Be it by bus, taxi, private shuttle or even by ferry. There are plenty ways to get around in Cancún. If you follow some basic rules it can be very cheap, safe and stress free. Read on to find everything you need to know about the transport in Cancún.
- Tips for getting around in taxi or colectivo
- Airport Shuttles for CUN
- Can I use Uber in Cancún
- Using public buses in Cancún
- Buses from Cancún to other cities
- Using local ferries in Cancún
- Highway tolls around Cancún
- A word about safety in Cancún transport
Tips for taking Taxis in Cancún
Here are some tips for taking taxis:
- It's more expensive to get a taxi at a taxi rank than to hail one on the street.
- Find out the fare for your trip from locals and negotiate the price with the driver before getting in.
- Pay in pesos rather than USD to avoid unfavorable exchange rates.
- Tipping is not mandatory, but can be given for exceptional service.
- Sometimes ordering a taxi in your hotel or resort might result in very expensive fares as the hotel gets a share or commission.
- Taxis are white and have a small green stripe on the side of the car.
- Agree on the price upfront and before you get in the taxi to avoid overcharging.
It’s also important to note that taxis are not metered in Cancún. Prices are calculated by zones and in the hotel zone you can't go anywhere for much less than $150 pesos.
What is the current taxi fare to get from Cancún hotel zone to downtown?
The taxi fares in Cancún can vary and they may not follow set fares. A trip from the southern part of the hotel zone to downtown should cost around 350-500 pesos, but some may charge more. From the start (or more northern part) of the zone it takes accordingly less, between 250-300 pesos. Taking the bus is a safer and much cheaper option, with fares costing $12 pesos and two routes available to take you to different destinations in Cancún.
How much is a short taxi trip within the hotel zone of Cancún?
A short distance may cost around 10-15 USD. But as explained below, the bus usually tends to be the cheaper and sometimes even more reliable option.
Taxis and Colectivos from Cancún to Playa del Carmen and Tulum
Additionally, there are Foreno sites where taxis wait to go to places like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and taxi colectivos that wait at the bus stop just outside Walmart. They work the same way and go up into the hotel zone when they have four passengers, costing around 100 pesos per person.
Official Cancún Airport Shuttles
there is no official Cancún airport shuttle service. Instead, there are many companies claiming to be official but are not actually affiliated with the airport. These companies may try to scam you or pressure you into buying other services.
Other travelers recommended booking with a private transportation company such as Canada Transfers, USA Transfers, CARM, Happy Shuttle, First Choice VIP, AGI Tours, or Kalido. Contact them directly for prices and make arrangements with them before your trip. Be cautious of anyone in the airport claiming that your transportation has been cancelled and trying to sell you their services. Stick with the reliable companies listed above to avoid any potential scams or issues. Or use Apps like Uber.
Is Uber recommended in Cancún?
While Uber is available in Cancún and can be a convenient option for transportation, there have been reports of local taxi drivers protesting and occasionally blocking access to Uber drivers, which can create some tension and potential safety concerns. Additionally, some Uber drivers may not be familiar with the local area, which could result in longer travel times or higher costs. As with any mode of transportation, it's always a good idea to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings when using Uber in Cancún. It may be a good idea to compare prices and reviews of Uber with other transportation options such as private transfer companies or official taxis.
What buses to take from hotel zone in Cancún?
To use the bus system in Cancún, there are two main buses, the R1 and R2, which go up and down the hotel zone frequently.
There isn't an actual map of the bus routes, as routes may change from time to time. Once you reach downtown, the R1 turns right onto Avenida Tulum and continues to the Crucero, while the R2 continues past Avenida Tulum, passing the bus stop for Mercado 28 and Walmart. You can get local buses from Avenida Tulum to take you directly to Mercado 28 or Plaza Las Americas.
How much do buses cost in Cancún?
Single way tickets cost 12 pesos in the hotel zone and 10 pesos elsewhere. The fare for all downtown buses is 10 pesos.
How do I pay on Buses in Cancún?
When taking a bus in Cancún, you pay as soon as you board the bus and they give you change. If you don't have smaller bills/exact change, it's best to pay with a 20- or 50-peso bill. Paying with a 100- or 200-peso bill is possible, but it's better to avoid it, especially on crowded buses.
It's also recommended to pay in pesos and avoid paying in US dollars as some drivers may not give you the right exchange rate or any change at all. While they will make change on pesos, you may need to wait a bit, and you may get a lot of coins.
Buses from Cancún to other towns
To travel between Cancún and other towns such as Puerto Morelos or Playa Del Carmen, you need to take a colectivo or the ADO bus. ADO is a first-class bus system that goes to other cities and towns, and some tourist sites. The ClickBus website has schedules in English, and the ADO website has schedules and fares in pesos. Another option is a second-class Mayab bus, which is cheaper than ADO and runs approximately hourly between Cancún and Tulum. Both have no official (working) website. You can book them through Rome2Rio or Omio*.
ADO Bus from Cancún to Belize
As of March 2023, Belize has lifted all Covid-related travel restrictions and everything is fully reopened with no restrictions. However, ADO has not resumed the Cancún-Belize City route since the border reopened.
If it doesn't resume the route to Belize, there are other options to get to Belize from Cancún.
One can take an ADO bus to Chetumal and change to a Belizean bus to continue to Belize, or take a water taxi from Chetumal to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye or to Caye Caulker. Another option is to fly to Belize with Tropic Air.
It is important to note that ADO typically publishes their schedules online about 2-3 weeks in advance and the schedule seldom changes very much, if at all.
I highly recommend to check available routes and book your bus or plain directly through reputable websites such as Rome2Rio or Omio*. Using these services not only provides you with convenience, but also offers additional security and peace of mind. In the unlikely event that anything goes wrong with your booking, you can rest assured that you will be compensated by the service provider.
Local Ferries in Cancún
Cancún counts with two main ferry terminals in Cancún: Puerto Juarez and Playa Tortugas. Puerto Juarez is located in the northern part of Cancún and is the departure point for ferries to Isla Mujeres. Playa Tortugas is located in the hotel zone and is the departure point for ferries to Isla Mujeres and other nearby islands.
There are two ferry companies that operate in Cancún: Ultramar and Magana. Ultramar has larger and more modern ferries, while Magana has smaller and older ones.
To use the ferries, you'll need to purchase a ticket. You can buy tickets at the ferry terminals or online in advance. The ticket price varies depending on the destination and the ferry company, but it's usually around $10-$20 USD for a round-trip ticket.
The ferries run regularly throughout the day, but it's a good idea to check the schedule in advance, especially if you're planning a day trip to one of the nearby islands.