Tulum from Playa del Carmen by bus
There are also buses that go to Tulum from Playa del Carmen but they leave less frequently than the colectivos and are slightly more expensive. I think the fare was 29 pesos per person each way. The bus station was on 5th Avenue near Juarez.
transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum
the last time I checked the prices of the airport taxi the rate was about 140 USD for a ride to Tulum for two passengers, cheaper way is pre-contracted car or van service, try
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Getting to Tulum is easy!
It is about two hours from Cancun, the roads are good and there are frequent busses.
By car: From the Zona Hotelera in Cancun, drive towards the airport (keep the sea to your left!) and just follow the signs towards Tulum. It is a major road, with lots of signs and good paving. As you get near Tulum, there will be more signs directing you towards the ruins. This may sound vague, but it is really all you need to know!
By bus: there are hourly busses leaving from Cancun bus station. Tickets are pretty cheap as well. Some people recommend going to Playa Del Carmen and, from there, take the hourly bus to Tulum. I prefer to check the schedule beforehand, but it can be handy on the return trip.
Tours: There are lots of tours to Tulum, including guides. I generally find them too rushed for taste, though. Since Tulum is a smaller site, most tour operators do Tulum and Xel-Ha together in a day. Remember to check at what time the bus will stop by your hotel. If you are one of the first ones to be picked up, not only will you have to get up early but you will also be the last to be dropped off at night.
Taxi's, Buses, and Rental Cars!
There are many different ways to get to Tulum, and then once there around the town. If your on a tight budget you can take a bus to Tulum from the Airport for about $5 - $10. Once in Tulum Taxi's run all night and all over the place. It will cost you a flat fee of $5 from the beach cabanas into town. So plan on budgeting $10 from your cabana into town and back everyday. You can save a little money by seeing if anyone at the cabana is planning on going to town and share a taxi. From Tulum you can catch buses to the nearby Coba and Chichen Itza if your looking for a Mayan day trip. Personally I would give some thought into renting a car. I went through Hotwire and rented a compact car for roughly $17 a day, not counting insurance. If you have AMEX they will cover it, otherwise plan on adding about $14 a day on top of that for liability. By the way they require that you add liability. Having a car though will get you to Tulum faster and allow to explore Tulum on your own clock. Best of all with a car you can get to Coba in 40 minutes and Chichen Itza in a little over two hours. But if you consider what you will be spending on taxi's and buses, not to mention time and flexibility, spending a little more for a rental car is worth. I didn't have any problems with parking, buying gas, or navigating the roads.
Tulum - Xel Ha or the Ruins of Tulum
If you want to go to Xel Ha or teh ruins of Tulum don´t take a Taxi (or you don´t have to rent a bike in the sun) - you can just go to the main street and wait for those little vans (Kolektivo) and they will bring you to the ruins for 10 pesos and to Xel Ha for 15 pesos and the thing is that you always pay 30 pesos to get from the beach hotel area to downtown by taxi...
they usually start at the bus station but they´ll pick you up everywhere if they still have space - and there are a lot of them driving around.
And also the way back in the afternoon (from Xel Ha) was no problem.
Tulum Bus Station: Everywhere from Here!
The bus station in Tulum is located right on Tulum Ave in the heart of the town. From this station there are multitudes of taxis that will take you to your cabana. Make sure you don't pay more than 50 pesos per ride. Buses also leave from Tulum to almost every town in the Yucatan. There are buses to Chichen Itza, Coba, Merida, and even as far as Palenque, though you will probaly have to change buses. Of course there are buses that leave on a regular basis for Playa de Carmen, Cancun. If you are headed to the airport be sure to take one of the airport express buses which will save you time.
Biking in and around Tulum
We are from Boulder, Colorado, a tourist mecca where biking is safe, beautiful and fun! Understandably, we thought we might recreate this pleasant experience in Tulum by renting bikes for my husband, son and self. There were mixed results:
1) The rental prices are reasonable;
2) That's because the bikes are really awful;
3) So check your prospective bike to make sure you get the least awful one.
4) Be sure that the pedal stem is not too short or you will cycle like a gerbil on a wheel and get nowhere fast. Also, be sure that it is large enough for you or you will be the hunchback of notre dame. Try to get one with a decent seat.
5) The roads are flat and there are side roads where you can walk or bike; they vary in quality.
6) The Tulum Ruins are accessable but a bit of a haul, if you are biking with small children or people who don't bike much they may hate you later. It's about 12 miles.
7) The Grand Ceynote is more accessable and your companions will not hate you
8) Except for the fact most bike seats are like cement so you will be sore.
9) Arrange a drop off time so someone is actually there to accept the nasty things.
10 Better yet, bring a folding bike if you can so you enjoy the experience.
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Bus / Taxi to ruins or beach
You can actually walk to the ruins, it's not that far... only 3 KM. I must warn you, temperature is usually hot! If you decide to take the cab, it costs around 30 pesos to the ruins and 45 pesos to the beach (it's called Mar Caribe).
If you're staying at the hostel, there's a bus that takes you there for free.
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Rent a Bike
There are plenty of places where you can rent a bike. El Crucero (a hotel near the ruins) rents them for 400 pesos (a rip off). You can get them in town for less than 100 pesos. Renting a bike is a great idea in Tulum because it is a VERY bike friendly town. Everything is flat and they have places to lock up a bike every where. Plus the public transportation system is not all that great, so having a bike makes things a lot easier. The sites you want to visit are really not all that close together so the bike helps a lot.
One of the only ways to get around Tulum is to take a taxi. It is really annoying because it can get costly. They are pretty strict about the fees and they are not that big on bargaining. Basically to get mostly anywhere not within walking distance, it is about 40 Mexican Pesos.
If you rent a car, it is easy enough to drive to Tulum from either Playa Del Carmen or Cancun. When you arrive at the access road to the ruins, you will immediately be stopped or someone trying to stop you and make you think you have to park at their lot because all the others are full.
Ignore these people and drive all the way down until you see the yellow gate. Parking is on the right and cost 40 pesos.
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There is a shuttle of sorts that can take you from the parking area to the ticket area at Tulum. It only has one pickup point and one drop off point. If you were to walk that section it would only take about 10 minutes. But it is hot and humid so this can be a nice option especially after walking around the ruin for a while.
The cost is 20 pesos each way. You do not have to buy a round trip ticket.
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The Tulum Train: To the Ruins and back!
For those of you who don't want to make the ten minutes walk from the parking lot up the road to the entrance to the ruins in the jungle heat there is a alternative. For roughly $3.00 you can purchase a round trip ticket on the Tulum train ( not really a train, but it looks like one ) to the ruins and back. However it really is a pleasant ten minutes walk so I would suggest walking but if you in a hurry or not into walking then taking the train to the ruins is the ticket!
Taxi - hotel Papaya Playa or Tulum Ruins
When i arrived at the busstation i shared a taxi with a dutch couple to the Hotels halfway i think at the Beach. We paid 40 pesos together.
From the Busstaion to the Tulum Ruins i paid 40 pesos each way
Renting a car - cheap transport
We rented a car from Hertz right at the Cancun airport. It was DIRT cheap! We had a relatively new compact car that was in great condition. It was tiny though - while it had 4 doors, there's no way 4 people would fit comfortably, especially not with luggage.
Be aware that Mexico car rentals require that you purchase rental insurance, or prove that your credit card covers you in case of an accident.
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