Tulum’s new airport is a fresh, intriguing and imperfect option for travelers. Here’s what it’s like

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There’s a brand name-new airport for tourists wishing to see Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Several U.S. service providers introduced solution throughout the previous week to Tulum’s intense and glossy Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport (TQO), and TPG existed to report as the debuts started.

About 20 miles from the facility of Tulum, the airport can be a easier option for tourists checking out the area’s coastlines, hotels and archaeological sites — most of which rest closer to Tulum than Cancun.

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SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Though it opened up for residential solution in December, the airport invited its initial global trips from past Mexico on Thursday.

As component of that global “grand opening,” TPG got on board the first-arriving American Airlines trip — in addition to the first-departing Delta Air Lines trip. We intended to obtain some understanding right into the new airport and the new dots and lines on these airline companies’ course maps. This means, we can aid you make a decision whether this is the right airport for your following journey to Mexico.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Initial response

From the accessibility roadway right into the airport to the structure to the incurable, taxiways and paths, whatever is new. It’s tidy, fresh and much less frustrating than the older and better-known Cancun International Airport (CUN).

Overall, it’s a stunning area with high ceilings, smart creative touches and lots of responds to the elegance of the surrounding Riviera Maya.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Natural light floodings right into the incurable with floor-to-ceiling home windows, lighting up the large ticketing location and enabling visitors lots of sights of the ever-increasing variety of airplane coming and going.

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Still, viewers must understand it is doing not have some features today: The Wi-Fi and a/c were uninspired on the first day of global trips, and it has bit in the means of giving ins presently.

Overall, however, it’s an outstanding new option for tourists.

Here’s what we located getting here and leaving on the initial day of global solution at Tulum’s new airport.

What tourists can anticipate on a journey to TQO

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Tulum, the Riviera Maya, Cancun and the whole Yucatan Peninsula are loaded with stunning hotels.

Historically, however, visitors wishing to reach Tulum have actually needed to fly right into hectic Cancun Airport prior to obtaining a taxi or exclusive shuttle bus to their hotel; this can be a multihour trip and price $150 or even more each means. The new airport is made, partly, to fix that trouble.

Unfortunately, it’s still not the best remedy.

Since the airport is really southern of Tulum appropriate, the drive can still possibly take near to an hour (or even more) if you’re heading to the farther-north hotels of the Riviera Maya.

Still, there’s hope amongst some citizens that splitting travelers throughout 2 airport terminals can eventually aid alleviate several of the web traffic issues the more comprehensive Cancun location has actually seen just recently.

Where is the new Tulum airport?

Again, the new Tulum airport isn’t precisely in Tulum.

It’s concerning 20 miles from the facility of community — and it’s a little bit further from most of the prominent hotels in the location.

One employee TPG talked with at Tropical Elite Travel, a neighborhood transport firm, fasted to keep in mind the airport is greater than a “stone’s throw” from several of the area’s better-known hotels north of Tulum. This is something for tourists to bear in mind as they prepare journeys.

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For some even more context, the airport is near to 100 miles southern of Cancun. Playa del Carmen is right in between those 2 locations along the shore.

Getting to and from the new Tulum airport

The Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort. CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Following a remain at the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort, TPG handling editor Clint Henderson — that got on the first-departing Delta Air Lines trip Thursday — invested concerning an hour driving to the incurable.

On the plus side, that’s a whole lot faster than the 1 1/2 hours it required to reach the hotel after getting here on a trip from Cancun.

Still, despite having that much shorter range, reaching TQO was costlier than you could anticipate. The shuttle bus from the formerly discussed Tropical Elite Travel billed cyclists the exact same $120-plus for a transfer to TQO.

Our group located a taxi experience from the Tulum airport to the facility of community (concerning a 45-minute experience) had to do with $60. From the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, north of community, it was closer to $100 for a taxi to the new airport.

There are likewise some less costly methods to reach the airport, like taking a trouble bus.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Departing the new Tulum airport

Passengers get in the brand name-new terminal via any one of the 4 ground-level doors.

Overall, it’s a much quieter feeling as you get in the airport. If you can envision the beeping horns, cops alarms and general bustle and disorder usual at hectic airport terminals’ drop-off aesthetics, this is much from that.

