Can You Take an Uber From Cancun Airport? + 4 Great Alternative Options [2023]

Can You take an Uber from Cancun airport? Come to think of it, is there Uber in Cancun? Those are great questions. And ones you probably do not want to try to figure out as you walk out of the Cancun airport into the hot, Caribbean air.

The answer to these questions is a bit more complicated than you might imagine. Firstly, no, you cannot take an uber from the Cancun airport. You will need to arrange different transportation. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available, which I will outline before. 

Secondly, does Uber operate in Cancun? The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. Technically, yes, uber does operate in Cancun.

However, there are not many uber drivers in Cancun, and you can end up waiting on an uber for a really long time, or not be able to book one.

Beach with umbrella and turquoise water
Cancun Playa Delfines

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Is there Uber in Cancun? What the Law Say

A judge ruled that Uber can operate in the state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, in 2019. This upset the local taxi union, who feel that it is unfair that Uber operates because they do not have to follow the same licensing laws as the taxis.

In reality, they do not want to share the lucrative work of moving tourists around. After the judge ruled that Uber could operate in the state, local taxi drivers organized to make it extremely difficult, and sometimes even dangerous, for Uber drivers to operate.

There are stories of them following Uber drivers, yelling at drivers and customers, and vandalizing Uber driversโ€™ cars. 

As you can imagine, not very many people want to deal with the threats from taxi drivers, so there are not very many active Uber drivers in Cancun.

In this post, I will give you all the possible transportation options from Cancun airport to the main cities in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Cancun letters
Cancun Letters in Playa Delfines

Is there an Uber in Cancun?

While in Cancun, you can open the Uber app, but it can be difficult to find a driver who will give you a ride.

If you successfully get a driver to accept your ride, they might ask you to confirm that there are no taxis in the area where they will pick you up.

They often also request that you sit in the front seat so that it looks like they are a friend or family member who is picking you up.

The few Uber drivers who do work tend to stay far away from taxi stations, and they are never allowed to pick you up from the airport. 

There are many reasons that tourists and locals alike would like to try to use an Uber. Taxis are infamous for over-charging riders.

Even without Uber, there are several alternatives to getting from the airport to anywhere you are going on the Riviera Maya. Once at your hotel, if you do need to use a taxi, remember to always confirm the price before getting into the taxi.

Taxi drivers should have a current rate sheet with them too. 

No one wants to start their vacation feeling stressed about how to get to their hotel. After arriving at the Cancun International Airport, you are ready for your vacation to begin. Keep reading to learn all the different options for getting to your hotel. 

Can I Take an Uber From the Cancun Airport? - Cancun sign

What is a good alternative to UBER?

I have just come back to Cancun and since I am without a car rental for a few days I tried to call an Uber to check it out and that was what happened. The driver asked me to sit in the front and to check if there were any taxis around.

I find it a little stressful, to be honest. So I would skip Uber for now but you can use DIDI instead.

It’s a similar app, but it’s accepted by taxi drivers as well because they use it too. It has better fares and makes your life around Cancun easier.

However, you cannot use it from the Airport, though. So what can you use to get from the Cancun Airport to your hotel? Worry not! I have got you covered! Read on!

How to get from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone Cancun

TRANSPORTATION

DURATION

ONE WAY COST

30 min.

US$ 39 (from 1 to 3 p)

30 min

US$ 30 - 70 (per day)

30 min - 60 min

US$ 10 (per person)

30 min

from 85 USD

1- 2h

$US 5 (per person)

30 min

$US 80 - 100 (per taxi)

The Cancun Hotel Zone, also called the Zona Hotelera, is a 14-mile-long stretch of white sandy beaches. This thin stretch of land is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Laguna Nichuptรฉ. This impressively beautiful area is home to more than 70 hotels.

The first time you see it, it will blow your mind! This is where you will find the large all-inclusive hotels that Cancun is famous for.

If you are staying in the Hotel Zone, here are the best options for transportation to get you from the airport to your hotel. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Private Shuttle

cancun airport transportation service
CANCUN AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION FLEET

This is my favorite way to get from Cancun airport to the Hotel Zone or anywhere, the private shuttle, one of the fastest and easiest ways to get from the Cancun airport to the Hotel Zone.

One of the staff will be waiting for you to exit the airport doors and will call the driver to come for you and take you to your hotel in no time!

The great part of having a private shuttle is you do not have to wait for any other guests.

A private shuttle for 1-3 guests will cost around $39 to your hotel. So although it may seem pricey for one person (but still worth it) if you are a party of 2 or 3 it will come out very convenient.

