A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Cancun vs. Ensenada for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cancun or Ensenada?

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 Ensenada can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cancun or Ensenada?


In the northeast corner of the Mexican Caribbean, Cancun is one of Mexico's most popular destinations. The area that is now Cancun was actually selected specifically by the Mexican government for development as a tourist destination. The area was chosen because it has fourteen miles of beautiful white beaches, nearby Mayan ruins, and turquoise blue water with nearby snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Prior to its development as a tourist destination, there were few inhabitants in the area.


Ensenada is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of Tijuana. It's the only deep water port in the state of Baja California and as such, it is an important commerical fishing port as well as a cruise ship destination. The city has a population of almost 500,000 and is located just 78 miles south of San Diego. The city sits between the ocean and a small mountain range. The surrounding area is known for its wine production, which produces some of the best wine in Mexico.

Which place is cheaper, Ensenada or Cancun?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cancun is $143, while the average daily cost in Ensenada is $95. 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 Ensenada in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $95
    Ensenada $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $190
    Ensenada $90
Compare Hotels in Cancun and Ensenada

Looking for a hotel in Cancun or Ensenada? 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 Ensenada

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 Ensenada Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $17
    Ensenada $20
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cancun

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

  • Taxi Around Town
  • Airport Shuttle (for 2)
  • Ferry to Isla de Mujeres (for 2)
  • Local Bus (for 2)

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cancun

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

  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer From & To Cancun Hotel Zone: $82
  • ATV Combo (Horseback, Ziplines, Cenote, Water, Lunch and Transfer Included): $95
  • Airport Private Transfer Puerto Aventuras: $96
  • Airport Transfer Cancun: $60
  • Airport Transfers to Costa Mujeres - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $226
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Juarez - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $136
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Morelos - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $136
  • Airport transfers to Isla Mujeres: $175
  • Amazing Combo - Horseback Riding, ATV (Single), Cenote & Ziplines with Transfer: $102
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cancun Airport CUN to Cancun by Minivan or Minibus: $39
  • Arrival Private Transfer Cancun Airport CUN to Playa del Carmen by SUV: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cancun Airport CUN to Tulum by Minivan or Minibus: $110

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ensenada

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ensenada:

  • Border and Tijuana Airport Transfers to Ensenada or Valle de Guadalupe: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or Ensenada?

Prices for flights to both Ensenada 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 Meals for one day
    Cancun $28
    Ensenada $37
Typical Food prices in Cancun

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

  • Lunch for Two

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: $40
  • The Ultimate Cancun Taco & Street Mexican Food Tour: $49
  • Mayan Chichen Itza And Pirate Dinner Two Day Experience: $57
  • Dinner Show with Pirates! (2x1 Price): $62
  • (2x1 price) Dinner Show and Pirates Experience : $63
  • (2x1 price) Pirate Night! Dinner, Fun and Show: $63
  • (2x1 price)Pirate Adventure! Open Bar, Dinner and Show : $63
  • Pirate Show and Dinner (2x1 price)! Best Promo : $64
  • Dinner Show on a Pirate Ship from Cancun with Open Bar: $65
  • Cancun Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $65
  • Guided Cancun Local Mexican Food Tour: $68
  • Private Ultimate Cancun Taco and Street Mexican Food Tour: $69

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $34
    Ensenada $10
Typical Entertainment prices in Cancun

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

  • Seasick Pills
  • Whale Shark Tour (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Cancun

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

  • Cancun Mayan Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.00
  • Tour to Kin Ha Cenotes with Craft Jewelry Workshop : $11
  • Half Day National Reef Park Snorkel Adventure in Puerto Morelos: $15
  • Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun: $15
  • Mayan Cenote Tour with Tequila Tasting and Mayan Museum: $19
  • El Sol De Cancun : Panoramic Tour in Regular Cabin: $20
  • Skip the line access Mandala Beach Club: $25
  • Adrenaline day in Cancun, Atvs, Ziplines and Cenote experience in the best park!: $25
  • Atv amazing experience from Cancun for the less: $25
  • ATV, Ziplines and Cenote swim full experience from Cancún : $25
  • Cancun City Tour and Shopping: $27
  • Full-Day Tour to Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen: $28

Tours and Activities in Ensenada

Here are a few actual costs in Ensenada for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • "Electric bike Winetesting Adventure: Valle de Guadalupe": $130
  • "Wine & Paella Delight Tour": $100
  • 3 in 1 tour, Pai pai ecotourism park, Canopy tour, La bufadora: $385
  • 8 Hour Private Tour : $130
  • ATV Off-Road Adventure through Valle de Guadalupe + Winery Visit: $77
  • Adventure in Ensenada with Zipline, Marine Geyser and Shops: $99
  • Baja California: Guided Winery Tour with 5 Tastings: $22
  • Bufadora, Tacos and City Tour: $400
  • Couple Tour: $125
  • Ensenada City Tour on Ford T Replica and Beach Horse Back Riding : $110
  • Ensenada Shore Excursion: Blowhole and La Bufadora Tour with Horseback Riding: $81
  • Ensenada Shore Excursion: City Tour & La Bufadora: $63

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $13
    Ensenada $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Cancun

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

  • Social Pub Crawl in Cancun: $37
  • Brewery Tour / Craft Beer Tasting Cancun Mexico: $129

Sample the Local Flavors in Ensenada

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

  • Private Wine Tasting Experience in Maglén: $29
  • Xecue Wine Tasting in the Guadalupe Valley: $39
  • Private wine tour : $57
  • Tractor Pull Around Vineyards and Wine Tasting Tour: $59
  • Wine tour valley of guadalupe: $60
  • Valle de Guadalupe wine tasting : $65
  • Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tasting Tour: $87
  • Wine Tasting and Carriage Tour at Premium Winery at Valle de Guadalupe: $89
  • From Wine Tasting at Guadalupe Valley Ensenada: $93
  • From Ojos Negros Valley Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour: $107
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $115
  • Private Wine Tour at Valle de Guadalupe (A wine tasting included).: $117

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cancun and Ensenada, we can see that Cancun is more expensive. And not only is Ensenada much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ensenada would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ensenada 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 Cancun would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cancun than you might in Ensenada.

Which is Bigger, Cancun or Ensenada?

Cancun is bigger, and its population is about 2.1 times larger than the population of Ensenada. When comparing the population of Cancun vs. Ensenada, 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 and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Cancun vs. Ensenada Travel Comparison

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