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How to Get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos – 9 Things you NEED to KNOW!

How to Get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos – 9 Things you NEED to KNOW!

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When traveling to Puerto Morelos, you’re probably eager for a tranquil and relaxed vacation, full of amazing beaches and authentic Mexican culture. So the last thing you want is to be stressed out by the logistics of planning, starting at the airport. Cancun Airport is hectic, to say the least, and if you arrive without a plan of escape, you might be waiting for hours to get a ride! 

I’m not kidding, it’s that chaotic! On top of a long travel day, you will arrive in a foreign country, be swarmed by taxi drivers and tourists, and be exhausted before you even reach the hotel. 

Fortunately, just a little bit of forward-thinking and planning will save you a headache and a good chunk of change. After traveling to Cancun Airport numerous times and trying many modes of transportation, I have put together this helpful guide to assist you in navigating transportation from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. 

We will walk you through all the transportation options available, and recommend our top choice based on convenience and price. This way, you can get the full picture and decide which option is best for you! Don’t stress about the logistics, simply read on and start daydreaming of sunny beach days in Puerto Morelos, one of the best places on Riviera Maya!

Don’t have time to read the full article? We highly recommend taking a private shuttle to pick you up from the airport. The driver will have a sign with your name on it (VIP much?!) and you pay in advance so you don’t have to argue about the price when you’re dropped off. We recommend using this private shuttle service – just don’t forget to book ahead of time!

1. How far is Cancun Airport from Puerto Morelos?

Map showing the location of Cancun airport and Playa del Carmen
Map showing the location of Cancun Airport and Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is only 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Cancun International Airport, making it one of the most convenient places to visit outside of Cancun itself! Without traffic, it should only take about 20 minutes to get to Puerto Morelos, depending on where you’re staying in the city.

But, knowing how Cancun traffic goes, it might take a little longer if you visit during peak tourist season, hit rush hour, or worse … roadwork!

Luckily, the airport sits south of the Cancun Hotel Zone, so you shouldn’t hit too much traffic to reach Puerto Morelos! 

2. Are there free shuttles from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Cancun airport shuttle at Cancun Airport
No free shuttles, unfortunately!

No, there are no free shuttles at the Cancun airport. I don’t think the words “free” and “Cancun” can ever go together, as you’ll find prices are annoyingly expensive around the airport. So expect to pay more than you normally would for a taxi or even a bottle of water (I paid $8 USD for water and nearly croaked at the price!). 

There are a lot of regulations put in place to protect tourists’ safety in Mexico and from being exploited by locals trying to make a buck (although you’ll still see this happening). Unfortunately, that safety comes at a price that falls on the tourist, as each driver has to be authorized, and all taxis and shuttles are regulated and tracked in a logbook.

But even though you will have to pay for a Cancun Airport Shuttle, you won’t have to worry about getting ripped off or having to haggle with a taxi driver and can simply catch your pre-booked ride and continue on with your day.

Related Read: If you’re planning on visiting Cancun before you hit Puerto Morelos, be sure to check out the best ways to get from the Cancun Airport to the Cancun Hotel Zone, so you can have a stress-free start to your vacation!

3. What are the options for getting from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Bailey picks up a rental car in Cancun Airport
Bailey picks up a rental car at the Cancun Airport

Private shuttle

Booking a private shuttle is my preferred way to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. With this option, you will meet your driver at arrivals and go directly to your hotel. The drivers are easy to locate and you won’t have to wait for other passengers, so it’s really the most straightforward and convenient option. 

This is also the best choice if your flight arrives really late, as this private shuttle operates 24/7. The last thing you want to deal with after a long flight is trying to figure out how to get to your hotel! The shuttle company will have your flight information, so even if your flight is delayed, they will be tracking it and will arrive on time to pick you up! 

This private shuttle is $95 USD per group and can fit up to 7 people. So if you split it up, that’s only $13 USD a person, which isn’t too bad! This tour includes a return trip to the airport as well. They also give you a Corona for the road, so the party really can start with this hassle-free option! Book your private shuttle online here.

Shared shuttle

Shared shuttles are an excellent option if you’re looking to save a little bit of money. You are reserving a seat in a shuttle with other travelers, so you’ll have to wait for them to arrive, which can sometimes take up to an hour. I personally want to get out of the hectic airport as fast as possible, but if you have time and patience to spare, this is a decent option. 

This specific shared shuttle is unique in its kind because it will run 24 hours a day. Most shared shuttles only operate during business hours, so this one is a great option to jump on! 

