A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cancun vs. Daytona Beach for Nightlife, Resorts, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Cancun and Daytona Beach can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cancun

Cancun is a party-hard, tropical, and active city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is a party-hard, energetic, and lively beach city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the live music, beaches, and nightlife.

Cancun and Daytona Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Cancun than Daytona Beach, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Cancun is more popular for its museums, food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Daytona Beach is known for its music and big city activities. Cancun is popular for its water sports, white sand beaches, popularity at spring break, and access to Mayan ruins. It is also home to . Daytona Beach is popular for its spring break culture, wild parties, and the Daytona 500 NASCAR race.


How is Cancun different from Daytona Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Daytona Beach and Cancun. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Daytona Beach does not have museums and landmarks.

Cancun offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. It's possible to do a day trip to visit the impressive Chichén Itzá, but closer by you'll find El Rey Maya Ruins and El Meco Archaeological Site. You can also visit the Maya Museum in town. For something truly unique, you can take a diving or snorkeling trip to the Cancun Underwater Museum.

Daytona Beach does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Cancun or Daytona Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a popular place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its restaurants.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cancun area. If you step away from the tourist scene, you'll find some amazing local restaurants that serve authentic and fresh Mexican cuisine. Favorite dishes in the area include tamales, sopa de lima, and tacos al pastor.

Daytona Beach offers some easy restaurants to choose from. This beach is more about the parties and drinks than it is about the food.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Nightlife?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

The world-class nightlife scene is relatively similar in Cancun and Daytona Beach.

Cancun is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. It's long been known as a party destination and there are large world famous clubs as well as smaller bars where you can hang out. The party never stops here, so be prepared for all night dancing and drinking, and it will definitely live up to its reputation.

Daytona Beach has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Spring break is when the parties are at their peak. For the most active nightlife head to A1A from Ormond-by-the-Sea to Ponce Inlet, Main and Beach Streets, and Seabreeze Boulevard, ONE DAYTONA and International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, and Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Music?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is very good for its live music scene. However, Cancun is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Daytona Beach. You can see live music at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Bandshell and The Roof.

Cancun is not a live music destination.


Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Resorts?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a must-visit destination for its resorts. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its luxury resorts.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Cancun is a great choice. You'll find most of the accommodation options in the Hotel Zone, which runs along Boulevard Kukulkan. The stretch can be divided into three areas, which each have a slightly different personality.

Daytona Beach has a few resort options worth checking out. Many resorts in the area focus more on affordability than luxury. The oceanfront hotels usually have nice beachfront pools and rooms with balconies and oceanfront views. You'll pay a bit more for the waterfront rooms.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a must-visit destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Daytona Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

The clear water and abundant marine life make Cancun a world-class scuba diving and snorkeling destination. Beautiful reefs and world class dives make this a popular destination for those who want to explore the undersea world. You'll find plenty of snorkeling and dive excursions in the area with diverse coral and marine life.

Daytona Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Beaches?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a must-visit destination for the beach. Also, Daytona Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach city to visit for its beaches.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Cancun. There are stunning white sand beaches and turquoise blue water that make this a beautiful beach destination. There are miles of sandy coastline with many of the beaches found in the Hotel Zone.

Many people head to Daytona Beach to enjoy the beach. The city's beaches are lively and festive, so if you're looking for a beach with music, drinking, and partying, then this is your place. In the surrounding areas you'll find some quieter, more family-friendly beaches. It's also best to avoid the Spring Break crowds if you're hoping for a quieter and more family-friendly vacation.


Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Hiking?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a popular place for the nearby hiking options. However, Daytona Beach is not a hiking destination.

Cancun is a good destination for hiking. There are some beautiful walking paths and hiking trails that are within the area.

Daytona Beach is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for shopping.

Many visitors go to Cancun to go shopping. While most people visit for the beaches and nightlife, there are shopping malls and markets where you can enjoy some retail therapy.

Daytona Beach is a good destination for shopping. Souvenir shops and t-shirt shops are the main shopping you'll find in this area. The boardwalk is lined with gimmicky shops where you can pick up magnets or beach paraphernalia.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Families?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a must-visit destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Cancun is a very family-friendly destination. Although this part of Mexico has long had a reputation for its party scene, the area also attracts many families, who come for the family-friendly resorts, world class snorkeling, and fascinating jungle tours. You can snorkel at the Garrafon Natural Reef Park or have fun on the water slides at Ventura Park. Xel-Ha Park is also worth a visit.

