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Traveling to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Travel options abound for travelers interested in getting to the Mexican Caribbean

Photo credit: © Hartphotography |
Getting There

There are more options for reaching the Mexican Caribbean than other areas of the tropics. Travelers in North and Central America have the option of driving into Mexico from any of several international checkpoints. to other parts of the country...


Of course, travelers looking for other routes have them as well. There are several international airports in and around the Mexican Caribbean, including a large hub in Cancún. From these airports you can even travel to other parts of the country, no matter where you plan to spend your stay. Read our Guides to Getting Around  and Land Travel for more information.

Air Travel

There are not one but five large international airports in and around the Mexican Caribbean, and seven other small national airports that provide flights throughout the entirety of Mexico.  As Cancun is the hub of all major tourist activity in the Mexican Caribbean, most visitors will make their appearance in Mexico at Aeropuerto Internacional Cancun.  The Cozumel Airport is a second runner up.

There are plenty of travel tips and tricks that vacationers flying to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean should be aware of, but one of the most important ones is to study all of your flight information before you leave, and if you don't understand something, call the airline and ask.  For example, Mexico requires that all tourists leaving the country pay a departure fee.  Some airlines absorb the fee into the cost of your ticket, while others leave it up to you to pay before you return home.


Those who wish to land in the Mexican Caribbean via sea have a host of options. Cruise ships stop at many ports off the coast of Mexico in the Caribbean, though none of them cruise directly to Cancun.  Instead, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Costa Maya, and Catalina are where these cruise ships choose to dock.  None of these ports is too far off from Cancun, so it is still possible to make a trip to the famed party city during your quick stay.  Still most cruisers will choose to visit any of the Mayan ruins, or find somewhere to play the slots.


The Mexican Caribbean is unique amongst most Caribbean destinations because it is one of the few that you can travel to on land alone.  Whether by bus or car, you can drive the entire way to Cancun and several other coastal cities.  There are 40 border crossing points between Mexico and the United States, and it is also people to enter Mexico from Guatemala.  These are customs check points, where you'll have to provide the proper travel documentation, and your vehicle could be subject to a search.

Another unique way to travel to the Mexican Caribbean from the United States is aboard a train.  San Diego, El Paso, or Del Rio to Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and Ciudad Acuña are all cities that offer through train services to Cancun.


Do-it-yourself sailors can traverse the waters themselves in their own boat. Yachters are welcome to sail into Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, and Majahaul.  Researching the many entry points to the Mexican Caribbean is sure to turn up transport that will complement your vacation, but it is also important to know which documentation you will need to make port or you'll be turned away. Read more about sailing and yachting to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean by clicking here.

Perhaps it is because there are more travel options than other locations in the Caribbean that Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and other Mexican Caribbean cities are such popular vacation destinations.  It could also be the promise of pleasant weather, sprawling resorts that cater to your every need, and the numerous natural and historic attractions.  Whatever the reason you head to this region of Mexico, you'll find that the journey is half the fun.


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