April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Tulum’s Sky Bridge to the U.S. Opens

TULUM, México – The arrival of spring heralds a new era for travel to Tulum, Mexico, from the United States, with the Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport—also known as Tulum International Airport (TQO)—set to welcome its inaugural flights from the U.S. beginning March 28. This development, marking the initiation of Delta Air Lines service from Atlanta, promises to streamline the journey for countless travelers.

Inaugurated on December 1, 2023, TQO had, until now, only seen operations from Mexican carriers like Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus, connecting to domestic locales such as Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana. The airport’s expansion to include major U.S. airlines like Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines is a significant milestone. These airlines will connect Tulum directly with several U.S. cities:

Tulum's Sky Bridge to the U.S. Opens
  • 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

Designed to handle over 5 million passengers annually, the Tulum International Airport, located approximately 40km southwest of central Tulum along the Riviera Maya, is a testament to the region’s growing appeal. Tulum once celebrated primarily for its Mayan ruins and pristine beaches, has evolved into a haven for eco-boutique hotels, cosmopolitan cafes, and vibrant beach clubs, reminiscent of scenes described in a 2019 Frommer’s article.

Tulum's Sky Bridge to the U.S. Opens

Traditionally, reaching Tulum from Cancún’s major airport necessitated a 2-hour drive. The new airport, however, offers a more expedient alternative, reducing the travel time significantly via a direct road linking to Highway 307.

Transportation from TQO includes various options like car rentals, taxis, private transfers, and ADO public buses, offering affordable and convenient connections to central Tulum and Playa del Carmen. However, travelers should note that services like Uber or Lyft are unavailable at Tulum’s airport due to local regulations, as reported by Afar.

Tulum's Sky Bridge to the U.S. Opens

Plans for Tulum International Airport include integrating a train station for the Tren Maya, a 1,500km passenger rail traversing Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. This development is set to make the Yucatán Peninsula’s remote beaches and jungles more accessible. However, it has sparked debates about potential environmental, cultural, and economic impacts on the local ecosystems and communities.

The opening of the Tulum International Airport and the upcoming Tren Maya rail project are pivotal in enhancing the accessibility and appeal of Tulum and the surrounding regions. While they promise to boost tourism and economic growth, they also raise important questions about sustainable development and the preservation of the area’s unique cultural and natural heritage.


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