However, this shared shuttle does not have an option for roundtrip transfer as many others do, so you will have to figure out an alternative way to get back to the airport when it’s time to leave.

You can reserve a seat on the shuttle for only $15 USD per person, which is certainly a good price! Shared shuttles are a nice in-between, as they are cheaper than a private shuttle and faster than taking the bus. Book this shared shuttle option online here

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Public bus

Previously, you could take the ADO Bus straight from the airport to Puerto Morelos. However, this option has been shut down, and doesn’t look like it is returning any time soon! But, not all hope is lost because there is still the Colectivo. 

If you’ve read any of our other Mexico blog posts, you might have heard of the Colectivos. We have used this service a handful of times and find it to be a safe, convenient, and affordable option. Colectivos are small buses that serve as shared taxis that follow specific routes and have designated drop-off points.

Unfortunately due to the strict airport rules mentioned before, you can’t catch a Colectivo from the airport. You will first have to take the ADO bus from the airport to the ADO Central Terminal in downtown Cancun. You can book an ADO bus from the airport to downtown Cancun at the ticket counter in the airport or in advance here

Once you reach the downtown ADO terminal, you will be able to find a Colectivo to the Puerto Morelos ADO bus terminal. The Colectivos are clearly marked and a legit operation that many travelers (including us) use! They usually have AC, nice comfy seats, and room for luggage. The drive to Puerto Morelos is only about 30 minutes and should cost around 30-50 MXN ($2-$3 USD). This definitely isn’t the most convenient option – but it’s cheap!

ADO Bus in Cancun
ADO Bus in Cancun. Photo credit: Veebass Depositphotos


Catching an Uber from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos is a big MAYBE. I definitely would not rely on this option. 

Because of strict regulations at the Cancun Airport, there is a very tense relationship between taxi drivers and Uber drivers. While Uber is still operating (for now) there have been attempts at banning ride-sharing app services and there really just aren’t many Ubers readily available in this area. Uber does not run in Puerto Morelos either, so many drivers won’t want to drive there and have an empty car back to Cancun. 

However, if you’re feeling lucky and want to give it a go, you can find the Uber waiting area if you turn left after leaving the arrivals hall and follow the signage to the curb. I’d recommend downloading the app beforehand, as the WiFi at the airport is terribly slow. You can also use your data for this, and if you need to purchase a SIM card do it at the Oxxo store outside of the terminal, it will be much cheaper than inside the airport. 

My overall take on Uber is it’s not worth the bother! It will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and will be expensive. Scheduling a private shuttle is actually cheaper and much easier to organize!


Taking a taxi from the Cancun Airport isn’t a question of “if” you’ll get ripped off, but “when”. The taxi drivers will take advantage of tired tourists who are overwhelmed by the chaos of the airport, a long travel day, and a foreign language to wildly overcharge you for a ride. They will hassle you constantly, rather abrasively, and then short-change or argue with you at the end of the ride. 

Once you leave the arrivals terminal, you will be swarmed by a sea of loud taxi drivers yelling in Spanish, aggressively trying to get your business. Once you do agree to go with one of them, you will have to wait a long time to actually get in the cab. While waiting, other taxi drivers will continue to harass you!

It is not a fun start to vacation and I do not wish this experience on my worst enemy!

Taking a certified and pre-booked Cancun Airport shuttle will give you a much better experience. If you book a private shuttle you won’t have to wait for the shuttle to fill before leaving the airport. However, even taking a shared shuttle will cut down on your waiting time and it will actually be cheaper. Honestly, I’d pay more just to know I have a secure, hassle-free ride scheduled upon landing. 

The Cancun Airport is hectic enough – even before you hit the taxi area. My best tip for navigating transportation at the airport is to avoid Uber or taxis at all costs. If you’re not one to plan ahead, this is the ONE time in your travels that you really should. It will save you time, headaches, and money! 

Daniel drives along the highway in a rental car in Mexico
Our rental car!

Rent a car

Renting a car is a great way to get from the Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. It will also come in handy as you explore the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula as a whole!

This is an especially great option if you don’t like relying on other people/services to get around, you can simply pick up your car from the airport and make the quick drive to Puerto Morelos. Plus, renting a car from Cancun Airport is a very simple process!

I always book through Discover Cars when renting a car in Mexico. We’ve booked through them in Mexico, as well as other countries, and have always had a great experience. They provide sturdy cars, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking down and the company has very professional policies, so you know you’re not getting scammed. It really just gives you peace of mind as they are a reputable company and give you a fair price.

