You are currently viewing A new airport just opened on the Riviera Maya in Mexico

The state of Quintana Roo is by far the most popular destination in Mexico. That’s hardly surprising considering how many people love artificial all-inclusive resorts and very touristy towns. But this state has so much more to offer… and now has a 2nd airport for easier access to its gems located in the South.

A new airport has just opened in Tulum, and several airlines have begun flying to this airport, making it an attractive alternative to Cancún. It’s one of the many recent investments in the region, such as the controversial Maya Train.

Here are the details of the new Tulum airport.


Overview of the new Tulum airport

The new Tulum airport (TQO) opening is great news because more competition and choice are always good things for travelers (even if Montréal-Trudeau airport executives who are suing the new Montréal-Metropolitan airport disagree).

The airport is obviously closer to Tulum, which is increasingly popular, but it’s also closer to incredible destinations in the south of the state, like Bacalar.

Tulum (photo credit: Tanja Cotoaga)


Indira, a member of our Flytrippers team who took a girls’ trip to Mexico in November to cool off and take refuge from the heat of her own country, loved Bacalar and several other destinations in the state of Quintana Roo.


The airport is just 125 kilometers from the extremely busy Cancún airport (CUN). It served 33 million passengers in 2023, over 50% more than Montréal airport (YUL) in comparison.

Technically, Cozumel (CZM) was already an alternative in the state of Quintana Roo, but it’s located on an island off the coast, so it’s not that convenient for the vast majority of travelers and tourists who stay on the mainland.

Tulum, therefore, becomes a truly interesting alternative, although at the moment flight prices are generally higher than in Cancún because there are fewer airlines and routes.

But as explained in the 31 tips to save money on flights, finding cheaper flights is not rocket science: you just need to take the time to learn the tips and apply the tips. Always checking alternative airports is one of those tips worth trying, even if it won’t work every time. It takes 2 minutes to compare.


Flights to the new Tulum airport

Among Canadian airlines, only Air Canada Rouge has begun flights to Tulum from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL). WestJet will follow in November, but only from Toronto and Calgary (YYC).

Flights with connections are often cheaper, of course, and several U.S. airlines serving Canada also have flights to Tulum via their hubs. The Big 3 airlines (American, Delta, and United) offer routes to the new airport.

Routes to Tulum (photo credit: Flight Connections)


This means that for those who want to use travel rewards of the more lucrative type that can give outsized value (because the price in points is NOT tied to the price in cash), there are several options.


Location of the new Tulum airport

The airport is about 40 minutes west  Tulum city center (Cancún airport is over 2 hours from Tulum).

Location of the airport (photo credit: Google Maps)


Transport from the new Tulum airport

ADO buses will take you from the airport to the center of Tulum for a few dollars, just like at Cancún airport. 

As with almost every airport on the planet, cabs and private transfers are the most expensive options. With several people, sometimes the price is similar to that of the bus.

Rental cars cost $19 per day, including liability insurance (Canadian insurance usually covers only Canada and the U.S.). Damage insurance is included for free with almost all credit cards; don’t pay for that if you want to save.


Popular cities near the new Tulum airport

Tulum airport is more convenient for all the places in the state of Quintana Roo that are south of Playa del Carmen, and even for the most popular attraction in the neighboring state.



Tulum is one of the trendiest destinations on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Tulum (photo credit: Anna Sullivan)



Bacalar is a more authentic and less touristy town that is just as beautiful, located further south in the state.

Bacalar (photo credit: Dimitris Kiriakakis)


Chichén Itzá

In the neighboring state of Yucatán, this unique archaeological site is roughly at an equal distance from the 2 airports (Tulum and Cancún).

Chichén Itzá (photo credit: Christina Abken)


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The new Tulum airport (TQO) in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state is an exciting new alternative to Cancún airport (CUN). It provides easier access to this popular destination and to the south of the state.


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Featured image: Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico (photo credit: Tom Robak)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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