Cancun to Mexico City: 3 Ways to Get CDMX

Wondering how to get from Cancun to Mexico City? Look no further. In this post, I will tell you all about it.

I live in Cancun and I went to Mexico City quite a few times from there. I always took the airline although you have the option to get on a 26 hrs direct, which I wouldn’t recommend.

The furthest I went by bus was Orizaba and it was about 20 hours bus trip. Not fun! Anyway in this post I will share all the possible ways to get to CDMX (how Mexico City is friendly called by the locals). Read on.

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, and the most populous city in North America but it is also the cultural center of Mexico, filled with museums, amazing architecture, events, and delicious food.

Whether you want to spend a long weekend exploring the major sites of Mexico City or dedicate more time to getting to know the city, it is worth a visit. Keep reading to learn how to get from Cancun to Mexico City. 

Drone view of Cancun beach and lagoon.

How do you get from Cancun to Mexico City?

Anything you read will tell you that Mexico City is the important cultural center of Mexico.

But, as you get to know Mexicans, you realize how truly important it is to the country.

Many Mexicans have either lived or studied in Mexico City, have family living there, or visited there for some sort of event.

No matter where you are in Mexico, there will be transportation options to get you to Mexico City. That said, it might not be fast.

Mexico is a large country, it is the 14th largest country by landmass, so you may have a long distance to go to get to Mexico City.

Cancun is located over 1,200 kilometers from Mexico City, and there are a few options to get from Cancun to Mexico City- you can go by plane, bus, or car. 

1. Cancun to Mexico City By Flight

For most people, the best way to get from Cancun to Mexico City is to take a flight. Flying is the fastest and easiest way to move between these two cities.

There are usually around 15 daily direct flights that go from Cancun to Mexico City. Volaris, VivaAerobus, and Aeromexico all offer several daily direct flights from Cancun to Mexico City.

Flight prices depend on your departure time and date, but you can find very affordable flights from Cancun to Mexico City. 

The flight from Cancun to Mexico City is around 2 and a half hours.

This means that including time to check in at the airport and arrive in Mexico City, you can get there in less than a half day of travel. 

In March 2021 the Felipe Angeles International Airport opened to serve the Mexico City metropolitan area.

This airport is located 49 kilometers to the north of Mexico City and has been criticized for its poor public transportation connections to downtown Mexico City.

The Mexico City airport, officially named the Benito Juarez airport, is just 5 kilometers east of downtown Mexico City and you can easily use a public bus to get to and from the airport.

Pay close attention to which airport you are buying your flights to, so you can properly plan your vacation and transportation needs. 

Zocalo Cathedral on a beautiful sunny day.
Zocalo Cathedral in Mexico City

👍🏼 Duration & cost

The flight from Cancun to Mexico City is around 2 and a half hours.

Volaris, VivaAerobus, and Aeromexico all offer several direct flight options every day between these two cities.

Prices vary depending on the date and time you fly. You can find roundtrip flights for as low as 1,300 pesos (or lower if you wait for the airline to offer discounts!) if you are flexible with your travel dates.

In general, you will be able to find plenty of options between 2,000 and 3,000 pesos. 

👍🏼 Booking your flight

You can check out flight prices and compare available flights using Google, Kayak, or any other flight search website.

The airlines in Mexico often offer promotional codes on their websites for cheap domestic airfare, so it is worth checking out the major airlines’ websites directly before booking a flight. 

👍🏼 Which Airline should you choose?

Living in Mexico I have tried different airlines and my favorite is without a double Aeromexico even if sometimes it’s a bit more expensive, but worth the money.

However, sometimes I choose based on the best schedule. If you want to go for the cheapest, Vivaerobus is the one you should pick.

Volaris is another option too. What I usually do is go to Google Flight and see what options I get and then book directly from the airline site.

I notice that when it comes to airlines if you book on a third-party site and then you need to ask for a refund or solve a problem, it can be a nightmare.

👍🏼 Best time to book your flight to Mexico City

Many airlines raise flight prices as the departure date approaches.

Thankfully, it seems that many airlines in Mexico offer great last-minute domestic route prices.

This means you can usually find a good price on airfare whether you are planning and booking your flight a month or more in advance, or decide to take a last-minute getaway to Mexico City. 

If you have flexible travel dates check to see when the flights are the cheapest to get the best deal.

ADO Cancun Bus Station.
ADO Cancun Bus Station – © Denis from Flicker

👍🏼 Going from Cancun City Center to Cancun Airport

It is easy to get from downtown Cancun to the Cancun Airport. ADO buses leave downtown Cancun every half hour throughout the day and cost 120 pesos.

The bus stops at all of the Cancun airport terminals, you just need to listen to the driver announce each terminal. Depending on which terminal you get off at, the bus ride will take between 25-30 minutes. 

2. Cancun to Mexico City by Bus

If you do not want to fly, you can take a bus from Cancun all the way to Mexico City. The bus route will cover over 1,600 kilometers and takes around 27 hours.

The ADO bus company offers direct routes from Cancun to Mexico City and has around 8 departures a day.

