Driving Directions and Precautions
Leaving the airport
- There is only one road that exits from the Cancun Airport. As you leave you will pass a number of billboards and approach Highway 307 and a highway overpass. Cancun airport weather
- Straight across the overpass will take you to the Cancun main hotel/tourist zone and Cancun's primary beaches (follow the signs).
- The ramp to your right just over the overpass is the north on-ramp for Highway 307 and it goes into the center of the city of Cancun (CD Cancun). There are hotels there but this is primarily where the major shopping stores are, and where the local people live. More on shopping
To the Riviera Maya
- The on-ramp to your right, before the overpass, goes to the Riviera Maya. It is the south bound ramp for Highway 307, the coastal highway.
- The sign says PLAYA DEL CARMEN. This will take you to all points south on the Riviera Maya (the Cancun-Tulum tourism corridor) including (in order from north to south): Bahia Petempich, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Secreto, Playa Paraiso, Maroma beach location, Xcalacoco and Punta Bete, Playa del Carmen and Playacar, Paamul, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Jade Bay, South Akumal, Aventuras Akumal, Chemuyil, Bahia Soliman, Tankah Tres and Paraiso Tankah, Caleta Tankah, Tulum Beach [via the Coba road going east, with access to the Sian Ka'an, Boca Paila and Punta Allen via the beach road] and Tulum Pueblo at the southern end of the corridor.
Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mahahual, Xcalak and Bacalar
- Highway 307 continues south of Tulum but is smaller in size. South of Tulum the next big town is Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Then continuing farther south there are a number of small villages on the highway and eventually the turn for Mahahual and Xcalak just south of the village of Limones. Turn left there to get to Mahahual and Xcalak. It is marked by an over-head highway sign.
- To get to Laguna Bacalar stay on Highway 307, following the signs for Chetumal. Bacalar is also marked by a sign on the highway. If you are going to Rancho Encantado on Laguna Bacalar it is a left hand turn that switch-backs down a hill on the left side of the highway, just before the town of Bacalar.
- Before making any turn in Mexico ALWAYS look both ways to check for traffic. Beware when turning left or U turning from the highway. If there is a special lane or a "RETORNO" (U turn lane) provided do as you normally would, with caution. At other times when turning in areas with no median divider ALWAYS check your rear view mirror first! On an undivided road it is customary to pull off the road to your right, put your left blinker or emergency flashers on and wait for traffic to clear. With no one else in either direction make your turn.
- When traveling on the highway be alert and vigilant for aggressive drivers. Let tailgaters pass. Generally, it is a good idea to stay right if you are not passing someone, otherwise drivers may pass you on your right. On undivided roads, drivers in the on-coming lane may choose to pass and cross the centerline of the road at unexpected times. Be ready to move right. It doesn't hurt to turn your headlights on in this situation.
- The left directional signal problem
- A flashing left blinker can mean several things: 1) I am moving to the left. 2) I am turning left. 3) Go ahead and pass me on my left side. Many fatal accidents have occurred because of misinterpretation of the left blinker. Don't let it happen to you! Always check for traffic in front of you and behind you before making ANY turn or switching lanes. Know that if there is someone behind you, they may try to pass you on the left if you turn on your left blinker. If possible keep a safe distance between you and those behind you, especially if you intend to slow down.
- Median dividers
- At Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen there are additional cement medians that divide the highway. These are marked by reflectors in the road. Please be careful not to hit them.
- Emergency flashers
- Try not to stop on the highway unless you are making a U-turn at a designated RETORNO marked in the center median of the highway. If you must stop on the right shoulder of the highway, always use you Emergency Flashers - Hazard Signal. If you rent a car be sure you know where the Emergency Flashers button is located and test them to make sure they work. Anytime traffic slows significantly due to road construction, or for other reasons, activate your Emergency Flashers, then turn them off when conditions return to normal. Drive with caution and stay safe.