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New Tulum International Airport Connects Mexico Hot Spot to These U.S. Cities


Reaching Tulum, Mexico, from the United States will get a lot easier this spring. 

The brand-new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport—aka Tulum International Airport (TQO)—is scheduled to receive its first flights from points north of the U.S. border on March 28, when Delta Air Lines launches service from Atlanta. 

The airport officially opened December 1, 2023, but so far only Mexican carriers Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus are operating flights here, traveling to and from domestic destinations such as Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana.

But soon Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines will join the lineup. Here are the U.S. cities that will have nonstop flights to Tulum:

  • • Atlanta (ATL) via Delta
  • • Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT) via American
  • • Chicago (ORD) via United 
  • • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) via American
  • • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) via Spirit
  • • Houston (IAH) via United 
  • • Los Angeles (LAX) via United 
  • • Miami (MIA) via American
  • • Newark, New Jersey (EWR) via United 
  • • New York City (JFK) via JetBlue
  • • Orlando, Florida (MCO) via Spirit

 

[Related: Our 2024 ranking of the best sites to search for airfare]

Built to accommodate a little more than 5 million passengers each year, Tulum International Airport is situated about 40km (25 miles) southwest of central Tulum on the portion of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline nicknamed the Riviera Maya.

(Tulum International Airport in Mexico | Credit: George Wirt / Shutterstock)

Once known primarily for its well-preserved Mayan ruins (pictured at the top of this post) and white sandy beaches, Tulum has in recent years seen “an explosion of eco-boutique hotels, trendy nomad cafes, and Ibiza-inspired beach clubs,” as described in a 2019 Frommer’s story

But reaching Tulum from the closest major airport in Cancún (CUN) requires a 2-hour drive. 

The new facility, by contrast, can get you to Tulum’s resorts in less than half that time, thanks to a road connecting the airport to Highway 307. 

Transportation options from TQO include car rentals, taxis, private transfers, and ADO public buses, which go to central Tulum (about $10) and Playa del Carmen (about $17). 

Just don’t expect to rely on Uber or Lyft. Those services will not be permitted at Tulum’s airport, per Afar, due to “tensions between the local taxi syndicates and rideshare providers.”

In the future, the airport is expected to have its own train station on the Tren Maya, the 1,500km (930-mile) passenger rail that will eventually go through the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

The railway and the Tulum airport will make previously remote beaches and jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula more accessible for tourists, but both projects have been controversial from the start due to concerns about the potential environmental, cultural, and economic impacts on ecosystems and residents. 



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