The bus ticket costs around 2,000 pesos, but you can often find it on sale depending on the departure date and time.

In the past, the bus was the cheapest option, but with budget airlines operating in Mexico you can now find airplane tickets for a similar price to a bus ticket. 

👉🏽 Duration & cost

The bus from Cancun to Mexico City takes about 28 hours. The price depends on the time of day and date you travel but is usually around 2000 pesos.

The bus usually makes a few scheduled stops 15-30 minute stops where you can get up, walk around, and buy snacks before continuing on. 

👉🏽 Bus schedule from Cancun to Mexico City

There are several daily bus departures from Cancun to Mexico City with the ADO bus line. You can look up the schedule and buy tickets online.

The ADO website is easy to use- plus, you can check different departure times and see if any tickets are on sale! 

Aerial view of Cancun Hotel Zone surrounded by blue sea.

👉🏽 Going from Cancun City Center to the Bus Terminal

It is easy to get from downtown Cancun to the ADO bus station. Depending on where you are staying, you might be able to walk there.

If not you can use a public bus, or take a taxi. The ADO bus terminal is located at Calle Pino, Supermanzana 23, Manzana 56 in Cancun (although all taxi drivers will know the location, you will not need the exact address).

3. Cancun to Mexico City by Car

The last option to get from Cancun to Mexico City is to drive. This is the scenic option that will take you through some amazing pueblos and past beautiful landscapes.

If you decide to drive from Cancun to Mexico City, make sure to plan to give yourself plenty of time. It is not a good idea to drive at night in Mexico, so plan a few stops and enjoy the journey. 

Mexico is an amazing country with a diverse amount of landscape to enjoy. You can take a road trip from Cancun to Mexico City and leave the jungles of Quintana Roo to pass by scenic mountains and volcanoes.

There are several great towns between Cancun and Mexico City that you can stop at and explore too.

✔️ Driving in Mexico City

Once you get to Mexico City there are a few things to keep in mind, including that it’s a chaotic city with unthinkable traffic.

The 16 delegations of Mexico City as well as 18 municipalities near the capital participate in a program called “Hoy no circula” which translates to ‘Today you can’t circulate or drive.’

This program was designed to limit the number of cars on the road and restricts cars from driving one day of the week based on your car’s emissions and license plate number.

Foreign-plated cars and out-of-state Mexican-plated cars are not exempt from this program.

In order to get permission to drive in this area you can go online and apply for a tourist pass. Tourist pass holders are eligible to drive 14 days every six months.

Police are constantly enforcing this rule, so make sure to get your paperwork in order before driving in the restricted zone.  

View of the Fine Arts Palace Museum in Mexico CIty.
Fine Arts Palace Museum in Mexico City

✔️ How long is the drive from Cancun to Mexico City?

The fastest driving route from Cancun to Mexico covers over 1,600 kilometers and will take over 21 hours of driving time.

This route will take you from Cancun across the Yucatan Peninsula to Merida.

You will then drive along the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico before heading north toward Mexico City. 

✔️ Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Mexico City?

Yes, it is safe to drive from Cancun to Mexico City. You will often have the choice of taking free highways- marked in Spanish as “libre” or toll roads- marked as “cuota.”

The toll roads are in great condition and in general will get you where you are going faster. Roads are usually well-marked with signs pointing you to nearby cities. 

However, if you have time, and are interested in exploring you can build an amazing itinerary that can last from a week to 2 months and more and explore what’s in between Cancun and Mexico City with some detours.

✔️ Renting a car in Cancun

It is a good idea to book your rental car before your trip. Doing so will make sure you get the size and style of car you want, and you can shop around for the best price.

Discover Cars is an online platform that makes renting a car easy. It works with several local rental car agencies so you can check out what cars are available for your travel dates, see the prices, and read customer reviews.

The site makes sure there are no hidden fees and offers affordable and comprehensive insurance too. 

Discover Cars lets you search by pick-up location too. You can pick up your rental car at the Cancun airport or locations in downtown Cancun or the hotel zone.

✔️ Cancun to Mexico City driving tips

As mentioned above, make sure to plan all your driving for the daytime. Any Mexican will tell you that it is not a good idea to drive on highways at night. Avoid any unnecessary problems by planning your stops ahead of time.

During your trip, you will have the option to take toll roads or free highways.

In general, toll roads are in much better shape and faster than free highways. Make sure to have some cash with you to pay for the toll roads.

While driving make sure to follow all traffic rules- respect the speed limit, wear your seatbelt, and, of course, be careful!

View of Punta Cancun and its blue sea.
Punta Cancun

✔️ Stops between Cancun and Mexico City

There are a lot of great places to stop and explore between Cancun and Mexico City. When planning your road trip here are a few places you do not want to miss:

🗺️ Valladolid

Valladolid is a colonial town located about 150 kilometers to the west of Cancun. It is a great place to stop and you could easily spend a few days here.

Valladolid is the jumping-off point to many different cenotes and is close to the famous Chichen Itza ruins. You can enjoy strolling around the historic downtown of Valladolid and check out the delicious cafes and restaurants. 

