The distance between Cancun International Airport and Tulum is 118 km (73 miles). For maximum freedom and flexibility, there is always the option of renting a car and driving without a driver. The trip from Cancun to Tulum takes approximately two hours, on an incredibly busy, safe road in excellent condition. Buses are a great way to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen or from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, and anywhere in between.
Tulum is one of the most popular destinations because of its spectacular infinite beach and the bohemian atmosphere that makes Tulum one of the most attractive destinations in Mexico for both style-conscious travelers and expats. From here, you'll find frequent ADO buses to Tulum and at cheaper prices than if you take the bus from Cancun International Airport. Driving around Tulum and its surroundings is the best way to see all the incredible cenotes, archaeological sites, colonial cities, and other natural wonders. The culinary scene is world class, with plenty of restaurants of all kinds, and you can take lots of amazing day trips from Tulum and explore the surrounding area.
Most importantly, having a car in Tulum is very convenient, so you won't have to fight for taxis when you're trying to get from Tulum beach to the city. You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to take a dip in some of the most spectacular cenotes after visiting the spectacular Mayan ruins of Tulum. There are daily buses between Cancun airport and Tulum, as well as between downtown Cancun and Tulum. There is no shared shuttle from Cancun airport to Tulum, Mexico, although you can book private transfer services through several providers like this one.
If you have money, the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun for most travelers is a private transfer through Cancun airport shuttle. But don't worry because I have the answer for you in this detailed post about Cancun vs Playa del Carmen vs Tulum. The same thing is available: they will pick you up at the airport gates, help you carry your luggage, and drop you off at the hotel wherever you are staying in Tulum. The ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum takes longer to reach the destination, almost 2 hours and 45 minutes, since it is slower than the buses and has to enter traffic in Playa del Carmen to drop off and pick up.
Buses are the means of local public transportation and are basically shared minibuses that travel the Riviera Maya from Cancun to Tulum. There is a heavily populated strip in the center of Tulum, which can be seen when you turn left at this intersection while driving away from the beach.