Lack of transportation services has long plagued the Mexican Caribbean, but with the new Maya Train starting up, that is all about to change! Additionally, Tulum just opened its new airport (TQO) which will bring travelers to new adventures on the Yucatan Peninsula.
So where is Tulum? Tulum sits on the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the Quintano Roo municipality. Previously when you would arrive to Cancun, the drive to Tulum was nearly two hours. But getting into Tulum’s downtown from the new TQO airport is closer at just 15 miles.
First, getting there…
Delta Air Lines will soon offer nonstop flights from Atlanta to Tulum. Beginning on March 28, Delta will offer a daily departure. The flight is just under three hours with Basic Economy round-trip fares from $392 and from $482 Economy Main Cabin.
American, United, JetBlue and Spirit will also offer new 2024 nonstop service from other big gateway airports such as Orlando, New York, LAX, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami and more.
Tulum enjoys a much more relaxed pace than Playa del Carmen or Cancun. While Tulum isn’t directly on a beach, there are plenty nearby — from the Mayan ruins in Tulum National Park to the north and Sian Ka’an to the south. Another option is to stay in the Hotel Zone with its offer of eclectic bars and restaurants on your doorstep. Bustling and energetic Playa Del Carmen, in Riviera Maya, is just in between Cancun and Tulum (about an hour to either).
The bigger news is that the new Mayan Train, Tren Maya, will serve Tulum International Airport and its on-site station. This will prove to be the best way to get into the center of Tulum and beyond. There will be first-class seats (premier class), standard seats and a restaurant car to take in the panoramic views. The cost? Until Tren Mayaa has a dedicated website, it’s an approximation of about $45 from Cancun to Merida, about $68 standard from Campeche to Cancun and about $110 premier each way. For now, tickets can be purchased at Tren Maya, an e-ticket outlet ($20 fee applies).
What’s to do in Tulum and the surrounding areas? Visit Viator for a wide array of tours — from swimming with whale sharks to Mayan ruins (Chichen Itza), to sailing and snorkeling day trips through the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second-largest coral reef in the world. A top attraction is to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere — a UNESCO World Heritage jungle reserve that is more than 1 million acres and part of the barrier reef. You’ll see manatees, turtles, monkeys, pumas, jaguars, flamingos, toucans, exotic birds, and over 1,000 species of flora.
See all of the many new routes from Atlanta and other gateways on Clark’s Top Travel Deals page. And see Clark’s travel planning and booking guide for the best tips on stress-free travel, and check out InsureMyTrip.com for trip insurance. Here’s what to consider when picking a tour company.
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