Mexico City To Cancún: The Best, Fastest, Cheapest Way 2024

Last Updated on April 27, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

Wondering how to get from Mexico City to Cancún?

Whether you found cheap flights from Cancún or you’re tacking on a bit of beach time at the end of your trip to Mexico, if you’re here you’re wondering how to get from Mexico City to Cancún.

The good news for you is, I’m a Mexico pro and I’ve done this route myself!

This article is a one stop shop for information on the different ways to get from Mexico City to Cancún. I’ll also cover the fastest, cheapest, and best way to make this journey.

How To Get From Mexico City To Cancún

After spending a few weeks in Mexico City I decided to make my way to Cancún for a little sand and sea. This meant doing a lot of research to explore my options and figure out what works best. Now I’m going to make it easy for you to do the same.

By Air: The Fastest, Cheapest & Best Way

Travelling from Mexico City to Cancún by plane is by far the fastest and most convenient way to make this journey. In fact, you can find a flight from Mexico City to Cancún about every hour of the day.

The flight takes approximately 2hrs 20mins. There are several services per day operated by Aeromexico, Volaris and VivaAerobus.

On average flights on this route cost about $930MXN [$50USD/$70CAD].

  • Cancún is located in the Eastern time zone and Mexico City is located in the Central time zone. This means Cancún is one hour ahead of Mexico City.

While any airline is fine, I suggest you skip VivaAeroBus. They tend to have more schedule changes and cancellations than the other airlines and have had some safety issues in the past.

My go-to domestic airline in Mexico is Volaris because they are affordable, reliable, and I’ve never had a bad experience with them.

Mexico City’s Other Airport

It is important to realize that there are two airports in Mexico City that operate daily flights to Cancún International Airport, so make sure you’re choosing the right one.

Mexico City International Airport (also known as Benito Juárez) is the major international airport of the city. There is another new airport called AIFA or Felipe Ángeles International Airport [IATA Code: NLU].

This airport is located on the northern outskirts of Mexico City and is the newest airport in the whole country (opened in 2022)! Because this airport is so new they are still building a lot of the supporting infrastructure.

It is a large and super modern airport, but it’s also pretty quiet and there aren’t a lot of business or flights operating from here yet.

Getting to this airport can be tricky and currently the easiest way is by Uber.

An electric train service connecting NLU to downtown Mexico City is expected to be completed in April 2024.

The easiest and fastest way to get from Mexico City to Cancún is by air.

By Bus: The Slowest Way

While I am a big fan of bus travel in Mexico I don’t recommend taking the bus from Mexico City to Cancún and there are a couple of reasons for that:

  • The bus is more expensive
  • The bus takes 30 hours
  • Delays are to be expected

Yes, I said 30 hours. Mexico City is located approximately 1,600km/1,000 miles from Cancún. As if that weren’t bad enough, there is a great deal of road and rail construction work happening in the Yucatán Peninsula which can cause long delays.

The bus typically costs $2,000MXN [$110USD/$150CAD], which about twice the cost of a flight. Although these buses do go on sale quite often they are rarely priced as low as a flight.

The direct buses are operated by ADO but their website is Spanish only. If you’d like to explore or purchase tickets in English check out BusBud.

Buses from Mexico City to Cancun are expensive and take a very long time.

By Car: The Adventurous Way

Who doesn’t love a good road trip?! But before you head out on the road in Mexico you should consider a few things. First of all, Mexico is a long country and it doesn’t have a huge number of roads. This means driving can take a lot longer than you may think.

It’s also important to remember that Mexico is still developing which means lots of road construction and lots of very rural areas.

Before you jump in a car in Mexico consider these driving tips:

  • Only drive during the day
  • Be careful of your fuel levels, gas stations can be hard to find
  • Bring a road map. phone and internet service is spotty in rural Mexico
  • Bring cash. ATMs or businesses that accept card payments are hard to find in rural Mexico
  • Be prepared for unexpected road closures
  • Use Waze as it tends to be more up to date in Mexico than other apps

The distance from Mexico City to Cancún is about 1,600km/1,000 miles and this journey takes about 24 hours by car.

There is a lot of ongoing road and rail construction on this journey, particularly in the Yucatán Peninsula which will definitely slow you down. There are also toll roads along the way so you’ll want to factor that in to your budget.