A lot of people ask, “Is renting a car in Mexico safe?”, and I would answer that it’s much safer than taking a taxi! You will want to use normal travel guidelines, like not driving down dark alleys at night by yourself, but overall I’d say that renting a car in Mexico is a safe and convenient option, especially if you go through a reputable car rental company.

Insurance in Mexico can be a bit complicated, but the offers and rates through Discover Cars are very straightforward and not astronomically high. They make it easy to get the highest coverage, and you’ll definitely want to protect yourself against Mexico’s insanely large speed bumps and potholes. You don’t need to be as worried about other drivers, it’s the road conditions that will get you!

You can check prices and rental car options through Discover Cars online here!

Hotel shuttle

While Puerto Morelos doesn’t have a bustling Hotel Zone like Cancun, there are some great hotels in the area. Many of these hotels also offer a free airport shuttle which is a huge relief to your planning process! If your hotel does offer this service, I highly recommend arranging this option.

If you are required to pay for a shuttle from your hotel in Puerto Morelos, I would recommend doing some price checking. Hotels often charge far too much to offer a shuttle to and from the airport, so in that case you’d be better off booking a shuttle on Viator for a much cheaper price. Do some price comparison before you book, and go with the most convenient or affordable option, whichever is more important to you!

Related Read: Puerto Morelos sits right along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, making this the ideal scuba diving location in Mexico. Check out everything you need to know about scuba diving in Puerto Morelos and add it to your itinerary!

4. What is the most convenient option?

Daniel sits in a Cancun Airport shuttle
The shuttles are the best option!

Taking a private shuttle is definitely the most convenient option because you don’t have to wait around at the airport and can book it ahead of time. The driver will track your flight, so even if it’s delayed they know when to show up. You’ll be picked up by a driver holding a sign with your name on it – not gonna lie, I felt like a VIP! They will take you straight from the airport to your hotel, so it is the most straightforward option. 

Renting a car is also a convenient option (especially if you’re planning on making day trips on your own) and it’s very cost-effective. You will have to hang around the hectic airport a bit longer as you fill out paperwork, so if your goal is to hit the beach ASAP, you will be held up for a while. 

When you book a private shuttle, you’ll simply get off the plane, grab your bags, and you’re good to go! This is my preferred option so I don’t have to worry about driving and extra details, especially after a long flight. 

5. What is the cheapest option to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Group of shuttle works hold oup signs with peoples names outside Cancun Airport, Mexico
Look for your names! Photo credit: Pxhidalgo Depositphotos

Taking the public bus seems like the cheapest option, but as you read earlier, it’s a huge hassle since they canceled the ADO bus from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. Now, you’ll have to buy a ticket from the airport to the ADO terminal in Cancun, take a Colectivo from Cancun to Puerto Morelos, then find a taxi to your hotel. I really don’t recommend this option.

The next cheapest option (to avoid a headache) is taking a shared shuttle. Your seat is only $15 USD, which is definitely affordable compared to the other options! You will have to wait around the airport for other shuttle riders to arrive, and then the drive is longer as you drop all those people off along the way.

If you’re traveling with a large group, taking a private shuttle can actually be the cheapest option. The private shuttle is $95 USD and you can have up to 7 people, so it works out to $13.50 USD per person that way! It ends up being cheap and the most convenient, that’s why we think this is the overall best choice to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. Book this affordable and convenient private shuttle here!

6. What are the best shuttles from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Cancun airport shuttle at night time in Cancun
Our late-night shuttle was so good to already have booked and waiting for us!

Round trip private transfer – Airport – Puerto Morelos – Airport

This is my preferred private shuttle option. It is super simple from the time you book until you reach your hotel room in Puerto Morelos! The driver will be waiting for you at the airport and track your plane so even if it is delayed, they will show up right when you need them to. Because this is a private shuttle, you won’t have to spend extra time waiting at the airport. Once you touch the ground and grab your bags, it’s vacay time!

The shuttle charges a flat rate of $95 USD for round-trip transportation. I also love that it includes a ride back to the airport because leaving is the last thing you’ll want to think about! This private shuttle can fit seven travelers, so if you have a full group it’s only $13.50 USD per person, which is cheaper than any other option on this list! 

This is by far our favorite option in terms of convenience and price. I highly recommend booking this shuttle option to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos

Shared Transportation, from the International Airport to Puerto Morelos Hotels

If you don’t have enough people to fill a private shuttle, a shared shuttle is still a great option. It is only $15 USD for a one-way transfer from the Cancun Airport to your Puerto Morelos hotel, so if you’re traveling in a small group or just as a couple this is probably the cheapest option. 

