Tulum’s New Airport Has a Long Way to Go, But It Sure Is a Looker

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
Tulum’s new airport may not yet be working at total capacity, but its architecture, inspired by the region’s fauna, makes it stand out. Photo: Marlene Colli

Tulum’s international airport began operations on Dec. 1 but only has domestic flights. 

Airlines already operating out of Tulum’s new airport include Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico. Photo: Marlene Colli

But this will change in the spring, as Delta, Spirit Airlines, and Air Canada have announced they will begin operating international flights starting in the spring. 

Air Canada’s recently announced flights out of Tulum’s new airport will be operated under the airline’s Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge divisions from Montreal and Toronto. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

It is important to remember that passengers heading to their resorts will have to travel another nearly 30 miles, which, given the incomplete state of the roads, means that the journey currently takes about one hour. 

Then there are the airport taxi fares. A one-way trip to downtown Tulum costs US$93.50, or MX$1,496.

The new airport does not yet have any bus or shuttle connectivity, but this is likely to change soon.

Most airports in Mexico’s southeast offer shuttles operated by ADO to get to and from the airport on a budget. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Earlier: We Took the Tren Maya from Mérida to Cancún, and Here is What We Learned

The new airport has quite a unique aesthetic, which uses a lot of green, as well as earthy tones and uses materials that simulate the look of thatch roofs and bamboo. 

The architecture of Tulum’s airport stands out, especially when compared with the somewhat brutalist and austere style of other airports in México. Photo: Marlene Colli

The airport also incorporates several tropical plants into its ornamentation to give it a more natural feel.

The organic feel of Tulum’s airport is intended not only to beautify the space but also to help travelers feel more at ease. Photo: Marlene Colli

However, during a recent visit, the central air conditioning system was still not working — which has necessitated the use of large industrial-size fans to help passengers keep cool. 

Spanning 1,200 hectares, Tulum International has a 750,000-square-foot terminal featuring 13 gates with direct aircraft access, allowing passengers to board their flights by walking directly onto the aircraft. 

The Mexican government has announced plans to have Tulum’s new airport working at capacity within a year. Photo: Marlene Colli. 

Officially called Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Tulum International is operated by Grupo Olmeca-Maya-Mexica, a holding company owned by the Mexican military.