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How to get from Merida to Celestun, Mexico

Celestun is well connected with Merida. You can get from Merida to Celestun by public bus, private transfer/taxi, or rental car.

One of Yucatan’s most famous wildlife sanctuaries, Celestún, is a sleepy fishing village with a lovely little square in town and some beautiful beaches! 

Celestun is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and is a short drive north of Mérida!

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It is a great place to kick back on the beach, explore mangroves, or go swimming for a few days to take a break from the crowds of the big cities. The village is a great destination for relaxation and adventure, making for a good day trip from Mérida!

However, the real draw here is Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún, a wildlife sanctuary abounding in waterfowl and flamingos!

The flamingos are the star attraction here, and by taking a boat trip, you can potentially see thousands of flamingos all on the same day!

So, bring your camera – you’ll likely experience something you’ll remember forever!

Traveling between Merida and Celestun is easy, and you can choose between a public bus, private transfer/taxi, and rental car!

Check our guide for the best options to travel from Merida to Celestun.

How far is Celestun from Merida?

The distance from Merida to Celestun is 66.4 miles or 106.9 kilometers. It takes 1-2 hours to travel to Celestun from Merida.

Transportation Options from Merida to Celestun

The following table outlines all transportation options from Merida to Celestun:

MethodTravel timePrice
Public Bus from Merida to Celestun~2 hoursUSD 3
Private Transfer/Taxi from Merida to Celestun1 hour 20 minutes~USD 45
Rental Car1 hour 20 minutes

Getting to Celestun from Merida

Merida To Celestun

1. Public Bus from Merida to Celestun

Journey Duration: ~2 hours

The first option to get from Merida to the nearby town of Celestun is with the local public bus!

You can catch the bus to Celestun from the Noreste bus terminal in Merida on Calle 50 at 67. 

Buses depart hourly from 05:00 AM to 08:00 PM, and the ticket costs only USD 3 each way! 

If you want to visit for the boat tour at the Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestun, we recommend going early in the morning, from 06:00 AM till 08:00 AM.

The last bus stop in Celestun is near the beach, so once you get off, you will need to take a short walk to the dock at the Reserve.

The drive takes a little over 3 hours, so if you want to see the stunning flamingos in Celestun, go early!


On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from Merida to Celestun. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform for comparing prices & schedules and making a booking online.

Merida To Celestun

2. Private Transfer/Taxi from Merida to Celestun

Journey Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Another convenient option to visit Celestun is by booking a private transfer from Merida. 

That way, you’ll get picked up directly from your hotel by a private driver that will take you directly to Celestun River Biosphere Reserve, where you can get on a boat tour to see the flamingos!

Since the distance between Merida and Celestun is short, you can also get in a taxi for an acceptable price. But be careful when choosing a taxi, since some independent drivers might try to rip you off.

If you go with this option, make sure it’s a reliable taxi company, or you agree on the price of the fare before departing.

But the best choice for traveling with a private vehicle is a travel agency which enables you to book your trip in advance! This way, you can ensure your journey from Merida to Celestun is safe and comfortable.

Merida To Celestun

Universal Traveller recommends the following websites to plan & book your trip to Mexico

  • Check & book all available transportation options on GuateGo
  • Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to.

3. Driving with Rental Car from Merida to Celestun

Journey Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

If you feel confident behind the wheel, you could rent a car in Merida and travel to Celestun! 

Renting a car is a common way for tourists to explore the Yucatan peninsula, especially when traveling short distances like this one!

Renting a car will give you flexibility, freedom, and plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of this place.

You can find low and affordable car rental prices in Merida, which also include insurance.

Then, once everything is set, you can drive from Merida to Celestun and arrive in about 90 minutes. You just need to drive westbound on Highway 281, and you will be in Celestun in no time!

Rentalcars compares 900 companies at over 53,000 locations. Click here to guarantee you the best car rental price.

Merida To Celestun

Best day tours in Celestun, Mexico

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

The following widget shows some of the best tours in Celestun, Mexico.

Merida To Celestun

Frequently Asked Questions

When can you see flamingos in Celestun?

The flamingo season in Celestun lasts from November to April, and December to February are the best months to see flamingos there. Also, make sure to start your tour early in the day.

How long is the bus ride from Merida to Celestun?

The bus ride from Merida to Celestun takes a little over 2 hours.

Is it safe to drive from Merida to Celestun?

The road conditions of the highway from Merida to Celestun are in reasonably good conditions. So, the drive is pretty safe!

What is the cheapest way to get from Mérida to Celestún?

The cheapest way to get from Mérida to Celestún is by public bus, which costs only USD 3.

What is the fastest way to get from Mérida to Celestún?

The fastest way to get from Mérida to Celestún is by car. This journey takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

What companies run services between Mérida and Celestún?

Autobuses Oriente operates a bus from Mérida to Celestún hourly, and the tickets cost USD 3.

More Routes from Merida

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