Shared shuttles still have the convenience of a driver meeting you right at the airport, and they will track your flight so even if you’re delayed, they will be there!

While shared shuttles take a little bit longer, as you have to wait for other travelers to arrive and drop them at their hotels, it is easier than trying to figure out a bus system or taxis. I always opt for a shuttle option, shared or private! You can book this shared shuttle option here!

Related Read: There are some fantastic day trips out of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Luckily, Puerto Morelos is conveniently located right in between these two cities, so you can easily join a tour out of either and explore the entire Riviera Maya.

7. What is the safest option to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Travelers head to their shuttles at Cancun Airport in Mexico
Cancun Airport can be really busy so have your shuttle booked! Photo credit: Pxhidalgo Depositphotos

Safety in Mexico is always people’s first question when traveling here, and it’s good to take precautions! We have felt safe every time we have traveled to Mexico, and this is largely because we do our research and travel smart – starting at the airport. 

A private shuttle is by far the safest way to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos. Booking through Viator ensures that the shuttle service is a legitimate operation, so your prices are fixed and the driver won’t try to inflate their prices to take advantage of you, as taxi drivers always do. Plus, you pay for it in advance so you don’t have to worry about that detail after a long travel day.

Private shuttles will take you straight to your hotel, so if you arrive late at night you don’t have to walk around with all of your belongings and valuables in the dark.

Traveling to Mexico is safer than most people would think. You just need to use some street smarts like not traveling with large amounts of cash, staying out of shady areas, and being on your guard when out at night.

Booking tours on Viator is a great way to ensure you’re getting a reputable tour company who will take care of you, whether you’re transferring from the airport or taking another awesome tour on the Yucatan Peninsula!

8. What is the most dangerous way to get from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos?

Taking a taxi is the most dangerous way to get from the airport to Puerto Morelos. While your personal safety isn’t really at risk, as the taxis are closely monitored, your wallet is definitely going to get taken advantage of! 

Taxi drivers are notoriously famous for ripping tourists off – and you might not even realize it is happening! They are difficult to negotiate the price with and will often try and charge more than the agreed price when they drop you off. Avoid all of this and just book a private shuttle, it is a much safer option, cheaper, and a better way to start your vacation.

9. Tips for getting from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos

road between Cancun and Tulum
Road outside Cancun

Tips are expected

Your shuttle driver will expect around a 10% tip at the end of the ride. They are very courteous, wait for you at the airport, and take care of your luggage, so they definitely deserve a little thank you. Be sure to have some smaller bills on you, and they will accept other currencies (mostly USD and CAD) so you don’t have to have pesos to tip. 

Book in advance 

If you take nothing else from this blog – follow this tip! Booking in advance will make your life a million times easier and save you money in the long run. The Cancun Airport is one of the most hectic airports I’ve set foot in, so you’ll want to have a streamlined exit plan. Whether you decide upon a shuttle or bus, it’s best to book in advance so they are at the airport, ready to take you to your hotel. 

Otherwise, you will be swarmed by aggressive taxi drivers who will charge way too much for their service. After a long travel day and landing in a foreign country, their overwhelming presence is enough to send someone into an anxiety attack!

We always book a private shuttle so someone is waiting for us upon arrival. It’s worth the money and forward-thinking to book a shuttle ahead of time.

Avoid the bus late at night

Taking an ADO bus or Colectivo is a safe option during the day, but I would not recommend taking it at night. There will be fewer people around and with the cover of darkness, a jet-lagged tourist easily becomes a target for theft. Don’t take that risk – it’s easy to avoid if you simply plan ahead!

The buses will just drop you off at a public point and you will have to walk or take a taxi to reach your hotel. Walking at night with all of your belongings is definitely not a smart-traveler move, no matter where you are. 

Never book with an unauthorized taxi

The majority of taxis at the airport have the proper licensing and paperwork to be considered an “authorized taxi”. They are regulated and monitored by the Cancun Airport and will have a uniform on, as well as an ID badge and their licensing posted in their taxi. This is a legitimate operation, and while you might get ripped off on the price, you will arrive at your hotel safely. 

Sometimes, though, unauthorized taxis sneak in there. These are not monitored, so there is no logbook record of your ride. If something gets stolen or they take you to a different location, the Cancun Airport can’t really do anything to protect you. They will entice travelers by offering lower prices, only to shortchange or rob them later. 

So if you do take a taxi (which as I’ve said, I strongly advise you don’t), make sure the driver is wearing a Cancun Airport Taxi uniform, has an ID badge, and has their license posted in their car before you get in.
But you can easily avoid all of this by simply booking a shuttle!

