How to Get From Cancun Airport to Hotel Zone: 6 options [2023]

Wondering how to get from Cancun Airport to Hotel Zone? You have landed in the right place. I live in Cancun and I travel often, that’s why I know all the possible ways to get from Cancun International Airport to your destination in Cancun. Read on to find out.

The first adventure you have to tackle on your Cancun vacation is getting from the airport to the resort you’re staying at in the Hotel Zone.

The good news is, it’s a high-traffic airport with lots of travel options. The bad news is, the most obvious choice (hello, taxis!) isn’t the best one. And Uber is not available in Cancun, weird but true.

Transportation in Cancun is affordable, but the cost depends on:

  • Your preferred method (private, shared, or public)
  • How quickly you want to get to your destination
  • What budget you’ve set aside

We know you’re itching to get from the plane to the beach sipping Mojitos fast. So, let’s dig into the best options that will get you suntanning by the waves on the Cancun beach quickly without breaking the bank on day one. It’s time to get your beach on!

Cancun playa delfines
Cancun Playa Delfines

In a hurry? Check out how to get From Cancun Airport to Hotel Zone in this practical grid ⤵️




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)

Where is the Cancun Hotel Zone?

Cancun’s Zona Hotelera or simply the Hotel Zone is about 14.5 miles from the Cancun Airport.

It’s a 14-mile-long, narrow peninsula that’s filled with resorts, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Depending on where you’re staying in the zone, your trip might be a bit more than the original 14.5 miles.

Most tourists to Cancun spend their entire vacation here. Besides it simply being a gorgeous place surrounded by water and beautiful white sands, there are plenty of things to do, places to eat, and shops to browse.

So, let’s get you from the airport to the Hotel Zone!

How long does it take to get from the airport to the Hotel Zone?

On average, if you head straight from the airport to the Hotel Zone, the ride will be 20 to 30 minutes. But there are a few things that can extend that time, so you might be sitting in the car a bit longer.

The Cancun Airport currently has construction around it (as I am writing this post), which can tack some time onto your trip. Likewise, if you’re using a shared shuttle you’ll probably end up stopping a few places before you’ve actually arrived.

Then there’s the time of day, which can add to your trip, along with where in the Hotel Zone you’re staying.

For the quickest ride to your hotel, you’ll want to opt for the recommended private shuttle that doesn’t make any extra stops.

But you can save a bit of money with a shared shuttle if you’re also willing to tack on some patience.

But let’s get to your transportation options from the Cancun International Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone.

Playa Delfines turquoise water!
Playa Delfines

Best way to get from the Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone 

1. Fastest and most comfortable option: Private shuttle

If being comfortable and getting fast to your destination are your priorities, consider booking a private shuttle from the Cancun International Airport to your resort in the Hotel Zone.

Cancun Airport Transportation is the company I use and recommend and since my opinion is probably not enough, check out their overall Reviews scoring a whopping 4.7/5⭐️.

Their price point offers great value for money in my opinion, but that depends on how much you value getting to the hotel in a fast and comfortable way. For me, it’s priceless, especially after a long flight.

This is me with Miguel the driver and the shuttle that took me to my hotel.
This is me with Miguel the driver from Cancun Airport Transportations and the shuttle that took me to my hotel.

1 to 3 people can book a car starting at $39. However, if you want a luxurious type of car such as an SUV with all the bells and whistles, those are going to start at $55. This makes it more costly than other options, but you should expect to pay for luxury.

Booking this in advance means you have someone waiting at the airport, dedicated to picking you up and dropping you off. But it’s not only that.

Cancun Airport transportation service also offers:

✔️ Bilingual driver
✔️ Insurance
✔️ Minimum waiting at the airport
✔️ Reliable and professional service
✔️ The Vehicle is for the exclusive use of your party only (not shared)
✔️ Discount if you pre-book your return ticket
✔️ up to 3 people the same price which brings the price down to 13USD per person

Clearly, this is the most expensive option for getting to the Hotel Zone, but it does offer the most space and privacy, and it’s FAST!

If you think that your comfort is worth 40 USD it is the best option for you. Also, keep in mind that booking both legs of your trip in advance could help you save a little time and money too!

cancun airport transportation service
Photo © Cancun Airport Transportation Service – Book your private shuttle now!

PRO TIP – when you book with Cancun Airport Transportation, they will send you an email with detailed instructions for your arrival. Make sure you read it, and keep it handy when you meet your host/hostess at the airport so that they can check that it is actually YOU who book the transfer.