Once you make your reservation you will receive your confirmation via email and instructions on where you will meet your host, which is different for every terminal. So make sure you read the instructions.

Confirmation
Confirmation email

Below this part, you will find all the instructions including where to find your host:

5.- Here are the meeting points at the Cancun Airport terminals: Terminal 2 (Welcome Bar) / Terminal 3 (Platform 64) / Terminal 4 (Columns B and C). You can also verify in which terminal are you with the security staff of the airport. One of Cancun Airport Transportation`s representatives will gladly greet you so you can start enjoying your vacation. He will have a board with the Cancun Airport Transportation LOGO. This person will call your pick-up transportation.

This is me with Miguel the driver and the shuttle that took me to my hotel.
This is me with Miguel the driver and the shuttle that took me to my hotel.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Shared Shuttle

If you want to save money, but avoid using public transportation, a shared shuttle is a great option. The driver will be waiting for you at the airport, and you will share a ride to the Cancun Hotel Zone.

The driver will drop guests off at their respective hotels. Where your hotel is on the route will determine how long of a ride you have. Shared shuttles cost $10. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ ADO Public Bus 

You can take the ADO public bus from the Cancun airport to downtown Cancun. The bus costs around $5. You have two choices of where to buy bus tickets, you can get them inside. Look for a red desk near the car rental desks.

Or, you can buy it outside at a stand where the bus pulls up. It will take you to downtown Cancun, from there you will either need to take a taxi to your hotel, or hop on a public bus (R1 or R2 go to the Hotel Zone) to get to your hotel.

It might be tempting to โ€œsave moneyโ€ and take the ADO bus into town, but I do not recommend this option. The public buses pass to all four Cancun airport terminals before heading to downtown Cancun.

From there you will still need to get back to the Hotel Zone, which is at least 20 minutes. If you are on a budget and heading to the Hotel Zone, I recommend using the shared shuttle. 

ADO at the airport
ADO Boot at the airport

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Taxi 

In a pinch, you can take a taxi from the airport to the hotel zone. This will usually cost you around $50. I recommend having a plan before arriving at the airport (such as a reservation with a shuttle).

Taxi drivers at the airport will aggressively try to sell you a trip with them, but it is more expensive than the other transportation options.

They will often try to convince you to pay more, and you will have to work hard to negotiate a price with them. I recommend that you avoid this stress and take a private shuttle instead. 

How to get from Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres

To get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun you need to get to one of the ferry docks, either in Puerto Juarez, Playa Tortuga or playa Caracol.

You can follow the above-mentioned recommendation and tell your driver to drop you off at one of the docks.

You can purchase your ferry tickets right there. Ferry boats run from 5.30 am morning until 11.00 pm every 30 minutes.

Isla Mujeres Aerial view - Caribbean coast
Isla Mujeres Caribbea Coast – BOOK YOUR TOUR TO ISLA MUJERES

How to get from Cancun Airport to Downtown Cancun

Downtown Cancun is where the locals live. Here you will find supermarkets, shopping centers, and restaurants. If you are looking for small taco stands, downtown Cancun is the spot for you.

There are a variety of hotels in downtown Cancun, and the beaches are an easy bus ride away. Here are the options to get from the airport to downtown Cancun. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Private Shuttle

This is the ultimate convenience if it is within your budget. A private shuttle from the airport to your destination in downtown Cancun costs $39 for up to 3 people (door to door service). Your driver will be waiting for you when you exit the airport and will take you directly to your hotel or airbnb.

No waiting on other travelers or stops along the way! It’s very convenient to book a private shuttle in advance if you book the return ticket you will get a discount as well.  

๐Ÿ‘‰ ADO Public Bus

You can hop on the ADO public bus for around $5 to get to downtown Cancun. You can buy your tickets inside the airport at the red ADO desks, or at the stand where the bus will pick you up.

The bus will pass through all the airport terminals before heading into downtown Cancun. From there you can take a taxi to your hotel. Consider some waiting time.

How to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Tulum is a beach town located about 130 kilometers south of Cancun on the Riviera Maya. Tulum is known for its laid-back vibes and beautiful sandy beaches.

There is no airport in Tulum although it’s a project. So for now you will need to fly either to Cancun or Chetumal, which are the nearest airports to Tulum.

If you are heading to Tulum here are some options for how to get there.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Private Shuttle

As always, a private shuttle will get you out of the airport and to your hotel the fastest. You should book it in advance. Your driver will be waiting for you and take you directly to your hotel.

The ride from the Cancun airport to Tulum takes approximately an hour and a half. The cost is $110 for up to three people. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Public Bus 

If you want to save some money, you can take the ADO bus to Tulum. Here you will have two options. You can take a bus that leaves from the Cancun airport and goes all the way to Tulum.

