In most Mexican airports your arrival will be routine and uneventful. When you go through the gauntlet at the Cancun Airport, however, you face a barrage of touts, hucksters, middlemen, and wishful fixers all doing their best to prey on your confusion.
Usually when you exit the baggage claim area there will be people with signs, relatives waiting for arrivals, and maybe a couple guys trying to get a tip for guiding you to a taxi. Most people will just leave you alone. In the Cancun Airport, however, you will find a whole army of people trying to get your attention in order to separate you from your dollars or pesos. They’ll tell you what you want to hear as soon as they figure out what that is.Then they’ll deny any other options that compete with theirs. Like “There’s no Super Shuttle in Cancun” just as the Super Shuttle is passing behind them on the street.
I’ve been dealing with these types for a decade now and it never gets better. A few months ago I walked away from the scrum and snagged a taxi for 1/4 the price they quoted. Times before they’ve told me there’s “no shuttle for Hotel XYZ.” Five minutes later my ride pulled up and I jumped on the Hotel XYZ shuttle.
Don’t Let Your Riviera Maya Vacation Start Out Stressful
If you make the right arrangements, you can avoid all that and start out this way instead:
You’ve already spent hours getting to an airport and passing through security, then spent more hours on a plane before arriving at the Cancun Airport. The last thing you want probably want to do is delay the time it’s going to take to get to your cocktail on the beach. You don’t want to haggle, shake off touts, and spend brain power trying to figure out what’s the truth or not.
The key is to make an airport transfer reservation before arrival. If you do that, someone will be standing just outside the exit with your name on a sign. You can tune out the 100 people shouting at you and just be on your way.
Your resort can probably arrange this, but one I stayed with in the Riviera Maya quoted me $250 one way. You’ll get a much better rate by booking directly with a Cancun airport transportation service instead.
Travel Yucatan will get you and your companion (or whole family) to a Cancun resort for $35, or all the way to Akumal or Tulum for $95. You can even hire them to get a Holbox Island transfer from the airport or another hotel. This will be in a well-maintained vehicle guided by a professional licensed driver. (See our reviews of the best luxury hotels in Cancun and Holbox.)
Then you can get to somewhere like this:
More than 4.5 million travelers land at this airport annually. That’s more than twice as many visitors as the whole country of Costa Rica gets each year—including land crossings. So a Cancun arrival is seldom calm. Work out a transfer in advance so your vacation will start out smoothly They will be monitoring your flight, so if there’s a delay they’ll still be there when you come out.
Looking for other things to do in the area? See the Travel Yucatan site for ideas.