Other Activities to do while in Puerto Morelos

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie in Puerto Morelos, Mexico
We love Puerto Morelos!
Bailey poses for a photo in front of El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico
What a temple!

This may be a small port town, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of fun activities in Puerto Morelos to take in! Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos is very popular but there are a few other activities we personally recommend too:

  • Visit Mayan ruins – The Yucatan Peninsula is a goldmine for Mayan history, so even if you’re not a huge history fan, I’d still recommend visiting some ruins while you’re here! Of course, if seeing Chichen Itza is on your list, you can drive yourself or go on a tour. This private tour is one of the best Chichen Itza tours from Puerto Morelos and will help you avoid the long drive. Plus, you’ll get guidance while you’re there too!
  • Drink craft beer – If you’ve read a few of our blogs, you’ll know that Dan and I are huge craft beer fans. So you can imagine how happy we were when we learned that there was a brewery in Puerto Morelos! If you’re like us and can’t imagine anything better than a cool beer on a hot day, head over to Fábrica Casa Cervecera Pescadores and make sure to try their fantastic IPA and Habanero Ale.
  • Go adventuring – When we were last here in Puerto Morelos, we decided to try out this full-day adventure tour, which is absolutely jam-packed with all kinds of adrenaline-fueling activities! From ATV to horseback riding, ziplining to swimming (as well as a super lunch) this tour really has it all, and it’s also a really nice way to get to know the local area too. Starting from just $152 USD per person, it’s great value too.

Where to Stay in Puerto Morelos

The Fives Oceanfront Puerto Morelos
Photo credit: The Fives Oceanfront

Puerto Morelos certainly isn’t the resort town Cancun is, and its chill beach town vibe is often the draw! However, you can still find some fantastic places to lay your head during your stay.

Here are a few of our favorite hotels in Puerto Morelos based on different budgets:

Cuca Macuca – $

Located just two blocks from the beach, Cuca Macuca is our favorite budget accommodation in Puerto Morelos for a good reason! If you like the hostel vibe, then you’ll fit right in here as the facilities are all typical for a hostel, including a communal kitchen and even a common area with a pool on the roof.

Whether you’re a solo traveler looking to meet new buddies on the road, or traveling as a group on a budget, the beds here are clean, and the staff are also super friendly – what more could you want? Plus, if sleeping in a dorm isn’t your thing, they also offer private studios too.

A bed here in a dorm starts at $24 USD per person, with a studio costing around $59 USD per night on average. Prices here may rise though, so I’d advise booking online in advance on or Hostelworld to secure the best rate – especially if you’re planning on traveling in the high season!

Arrecifes Suites – $$

If you’re looking for a nice hotel in a medium-budget range, I’d definitely check out Arrecifes Suites. Situated on its own private beach, it also has a lovely outdoor swimming pool. While the hotel itself is not as luxurious as some of the other hotels in the area, I’d say this is great value for money (a luxury hotel usually comes with a luxury price tag!), and really has all you need for a great stay.

Rooms here start at $72 USD per night, with every room having air conditioning. Some rooms also have a sea view, so make sure to book in advance to have the most selection!

The Fives Oceanfront – $$$

If budget really isn’t an issue, then staying at one of the best hotels in Puerto Morelos is a no-brainer! The Fives Oceanfront is our top pick for this category, with all of the facilities you can expect from a 5-star hotel. With a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness center, as well as coffee machines in every room, it’ll be hard to leave the hotel!

They also have an on-site restaurant called Al Mare (while offering room service too), which serves incredible Italian cuisine. Plus, the cocktails they serve are just amazing, try the Cosmopolitan – you won’t regret it.

Offering a range of suites all the way up to 3-bedroom apartments, one night here at The Fives Oceanfront starts at $236 USD per person. You can check dates and secure your spot online here.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie driving in their rental car in Mexico
Thanks for reading!

The best way to start out your Puerto Morelos vacation on the right foot is to arrive at the Cancun Airport with a plan! As you saw, there are a lot of different ways to get to Puerto Morelos from the airport, but our preferred method is by private shuttle. We hope you found this post helpful so you can choose the best transportation option for your group! 

We love spending time on the Yucatan Peninsula and have a ton of blogs about Mexico! You can use these as a source of inspiration or for more information about all of the adventures you can have on your next vacation. I’ve linked some of my favorite experiences below, check them out!

21 BEST Mayan Ruins in Mexico and How to Visit Them

15 Things to KNOW Before Swimming with Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres

12 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Cancun Sunset Cruise