So many people think that flying internationally is always expensive. The thought of buying flights to Mexico deters many people, as they think these flights will likely cost a thousand dollars or more. As someone who has lived a significant amount of time in Mexico, I can assure you that affordable flight options exist. I have flown to Mexico from the United States for under $100! The key to finding cheap flights to Mexico is just knowing where to look. If you read my post about finding cheap airfare, you should know by now that there are several things you can do to cut your airfare by more than 50%.
These airports will not be in small towns, and are often several hours apart from each other on the ground. However, taking the time to get to a hub airport can save you hundreds of dollars and several hours of flight time. On top of that, most of the biggest hub airports in Mexico serve many budget airlines, which can offer incredibly affordable airfare while still providing a comfortable flight. If you’re wondering “What airport should I fly into in Mexico?” this post is for you!
First, a few things to note:
This post contains a list of the best airports in Mexico for cheap airfare, considering both price and geographic location. As you read this post, you should keep in mind that Mexico is a massive country, and you can’t just choose any airport and expect to be a quick drive away from your intended destination. Much like you could not fly into New York and expect to catch a quick bus to Los Angeles, you can’t catch a flight into Tijuana and expect a quick shuttle over to Cancun.
However, if you plan on visiting several places in Mexico and are flexible on what cities you visit first and last, your options will open up greatly and the airfare could plummet. If you are set to the idea of only going to Tulum, for example, then your choices may be a bit limited. However, if you know you want to visit several cities in Mexico, being flexible as to the order of them can be a major money saver.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best airports in Mexico for cheap airfare.
Other than the second airport on this list, odds are that Mexico City International Airport will always offer you the most direct option at the lowest price. On top of that, Mexico City is located pretty much right in the center of the country, making it a great place to start your trip and branch out into other areas of Mexico. If you choose to fly into Mexico’s capital, I recommend checking out some of the best day trips from Mexico City.
If you are dreaming about getting to any of Mexico’s premier destinations, you’re in luck: Cancun International Airport (CUN) is the second-largest airport in all of Mexico, and it is very conveniently located right in the heart of the Riviera Maya. Cancun International Airport serves many international airlines, both luxurious and budget, and it has become one of the most important airports in all of Mexico. If you want to get anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, this airport is likely going to be your best option by a long shot.
From Cancun International Airport, you can get to Cancun in just a quick ride, Playa del Carmen in under an hour, Tulum in under two hours, Merida in a bit over four hours, Valladolid in under three hours, and Bacalar in a bit over four hours. Valladolid is basically the basecamp of Chichen Itza, which is one of the most popular sights to visit on the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the near future, there will be a new airport built near Tulum that might rival the airport in Cancun. However, for the foreseeable future, Cancun is the best option to fly into the Yucatan Peninsula.
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-largest city, and many people look at this city as the cultural capital of Mexico. Guadalajara is the home of tequila, Mariachi music, and some of the most important foods in Mexican cuisine. Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) is also one of the largest airports in all of Mexico, and its location in Northern/Central Mexico makes it extremely convenient to reach less accessible parts of the country, like Durango, San Luis Potosi, and the beaches around Puerto Vallarta.
Tijuana is one of the biggest cities in all of Mexico, and it is located right across the border from San Diego, California. While Tijuana has had a sketchy reputation in the past for safety, it is still a very enjoyable city to visit and is a great launching point for trips around Baja California. Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) is a bit far away from most Mexican destinations, but it is the best airport to get to Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, and other parts of northwestern Mexico. There is also a convenient tunnel leading directly from the airport into San Diego, which allows visitors to only cross through one border, rather than entering Mexico to subsequently enter the United States.
If you want to visit anywhere in Northern Mexico other than the state of Baja California, Monterrey International Airport (MTY) is probably going to be your best option. This airport is located in Monterrey, which is the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon and is located right in the heart of the northern border country. Monterrey’s airport serves many budget airlines, and it offers many direct flights to and from the United States due to its close proximity to Texas. Monterrey is fairly close to the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Durango, making it a great airport to use if you need to visit any of these areas.
Not every airport in Mexico can make the list! However, depending where you are going, there may be other airports that are great options for you. As Mexico is a massive country, it is hard to compose any list that can adequately cover the whole country, geographically speaking. The following airports are great options if you are heading to a destination near the airport, but they are not as big and busy as the first five airports on this list.
- San Jose del Cabo International Airport (SJD) : If you are going anywhere in the state of Baja California Sur, including Los Cabos and La Paz, this airport is your best option by a long shot. This area is very far from the rest of Mexico’s biggest cities, and flying into a place like Tijuana is impractical unless you’re willing to then drive a couple of days south.
- Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR): This is the best airport to use if you want to get to either Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, or potentially Mazatlan. While Guadalajara is not far away, choosing this airport can eliminate the need to transit from Guadalajara to the coast.
- Merida International Airport (MID): This is the best airport to use if you are traveling to either Merida or the nearby state of Campeche. Also, if you can’t find a good flight into Cancun, this airport serves as a decent alternative, as Cancun is just over four hours away and Valladolid is just about two hours away.
- Ciudad Juarez International Airport (CJS): Located right across the border from El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez is another city with a sketchy reputation for violence. While we had a perfectly safe time in Juarez, many people are still hesitant to travel there. Juarez is a good option to fly into if you are looking to visit anywhere in the state of Chihuahua, but it is pretty far from everything else.
Thanks for reading my post on the best airports to fly into in Mexico for cheap airfare! I hope that this post helped you to plan your trip to one of my favorite countries. Remember, these airports are mostly very far apart from one another as Mexico is one of the largest countries in the world, and you should not expect to transit easily from each of these airports to every corner of Mexico.
Being flexible about the airport that you fly into is a great way to save money, and you really don’t need to inconvenience yourself much, either. If you have any questions or comments, either drop a comment below or send us an email at [email protected]. Otherwise, stay present!