You will pass Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen on your way to Tulum. The cost is 362 pesos (around $20). There are not many direct buses though, so you will need to check with your flight schedule if there is a good connection.

The bus that runs all the way from the airport to Tulum leaves the airport every hour and a half. If you prefer to keep moving, and do not want to wait for the bus to Tulum, you can catch an ADO bus to Playa del Carmen.

During the day the ADO buses leave the Cancun airport for Playa del Carmen approximately every 20 to 30 minutes.

The bus will pass through Puerto Morelos before arriving at the downtown Playa del Carmen bus station. From here you can easily grab another ADO bus to Tulum, or a collective.

Colectivos” are shared passenger vans that locals use to move around. 

Tulum archeological Site
Tulum Archeological Site – BOOK TOUR FROM CANCUN

๐Ÿ‘‰ Rent a Car

If you are considering exploring Tulum’s surroundings my best recommendation is by renting a car. You can rent it from Tulum or directly at the airport, for more convenience, and you definitely save the transfer money.

There are many cheap car rentals but it all depends on the time of the year and how many days you want the car.

I always recommend checking on Discover Cars platform to compare prices and find the best deals.

Playa del Carmen beach
Playa del Carmen

How to get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen

Getting from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is very easy, also because the airport is at 20 minutes from Cancun center and 45 from Playa del Carmen. So it’s not that far and there are different ways to get there. Let’s check them out.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Private Shuttle

You can book a private shuttle in advance to take you to your hotel in Playa del Carmen. The shuttle costs $70 for up to three people. It takes approximately one hour to get from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen. A private shuttle is your fastest option to get you out of the airport and to your hotel. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Public Bus

The ADO buses leave the Cancun airport every 20-30 minutes to go to Playa del Carmen. The bus costs around 225 pesos (about $12). The bus will pass to all the airport terminals to pick up passengers before heading out to Playa del Carmen.

The ride can take between one hour and one hour and a half, depending on what terminal you get on at and if you have to pick up other passengers.

The buses are air-conditioned and play movies (in Spanish). The bus will drop you off at the Playa del Carmen main bus terminal. From there you may be able to walk to your hotel.

If not, you can easily take a taxi – just remember to ask the price before you get in. 

Renting a car in Cancun
Book your Car rental in advance

๐Ÿ‘‰ Rent a car

Also, Playa del Carmen offers great places for exploring the surroundings, and having a car will make your trip much more comfortable as you can plan at your convenience and schedule all the beautiful sights, beaches, Mayan Ruins, colonial town, and Cenotes.

How to get from Cancun Airport to Merida

Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan. It is a beautiful colonial city with large plazas and great architecture. Here you can experience the Maya region of the country. It is located about 300 kilometers from Cancun. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take A Private Shuttle

If you want to get to Merida as fast as possible, a great option is a private shuttle. Private shuttles from the Cancun airport to Merida cost around $345 for up to (mind) 3 people/

Private shuttles are air-conditioned and many will offer you beverages. You will want to relax and get comfortable for the ride to Merida.

It will take about four hours driving to get from the airport to Merida, depending on where in Merida you are going, the weather, and the traffic. 

Merida historical center
Merida Historical Center

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Public Bus

If you do not want to spend the money on a private shuttle, you can take public buses to Merida. There are two options.

First, if the time is convenient for you, you can take an ADO bus from the airport to Merida. There is only one bus a day that leaves from the Cancun airport to go directly to Merida. It leaves around 3:30 in the afternoon and costs around 1000 pesos (55 USD). 

If that time is not convenient for you, do not worry! You can catch the ADO bus to downtown Cancun. From there you can buy a ticket to Merida.

During the day there are buses leaving downtown Cancun for Merida between every half hour and every hour.

The bus from downtown Cancun to Merida will take around four hours. ADO buses are air-conditioned, play movies, and have bathrooms on board.

They are a comfortable way to travel and the seat reclines. Tickets from downtown Cancun to Merida cost around 650 pesos. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Rent a car

Renting a car is always a great option especially if you are going to Merida, you can even think about a taking a road trip around the Yucatan peninsula and make some stops to visit the most incredible sites such as Chichen Itza, or Uxmal archaeological sites and the amazing cenotes of Yucatan, some of them indeed breathtaking. Renting a car is the best way to enjoy the Southern region of Mexico.

