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Famous for its boho-chic vibe and breathtaking oceanfront ruins, Tulum has long been a favorite Riviera Maya beach destination. The catch? Many of its famed resorts are about a two-hour car ride from the bustling Cancun International Airport.

Vacationers now have the option to fly into the brand-new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport (TQO), situated about 20 miles from downtown Tulum. In March, the airport welcomed its first international flights from the U.S.

You can enjoy non-stop service from select American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines hubs, with JetBlue and Spirit Airlines aiming to add additional routes later in the year.

The Pros

Tulum’s airport is much smaller. It’s a single terminal, with space for 13 aircraft at any given time. Its intimate design is calm in comparison to Cancun International’s sprawling four terminals, which welcomed 4.8 million passengers from the U.S. alone in 2023.

It’s a luxury experience with fewer crowds, shorter wait times, and modern finishes. Everything about this airport is new–the roads, the runway, and all its amenities. The space is flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows and spotted with intentional nods to its Mayan roots.

The Cons

As with anything new, there are some growing pains. On the day it welcomed its first international flight from the U.S., restaurants had yet to open, Wi-Fi was spotty, and fans were the only form of air-conditioning.

These things should all be fixed in the future, but some travelers may still not be pleased with the location. Although it’s much closer to Tulum, it’s not technically within the city limits and can still take about 40 minutes to get to town.

And that’s only if you’re staying in Tulum. Many of its neighboring beach towns with primetime all-inclusive resorts are an additional 20 minutes away. That puts you at about an hour in the car, and almost equidistant from the elder Cancun airport.

The Bottom Line

An additional, updated airport for travelers to fly into is a great win for the Yucatan Peninsula, especially for those staying in Tulum proper. Just be sure to map out and compare the costs of flights and airport transfers before you book your Tulum getaway.

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