Travel Time from Mexico City to Cancun

Mexico City and Cancun are known to be among the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, yet they are different from one another. The capital city features hundreds of museums and cultural establishments, while Cancun is known for its stunning beaches and parties. As such, each city offers an entirely different vibe and experience from one another. 

Now, if you want to visit both cities, you might wonder about the travel time it takes. In general, the travel time from Mexico City to Cancun takes around 21 hours and 19 minutes by car and 2 hours and 30 minutes by plane. So it will take at least a day of non-stop travel by land or a few hours by plane.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the travel time from Mexico City to Cancun. This information includes other related concerns, such as the exact distance and the best transportation methods. After reading, you’ll know what to do to enjoy the two cities in one vacation.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Travel Time from Mexico City to Cancun

What is the Distance Between Mexico City and Cancun?

As mentioned earlier, the distance between Mexico City and Cancun is more than a thousand miles by land. 

The distance is around 1005 miles or 1618 kilometers if you travel by land. If you take this route, you’ll pass several regions, such as Puebla, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, and Yucatan, until you reach Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located. 

The good thing is that both cities have airports catering to direct flights from one another. So if you have the budget, it will only take around 798 miles or 1284 kilometers of distance since it’s a direct flight. 

Further, planes are much faster, which means you’ll get to one city from the other within hours, which can take an entire day or even more for a car.

Now, if you still need to familiarize yourself with the exact location of Cancun, read: Where is Cancun?

Travel Time from Mexico City to Cancun

Since both cities are far from each other, the travel time needed to reach one of them from the other is lengthy. Even so, it still depends on the mode of transportation you use to get where you are going. 

Travel Time By Car

While Mexico City and Cancun are distant, you can still travel by land since they are on the same island with routes and roads connecting them. However, the travel time is still long.

As mentioned earlier, the distance between the two is around 1005 miles or 1618 kilometers. According to google map calculations, the non-stop drive from one city to the other can take around 21 hours and 19 minutes.

However, that calculation doesn’t include the stops; chances are you can only drive for part of the day (including night). As such, you can drive, but expect to allot around two days of travel time as an allowance. 

This travel time can be shorter if you have at least one or two with you who can drive alternately. On the other hand, it can be longer if you stop at several regions and cities to tour. 

It also applies if you don’t drive at night, which we highly recommend, especially if it’s your first time taking this route or driving in this country.

With this in mind, the travel time by car can take at least two days, whether you’re going to Mexico City from Cancun or the other way around. 

It’s also possible to commute since you’ll find connecting buses that can help you get to one city from the other. However, it can be long and tiresome, although cheaper than a car.

Travel Time By Plane

With such a long travel time, it’s best to consider traveling by air, as it’s the fastest route. The good thing about these two cities is that they both have airports catering to direct flights from one another.

With this transportation method, you’ll reach one city from the other only within two and a half hours. Moreover, by using this method of transportation, you will have more time to enjoy both cities since you won’t have to drive between them.

Of course, it will be more expensive since it’s a plane ride. However, since it’s domestic, you can enjoy cheaper flight tickets. Also, it’s worth noting that the domestic airlines of Mexico are known for offering cheap flights.

Best Transportation Method from Mexico City to Cancun

The best way to travel from Mexico City to Cancun is by plane. This way, you’ll reach Cancun within a few hours and save money, energy, and time.

Cancun is accessible by road from Mexico City, but the journey is long, tedious, and expensive. The cost of flying can be higher in most cases.

If you drive long distances and pay high gas prices, you’ll spend more than if you flew.

Moreover, since Cancun to Mexico City is only a domestic flight, Mexican airlines are known for offering cheap flights.

Commutes are also an option, but they are more extended and tiring because of the many required stops.

Driving is your best bet if you want to see other Mexican cities. As a result, you’ll have plenty of places to see and explore and the chance to enjoy the scenery.

A day or two spent traveling across several regions will also be exciting. Flying is your best option when you only have a little vacation time or are on a budget.


Cancun is quite far from Mexico, around a thousand miles apart. With such a distance, it can take a day or two to reach one city from the other on the road. However, it will only take a few hours on the plane. So it depends on whether you want to travel by air or land. 

Flying is best when you have limited time and want to enjoy most of your time in either of the two cities. However, if you want to go on a trip and see different regions of Mexico, you can do so along the way.

If you still need to become familiar with the exact location of Mexico City, read Where is Mexico City?

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