CHICHEN ITZA
CHICHEN ITZA EL CASTILLO

How to get from Cancun Airport to Holbox

Isla Holbox is a laid-back island located off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Tourists love its laid-back atmosphere and crystal-clear blue water. It takes around two hours to get from Cancun to the town of Chiquila, where you will hop on a ferry to head over to Isla Holbox. Want to check out this island? Here are your options for how to get there.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Private Shuttle to Ferry Pier 

Booking a private shuttle is a great option, especially if you are traveling with a small group of people. You can book a private shuttle to pick you up at the Cancun airport and take you directly to Chiquila. It will take around two and a half hours in total. The cost for the private shuttle is around $230 for up to 4 people. 

HOlbox beach -palm trees
Holbox

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shared shuttle from Cancun airport to Chiquila’

A shared shuttle is also available if the time matches with your flight arrival time. They will pick you up at the airport and take you to the ferry pier to Holbox in Chiquila’. it’s a shared shuttle so you may have to consider a waiting time at the airport.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Public Bus 

If you do not want to spend the money on a private shuttle, you can take the ADO bus to downtown Cancun. From there you can buy a bus ticket for around 330 pesos to get to Chiquila. During the day buses leave every hour from downtown Cancun to Chiquila.

The ferry from Chiquila to Isla Holbox has departures all day long. The tourist price for the ferry is 220 pesos, and the ferry ride takes around a half hour. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Book a Private Plane 

If you can afford it, this is an incredible experience. Not only will it get you from the Cancun airport to Isla Holbox the fastest – the flight will only take 30 minutes, but you will get to enjoy beautiful views along the way.

Booking a private plane will cost over $800  for up to five passengers. If this is an option for you, just remember that small planes may limit the amount of luggage you can carry. 

Head over to this local site to learn more.

Valladolid
Valladolid

How to get from Cancun Airport to Valladolid

Valladolid is a Pueblo Magico, a picturesque colonial town located between Cancun and Merida. It is 150 west of Cancun. It is a popular place to learn about the culture and history of the Maya people and Yucatan Peninsula. Travelers love to visit the cathedral, convent, and cenotes.

You can find an amazing cenote (cenote zaci) at two blocks from the main square, but many others in the surroundings.

Valladolid is a popular place to stay for tourists who will visit the nearby archeological site of Chichen Itza. 

๐Ÿ‘‰Book a Private Shuttle

Booking a private shuttle will get you out of the airport and on your way to Villadolid the fastest. A private shuttle will cost around $180 for up to three people.

The driver will pick you up at the airport and take you in a comfortable air-conditioned van to your hotel in Valladolid. The trip will take around 2.5 hours. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Public Bus

If you do not want to spend the money on a private shuttle, you can take public ADO buses to Villadolid. There is no direct bus that runs from the Cancun airport to Valladolid.

Instead, you can take the ADO bus from the Cancun airport to downtown Cancun. From there you will buy bus tickets to Valladolid. The ticket costs around 200 pesos, and during the day buses leave around every hour to Valladolid.

The bus station in Valladolid is located in the city center, so you should be able to walk to your hotel from there. If not, you can grab a taxi. 

Bacalar_drone-kayaking- los-rapidos
Bacalar Drone

How to get from Cancun Airport to Bacalar 

Bacalar is located in the southern part of the state of Quintana Roo, close to the border with Belize. Bacalar is often called the Lagoon of Seven Colors because of its clear water and amazing shades of blue.

Tourists love to visit this freshwater lagoon to relax, explore the lagoon, and visit nearby cenotes and archeological sites.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Book a Private Shuttle

As you can tell by now, you can book a private shuttle to get you anywhere you want to go on the Riviera Maya.

Coming into the international airport in Cancun, there is nothing easier than walking out the doors and seeing your driver holding up a sign with your name on it.

Book your private shuttle to Bacalar in advance. It will cost $355 for up to three people. The trip to Bacalar takes around 4 hours from the airport. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Take a Public Bus

You can save money by taking public ADO buses. There are no direct buses from the Cancun airport to Bacalar.

You will need to take the ADO bus into downtown Cancun. From there you can purchase tickets for a bus to Bacalar.

Tickets to Bacalar cost around 560 pesos and the bus ride will take almost 5 hours. The ADO buses are comfortable, with reclining seats, air conditioning, and movies playing. 

Traveling Around the Riviera Maya and Cancun

As you can see, there are so many great destinations to visit in the Riviera Maya. When you fly into Cancun you can easily get to these spots.

If you are planning on moving from one location to another, renting a car is a great option. If you feel comfortable renting a car, having a rental car will give you a lot of freedom.

The Riviera Maya is full of cenotes, or freshwater lakes that connect to underwater river systems. With a rental car, it will be easier to get to cenotes, and come and go on your schedule.

Navigating the highways on the Yucatan Peninsula is easy-the highways are all well-marked. 