It’s likewise a unlike Cancun’s much more busy airport, which sees countless travelers each year (virtually 4.8 million from the U.S. alone in 2023) and airplane getting here from around the globe.

Except for the periodic sound of a jet removing, it appears (and somehow really feels) a lot more like you remain in a public park than outdoors a hectic airport.

Ground flooring

Inside, on the very beginning (which is practically the arrivals degree), there are presently a couple of stores, rental auto firm workplaces, taxi stands and bus line workplaces.

This is where you’ll wind up after luggage insurance claim (a lot more on that particular in a little bit).

All about, you can listen to the noises of building, explaining that components of the airport (most especially the food and consume facilities) stay a operate in progression.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Ticketing location

Multiple escalators, lifts and staircases take you approximately the ticketing location, which is large and ventilated — and quickly one of the most outstanding component of the structure.

Sunlight gathers via a clear roof covering. There are 2 big islands where airline companies have actually established their check-in and bag decline terminals.

American, Delta and United each have a row of check-in counters with lots of area. On the opening day of U.S. trips, there were balloons and deals with to recognize the inaugural trips.

United included its very own check-in counters with some small style when it introduced solution Sunday.

JetBlue strategies to release solution to Tulum in the coming months. So do Air Canada and Panama-based Copa Airlines.

Security

The safety and security location was well staffed and took simply a couple of mins to make it through.

Since Tulum is a a lot smaller sized airport than Cancun, you can likely anticipate smaller sized groups — especially till airline companies completely scale up their trip routines out of the airport.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

For Clint’s separation on Delta’s inaugural trip, 2 police officers inspected his key and boarding pass prior to he was permitted to check his ticket at automated entrances.

At safety and security, police officers asked travelers to eliminate belts and enjoys so they can be executed the X-ray makers. Other things, like laptop computers and Kindles, needed to be eliminated and took into a different container for scanning.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Airside

The separations rout is one straight corridor. If you go excluded of safety and security, you’ll locate entrances for residential Mexico trips — a minimum of today.

If you go right, you’ll locate evictions for trips leaving to U.S. locations.

In all, the airport has 13 airplane vehicle parking settings. There are just 4 real entrances in the rout itself, yet some entrances cause several jet bridges. So, you can wind up leaving from a “D3A” or a “D3B.”

Aesthetically, the stunning ceilings had lots of lights, with Mayan-motivated timber sculptures developing a remarkable influence.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

This airport’s floor-to-ceiling home windows will likely motivate AvGeeks with awesome sights of airplane removing and touchdown.

Departing travelers will certainly locate wide-open rooms, lots of seats, and occasional plugs and electrical outlets. Like most airport terminals, when trips begin boarding, travelers gather together in the rout a little bit. Still, normally talking, it’s a rather large rout. That will certainly be much more real when building completely concludes and there are a lot more locations to consume, consume and rest.

Marble floorings and high ceilings offer the incurable a high-gloss appearance.

Those entrances number D1 via D4.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

The entrances appeared to be normally compatible, “common use” entrances. So, you could see a Delta jet leave from a gateway at one factor in the day and after that an American aircraft at that gateway later on in the day.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

On the first day of global trip procedures, American Airlines embellished its entrances with balloons and signs to note the celebration.

Tulum makes use of automated entrances that allow you check your boarding pass, yet today, gateway representatives still appear to be examining tickets before separation.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

As it was the initial day of global trips to Tulum, the trips were even more jam-packed getting here than leaving, so the rout was rather vacant. That will likely alter in the coming months as U.S. and various other global airline companies include even more solution.

On now, nevertheless, Delta’s inaugural outgoing trip was gently reserved, with one employee stating there were 120 vacant seats on the Boeing 737-800 — returning exactly how vacant airplanes were flying throughout the most awful of the pandemic.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Amenities at the new Tulum airport

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

As discussed, although U.S. airline companies only simply introduced solution to Tulum, the airport has actually practically been open for concerning 4 months.

Still, it’s rather simplistic when it involves features — a minimum of today.

That’s specifically real pertaining to food and consume choices.

Food and beverage

Hard-hat locations make it clear that even more stores and dining establishments — consisting of huge chains and neighborhood areas — get on the means.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Eventually, a lot more dining establishments will certainly be offered, consisting of some that will certainly know to Americans. TPG saw “proximamente” (“soon”) indications for whatever from Starbucks to Firehouse Subs to Le Pain Quotidien to Burger King to Applebee’s.

