Traffic Into Cancun Airport Is So Bad Tourists Are Getting Out Of Cabs And Walking

Cancun was one of the most popular destinations of the pandemic, regularly exceeding visitor levels set in the Before Times. Mexico was open, Americans were traveling, and it was an easy place to go. Plus hotels quickly set up easy ways for guests to test before returning home. (Those tests almost always came back negative.)

What’s never made sense to me is booming tourist business in Cancun during summer – and not just from cooler climates! Cancun airport is reporting a record-breaking summer. And at the same time, work is proceeding to grow infrastructure around the airport. Colosio boulevard, which enters Cancun International Airport, is seeing two hour delays at peak times (6 a.m. – 10 a.m. into the airport and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. departing it).

Tourists can be seen abandoning taxis and walking into the facility. Officials are recommending leaving an extra hour to get to the airport compared to usual journey time. Traffic lights have been removed to keep vehicles flowing in, so those on side streets have even greater difficulty than normal.

On top of a new tourist tax, military having to patrol the beaches to clamp down on drug violence, and the ubiquitous possibility of running into Senator Ted Cruz, this traffic doesn’t make Cancun an appealing destination. Let alone in summmer.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve never understood anyone who books an expensive vacation at a hotel in hurricane areas in hurricane season. But, that aside, I don’t get the appeal of Cancun. You can go to Las Vegas, where it’s sunny and 100 degrees, sit at a pool and drink while paying a deeply discounted rated. All without having to go through Mexico.

  2. @ FNT Delta Diamond
    Gosh you think like I do!!
    Not to mention numerous incredible food options

  3. FYI they don’t enforce payment of the tourist tax. Literally nobody checks that it has been paid, and no it’s not rolled into your airfare.

  4. Happened to me about 15 years ago, so we walked the last half mile. Luckily wextravel light.

  5. Why do people go to Cancun in the summer? Because families still want to enjoy a beach vacation, and it’s a better value to fly the whole family down, stay at a nice all-inclusive; than to drive the kids in a packed minivan 8 hours to Myrtle Beach, book a flea bag motel and dine at the waffle house.

  6. @Hunter Gather Biden

    You can fly to Vegas, enjoy a rooftop pool, stuff for the kids, fun for the adults and amazing restaurants at a cheaper cost than Cancun.

  7. First of all, your odds of bumping into Ted Cruz in your home town of AUS are much higher than in CUN. Based on that alone you should move, if your comment was more than just liberal drama.

    Secondly, CUN is cooler than most of Texas in the summer, something you should also be familiar with.

    Thirdly, you forgot to mention the TRUE issue for CUN in the summer. Sargasso. The seaweed problem is so bad, it stinks to high heaven in many parts of Cancun/Riviera Maya.

    @FNT, even with cheapo hotel rates, CUN is better all in all destination than LAS unless you are into flashy, promiscuous stuff

  8. FNT Delta Diamond while it’s hurricane season, not every year a hurricane hits Cancun, so no biggie…plus Cancun isn’t generally expensive

  9. Same thing at YUL last month. The traffic to departures was ridiculous. I drove my son toward the arrivals area and it was still so bad he got out and walked.

  10. Cancun has its benefits, old mofos like FNT Diamond may not be able to appreciate them.

  11. FNT Delta Diamond, we get it, you like Vegas. Chill, not everyone wants to go to Vegas as much as you do.

  12. Places like Cancun and Miami are mobbed in Summer now due to vaccine requirements elsewhere. When 50% of the population isn’t vaccinated and places like cruises, many Caribbean islands, countries in Europe, etc won’t let them in, they’re stuck vacationing in those sub-par locations such as Florida and Mexico. It’s their loss: I’ve loved the 3 half-full cruises I’ve been on so far this year.

  13. Many people in the summer in Cancun come from Mexico City, Guadalajara and other domestic locations. It’s when kids are out of school and the price is right for middle class Mexicans. In an earlier life I had many contacts with the hospitality industry in Cancún. The first part of summer is the rowdy young summer break crowd from North America, which doesn’t spend well, followed by the domestic tourism season. Definitely the convenience of the destination during covid times has exerted maximum pressure on the airport facilities, which have never been known as quick and easy.

  14. First of all, Hurricane season doesnt really start until September. Cancun is different from Vegas. Apples and Oranges. Some people want to go the the beach and travel (go to other countries). My kids will enjoy Cancun more than Vegas.

  15. I’ll do Vegas once a year maybe but CUN is Best destination all year round!!! I go at least 4 times a year.

  16. A lot of comments about not understanding the appeal of Cancun in the summer time… true, you’re taking a risk but rates are discounted, at least our’s were. We’ve been here now 4 days and the weather’s been close to perfect! As for the idiot who suggested Vegas as an alternative, beaches there suck Right? Didn’t come here for the pool, could have done that in my back yard, came here because it’s gorgeous!

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