Getting to Yucatan: International Air Travel, Airports,
International Air Travel
Mérida (MID). Continental
is the major airline that services Mérida. Travel is primarily
through Houston (IAH). Northwest Airlines is partners with Continental
and can be used for these flights from your location to Mérida
via Houston. Given the merger of Delta and Northwest (April 2008), you may be able to get a flight "on Delta" to Merida via the Continental IAH-MID route.
All the Mexican airlines fly in and out of Mérida
via México City. The major Mexican airlines are: Mexicana, Aviacsa,
Aeroméxico. The USA airlines partner with the Mexican companies to get you into Mérida. Thus, your major travel points in the USA would be Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles.
Cancun (CUN) is an alternative airport, especially
for students who are planning independent trips either before or after their
participation in an OSEA program. Cancun is a major destination for many
USA airlines and discount prices can be found with sufficient investigation. See airlines tab.
Air travel between Cancun airport and Mérida airport. Previously the Mexican airlines had flights between these cities, but as of 2008 it seems that these have been much reduced if not eliminated entirely. Aerocaribe, Aviacsa, and Aeromexicana would be the ones to check for this on their own web site. You will not be able to find a flight between these cities (except via Mexico City!) on Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and the like. The least expensive mode of travel is
the bus transportation between Cancun and Merida. Students who use the
Cancun airport must secure their own travel to the OSEA headquarters
in Mérida. These travel costs are assumed by the student and
are not the responsibility of OSEA. Instructions are available here.
Cancun Airport to Cancun Bus Station. Private taxi (estimated
US $30-40), hotel shuttle (flat $9 US), and local bus ($4) are available to get from
airport to bus station in downtown Cancun. The taxi will take 20 minutes. The shuttle will
take 1-2 hours depending on the other passengers on your shuttle. The
shuttle traverses the entire hotel strip before getting the town of Cancun.
The local bus is now THE BEST choice to get from downtown Cancun to the Airport: It is cheap, direct, and runs every 30min (on the hour and half hour) in both directions. This is Bus Station to Airport (domestic and international terminals). To get the bus after an international arrival, purchase your ticket at the last stall on the left after having collected your bags and gone through customs. It is ADO bus to Cancun. If you forget you can buy a ticket at the restaurant-bar kiosk outside to the right (there are bathrooms there as well).
Regional Bus Service
ADO and Oriente are the main bus lines for the region. ADO is national company and Oriente is regional, second class bus service. Check here for the ADO bus routes and times between Cancun and Merida, as well as most other destinations for long distance travel in México.
Ground Transportation from Mérida airport. You may use a taxi
for approximately $80-100 pesos or about $6-10 US. This service has been regulated and there is now a taxi kiosk -- located to the left of the curb when you exit the airport. You pay for the ticket and get an official receipt.
Bus service is also available if you have small change in Mexican pesos -- the bus is five pesos to ride. It will take you downtown, about 2-3 blocks from the very center of the city in about 20 minutes. However this is not recommended fresh from international travel, unless you already know the city of Merida and you are not overburdened with bags. Note, there is no danger to you in walking around with a lot of bags any where in Yucatan or Caribbean. Its a question of the hassle of carrying them.
Ground Transportation from Cancun Airport. After collecting your bags from International travel you pass through Customs. You head out the glass doors and turn RIGHT (there is a restroom to the left). Walk toward the exit past all the commercial hawkers selling condominiums, realty, etc. The last stall on the left before the Time-Share hawkers is the ADO Bus ticket. Get a ticket for $40 pesos, or $5US to get to the Downtown Cancun Bus Station. You can also buy a ticket here for Playa del Carmen or Tulum if you wish. If you walk out of the building you will not be able to return, but can buy your bus ticket at the restaurant-bar kiosk to the right of the door (past all the taxi and hotel shuttle drivers). The ADO bus to Cancun or to Playa/Tulum is on the dock to the RIGHT. Stay close to the building. The guy who is NOT hustling you is the guy who will take your ticket for the bus. The bus leaves every 30 minutes.
On the return, you want to make sure that you get off the bus at the DEPARTURES Terminal, not the arrivals. In the middle of the Cancun bus station is a stall that says "airport" . Line up here and get your ticket, buses leave every 30min. on the hour and half hour.
Note that the car and passenger ferry that ran from Tampa-Progresso-Puerto Morelos has been indefinitely suspended.
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