Cancun, Mexico is much closer than many international destinations, but how long is a flight to Cancun from the US? See average flight and layover times in this trip planning guide.
How Long Is a Flight to Cancun From the US?
Cancun is one of the most coveted spots for a beach vacation on the Caribbean Sea just south of the Gulf of Mexico.
White sand, luxe resorts, and excellent food and nightlife are always part of a Cancun trip!
If you’re planning on making the journey to Cancun soon, you’ll want to figure out all the logistics to get the (beach) ball rolling. So how long is a flight to Cancun?
A flight to Cancun from the US can take anywhere from under 4 hours to 9+ hours on average.
It all depends on which US city you’re flying from, whether or not your flight has stops (and how many stops), and which airline and travel dates you choose to fly with.
As you’ll soon see, direct flights are the best and fastest way to get to Cancun from the US. The closer your departure airport is to Cancun, the shorter your flight will be.
We’ll explore the average flight time to Cancun from different US cities along with average layover times and tips for smooth and seamless air travel to this vibrant Mexican destination.
Ready? Vámonos – let’s go!
How Long Is a Nonstop Flight to Cancun?
- Seattle to Cancun nonstop: 5h 53m+
- New York City to Cancun nonstop: 4h 2m+
- Chicago to Cancun nonstop: 3h 44m+
- Miami to Cancun nonstop: 1h 49m+
Nonstop flights are the fastest way to get to Cancun from the US and take around 3 hours and 52 minutes on average overall.
But where you’re flying from affects your total flight time considerably! Flying from Miami will only take about an hour and 50 minutes, or about 2 hours less than the average flight time.
Flying from cities that are further from Cancun, like Chicago, New York City, and Seattle, takes a bit longer. Chicago flights to Cancun may be about 3 hours and 44 minutes long.
Nonstop flights from New York City to Cancun take around 4 hours (give or take a few minutes) and Seattle in the Northwest takes nearly 6 hours to make the journey.
If you can, book a nonstop flight to Cancun instead of a flight with 1-2 stops. You’ll save a lot of time this way and nonstop flights may even be cheaper than longer flights!
How Long Is a Flight to Cancun With 1 Stop?
- Seattle to Cancun w/1 stop: 7h 15m+
- New York City to Cancun w/1 stop: 5h 54m+
- Chicago to Cancun w/1 stop: 6h 26m+
- Miami to Cancun w/1 stop: 5h 27m+
One-stop flights to Cancun take about 6 hours and 15 minutes on average from the US.
You’ll spend more time on the plane overall since you’re not flying directly to Cancun, but some of that flight time is spent waiting at the airport during layovers, too.
Miami is the fastest one-stop flight to Cancun in our flight time analysis, taking almost 5 hours and 30 minutes. Next is New York City with roughly 6 hours to Cancun.
Chicago takes a bit longer – about 6 hours and 30 minutes with 1 stop – but Seattle has the longest flight time with layovers in our analysis since it’s so far from Cancun at 7 hours and 15 minutes.
Since some of the time is spent at the airport in layovers, it’s good to know how long you can expect those stops to take.
On average, layovers on 1-stop flights to Cancun take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. We found layovers as short as 32 minutes to as long as 2 hours and 10 minutes.
So while a 1-stop flight to Cancun from the US takes about 6 hours and 15 minutes, roughly an hour and 15 minutes of that is spent waiting at the airport and about 5 hours on the plane.
How Long Is a Flight to Cancun With 2 Stops?
- Seattle to Cancun w/2 stops: 10h 52m+
- New York City to Cancun w/2 stops: 8h 52m+
- Chicago to Cancun w/2 stops: 8h 15m+
- Miami to Cancun w/2 stops: 8h 20m+
On average, 2-stop flights to Cancun from the US take about 9 hours and 5 minutes overall. This factors in actual flight time and 2 layovers of various lengths.
Since extra layovers mess with the overall flight time, you won’t see the same clear-cut differences between US cities that are physically closer or further away from Cancun.
While Miami usually has the shortest flight times to Cancun, here, it’s actually about 5 minutes longer than 2-stop flights from Chicago (8 hours and 20 minutes vs. 8 hours and 15 minutes).
And even though there’s usually a vast difference between Cancun flight times from closer cities like Miami and Chicago, the playing field is leveled with 2-stop flights.
Seattle takes about 11 hours to reach Cancun with 2 stops, while New York City flights to Cancun are about 9 hours long with 2 stops.
Where things really take a nasty turn in Cancun 2-stop flight times is the layover duration.
Not only will you have to deal with 2 separate stops, but each one is longer in duration than layovers on 1-stop flights and some are overnight layovers.
The average layover on a 2-stop flight to Cancun takes about 11 hours and 55 minutes – almost 12 hours. Some are as short as 3 hours, but others take as long as 29 hours.