Particularly important is this part of the email where they explain the meeting points:

5.- Here are the meeting points at the Cancun Airport terminals: Terminal 2 (Welcome Bar) / Terminal 3 (Platform 64) / Terminal 4 (Column 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.

2. Average cost – average comfort – shared shuttle

We like a combination of affordable and quick, which means we recommend opting for a shared shuttle. This transportation method is considerably more luxurious than the regular ole bus, but not quite as fancy as a luxury VIP rental or convenient as the private shuttle.

The best part is, shared shuttles cost as low as $6, so they’re in most Cancun travel budgets.

When you’re taking a shared shuttle from the airport to the Cancun Hotel Zone, you’re looking at a ride that’s around 30 to 60 minutes. Of course, this depends on how many stops your shuttle makes, where along the route your hotel is, and what traffic and road construction look like.

There are plenty of options for booking a shared shuttle. Considering its reduced time and price, it’s the preferred method of most Cancun vacationers. You can grab a shuttle at the airport when you arrive. But we recommend booking in advance.

Not only will this make the start of your trip less stressful, but you’re likely to pay less too. You can usually save even more by booking a round trip ahead of time – so plan your exit too!

Sunrise on the ocean
Sunrise in Cancun

3. For the explorer – Renting a car

If you are thinking about spending all your vacation basking in the sun on the luxury sunbed of your hotel, this option is definitely not for you!

However, if you are as curious as me and love to explore Cancun and its surroundings, then renting a car is your best option. If you rent it from the Cancun airport it saves you hotel transportation money.

I recommend checking car rental rates on Discover Cars where you can compare car rental prices and find the best deal for your rental period.

You can check my article on the complete Discover Car rentals reviews for more references on how it works.

And if you are concerned about Driving in Cancun, it’s very easy and I will give you all the tips you need in my detailed article (linked here above)

Beach with umbrella and turquoise water
Playa Delfines Cancun

4. Luxury and comfort – Hotel Transport in stretch-limo

Feeling a little fancy? Consider booking a private limo from the Cancun International Airport directly to your resort in the Hotel Zone.

While this might be the most expensive option for getting to the Hotel Zone, it offers the most space and privacy. If luxury is the name-of-the-game for you, and you’re looking to fully relax, it could be the best option for you.

This particular stretch-limo service has scored 312 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews!

From Cancun Airport to Hotel Zone overview
Cancun aerial at night

5. Cheapest option: ADO and public buses

Not everyone has shared shuttle service money, and some people simply want to experience the city like a local, which brings us to the cheapest travel method: the bus.

The local bus doesn’t come to the Cancun Airport for visitors, but there is a specific route set up and run by the Mexican transportation company, ADO. If you’re headed further into Mexico like Merida, catching the ADO bus is going to be the most affordable and comfy method of travel, if you arrive at a decent hour close to the bus schedule.

For those traveling in Cancun, for less than 100 pesos ($5.20 USD), you can jump on the ADO bus right at the airport. This will take you to the central bus depot where you can transfer to a local bus and make your way to the Hotel Zone. The local bus will add 11 pesos ($0.55 USD) to your trip, for a grand total of roughly $5.75.

Unfortunately, cheap doesn’t mean fast (or comfortable). All said-and-done, this trip will take, at minimum, an hour, depending on where exactly you’re staying in the Hotel Zone. The good thing about this method is the bus runs from 8:20 am to 11:10 pm about every 40 minutes – so it’s almost always available.

The bad news is, you’ll have to cart any bags along with you on your journey, so lift those weights before your trip!

While the bus isn’t the quickest method to get there if you want to travel on the cheap, it’s the one for you.

Sunrise over the sea
Sunrise in Puerto Juarez

6. Least recommended: Taxi

A standard taxi is usually the travel airport vehicle of choice, regardless of the destination. But this isn’t your best bet in Cancun.

Taxis in Mexico are known for overcharging (which is easy considering many don’t have meters), and even if you pay the regular rate – about 800 pesos ($40) – you’re basically paying the same as the pre-booked private transfer pricing, with the difference that with the latter you are more comfortable and don’t have to negotiate.

I don’t recommend opting for a Taxi to get from the airport to the Hotel Zone. But, if you do, make sure you negotiate the price ahead of time and don’t end up paying too much.

While it’s usually safe to use a taxi in Cancun, I would avoid it since they are better options available.

What about Uber?

Uber is a popular ride-sharing app among tourists. Chances are you already have it on your phone, so it’s as simple as just opening the app and requesting a ride.