It’s a comparable tale landside, where we saw indications for widely known electrical outlets like Starbucks and Domino’s, in addition to some even more in your area motivated food and consume facilities.

Right currently, however, be advised: Food choices are thin, with simply a couple of tiny snack bar — believe sandwich shop, not dining establishments.

Until a lot more locations open, tourists can anticipate little greater than bodega-like facilities offering chilly water, soft drinks and bagged treats like potato chips.

This must obtain a lot much better in the coming months. In truth, there are currently tables in position for what seems a budding food court.

At the minute, a crucial item of suggestions if you’re headed to the airport: Don’t get here starving.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Shopping

Ironically, in spite of the rout being lacking food, there’s currently a duty-free store up and running instantly post-security. Vendors squandered no time at all offering items like fragrance, make-up and alcohol to tourists heading home from holiday.

Is there a lounge at the new Tulum airport?

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Among the “coming soon” rooms is a Sala VIP club. An employee there claimed it would certainly be opening up in a couple of weeks.

The indications near the boarding location where American Airlines had actually established celebrations for its initial trip out of Tulum recommended the lounge would certainly be called The Grand Lounge Elite Salas Club; it has a number of electrical outlets at Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and approves Priority Pass.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Other features

A little nondenominational church with a large lighted cross at the church can give a great reprieve for those that desire a spiritual minute at the airport.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

There were likewise a number of big toilets in several areas throughout the incurable. The shower rooms were spick-and-span, and whatever functioned completely, as one could anticipate at a new airport.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Inside was a big bathroom too.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Finally, there were 2 youngsters’s backyard. One was near the residential entrances, and there was one more near the global separation entrances (D3 and D4).

Arriving at the new Tulum airport

The arrival at Tulum was smooth for TPG aeronautics press reporter Sean Cudahy, that got on the first-ever business trip from outdoors Mexico to touch down at the new airport.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

After gorgeous sights of the Mexican coast on the last descent, it was a fast taxi to eviction; travelers were off the airplane in mins.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

With a a lot smaller sized impact than the Cancun airport, it was a really brief stroll to customizeds — no greater than a min or 2 down a ramp.

Getting via customizeds

Along the means, it came to be clear that this is a a lot more aesthetically attractive airport than the one in Cancun.

There were lots of responds to the Mayan visual and all-natural elegance of the Riviera Maya. One instance is this passage introducing the customizeds location.

Passport control was a wind. Since we were the initial global arrival (and several of the initial tourists off the airplane), the customizeds representatives were waiting for travelers — not vice versa.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Still, with 18 lanes and a fairly small variety of global trips prepared to the new airport this year, it appears like a center that ought to be well furnished to manage the prepared traveler web traffic also as points obtain more busy.

But, as constantly, it will certainly deserve enjoying exactly how that unravels in the coming months.

Baggage insurance claim

Sean waited no greater than 5 mins for his bag at luggage insurance claim, where there are 3 slide carousels for global service providers.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Notably, luggage insurance claim is simple actions where landing crew participants discharge bags from the airplane. This must be a significant aid in obtaining bags back to travelers expeditiously.

This is a location where Tulum has the opportunity to succeed over Cancun. Lately, TPG has actually listened to records of multihour waits for bags on some peak days in Cancun.

SEAN CUDAHY/THE INFORMATION MAN

Once you have your bag in hand, head to one last customizeds terminal, where every one of your personal belongings (also carry-on bags) will certainly need to go via one extra scanner. Numerous tourists were quit arbitrarily by Mexican authorities to have their bags opened up and checked.

TPG employee have actually experienced this in Cancun too, so it’s rather regular with the arrival experience there.

This can become a place where traffic jams can be a trouble in the coming months, so simply be prepared that when you have your bag in hand, your delay might not more than. As among the initial global travelers to continue via this checkpoint, however, the delay was practically missing.

Ground transport

Travelers that have actually flown right into Cancun understand it can be a little bit disorderly when you arise from luggage insurance claim; there are taxi firms, shuttle bus solutions, timeshares and excursion drivers all attempting to obtain your interest.

