A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Cancun vs. La Paz for Nightlife, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Cancun or La Paz?

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 La Paz can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cancun

Cancun is a adventurous, wild, and party-hard city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

La Paz

La Paz is a beautiful, authentic, and cultural city. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Cancun and La Paz: 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
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Cancun or La Paz?

You'll generally find more things to do in Cancun than La Paz. Cancun is bigger than La Paz, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Cancun is better known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, hiking, and impressive beauty, while La Paz is more popular for its food and shopping. Cancun is more touristy than La Paz and is popular for its water sports, white sand beaches, popularity at spring break, and access to Mayan ruins. Also, Cancun is famous for . La Paz is well known for its beautiful beaches, fascinating cultural setting, and authentic local atmosphere.


How is Cancun different from La Paz?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between La Paz 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 La Paz?

Cancun
La Paz

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Cancun and La Paz.

Many visitors head to Cancun specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to La Paz can be an interesting and educational experience. Sights and landmarks around town include La Paz Cathedral, the Museo de Antropología e Historia de Baja California Sur, the the Museo de Arte de Baja California Sur, and Teatro Juarez.


Is the Food Better in Cancun or La Paz? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cancun
La Paz

La Paz is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Cancun is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

La Paz has a huge number of terrific restaurants. As the capital of Baja California Sur, you'll find many local restaurants that serve traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine. The recipes include seafood and local produce. You'll find everything from food stalls to high end restaurants around town.

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.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Nightlife?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a world-class destination for nightlife and partying. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

People head to Cancun just to party. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in La Paz. There are many bars and restaurants around the Malecón.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Resorts?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a world-class destination for its resorts. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its luxury resorts.

Cancun is a world class resort vacation destination. 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.

La Paz has a few great resort options. There are a number of hotels and resorts around town that make for a nice vacation.


Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a world-class destination for its diving and snorkeling. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Cancun is a world class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near La Paz. There are organized diving and snorkeling excursions available around town. It's location by the Sea of Cortez makes diving a world class experience.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Beaches?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun and La Paz are amazing choices for a beach vacation.

With world-famous beaches, Cancun is a very popular vacation destination. 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.

The beaches in La Paz are among the best in the world. The beaches in the area are the main draw, and you'll find beaches that are family-friendly, romantic, or full of amenities. Some consider the beaches in the area among the best in Mexico.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Hiking?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a city with good options for the nearby hiking options. However, La Paz is not a hiking destination.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Cancun. There are some beautiful walking paths and hiking trails that are within the area.

La Paz is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Cancun or La Paz?

Cancun
La Paz

La Paz is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cancun is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

La Paz is well-known for its shopping. Local boutiques, souvenir shops, and art galleries all make for interesting shopping opportunities.

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.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Families?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Cancun is an extremely popular city to visit for families. 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in La Paz. Older kids will enjoy swimming with whale sharks, whale watching, and experiencing the region's wildlife. There are also many beaches in the area where kids can play.

Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Couples?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun is a world-class destination for its romantic activities. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Cancun is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. 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.

La Paz is a good city for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy walking along the beach promenade known as Malecon. There are also beaches and amazing animal experiences such as whale watching or dolphin viewing.


Is Cancun or La Paz Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun and La Paz are both superb destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Cancun. 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.

La Paz is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. The city offers an authentic experience and hostels that make it a budget-friendly option for backpackers.

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

Cancun
La Paz

Visitors will find notable public transit in both Cancun and La Paz.

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

You'll find some public transit in La Paz, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a cheap local bus system around town.

Is Cancun or La Paz a more walkable city?

Cancun
La Paz

Cancun and La Paz are superb when it comes to walkability.

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

La Paz is a very walkable destination. The city is very walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Cancun Worth Visiting? and Is La Paz Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in La Paz or Cancun?

How long in Cancun or La Paz?

It's fun to spend time in either Cancun or La Paz. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Cancun due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Cancun, and 2-4 days is enough time in La Paz.

Families should spend more time in Cancun than La Paz. 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 La Paz. 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 La Paz 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 La Paz? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cancun 4-7 
    La Paz 2-4

One day in Cancun or La Paz?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Cancun. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of La Paz. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Cancun or La Paz?

