worth it, in my opinion. Overall, Cancun Airport Transportation is the quickest, safest, and most reliable way to get from the Cancun Airport to your hotel. I have used the transportation service several times in the past, and it will continue to be my preferred method when I return to Mexico. 

Although the ADO Bus may make more financial sense for budget backpackers, if you’re on vacation and want to make the most of your time, private transfers are the way to go. 

With more than 20 years of experience, this locally-owned family-run business is one that I’m happy to support. 

FAQs about Cancun Airport Transfers

A Cancun Airport Transportation representative with an orange suitcase sign in the Cancun airport
Just look for the Cancun Airport Transportation representatives holding the orange suitcase sign

How much is a taxi from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone?

On average, a taxi from Cancun International Airport to the Cancun Hotel Zone costs about $55 USD. Alternatively, you can pre-book a private shuttle transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation from $39 USD one-way.

The official Quintana Roo taxi rate is about $3 USD per kilometer, and the Hotel Zone is about 22 kilometers from the airport, depending on where your hotel is specifically. You can check official rates on the IMOVEQROO app. However, be aware that taxi drivers at the Cancun Airport have a reputation for trying to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. This is why we suggest pre-booking your transportation.  

How much is an airport shuttle in Cancun?

An airport shuttle from Cancun Airport to downtown Cancun or the Cancun Hotel zone starts at $39 USD one-way when you pre-book with Cancun Airport Transportation.

Are airport shuttles in Cancun safe?

The safest way to get an airport shuttle in Cancun is to pre-book a reservation with a registered company like Cancun Airport Transportation. If you exit baggage claim without a reservation, you’ll find many drivers trying to haggle with you. Because the airport is far from town, unprepared tourists can easily fall prey to scams. Only book with a registered airport shuttle company.

What is the safest transportation from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone?

The safest transportation from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone is to pre-book with a registered and reputable airport shuttle service like Cancun Airport Transportation, which is locally owned and has a 20 year history of serving the Cancun Airport. 

Alternatively, the ADO Bus is a safe and more affordable way to get to downtown Cancun. However, note there is not currently an ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to the hotel zone.

How long is the ride from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone?

The Cancun Hotel Zone is approximately 22 kilometers (13.5 miles) from Cancun International Airport, and the ride takes approximately 35 to 50 minutes, depending upon traffic.


That’s it for this Cancun Airport Transportation review. Now get planning your trip with all my Mexico guides.

Review Summary
Cancun Airport Transportation

My preferred service for getting from Cancun airport (and, yes, I pay just like a regular customer). I think it's the fastest, safest & easiest service there is. Just be sure to pre-book!

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Cancun Airport Transportation

I have used this service to safely go from the Cancun Airport to Tulum several times. It's fast, cheaper than a taxi + locally-owned. It's the single best Cancun Airport transport service I have found after dozens of trips to Mexico.

Product Brand: Cancun Airport Transportation

Editor's Rating:


  • Safe, fast & convenient
  • Bi-lingual drivers
  • Local family-run business


  • More expensive than bus (but cheaper than taxi)


  1. Hey – thanks for the great travel tips to Tulum. I have a question re. money. Pre-arrival to Cancun Airport, I have already changed some U.S. dollars into pesos but they are big bills. Can an exchange kiosk at the Cancun Airport give me smaller bills of pesos? And are the kiosks easy to find once I go through customs? And, is Cancun Airport Transportation in an individual terminal, or lumped outside in one area with all other transportation? THANK YOU! We are going to Tulum. THANKS!

    1. Hi Ellen,

      You can exchange cash in the Cancun Airport, although I have heard from others that their rates are often subpar. There are also money changers in Tulum town if you need those too. I can’t say I know what bills they will give, though you should be able to break bills in Tulum. If you have a credit card with no foreign exchange fees, that can also be helpful in Tulum (many, but certainly not all, places take credit card).

      Cancun Airport Transportation is located in the same covered carpark-style area outside the terminal. There are a lot of vendors, taxi drivers, and other companies – you just have to look for the representative holding their sign. They’ll then call your driver and show you to your vehicle.

      Have a fun trip to Tulum!

  2. Hi Nate – this transportation review is super helpful – thankyou. Is Cancun Airport Transportation a reliable enough company to book a return trip back to Cancun Airport. I don’t want to pay and then find that they don’t come to pick us up for the return journey. Your thoughts would be really appreciated. Thankyou so much – Clare

  3. This was a very thorough and informative article. I like youre comparing all options, with both their positive and negative opinions. It helped a lot, as I’m planning my first trip to Tulum or Playa del Carmen. I’m nearly fluent in Español and have been to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Penasco but want to explore the entire other areas of such a beautiful country.
    Should I rent a car at the Cabo airport or do the shuttle? I’m going by myself or with one other person. We both speak Español and have been to Mexico 5 times across Sinaloa.

    1. I have rented a car at the Cabo airport, and found it was the best way to get around. Cabo is very spread out and it’s helpful to have your own wheels if you’re planning to do much exploring beyond your hotel.

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