Taking the Bus from Cancun to Tulum

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live seasoned cancun to tulum bus travel

It’s Monday! Time to daydream for a moment about taking a bus in Mexico. Ohhhh intriguing. A Little bit scary? Meh, it’s amazing. Let me tell you about it. The Yucatan is perfect this time of year. The rainy season just wrapped up and now the weather is quite perfect, warm, but not oppressive. Hurry down soon because once January rolls around, tourists flock to the area for the next couple months.

Taking the bus from Cancun to Tulum is ridiculously easy and yet sometimes seasoned travelers have a little bit of trepidation about these things. Even I did for a second, but it’s really so simple, let me break it down for you.

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Step by Step : The Bus from Cancun to Tulum

  1. Leave the airport and veer right. You’ll bypass all the hotel shuttles and taxi drivers holding signs for their pickups. You’ll see a little, thatched roof, outdoor bar. You are now on a sidewalk with a canopy overhead and bus parking spots to the right, van and taxi parking spots to the left.
  2. Go to the ADO podium. It’s small and red and says ADO. It will be the first or second one you see. If you arrive during off hours or slow season, you may see a plain blue podium instead, either way, approach a podium and say ‘ADO’ and the ticket seller will help you or point you to the ADO podium if necessary. If there is no one at the podium, just wait two moments and someone will come over.
  3. Ask for a ticket to Tulum. You’ll be sold two pink tickets, one to Playa Del Carmen and one to Tulum. The total cost will be somewhere between $220MXN – $250MXN or $12-13USD. The ticket seller will underline what time the bus comes (buses leave every thirty minutes or so) and point out the parking space it will pull up to. Even though the tickets look like receipts, they’re tickets so hold onto them, you’ll need to show them again. You can drink on the bus; grab a beer at the outdoor bar if you’re so inclined.
  4. When the bus arrives, load your luggage underneath and climb aboard. Snooze or read or stare out the window. In about 45 minutes you’ll arrive in Playa del Carmen. Grab your luggage from under the bus. If you hear a station attendant or driver yelling, ‘Tulum!’ then head to that bus (the station is small, each bus will be visible from wherever you’re standing) and show the driver your ticket. He will nod and welcome you aboard, stash your bag underneath and take a seat. If you do not hear anyone yelling Tulum or if you’re unsure where to go, simply show your pink ticket to an attendant (they’re easily noticeable and their job is to help you, they’re awesome) and they will point you onto the correct bus.
  5. Board the bus to Tulum and sit patiently ’cause you have about fifty minutes to an hour until you arrive in Tulum town. Once you get to your destination, you’ll have free wifi at the Tulum ADO bus station if you need to call a pal or figure out any last minute details. The ADO station is at the south end of town. You can easily walk anywhere in town depending on the size of your bags. There will also be taxis waiting outside. If you’re going to the beach, they’ll charge about 100-150MXN or $5-8USD.


Why you should take the bus from Cancun to Tulum :

  • comfortable
  • easy
  • inexpensive
  • safe
  • reliable
  • flexible

It’s that easy! Honestly, taking the bus from Cancun to Tulum is easier than taking a city bus in Philadelphia. Dozens of these buses run every single day. They’re so ready for you, just do it! If for some reason the bus isn’t for you, I have a shuttle service I can recommend and the numbers of a few really great taxi drivers that can drive you back to the airport at the end of your vacation. Hasta luego!

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sources : ADO bus image

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