How do I go from Cancun Airport to Cancun Bus Station (aka Terminal de Autobuses)?
Non-charter, non-resort based travel in and out of Cancun Airport (CUN) used to be a hassle. Not any more. There are inexpensive ADO buses from CUN to the Cancun bus station and from CUN to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, as well as a direct ADO bus from CUN to the Fiesta Americana Hotel in Mérida. CUN to Cancun Bus Station is 20-25 mins., with departures every 30 mins. on the hour and half hour in either direction. It costs 40 pesos or about US $5 if you use dollars. Buses south leave with less frequency and are more expensive.
After exiting Customs, you will see restrooms (take advantage of the opportunity!) and you will see a Santander ATM machine. GET Mexican pesos here now.
After getting cash pesos from the ATM, continue out the door following the flow. Take one of the Cancun Tips booklets from one of the women at the sliding double doors. This is a great tourist guide book for hotels and restaurants from Cancun to Tulum.
After exiting the building, head to the right past the taxi drivers and hawker head past the food kiosk. Walk to the left side of kiosk. You will see a little line forming at the first bus parking spots. This is ADO agent that are hanging out around to there to the right. Avoid all the bus/taxi hawkers, they dont have want you want. The buses are on the second dock to the right.
The ADO agents can give you bus schedule information for anywhere and can sell you any ticket you want. 50 pesos to the Cancun Bus Station and another $200 pesos for a First Class ticket to Piste. Ask for Piste or Chichen Itza. You can buy a ticket for same day or the next day as you prefer.
On the return from Cancun Bus Station to the airport, you make sure that you exit the bus at the International DEPARTURE terminal not the International arrivals. Otherwise you will make live miserable for yourself.
Bus Travel FROM Cancun to: Pisté and Valladolid (Zaci)
The travel route from Cancun to Pisté is approximately 3.5 hours depending on the road and whether by car or bus. The first primary stop is Valladolid (called Zaci in Maya), which is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours from Cancun. The second is Chichen Itza. From Valladolid it is roughly a 40 minute drive or slightly more by bus. There are at least two possible bus routes to get to OSEA, located in Pisté, from Cancun. The one and only first class bus from Cancun to Chichén Itzá (leaving between 8 and 9 am) does not go to Pisté: Rather, it stops not in Pisté but at Chichén Itzá. From Chichén one must take a taxi for approximately $2-4 (about 60-80 pesos) directly to OSEA. If you miss the First Class bus to Chichén, then you take the First Class bus to Valladolid which has departures throughout the day and early evening. Once in Valladolid one either takes a taxi directly to OSEA or waits for the Second Class Oriente Bus to take you to Pisté. Below the map, you can read specific travel instructions for these options.
Click here for Google Map showing travel route Cancun to Pisté
Where do I buy Tickets in the Cancun Bus Station?
There are two places where you can buy a ticket for the airport shuttle. One is the main ADO ticket counter that you see immediately upon entering the bus station. There is usually a very long line here. If you enter the Cancun bus station and turn right toward the sitting room or gates you will notice that there is a little ADO kiosk right inside the sitting room. Here there is hardly any lines, at most 2 persons ahead of you. Here you can buy your tickets to get to Airport, Pisté, Mérida or just about any other location! Use this counter.
How do I get from Cancun to Pisté?
How do I get from Valladolid to Pisté? Pisté Shuttle?
Once in the Cancun Bus Station check the boards for ADO service and get in line. There are two options for getting to Pisté. The third option is second class bus nightmare; this is the Oriente Bus Line. Do not take this. The two good options are either you buy a direct first class bus to Chichén, under $20, and leaves once every day in the mornings or you buy a first class ticket to VALLADOLID. The Valladolid bus departs every hour more or less until about 7/7:30pm and cost under $20 US. Once you arrive in Valladolid you get out of the bus station and look for the Pisté Taxi-Combi service. This service costs under 30 pesos and takes you straight away to Pisté.
Pisté taxis run a shuttle service between Valladoli and Pisté that operates roughly every hour. The last service from Valladolid to Pisté is in the early evening. From the Valladolid bus station you exit your bus and walk to the right -- past the station entrance -- toward the street corner. At this corner make a right turn and walk up the street, roughly to about where the bus entered the station docks. There should be a little octogonal white sign with "Pisté Taxi" or similar written on it. In front of an electrical appliance store you should see this sign and a white shuttle van that seats up to 15 or so. Ask around or anyone sitting in the van to make sure this is it and to get departure time. Pay for your ticket and get a seat before it fills up.
Which Bus Should I take? First or Second Class?
When you first step into the bus station you will notice the chaos.
Avoid second class buses. This is the ORIENTE bus line. Anyone can take luggage from the bottom when getting
dropped off or on. From Cancun to Pisté you do not want to take the VERY long 6 hour second class bus. However from Mérida to Pisté the Oriente Second Class bus is the best choice as it only takes 2 hours and leaves in either direction every hour.
In 10 years only one student has ever lost a bag but this bag had
her laptop. Second class is completely safe so long as you do not check valuables under the bus, especially on long trips over 30 minutes. In any case, do not risk the issue on from Cancun.
Second class buses stop just about anywhere and take 6 hours minimum
from Cancun to Mérida. These are not comfortable rides. The First
Class bus takes 4 hours and is not much more money. This is the ADO-GL,
ADO and UNO bus lines. There are three categories of first class bus.
The super luxury only has three rows of seats and has greater room
to recline. They are only about $5 more than the other first class.
The crucial factors are timing and availability. From Cancun to
Mérida there should be a bus or two leaving every hour of every day.
To Chichén Itzá/Pisté. there are second classes buses every hour.
There is only ONE first class bus to Chichén Itzá a day. It leaves at 8 or 9am.
Checking Bus Information Buying Tickets
How do I check the bus Schedule?
Check the ADO website at www.ado.com.mx Use this online site only for checking schedule. Do not try to buy a ticket from this website. Its too much of a hassle and risk with exchange rates, credit cards, etc. The schedule only is available for the next 30 days. Generally, if it is the next month it is the same "travel season" and the schedule is the same. Routes change during Christmas, Holy Week, Spring Break, August.
How and When do I buy my tickets?
Do not use the online ADO website for buying a ticket. You can buy a ticket at the bus station 24 hours in advance of departure. Usually this is not necessary unless you are sure that it is super heavy traffic/tourist season.
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