Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

July 25, 2024
Today´s Paper

Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

New flights from the USA to Tulum start, enhancing global access. Despite high transport fees, options like car rental offer affordability.
Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

TULUM, Mexico – The recent inauguration of Tulum’s first international airport (TQO) on December 1, 2023, by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has set the stage for a significant transformation in this boho-chic destination’s accessibility. Initially serving domestic flights through VivaAerobus and Aeromexico, the airport is now embarking on a new chapter with direct flights from the United States, marking a milestone in Tulum’s integration into the global travel network.

This brand-new transportation hub, which can accommodate over 5.5 million travelers annually, is now the gateway for American tourists eager to explore the alluring Mayan ruins and the extraordinary cenotes that dot the landscape. Starting March 28, American Airlines will begin operating twice-daily outbound flights from Charlotte, Miami, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Delta Air Lines will join with a daily flight from Atlanta starting on March 28. United is set to broaden the horizon further with daily nonstop flights from Newark, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago O’Hare, commencing March 31. These flights are not just a pathway to Tulum but also enhance connectivity to other Mexican destinations like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo. However, Spirit Airlines has delayed its planned operations from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, initially set for March 28. JetBlue steps into the scene later, with services from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport starting in June, the exact date of which remains to be announced.

Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

The global anticipation for Tulum’s allure doesn’t end with the United States. The year 2024 will see the commencement of flights from Canada, Europe, and Central America. Air Canada is poised to launch outbound flights from Toronto and Montreal beginning May 3. Discover Airlines will introduce two weekly flights from Frankfurt to Tulum starting December 12, 2024, becoming the first European airline to offer nonstop flights. Negotiations are reportedly underway with Switzerland and Spain, and with Copa Airlines, Panama is also expected to join the array of destinations connecting to Tulum in the coming months.

However, the airport has been a topic of discussion due to its eco-friendly and low-carbon footprint, location, and transportation fares to Tulum town. Situated 20 miles southwest of Tulum, the journey to the city or the two-hour drive to Cancun has brought to light the high transportation costs from the airport. According to David Ortiz, president of the Tulum Hotel Association, the cost of transferring from the airport to Tulum town is notably higher than that of similar routes in Paris, France. The discrepancy arises from the airport administration’s policy of charging taxi and bus drivers over $48 to enter the premises for passenger pick-up, contrasting Cancun airport’s $1.72 fee per service.

Fly Direct to Tulum’s Treasures from the USA

The high transfer fees have sparked discussions among travelers and locals alike. A private car transfer to Tulum can cost upwards of $107, with private SUV options reaching $263. Prices soar even higher for destinations further afield, with a trip to Playa del Carmen costing $216 for a private car and an eye-watering $499 for an SUV. Akumal, the closest destination, ranges between $117 and $291, while a journey to Bacalar could set travelers back up to $593 – often more expensive than the flight itself.

Despite these challenges, alternatives exist. The ADO bus service offers a more economical option at $10, though it runs only three times per day. Renting a car presents perhaps the best balance of cost and convenience, with daily rates around $27. Visitors are urged to book ahead for the best deals.

This evolving travel landscape in Tulum, characterized by expanding air connectivity and the ongoing dialogue around sustainable and affordable transportation, underscores the region’s growing appeal and the complexities of catering to a global audience while maintaining the charm that makes Tulum unique.

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