It’s very easy to use, doesn’t require cash and if you download the app with your account, it will automatically charge your credit card.

Unfortunately, this is NOT a good option in Cancun.

While Uber is technically legal in the city, you won’t be able to actually get a ride. Cancun’s taxi drivers have never been big Uber fans, and they had a pretty controversial showdown in the beginning. Nowadays, the app works on your phone, but you won’t be able to actually book a car from the airport.

I was told that Uber is functioning within the city but the drivers are still scared of the taxi drivers and they will tell you to sit in front as if it were a family member and to find a pickup point away from taxis, which is impossible. I would honestly spare all this stress.

Uber is not a travel option in Cancun, but there are plenty of Mexican cities where you can use it (like Merida).

Cenote Azul a couple sitting on a rock
Cenote Azul

Cancun travel FAQs

How much does it cost to go from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone?

The cost of the trip to the Hotel Zone ultimately depends on the method of airport transportation you pick. The cheapest method, a combination of ADO and city buses, will cost you less than $6 – but it’s not going to be quick. Whereas the quickest method, a private shuttle, will cost you $39+.

If that’s too much but you appreciate some comfort you can settle in the middle with a shared shuttle service. Starting at $10 USD per person, this will get you there affordably and quicker than the bus!

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

If you drive straight from the Cancun International Airport to the Hotel Zone, you’re looking at a 20 to 30-minute ride. However, traffic, construction, and your method of transportation can make a trip longer.

How much is a cab from Cancun to the Hotel Zone?

Taking a cab from the Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone will cost you about 800 pesos ($40 USD). However, it’s not your best option and the taxi driver will always try to overcharge you.

I would spare the annoying negotiation time and go for the private shuttle instead, which would cost the same, anyway! Also, you can pre-book the return trip to get the best deals and make your trip as easy as possible.

Cancun rough sea bird flying
Cancun Beach

Is there a public bus from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone?

You can take a public bus from the Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone.

The ADO bus can take you from the airport to the main bus terminal, where you can then switch to a local bus. The ADO bus costs 98 pesos (less than $5), then the local bus that will take you to the island costs 10.5 pesos ($0.55 USD).

This is the cheapest transportation option to your resort, but you do need to cart your bags along with you and the ride will be around an hour.

Is Uber cheaper than taxis in Cancun?

You can’t take an Uber from the Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone. That means if you’re picking between Uber and a Cancun airport taxi (note there are better options), Uber is not going to be the winner.

Is it safe to leave the Hotel Zone in Cancun?

There are many rumors surrounding the safety of traveling to Cancun, but over 31-million people visited the city in 2021, and the majority of them had a pleasant vacation.

Cancun’s primary industry is tourism, and the Mexican government focuses on making the area safe for visitors. It is relatively safe to leave the Hotel Zone in Cancun, particularly if you’re headed to one of the city’s malls or visiting Isla Mujeres, or even outside Cancun towards the Riviera Maya, to visit the spectacular cenotes around Cancun or Isla Blanca.

However, the US government does recommend that you exercise increased caution when traveling to the state of Quintana Roo, which you should be doing when you travel anywhere.

Cancun Hotel Zone on the beach Playa Chac mol
Playa Chacmol Cancun

Is it better to take dollars or pesos to Cancun?

Pesos are the official currency of Mexico, and even in tourist hot spots like Cancun, it’s better to use local currency. Not only will you usually pay less, but it’s easier for those you’re giving the money to (shopkeepers, transportation drivers, vendors) to actually use it.

While US currency is accepted in much of the Cancun Hotel Zone, the further you get into Mexico, the less likely you’ll be able to use it. If you have any off-resort plans, it’s best to have pesos on hand.

How much should I tip a taxi in Cancun?

While we recommend using a non-taxi route to get from the Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone, you might still opt to go with a taxi. You aren’t obligated to tip your taxi driver, so it’s up to your discretion.

However, if they do help with your bags, it’s often recommended that you tip 10 pesos per bag. The same applies to shuttle drivers.

Final thoughts

Cancun has the largest airport on the Yucatan Peninsula with many options from private transportation to bus service. We recommend keeping the trip affordable but stress-free with a shared shuttle.

With a Cancun Airport private shuttle, you can get to the Hotel Zone in a reasonable time without having to shell out too much for the service. 

And if you are wondering, the hotel zone in Cancun is the best place to stay for the best Cancun vacation experience.

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!

Similar Posts