Can You Fly Direct to Cancun From the US?
Since layovers add 1 hour and 15 minutes to 28+ hours to your flight time, it’s always in your best interest to choose direct (nonstop) flights to Cancun.
You can fly direct to Cancun from most major cities in the US. Every city in our analysis (Seattle, New York City, Chicago, and Miami) had nonstop Cancun flights available throughout the year.
Direct flights to Cancun only take about 3 hours and 52 minutes – under 4 hours – on average. From some cities closer to Cancun, like Miami, the flight time is under 2 hours.
Compare that to the much-longer flights with 1 or 2 stops, which can be 6-9 hours long. You’re going to appreciate the brevity of a direct flight so much more!
Things to Consider
Making the most of your trip to Cancun might start by asking how long the flight takes, but you’ll enhance your experience when you keep these travel tips in mind!
- Check your passport. If you already have a passport, don’t assume anything – check it carefully before you make your travel plans. Make sure it’s not close to the expiration date and that at least one page is blank before you book your trip.
- Pack the proper gear. Beach time, pool days, outdoor recreation, and exploring the city is in your future if you’re visiting Cancun. You’ll need the right items packed for the trip – swimsuits, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, long sleeves, sandals, walking shoes, hiking shoes, OTC pain relievers, and anti-diarrheal medication are all good ideas for your trip.
- Know the liquid rules. Flying to Cancun means you’ll be bringing plenty of liquids along, like sunscreen, lotion, toothpaste, hair gel, and more. Follow the TSA Carry On Liquid Guide and keep containers to 3.4 ounces or smaller for your carry on bag – everything else should go into your checked baggage.
- Scout out the cheapest flights. Short flights are great, but cheap flights are even better! Scout out the cheapest flights to Cancun using 8 hacks to find cheap flights and by setting up price alerts on sites like Expedia to see when prices drop within your set travel dates.
- Opt for all-inclusive in Cancun. Cancun is a place best experienced in the luxurious surroundings of an all-inclusive resort – a private beach, onsite and unlimited dining and drink options, amazing pools overlooking the ocean, and a laundry list of amenities make it worth staying at one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Cancun.
Frequently Asked Questions
People who wonder how long a flight to Cancun takes also tend to have a few related questions.
Take a look at the FAQs below to learn more as you move closer to booking your trip!
What's the cheapest month to go to Cancun?
September, October, and November are the cheapest months to go to Cancun because it’s the rainy and hurricane season. Conditions are wet, humid, and hot during this part of the year.
September to November sees an increased risk for tropical storms and hurricanes, so it’s important to get travel insurance when you book your trip in case of weather-related cancellations.
Is Cancun expensive to vacation in?
Cancun is not expensive for a vacation, especially compared to other international tropical destinations. Expect to spend roughly $1,500 per person for a 7-day trip to Cancun.
This accounts for your flights, food, accommodations, and daily expenses while you’re vacationing in Cancun. You can spend less by traveling during the cheaper September-November season.
Why are tickets to Cancun so expensive?
Tickets to Cancun are actually going down in price after a brief spike in October 2022. Today, airfare trackers like FareDetective have noted steady decreases in the price for tickets to Cancun from major airports like JFK in New York City.
If you’re seeing higher airfare to Cancun, try adjusting your travel dates and don’t plan to go during the more expensive peak season from December to April.
How far is it to fly from New York to Cancun?
New York City is about 1,560 miles from Cancun by air and it takes around 4 hours to fly from New York to Cancun nonstop.
It’s much closer to fly to Cancun from cities in the American South or East Coast, like New York City and Miami, than it is flying from the Northwest and West Coast.
How much time is enough for Cancun?
When you travel to Cancun, you need at least 4-5 days to really enjoy the beaches, resort facilities, and recreation options around you.
If you can, plan a 5-day trip to Cancun to give yourself time to do activities and enjoy some lazy days on the beach or by the pool.
So, How Long Is a Flight to Cancun Overall?
Overall, a flight to Cancun is about 6 hours and 24 minutes long when you consider direct, 1-stop, and 2-stop flights from all 4 regions of the US (West, Midwest, South, and East).
Remember that direct flights take about 3 hours and 52 minutes, 1-stop flights take around 6 hours and 15 minutes, and 2-stop flights are about 9 hours and 5 minutes from the US to Cancun.
If you’re choosing to fly to Cancun on a flight with stops, your layover(s) may take about an hour and 15 minutes (1 stop) to about 12 hours (2 stops) on average.
Since most people will choose direct (nonstop) flights to Cancun from the US, it’s safe to say that you won’t be on the plane for much more than 6 hours, no matter which city you’re flying from.
Considering there are swaying palm trees, fruity drinks, and sparkling white-sand shores waiting for you there, your flight time to Cancun will be well worth it!