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How to Get From Mexico to Guatemala (and Back)

If you plan to backpack in Central America, you’re probably wondering how to get from Mexico to Guatemala and back. Are you already in Guatemala? Getting a bus from Tikal to Tulum isn’t so straightforward—Mexico is an obvious next stop for many visiting Tikal if they skip Belize. I’m sharing the best way to travel from Guatemala to Mexico in this post. Specifically, how to get from Flores to Tulum (or anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsular). Asking yourself, “How far is Guatemala from Mexico?” and “Can you take a bus to Mexico from Guatemala?” I’ll answer all your questions in this Mexico to Guatemala guide!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How Far Is Guatemala From Mexico?

While Guatemala and Mexico share a border, the distance between their capital cities of Guatemala City and Mexico City is about 683 miles. Tikal, Guatemala is roughly 340 miles from Tulum, Mexico.

Can You Take a Bus to Mexico From Guatemala?

Due to Mexican regulations on buses that go to Mexico, the only Guatemala shuttles to Mexico travel from Flores to Chetumal, just across the Mexican border. From there, you can easily get a Mexico bus anywhere in the country, including Tulum. There are several ways to get from Tikal to Tulum, but they all involve buying multiple bus tickets. I will share some options for traveling by bus from Mexico to Guatemala (and vice versa). Plus, I have links to buy ADO bus Tulum tickets online if you prefer to pre-book your Mexico bus seats.

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

Best Bus to Travel to Mexico

If you are visiting Tikal, you must travel to Flores for all of the best buses that go to Mexico. Unless, of course, you want to take the public bus (more on that later). As mentioned, you can’t get a direct Mexico bus from Flores to Tulum. Instead, you must get a bus to Chetumal, just over the Mexican border, and change buses or take a taxi to Tulum. 

Shuttles to Mexico

If you want to take shuttles to Mexico from Tikal, ask the driver to drop you off, where you can catch a public bus to Belize. It’s about halfway back toward Flores and should cost around 25Q.

Once there, take the bus across the border to Belize City. If not, get off the bus at the border, then on the other side, ask for directions to the public bus.

Once you arrive in Belize City, go to the ADO bus stop and take a bus to Chetumal in Mexico. From Chetumal, you can change buses and take an ADO bus Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, or Cancun. You can buy one ticket through to your final destination.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Guatemala ToursClick here to check out the top Guatemala tours
Best Guatemala Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Guatemala
Best Guatemala Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Guatemala

How to get from Tikal in Guatemala to Tulum in Mexico bus from Tikal to Tulum
If you are coming directly from Tikal, this is where you need to be dropped off.

Cheapest Way to Get From Flores to Tulum

Rather than booking a shuttle to the Belize City bus station, ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you. It will only cost you 5Q, and it’s worth it. There are two bus stations, and you don’t want to end up at the wrong one—the driver will point you in the right direction.

How to get from Tikal in Guatemala to Tulum in Mexico bus from Tikal to Tulum

The Tourist Method: Mexico Bus From Flores to Chetumal

Can you take a bus to Mexico? Yes, two main tourist buses go to Mexico from Flores: San Juan and Marlin. After researching and getting advice from a travel agent, I decided to pay Marlin the extra 15Q (just over $1). San Juan has a bad reputation—their buses are uncomfortable and don’t always have AC. For my extra 15Q, I had a big coach (with two seats to myself), AC, and WiFi. I was in heaven and happy I splurged on the best bus to travel to Mexico.

Top Tip: I book all of my transport in Guatemala through GuateGo, as it can all be booked online. They are Guatemalan-owned and completely trustworthy. Although, you will pay more using this service than if you book on the ground in Flores. If you are watching the $$, this isn’t the cheapest option. You can book through GuateGo here.

Another Top Tip: I suggest taking the bus from Flores to Belize City to save stress and hassle late at night in Chetumal. Then, once you get to Belize City, book an ADO bus Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, or Cancun. If you don’t do this, you must find your way across Chetumal in a taxi to find the bus station at night. Having made this trip and traveled extensively with ADO in Mexico, I strongly advise this option.