There have actually likewise been records of frauds and unethical rates from taxi and Uber vehicle drivers at the Cancun airport for years, with site visitors often embeded the center.

Snap response at Tulum: There is several of that, yet it gets on a a lot smaller sized range at a smaller sized airport.

Sean organized on-site for a taxi to his main Tulum resort for $60, and the chauffeur listened and pleasant.

Overall, however, Tulum’s ground transport still appears a lot more pricey than what you would certainly anticipate in the area. You can be taking a look at anywhere from $100 to $120 if you most likely to any one of the bigger hotels.

If you are headed to Tulum appropriate, there are taxis for much less; our experience to arrive was “just” $60. Most site visitors, nevertheless, will likely be headed further afield.

The airport likewise uses rental cars and trucks, yet it deserves examining opening and closing hours. Rental auto workplaces are currently open at the airport, consisting of Hertz and Europcar, and that can be worth it if you do not mind driving. Just bear in mind most hotels will certainly likewise bill you for vehicle parking.

You could wish to check out a bus solution called trouble, which will certainly drop you at areas near to significant playground beginning at $20 one-way. It was currently taking reservations at the Tulum airport. You’ll still require to take a taxi to your last location, yet this can aid cost-conscious site visitors.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

Transportation in this component of Mexico is not awfully arranged, and the new airport will not fix those problems.

Eventually, the new (and questionable) Tren Maya (Mayan Train) will certainly open up a terminal at the Tulum airport. There was signage and building for the train on my trip right into the airport, yet it does not look like it’s opening up anytime quickly.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

The train began solution in December, yet up until now, it just goes in between Cancun International Airport and the city of Campeche. Eventually, it will certainly concern Tulum and to the airport, yet that’s a lengthy means off, evaluating by the building websites at the airport.

If you’re intending a journey to Tulum, we would certainly encourage monitoring beforehand with your resort to see what sort of transport you could be able to publication beforehand.

How pricey is it to fly to Tulum?

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

For the near future, U.S. airline companies will certainly run much less trips to Tulum than Cancun. That’s partly due to the fact that airline companies are simply obtaining procedures off the ground. Also, Tulum is, rather merely, a a lot smaller sized airport.

Thanks to the pressures of supply and need, that will certainly make for a lot more pricey airline tickets to the more recent Yucatan Peninsula airport.

Between currently and completion of September, the ordinary round-trip airline tickets to Cancun is around $364 (or $433 if you wish to publication a continuously trip), according to scheduling application Hopper.

For Tulum, round-trip costs relax $437 — concerning 20% greater — or $455 for a continuously trip.

What United States airline companies fly to Tulum?

From the beginning, the “Big Three” heritage U.S. airline companies are supplying solution to Tulum. A 4th provider is coming quickly.

Airline Airports
American Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Miami International Airport (MIA)

Delta Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
United Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — launches May 23

Newark Liberty International Airport (IAH)

JetBlue New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) — launches June 13

Spirit Airlines had actually initially prepared Tulum solution from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale yet needed to briefly delay those trips amidst fleet restraints. In February, the airline company informed TPG it wished to restore strategies to launch Tulum solution in the future.

Bottom line

CLINT HENDERSON/THE FACTORS MAN

The brand name-new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport is a gorgeous airport that is worth taking into consideration on your following journey to the Yucatan Peninsula.

The airport isn’t as close as visitors checking out Tulum, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen hotels could really hope.

However, it can still be a easier option than Cancun International Airport for site visitors to some hotel communities in the location.

It’s likewise a lot much less jampacked and disorderly than the Cancun airport and does not have (up until now) as most of the hostile salesmen attempting to obtain you to lease a auto, buy a timeshare or hailstorm a taxicab.

Unless you’re taking a trip to a hotel in Cancun itself, or otherwise checking out the north reaches of Mexico’s Caribbean shore, it might deserve taking into consideration TQO over Cancun — also if you need to pay a bit even more to fly in and out of this airport.

That claimed, the airport has expanding discomforts. The a/c is erratic, the Wi-Fi isn’t presently functioning, and there are really couple of stores and dining establishments today. Oh, and there is no lounge since creating.

Stay tuned as TPG keeps an eye on exactly how the airport does as groups and trip choices expand in the coming months.

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