Cancun is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

La Paz is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Cancun or La Paz?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cancun. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in La Paz. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. Most people come for the beaches. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Cancun or La Paz?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the active destination of Cancun. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the cultural destination of La Paz. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


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 Family-Friendly Tours to Mexico, and The Best Historical Tours in Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, La Paz or Cancun?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cancun is $134, while the average daily cost in La Paz is $106. 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 La Paz in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $88
    La Paz $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $176
    La Paz $94
Compare Hotels in Cancun and La Paz

Looking for a hotel in Cancun or La Paz? 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 La Paz


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 La Paz Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $16
    La Paz $20
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cancun

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


  • Taxi Around Town
    $1.52
  • Airport Shuttle (for 2)
    $13
  • Ferry to Isla de Mujeres (for 2)
    $15
  • Local Bus (for 2)
    $1.84

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
  • Private Transfer in Cancun: $14
  • Cancun Airport private transfer to Cancun hotel zone: $15
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport : $15
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport: $15
  • Cancun airport private transfer: $17
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer To/From Cancun International Airport: $19
  • transfers between hotels in Cancun hotel strip: $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 or address to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Departure Private Transfer: $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Paz

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Paz:

  • Private Transfer from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas: $240
  • Private La Paz Airport Roundtrip Transfer to La Ventana: $230
  • Los Cabos Airport Private Transfers: $108
  • Roundtrip Transfer to La Paz International Airport: $67
  • La Paz hotels to La Paz International Airport (LAP) - Departure Private Transfer: $52
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $105
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $52
  • La Paz Int. Airport (LAP): Private Transfer to La Paz hotels: $174
  • La Paz Airport: Private Roundtrip Transfer to La Ventan: $241
  • La Paz Airport to Costa Baja Private Roundtrip Transfer: $83

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or La Paz?

Prices for flights to both La Paz 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 $26
    La Paz $35
Typical Food Prices in Cancun

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $19

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
  • (2x1 price) Dinner Show and Pirates Experience : $63
  • Cancun Street Food Tour with Food Stalls, Local Market and Murals: $64
  • Puerto Morelos Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Cooking Show & Tequila Tasting: $78
  • Cancun Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • Mexican Cooking Class with fresh Local Market ingredients selection and transpor: $79
  • Pirate’s Night Out: Dinner and Entertainment in the Caribbean: $89
  • Amazing pirate dinner in Cancun, you must be here!: $89
  • Unforgettable Pirate Dinner Adventure in the Mexican Caribbean: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Paz

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in La Paz.

  • 4 Hours of Guided La Paz Street Food Tour: $75
  • Sunset Horseback Riding and Dinner: $230

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $32
    La Paz $11
Typical Entertainment Prices in Cancun

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


  • Seasick Pills
    $0.54
  • Whale Shark Tour (for 2)
    $92

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
  • Visit to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen + Shopping Tour: $8.41
  • Tour to Kin Ha Cenotes with Craft Jewelry Workshop : $11
  • Cancun Mayan Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket: $12
  • Guided Walking Tour of the Punta Cancun Lighting Tower: $15
  • 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
  • Cancun Lighthouse Tour with Cenote Tour and Shopping Tour: $20
  • Best ATV & Mavericks Experience in Cancun + Cenote + Zip Lines : $20
  • Day Tour to Isla Mujeres Catamarán with Unlimited Drinks: $22
  • Explore Tulum, Coba, Cenote, Playa del Carmen full day 4x1 tour: $22

Tours and Activities in La Paz

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for La Paz are as follows:

  • 1 Day Espiritu Santo Island Wonders, Sea Lions and Paddleboard Adventure : $249
  • 2 hrs Mexican Wine Pairing Experience in La Paz: $189
  • Adventure to Espiritu Santo Island: Snorkel with Sea Lions and Beach: $122
  • Balandra & San Rafaelito: Sightseeing & Snorkelling: $135
  • Balandra Adventure: Hike, Kayak, and Snorkel: $119
  • Balandra Snorkel & Sea Lion Adventure: $135
  • Cabo San Lucas: Balandra Beach and City Tour: $119
  • Cabo to La Paz City, Todo Santos & Balandra Beach Tour: $125
  • Can-Am X3 Turbo Adventure: Cabo Desert Trails & Beach Ride: $271
  • City Tour & Beaches from La Paz: $91
  • Cruise Date Delight! Swim with Sea Lions! Apr-02: $173
  • Espíritu Santo Island snorkel and sightseeing tour on Small Group: $155

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $12
    La Paz $11

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cancun and La Paz, we can see that Cancun is more expensive. And not only is La Paz much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Paz would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Paz 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 La Paz.

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


Which is Bigger, Cancun or La Paz?

Cancun has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of La Paz. When comparing the sizes of Cancun and La Paz, 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.