Need to Know
Cancun Flight & Airport Info: Your Spring Break Trip Begins Here
Unless you’re prepared to make the mother of all road trips through the Mexican countryside (a road trip we do not recommend), our guess is you’ll be arriving in town via a Cancun Flight. Trust us on this one, amigo.
No problem, because Cancun International Airport is conveniently located about 20 minutes from the island and its area for major hotels, known as the Zona Hotelera. In addition to major U.S. air carriers now offering direct Cancun Flights, many travel companies also charter jets to shuttle you back and forth from your nearest major airport. In fact, more than 50% of U.S. visitors arrive via a privately chartered Cancun flight. This is especially true during Spring Break, where most tour operators use private charter flights.
No matter how you arrive in Cancun, everyone goes through the same procedures before beginning Spring Break.
Cancun Immigration & Customs
Once your Cancun flight lands and taxis into the airport, you will have to go through customs and immigration before making your way onto the island. This involves you getting your bags and then proceeding to a traffic light. You press the button and either get a “green light” (to go), or a “red light,” which means you’ll be stepping aside for an inspection of your luggage. We understand it is totally random as to which light you get.
After passing customs, you then make your way to a Mexican Immigration officer who will want proof of identity and your tourist card, which was given to you on your Cancun flight.
What counts as proof of identity? The officials at Cancun International Airport put it this way:
Everybody needs a passport to enter Mexico except for citizens of the United States and Canada which can enter with a birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID. As mentioned before, citizens from some countries might require an entry visa. If you are not sure please check with your travel agent and/or the Mexican Embassy in your country.
We recommend the passport anyway, if for no other reason than because it is standardized for all U.S. citizens and less likely to be questioned by an Cancun customs and immigration official. You can begin the process for getting a U.S. passport here.
Once you’ve passed customs and immigration, you’re done! It’s onto the island. One last note, that tourist card you got from immigration: keep it in a very safe place. You have to hand this card back into immigration when your Cancun flight departs. Failure to have it can delay your return home.
Onward to the Island!
After your Cancun flight, getting out of the airport and moving on to your hotel is easy, and there are multiple options. Click here for our coverage of getting around in Cancun.
If you lose your proof of identity during your stay in Cancun you will need to visit the U.S. Consulate for emergency assistance. (The same hold true if you get in any legal trouble while in Mexico).
Speaking of arriving for your Cancun Spring Break trip, the American Embassy in Mexico has issued this special bulletin for Spring breakers.
Complete your planning for your Cancun Flight here.
Spring Breaker Reviews
Have you recently made a Cancun flight? Do you have a great story about clearing customs? If you have something to add about a Cancun flight and airport arrival, please submit it here.
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