Cancun is the major airport in the area. Many major airlines fly directly into Cancun from the U.S. Southwest flies into Cancun as well, and tickets can be extremely affordable when booked during one of their sales.
If you are staying in Cancun, many hotels have shuttles to and from the airport. There are also many rental car places as well, which is recommended if you’re traveling all over the place and checking the sites. We went through “Yes Rent A Car” and loved them. They are affordable, inclusive, and gives you a ride to/from the airport.
Hotels / Where to Stay
The hotels in the area are too numerous to mention. They range from $200/night to $600/night, from basic to all inclusive. It really depends on what you are looking for.
We went through Airbnb on our stay. In Cancun, we were able to stay in a really nice condo next to the beach for $100/night. The “Hotel Zone” in Cancun is miles and miles of hotels, stores, clubs, etc. Kinda reminiscent of Vegas. While there is still things to do in the area, it is the major tourist area, and seemed to cater to the people who just want to stay in the hotel and walk 10 feet to the beach. But really it’s all what you make it!
Playa del Carmen is similar in the sense where there are hotels all over the place, varying in price, but a lot of Airbnb options as well. Playa del Carmen, while still touristy, seemed a little more authentic. There’s a young, athletic/healthy vibe to the city, when you strip away the tourist element.
Tulum is another option and worth checking out. Most ruins and cenotes seemed to be concentrated near Tulum. We were told this is the more “hippy” area, with lots of health conscience people, bike riding, etc. We didn’t spend enough time in Tulum to verify this. In Tulum, we stayed at this boutique hotel called “Hotel Teetotum” near some ruins and downtown. They provide bikes to use free of charge, have a bar/restaraunt, and Richard is an Ex-Pat who is super nice. The bike ride to the ruins is not too bad, but could be too much for people not prepared.