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Cancun airport guide

a person standing in an airport lobby

This Cancun Airport guide will tell you everything you need to know before arriving to make your visit to the airport most pleasant.

cancun airport guide

Cancun airport is located at Cancun – Chetumal Km 22, 77565 Cancún, Q.R., México. You might find it in your flight ticket as CUN airport since that is the international IATA code for Cancun destination. There are 4 terminals within Cancun international airport: Terminal 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 4, and Terminal FBO (Fixed Based Operations). Terminal 2 runs domestic and international flights to Central and South America. The Terminal 3 runs international flights to North America and Europe. Next is Terminal 4 handles worldwide services. Finally is Terminal FBO receives all the private aviation and noncommercial flights.


The airport of Cancun was originally at a different location. It opened in 1972 and was placed only 1 mile away from the city. With a single runway and a wooden made control tower, it was fully operational until 1975 when the actual airport got opened. The control tower of the old Cancun airport was restored and kept. Nowadays it is considered a sightseeing attraction in Cancun downtown. Today you still can transit on the original runway, now is a big avenue in Cancun city. If you want to learn more about it, the City Tour in Cancun will take you there and show you more, since it is one of the sightseeing attractions in their itinerary. Check it out here!


Contrary to popular belief, arriving at the airport in Cancun should not be average pass-through aisles and gates. The airport is on its own a landmark for Cancun. Read the following facts and you will know what not to miss at the airport when you arrive:

  • Cancun airport is the second busiest in Mexico. Only Mexico City’s airport handles more operations. But it is the only airport in Mexico to have the capacity to undergo both takeoffs and landings at the same time because of its dual runways.
  • It is operated by ASUR, a private concession company. This concession has invested millions of dollars in the airport of Cancun to ensure the safety and comfort of all national and international travelers. Even though is not a huge airport it is very modern and efficient. You can visit the official Cancun airport website here.
  • Cancun international airport has the tallest control tower in Latin America. With 315 feet (97 meters) height also figures in the top 20 tallest control towers of the world.
  • To get the best sky views from the airplane, you might need to wait for the departure flight, since arriving from most destinations you get only jungle views. It is in the departure flights that you get a beautiful view of the Caribbean sea. Make sure you get the window seat on your departure flight.


There are 3 things to do before you manage to get out of the airport on your arrival day: 

The first thing is about inmigration.

If you are a foreign citizen traveling to Cancun, you need a Mexico Tourist Card, better known as Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM). You need to fill out this form as one per passenger, including children. Some commercial fights hand over the form before landing. Fortunately now, it is possible to fill the form online. Therefore you can save time at the moment of entering immigration filters at the airport. We recommend you fill the Mexico Tourist Card online, print it, and bring it with you along with the rest of your travel documents. Trust me this is a smart move to facilitate this process. You must keep this form safe during your entire visit since it will be required for your departure flight. You can fill out the form here.

The second thing is after picking up your luggage.

You must fill out the Customs form. You will get this form in the plane on your way to Cancun and must present it at customs checkpoints before you leave the airport. The Customs form must be filled out as one per family traveling together. Please note that the family must share the same home address. This form is not available to get fill out online, but we give you the hands out about the content so you can fill it out fast when the time comes. See samples of the form here.

The third thing to do is to move to the exit of the airport.

On your way, you will be passing through an aisle full of companies offering tours, transportation, and various tourist services before you can leave the building. Our advice is not to stop at any of this stands unless you want to sign up for a vacation club or a timeshare. Most of these stands are promoting these services. Once you manage to pass this aisle you will be in the area where you can find your transportation to your hotel or accommodation. 


There are many ways to get to your final destination from the airport. Whether you are going to Cancun city, any Cancun hotel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya or Tulum, don’t worry there is always transportation available from the Cancun airport.
Our recommendation is to set transportation before you arrive in Cancun since you can find shared and private transfers at very reasonable prices. This way, it will be faster and more efficient leaving the airport to arrive at your final destination. We can help you get a quote.


Firstly, you must check your flight status 24 hours before your departure. Make sure there are no changes or delays. The second is to confirm your transportation to the airport. Make sure you know the pick-up time your operator has assigned. If you are planning to arrange transportation on your departure day, consider that you must be at the airport 3 hours in advance if you have an international flight, 2 hours in advance for domestic flights. Make sure you know the terminal from where your flight will be taking off. If you need to move between terminals within Cancun airport, there is a free shuttle service provided by the airport to get from one terminal to another.
Have handy your travel documents and the Mexico Tourist Card that you got on your arrival. From here, the rest of the process is well known. Go to your assigned gate and wait for your boarding time. There are plenty of shops and places to eat near all the departures gates.

We sincerely hope this guide helps you make your visit to Cancun airport more pleasant. If you have any questions we are happy to assist you. Contact us.

Remember to share this information. Safe travel and welcome to Cancun!