In this article you will be guided from the Cancun International Airport to the Hotel Zone and you’ll get different tips about Cancun transportation for a perfect start of your holidays.
Cancun International Airport
Arriving by plane is the fastest and safest method to travel to Cancun. You will land at Cancun International Airport, one of the biggest airports in Mexico, where aprox. 800,000 passengers arrive every month in high season to spend their holidays. Major international airlines have direct or connecting flights to Cancun every day. The airport has all the services and facilities, like: shops (including Duty Free), restaurants, WiFI internet, a VIP Lounge, money exchange offices, beauty parlor, medical services, car rental agencies and tourist information booth.
The location of the airport is outside the town at kilometer 22 of the Cancun-Chetumal highway so you will have to take a taxi, a bus or rent a car to get to the hotel zone, which is 10km (6 and a half miles) from the airport (about a 20 minute drive).
Tourist Cards and Custom Checks
After landing you will be led to the Immigration Check-in where you have show your valid Passport and fill in a Mexican Tourist Card (also known as FMT), which will be stamped with the length of your permitted stay (from 1 to 6 months) for your holidays. The FMT is a very important document, that you will have to show upon departure; you may even be unable to leave without returning it, so keep it in your passport all the time.
After you get the luggage, the next step is the baggage claim area where you must also fill in a customs form. This checkpoint is known as the Random search procedure for Customs. In order to pass you have to push a button that randomly turns the light to green or red. If it’s green you’re free to go, if it’s red you need to open your bags for a quick search. Remember that if you have a huge luggage, you’ll be searched for sure, no matter what the color of the light is.
Changing Money at the airport
Now you’re officialy in Cancun. You will probably receive a package of tourist information for holidays in Cancun, presented by the Visitors Bureau, which includes a wealth of discount coupons as well as handy maps.
Because the airport is outside of the city you have to be transported to the hotel zone and this is not free. If you don’t have pesos, there are exchange desks, but they always give you bad rates, so we advise you to change up to $100 or less to get into Cancun, then find a bank or an ATM.
From Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone
You can choose from 3 types of transportation from the Airport to your hotel:
- Rent-a-car: most important rent-a-car companies have outlets in the airport so you can book a car right there. A way to save money is to rent the car in advance. For example for a compact car you can pay daily around $50-$80 for booking at the airport, but for the same car pre-booked you will pay around $40.
- Taxi: airports are considered Federal Zone in Mexico, so regular taxis are not allowed to take people from the airport, just to bring them from the town. You can only use the authorized Taxis with a cost between $40 to $60. You can purchase tickets for private cab service at a booth inside the airport terminal. Remember that when you take the cab from the hotel back to the Airport, the price can be 50% less.
- Colectivo buses (vans): this are the most accessible means of public transport. They will take you along the Hotel Zone, dropping each passenger at their hotel. You can buy the tickets at the booth that is located to the far right as you exit the baggage claim area. Remember that the drivers wait until the vans are fully packed before departing and it can easily take an hour to get to the hotel, because they have a lot of hotels to stop.
In the end, enjoy a tip from Jordan Ellington, who’s travelling around the world and spent his holidays in Cancun, in December 2010.
If you have any information or tip regarding getting in Cancun please write a comment. Thank you!