Car rentals in Mexico can vary in price and that’s usually down to the cost of insuring non-Mexican drivers. Make sure you compare prices and check for hidden costs before booking.

Can You Get A Train From Mexico City To Cancún?

Sadly, you can’t get a train from Mexico City to Cancún. Train travel in Mexico used to be a thing but unfortunately due to the privatization of the rail system by US companies, these days the tracks are reserved for freight and people travel by bus and air.

You can still see evidence of the golden age of Mexican train travel in the old-fashioned train stations known as ferrocarriles dotted across the country.

But, unfortunately there are currently no passenger trains that operate this route.

There is no train from Mexico City to Cancun but old fashioned train stations can still be found.

Tren Maya Route

The Tren Maya is a new passenger train that is currently under construction and recently opened it’s first section in 2024. While this train does connect to Cancún it doesn’t reach Mexico City. The complete Tren Maya route will reach from Cancún to Palenque.

Mexico City To Cancún FAQs

You’ve got questions? I’ve got answers.

How Far in Mexico City from Cancún Flying?

Mexico City is located approximately 1,300km/800 miles from Cancún by air and 1,600km/1,000 miles by road.

What is the Best Way to Travel from Mexico City to Cancún?

The best way to make this journey is definitely by air. Air travel is the cheapest and most convenient way to make this journey. When I travelled from Mexico City to Cancún I took a Volaris flight and this was definitely the best choice.

What is the Fastest Way to Travel from Mexico City to Cancún?

The fastest way to travel to Cancún from Mexico City is by air. Flights generally take around 2hrs 20mins which is about 28 hours faster than the bus!

What is the Cheapest Way to Travel from Mexico City to Cancún?

The cheapest way to travel to Cancún from Mexico City is by plane. Flights cost around $930MXN [$50USD/$70CAD]. Be sure to check your baggage allowance as checked bags aren’t usually included on domestic flights in Mexico.

Can I Take a Bus from Mexico City to Cancún?

Yes, you can take the bus from Mexico City to Cancún but I don’t recommend it. Buses cost about twice as much as flights on this route and the journey takes around 30 hours.

Where To Stay In Mexico City And Cancún

Mexico City is one of my favourite cities on earth and Cancún is a safe paradise and one of the world’s top beach destinations, so you’re probably going to want to spend a night or two.

Condesa is a fantastic neighbourhood of Mexico City that is more affordable than Roma.
Parque Mexico, Condesa, CDMX

Mexico City Accommodations

  • Casa Pancha is the epitome of chic hosteling. This gorgeous hostel offers dorms, female-only dorms and private rooms with prices starting at $30USD/$40CAD per night including WiFi and breakfast. They also have a fantastic location in Condesa, walking distance from Parque Mexico, concierge service, lounge and terrace.
  • Casa Bis is a steal, starting at $100USD/$130CAD per night including WiFi and breakfast– if it was in Roma it would be 3x the price. This is a beautiful, colourful boutique hotel that couldn’t be in a better part of Condesa, walkable to everything you need.

Cancún Accommodations

  • Casa Lara is a hidden gem in Cancún when it comes to affordable beach accommodation. Rooms start at $55USD/$75CAD a night with a delicious breakfast and WiFi included. Relax in the rooftop pool, head into the Hotel Zone or explore downtown easily from here.
  • The Quetzal is the perfect boutique experience in the tourist paradise of Cancún. The rooms are spacious, the pool and grounds are gorgeous, and the location is perfect for escaping the Hotel Zone. Rooms start at $105USD/$135CAD including WiFi, an excellent breakfast and outstanding service.
Getting from Mexico City to Cancun is easy when you know how.

Summary: Mexico City To Cancún

Mexico is a beautiful country, so of course you want to explore more of it! But because Mexico is a big place getting from A to B can take some research.

First class buses are a fantastic way to get around Mexico, even if you don’t speak Spanish and they’re my top recommendation when making journeys longer than hour. However, for some routes around Mexico the best option is just to catch a cheap and cheerful domestic flight.

Hopefully this article has helped you figure out how best to get from Mexico City to Cancún so you can spend more time planning the fun stuff like visiting Chichén Itzá.