🗺️ Merida

Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan and is located 300 kilometers to the west of Cancun. Merida is a beautiful colonial city, with amazing architecture to check out on the Paseo de Montejo.

When you get to travel from Cancun to Merida, it has many great museums and is a great place to learn about Mayan history and Yucatecan culture. You can eat traditional Yucatecan food at many different restaurants. 

🗺️ Campeche

San Francisco de Campeche, often referred to simply as Campeche City is the capital of the state of Campeche.

It is located about 480 kilometers from Cancun and sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

If you stop in Campeche be sure to check out the Fuerte de San Miguel, or fort that sits on the coast.

It was built to protect the city from pirates! You can also stroll on the Malecon- or main road along the water’s edge, check out colonial mansions, and enjoy cafes.

🗺️ Villahermosa

As you drive further down the coast of the Gulf of Mexico you will come to Villahermosa. It is the capital of the state of Tobasco and is located about 870 kilometers from Cancun.

For people who are trying to get from Cancun to Mexico City as fast as possible, this is a great place to stop and spend the night.

If you are slowly enjoying the road trip, Villahermosa is still a good place to stop.

There you can enjoy the Parque-Museo Villahermosa and the Regional Museum of Anthropology and take a stroll along the rivers or lake. 

🗺️ Coatzacoalcos 

Coatzacoalcos is located in the state of Veracruz over 1,000 kilometers from Cancun.

The city is known for its oil refineries, but it also has a long history. The city was founded in 1522 and you can visit museums to learn more about its history.

Otherwise, take time to stroll on the Malecon, eat delicious regional dishes, and if you have time check out the Jaguaroundi Ecological Park. 

Valladolid Cathedral under a blue sky.

🗺️ Cordoba 

Located in the state of Veracruz, Cordoba is over 1,300 kilometers from Cancun. This colonial city was founded in 1618 and is full of beautiful plazas and architecture.

Take time to stroll around the city center- make sure to go past the Palacio Municipal and Hacienda San Francisco Toxpan. 

🗺️ Puebla

Puebla is located almost 1,500 kilometers from Cancun and is a great place to stop before arriving in Mexico City. Puebla is the name of both the state and capital city and is located just to the southeast of Mexico City.

The city is a world heritage site because of its architecture which ranges from Renaissance to Mexican Baroque. Today Puebla is known for its delicious food. Here you can find mole poblano and chiles en nogada. 

🗺️ Other stops

Obviously, there could be infinite amounts of stops that you can do, think about Oaxaca and all its amazing towns and natural wonders, Orizaba in Veracruz, and much more. But that I will leave for another post 🙂

View of Merida Cathedral on a sunset.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to travel from Cancun to Mexico City?

The fastest and easiest way to travel from Cancun to Mexico City is on an airplane. There are several daily direct flights that connect these two cities. 

What is the cheapest way to travel from Cancun to Mexico City?

It depends on when you want to travel. Bus tickets from Cancun to Mexico City cost around 2,000 pesos, although the ADO often has special offers where you can find them as cheap as 1,200 pesos.

Flights have a large price range depending on when you want to travel and what airline you book.

Volaris and VivaAerobus are discount airlines that fly domestically in Mexico and often offer very cheap flights between Cancun and Mexico City.

Shop around for different flight times and dates, and pay attention to extra fees- such as picking a seat and documenting baggage.

Overview of Mexico City - beautiful views you'll see when you get from Cancun to Mexico City.
Mexico City

Is there a bus from Cancun to Mexico City?

Yes, the ADO bus has several daily departures from Cancun to Mexico City. 

Can you take a train from Cancun to Mexico City?

No, there is no train that travels from Cancun to Mexico City.

View of Plaza Las Americas from Malecon Tajamar on a sunset.
Malecon Tajamar, Cancun

Why are flights from Cancun so expensive?

Flight prices depend on your travel date and time. To look for cheaper tickets try searching for mid-week flights and checking different airlines. 

How long does it take to fly from Cancun to Mexico City?

The flight from Cancun to Mexico City takes about two and a half hours.

What months are the cheapest flights from Cancun to Mexico City?

Flights during the peak tourism season will be the most expensive. Peak tourist season in Cancun is near the Christmas and New Years holidays and Holy Week and Easter.

To find cheap flights search for midweek flights and check the price difference between the morning and evening flights. 

Can I drive from Cancun to Mexico City?

Yes, you can drive from Cancun to Mexico City. The drive will take you around 21 hours, so be prepared to stop partway through. 

Aerial view of Playa Langosta via drone.
Playa Langosta, Cancun

Wrapping Up: Cancun to Mexico City

If you have time, it is worth it to spend a few days (or longer) in Mexico City. Get away from the beaches and jungle and explore the history and culture of Mexico’s capital.

You have three options to get from Cancun to Mexico City- plane, bus, or driving. The fastest and easiest way to get there is on a plane, but if you want to see the amazing landscapes of Mexico, take the bus or drive! 

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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