Although I didn’t include it everywhere, renting a car is always the best option in any case, unless you are planning to stay in the resort all the time, which is not recommendable but doable.

Even if you are staying in Cancun, with your own car you can check out all the Cancun Restaurant, the best beaches, including Isla Blanca and all the way to Puerto Morelos to explore the Cenotes near Cancun.

You can check out my comprehesive Cancun Itinerary where you can get many suggestions on all the things you can do in and around Cancun and how to move around.

What is the best way to get around Cancun?

If you are staying in Cancun, there are several ways to get around town. As mentioned above, your uber app will appear to work; however, it might be hard to get a driver to give you a ride.

You can use taxis to get around in Cancun, just remember to settle on a price before getting into the taxi! You can also use public buses to get around Cancun.

The R1 and R2 public buses run the length of the hotel zone to downtown Cancun. You can easily hop on these to get places within the hotel zone, or if you want to visit the Cancun center.

In general, locals and drivers are very helpful if you have questions about where you are going. 

Bacalar Xu-la Lagoon
Xu – la Bacalar Lagoon

Uber from Cancun Airport FAQ

Here are the answers to common questions people have about using Uber in Cancun. 

Can you call Uber in Cancun?

You can try. Uber is legal in the state of Quintana Roo, and your Uber app will show that the service is available in Cancun.

Due to the resistance taxi drivers put on Uber drivers, not many people want to drive Uber in Cancun.

It can take a while to get an Uber driver to pick you up. Drivers may ask you to be sure that there are no taxis present before agreeing to give you a ride. They may also request that you sit in the front seat, so that it looks like they are your friend or family member. 

Is it safe to take a cab in Cancun?

Yes, it is safe to take a taxi in Cancun. Taxi drivers have an (often deservingly) bad reputation for trying to overcharge tourists.

They can be a bit rude and pushy, but thankfully, they are safe to use. Just remember to agree on the cab fare before getting into the taxi. 

You may have heard stories of taxi drivers being involved in organized crime. The taxis that work in the hotel zone rely on tourists to make money.

They keep their taxis in good working order and cannot afford to have tourists report them for bad behavior. 

Can I use my Uber app in Mexico?

Yes, you can. Different states in Mexico have different rules regarding Uber. In Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is, Uber is legal.

Uber drivers cannot pick you up at the airport but can give you rides in town. There are not a lot of working Uber drivers, so it may take a long time to get an Uber driver to accept your ride. 

Can I Take an Uber From the Cancun Airport? - Cancun sign

How do I get from the Cancun airport to my hotel?

You have several options to get from the Cancun airport to your hotel, as mentioned above. You can book a private shuttle to take you from the airport to your hotel, you can book a shared shuttle that will take you and others to your hotel.

I recommend booking either a private or shared shuttle. A shared shuttle will save you some money but will take a bit longer as you wait for other travelers to get on and off.

You can also take a taxi from the airport, but I do not recommend this. Taxi will try to overcharge you for the service. 

Are taxis in Cancun expensive?

It depends on where you are going. Taxis rates are a set amount depending on the final destination but also when they pick you up. Within the downtown area, taxi prices are cheap.

Taxis in the hotel zone are more expensive.

The price is per trip, not per rider. Short distances can cost as low as 50 pesos, and go up the further the distance you travel. You can ask taxi drivers to see the rate chart.

If you can, pay taxi drivers in pesos. They will accept dollars, but not at a good exchange rate. 

Cancun Beach in the Hotel zone
Cancun Beach in the hotel zone

How much should a taxi cost from Cancun airport to the hotel zone?

As mentioned above, taxi drivers will try to overcharge you for a trip from the airport to the hotel zone. The rate should cost around $25, but they will try to charge you more.

Avoid having to fight over the price with a taxi driver and book a shuttle before you arrive in Cancun. 

Can You take an Uber from Cancun Airport? Final Thoughts 

No matter where your final destination in the Riviera Maya is, there are convenient ways to get there from the Cancun airport.

The Cancun airport is a busy place, with travelers coming and going constantly. Avoid the stress of the busy airport, by having a travel plan in place before you arrive.

Whether you want the comfort and ease of a private shuttle, or to save money and use public buses, making a travel plan will make your day stress-free. 

About the Author

Hey there! This is Isabella, the owner, and writer of this site. I have been living in Cancun for the past 12 years and although I have been roaming around Mexico, Cancun’s spectacular turquoise waters and pristine beach draw me back to this popular Mexican beach destination. That is why I decided to start this blog, to show you all the beauty you can find in Cancun and share helpful travel tips to help you plan a fabulous vacation in Cancun!

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