My Mexico Bus Experience With Marlin

If you book a Marlin bus in the morning, you will be picked up in a shuttle (coaches can’t access the island as the streets are too narrow). These shuttles to Mexico bring you to their office, where you get complimentary tea, coffee, fruit, and toast while you fill out immigration forms and wait for the others to be picked up. A small shop is next door where you can grab snacks and drinks.

Crossing the Guatemala-Belize Border In a Bus

When you reach the border, you must exit the bus with all your belongings and pass through immigration. Once you have your Guatemalan exit stamp, you must walk across the border and join the queue to enter Belize. The bus will be waiting for you on the other side.

We went to Belize City and changed buses in a car park. This was the only stop, and it was quick. Some people on the bus spoke to the driver and quickly ran off searching for food, but I couldn’t see anywhere close by.

Crossing the Belize-Mexico Border In a Bus

When you get to the Belize-Mexico border, you will exit the coach again—this time, you can leave your bags. You must pay an exit fee of $30 Belize Dollars (roughly $17 USD). The coach will pick you back up and drive you to the Mexican border control. Once you pass through passport control, you must pick up your luggage and go through a scanner. Then you’ll wait until everyone on the bus has been cleared and they have checked the bus before boarding again.

Getting From Chetumal to Tulum

You’ll be greeted with an ice-cold beer at the Chetumal bus station. Honestly, go with this company—the free coffee, toast, WiFi, and beer is a backpacker’s dream! From Chetumal, you can take an ADO bus Tulum or a taxi.

Taking the ADO Bus Tulum

The bus from Chetumal to Tulum is operated by a different company, ADO, which has a bus stop across town. You must take a taxi there, which will cost around $33.

Quick Tip: View my full Mexico packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Mexico Essentials shopping list here.

Taking a Taxi

At the Mexican border, the bus driver tried to dissuade us from taking the bus and told us to get a taxi instead. I think there is some rivalry as their routes overlap. It’s worth doing with four people, as it is easier and the cost isn’t much different. Lucky for me, there were three other Brits on the coach who I chatted with and were also heading to Tulum. I traveled with them, and it cost us 200 psc each—for a 3-hour journey, I thought that was reasonable. He stopped twice on the way so we could buy food and took us directly to our hotels. This only works if there are four of you unless you have a spare 800 psc.

Want to Splurge On Your Travel From Mexico to Guatemala?

Simple: get a flight! You can and take a bus or taxi to your final destination.

Need Somewhere to Stay in Tulum?

I wrote a guide to the Top Boutique Hotels in TulumWhere to Stay in Tulum, and The Best Hostels in Tulum, Mexico.

Here are my picks:

Top Budget Pick:
Chill Inn
Top Boutique Pick: Elements Tulum Boutique Hotel
Top Resort: Nah Uxibal Villa and Casitas
Top Luxury Pick: Nomade Tulum

How to get from Tikal in Guatemala to Tulum in Mexico

Tulum Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Tulum?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Tulum which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Tulum on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Tulum?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Tulum?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!

If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

How to Get From Mexico to Guatemala: Final Thoughts

There are many options for traveling from Mexico to Guatemala, including buses, taxis, and flights. The choice you make will depend on your travel preferences and budget. Hopefully, this post helps you plan an incredible adventure!

Karsten Vier

Monday 26th of August 2019

Booking guatego is like a fraud! We have booked the shuttle to Flores - Chetumal for 60 $ p. P. operated by Petens nature by minivan an have got a Marlin Espadas „Chickenbus“. Marlin Espadas offers the tour at their Website for 40 $ p. P. guatego answers they have no influence wich carrier will do the shuttle and the price is higher because of managementcosts.

Claire Summers

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

Hi Karsten, wow $20 is a lot extra I agree. I did not know that it was this much more expensive. I have made edits to the post to let others know about the extra fees. Thank you for letting me and others know about this.


Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Hey, just wondering if your tip is not to book directly with Marlin, who did you book through?

Claire Summers

Friday 23rd of March 2018

So I booked through this guy in a shop close to where I was staying. But you can book through any of the hostels. Amigos has a great travel desk. Head over there grab some food and book through them. The food is pretty good and portions are huge!


Saturday 17th of June 2017

How long does it take altogether?

Claire Summers

Monday 3rd of July 2017

Well if you get over the borders quickly about 10 hours...but we didn't. I left Flores at 8am and arrived in Tulum at 12am! It was a loooong day!