Daytona Beach is not always a place people visit with their families. Although it's best avoided during spring break, Daytona with kids can be fun when the crowds aren't too bad. There are water parks, surfing lessons, and of course the beach. The restaurants are usually family-friendly as well with many offering kid's menus and early opening hours.


Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Couples?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a must-visit destination for couples. Also, Daytona Beach is not as famous, but is still a good beach city to visit for romance.

Cancun makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. As a world class honeymoon destination, you'll find stunning white sand beaches, amazing snorkeling and diving, and a huge range of entertainment options. You can enjoy the nightlife scene or check out Cirque du Soleil. Sunset boat cruises and romantic horseback rides all make this an amazing honeymoon destination.

Daytona Beach is a nice destination for couples. While romance isn't exactly what comes to mind when you first think of Daytona, couples who like to party and be out and about will enjoy a visit to Daytona Beach. There's plenty to do and some very great seafood restaurants in the area, so it's not hard to turn it into a couple's destination.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Daytona Beach is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Cancun is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Mixed in between the luxury resorts are a few hostels that cater to the backpacker crowd. There are so many activities in the area, from diving to partying, that appeal to the backpacker crowd, that it won't be long before you find your people.

Daytona Beach is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Students?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is renowned for its student-friendly activities. However, Cancun is not popular with students.

Students come from all over the world to visit Daytona Beach. It's one of the original Spring Break destinations, and the trend continues. If you're a student looking to cut loose, you'll find plenty of likeminded vacationers in the area, with many bars and hotels catering specifically to the younger crowd.

Cancun is not popular with students.


Is Cancun or Daytona Beach Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a popular place for its public transit. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for times when you don't have a car.

Cancun has a few public transit options. The buses are an efficient way to get around. They stop along Boulevard Kukulcán and throughout the downtown.

Public transit is quite limited in Daytona Beach. There's limited transportation options around town so you really must have a private vehicle. If you've been out drinking, you can call a taxi or an Uber.

Is Cancun or Daytona Beach a more walkable city?

Cancun
Daytona Beach

Cancun is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. However, Daytona Beach is not a good beach city for its walkability.

Cancun is a very walkable destination. The Hotel Zone is where most tourists spend their time, and this area is very walkable.

Daytona Beach is not a very walkable city. This area requires a car if you want to access restaurants, nightlife, or anything away from your hotel.

For even more information, also check out Is Cancun Worth Visiting? and Is Daytona Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Daytona Beach or Cancun?

How long in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Both Cancun and Daytona Beach have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Cancun has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Cancun than Daytona Beach. In general, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Cancun, and 7 days is enough time in Daytona Beach.

Families should spend more time in Cancun than Daytona Beach. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cancun, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cancun than Daytona Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cancun that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cancun than Daytona Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cancun.


  • How many days in Cancun or Daytona Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cancun 4-7 
    Daytona Beach 7

One day in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the adventurous destination of Cancun. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Many travelers enjoy the live music and nightlife when visiting the destination of Daytona Beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cancun. Most people come for the beaches. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Daytona Beach is a great place to explore. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the adventurous destination of Cancun. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Daytona Beach. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the beautiful city of Cancun. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the party-hard destination of Daytona Beach. This beach city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Playa del Carmen, The Best 2-Week Tours from Cancun, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Daytona Beach or Cancun?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cancun is $145, while the average daily cost in Daytona Beach is $211. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cancun and Daytona Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $96
    Daytona Beach $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $192
    Daytona Beach $168
Compare Hotels in Cancun and Daytona Beach

Looking for a hotel in Cancun or Daytona Beach? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cancun


Hotels in Daytona Beach


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cancun Hotel Prices and Daytona Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $17
    Daytona Beach $53
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cancun

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cancun:


  • Taxi Around Town
    $1.65
  • Airport Shuttle (for 2)
    $14
  • Ferry to Isla de Mujeres (for 2)
    $16
  • Local Bus (for 2)
    $2.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cancun

Also for Cancun, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Cancun Airport Small-Group Transfer to Cancun Hotels: $8.00
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport : $15
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport: $15
  • Cancun Airport private transfer to Cancun hotel zone: $15
  • Private Transfer in Cancun: $17
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer To/From Cancun International Airport: $19
  • Shared Transfer to Cancun Downtown or Hotel Zone: $20
  • Private transfer to Cancun Airport from hotels in Cancun Area: $23
  • Chetumal to Chetumal Airport (CTM) - Departure Private Transfer : $24
  • Private transfer from Cancun Airport CUN to Cancun zones: $25
  • Cancun Hotel Zone Private Transfer From and To Cancun Airport: $25
  • Cancun hotel or address to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Departure Private Transfer: $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Daytona Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Daytona Beach:

  • Private Transfer from New Smyrna Beach to Port Canaveral: $243
  • Private Transfer from Daytona to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $201

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Prices for flights to both Daytona Beach and Cancun change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cancun $28
    Daytona Beach $80
Typical Food Prices in Cancun

For Cancun, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cancun

For Cancun, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Captain Hook: Pirate Show and Dinner Cruise in Cancun: $46
  • Mayan Chichen Itza And Pirate Dinner Two Day Experience: $57
  • The Ultimate Cancun Taco & Street Mexican Food Tour: $59
  • Dinner Show with Pirates! (2x1 Price): $62
  • (2x1 price) Pirate Night! Dinner, Fun and Show: $63
  • (2x1 price) Dinner Show and Pirates Experience : $63
  • Pirate Show and Dinner (2x1 price)! Best Promo : $64
  • Cancun Street Food Tour with Food Stalls, Local Market and Murals: $64
  • Dinner Show on a Pirate Ship from Cancun with Open Bar: $65
  • Private Ultimate Cancun Taco and Street Mexican Food Tour: $69
  • Cancun Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • Cancun Hands-On Mexican Cooking Class : $79

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Daytona Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Daytona Beach.

  • Polynesian Fire and Dinner Show Ticket in Daytona Beach: $53

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $35
    Daytona Beach $28
Typical Entertainment Prices in Cancun

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cancun's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Seasick Pills
    $0.59
  • Whale Shark Tour (for 2)
    $100

Tours and Activities in Cancun

For Cancun, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • ATV Jungle Adventure with Ziplines, Cenote Transportation Included: $8.00
  • Tour to Kin Ha Cenotes with Craft Jewelry Workshop : $12
  • Guided Walking Tour of the Punta Cancun Lighting Tower: $14
  • Half Day National Reef Park Snorkel Adventure in Puerto Morelos: $15
  • Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun: $17
  • El Sol De Cancun : Panoramic Tour in Regular Cabin: $20
  • Best ATV & Mavericks Experience in Cancun + Cenote + Zip Lines : $20
  • Isla Mujeres Tour with Catamaran Snorkel Drinks and Buffet: $22
  • Explore Tulum, Coba, Cenote, Playa del Carmen full day 4x1 tour: $22
  • Chichén Itzá Marvels Day Trip:Cenote Oxman & Valladolid Adventure: $25
  • ATV, Ziplines and Cenote swim full experience from Cancún : $25
  • Adrenaline day in Cancun, Atvs, Ziplines and Cenote experience in the best park!: $25

Tours and Activities in Daytona Beach

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Daytona Beach are as follows:

  • St. Johns River Nature Cruise at Blue Spring State Park : $28
  • 2 Hour Coastal Discovery Cruise: $75
  • 2-Hour Glass Bottom Guided Eco Tour in Flagler County-Small-group: $85
  • 3 Hour Coastal Fun Cruise : $150
  • Daytona Beach Champagne Sunset Cruise: $100
  • Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour: $65
  • Dolphin and Manatee Kayak Tour of Daytona Beach: $65
  • Dolphin and Manatee Stand Up Paddleboard Tour in Daytona Beach: $65
  • Guided Wildlife Eco Kayak Tour in New Smyrna Beach: $45
  • Half Day Coastal Fun Cruise in Florida: $200
  • New Smyrna Dolphin and Manatee Kayak and SUP Adventure Tour: $65
  • Orlando Manatee and Natural Spring Adventure Tour at Blue Springs: $65

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $13
    Daytona Beach $43

Sample the Local Flavors in Cancun

Also in Cancun, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Brewery Tour / Craft Beer Tasting Cancun Mexico: $129
  • Small Group EkBalam Pink Lakes Cenote and Tequila Distillery Tour: $287

Sample the Local Flavors in Daytona Beach

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Daytona Beach:

  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl: $38
  • Dive Bar Bus Crawl from Daytona Beach: $40


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cancun and Daytona Beach, we can see that Daytona Beach is more expensive. And not only is Cancun much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cancun would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cancun and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Daytona Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Daytona Beach than you might in Cancun.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cancun Expensive? and Is Daytona Beach Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cancun or Daytona Beach?

Cancun has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Daytona Beach. When comparing the sizes of Cancun and Daytona Beach, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.