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

Should you visit Cancun or Mazatlan?

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

Where Should I go: Cancun or Mazatlan?


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.


Mazatlan is located on the Pacific coast in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The city has a population of almost 500,000, making it the second largest city in the state. It is a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches and resort hotels. Most people head to Mazatlan specifically for its beaches, but the city itself is somewhat large and diverse with many different cultures and ethnicities represented. Many foreigners come here not only to vacation, but also to retire. You'll meet people from all over Europe, as well as Canada and the United States.

Which place is cheaper, Mazatlan 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 Mazatlan is $77. 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 Mazatlan in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $95
    Mazatlan $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $190
    Mazatlan $64
Compare Hotels in Cancun and Mazatlan

Looking for a hotel in Cancun or Mazatlan? 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 Mazatlan

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 Mazatlan Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $17
    Mazatlan $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): $71
  • Airport Private Transfer Puerto Aventuras: $96
  • Airport Transfer Cancun: $60
  • Airport Transfers to Costa Mujeres - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $196
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Juarez - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $121
  • Airport Transfers to Puerto Morelos - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $118
  • Airport transfer (1-4 pax) - CUN to Cancun Puerto Juarez: $71
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mazatlan

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Mazatlan:

  • Round transfer airport to hotel in Mazatlán: $44
  • Private roundtrip airport to hotel transfer in Mazatlan: $234
  • Private Transfer From Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta, English Speaking Driver: $449
  • Private Airport-Hotel Transfer: $119
  • Mazatlan to Mazatlan International Airport (MZT) - Departure Private Transfer: $48
  • Mazatlan hotels to Mazatlan Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $38
  • Mazatlan Intl Airport (MZT): Private Transfer to Mazatlan: $295
  • Mazatlan Intl Airport (MZT) to Mazatlan Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $38
  • Mazatlan International Airport(MZT) to Mazatlan hotels -Arrival Private Transfer: $48
  • Mazatlan Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Mazatlan hotels: $235
  • Mazatlan Cruise Port to Mazatlan hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $38
  • Mazatlan Cruise Port to Mazatlan hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or Mazatlan?

Prices for flights to both Mazatlan 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
    Mazatlan $33
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 Adventure! Open Bar, Dinner and Show : $63
  • (2x1 price) Pirate Night! Dinner, Fun 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
  • Private Ultimate Cancun Taco and Street Mexican Food Tour: $69
  • The Best Pirate Night, Dinner Show at Cancún for the best price. : $75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mazatlan

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

  • Mercado walking food tour: $67
  • Mazatlan routes of taste food tour: $84
  • Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Mazatlan: $84
  • Tacos, Beer and Mezcal Food Tour in Mazatlan: $96

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $34
    Mazatlan $9.34
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 Boca de Puma Cenotes with Craft Jewelry Workshop : $11
  • Tour to Playa Maroma with Craft Jewelry Workshop + Hacienda: $11
  • Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun: $15
  • Half Day National Reef Park Snorkel Adventure in Puerto Morelos: $15
  • El Sol De Cancun : Panoramic Tour in Regular Cabin: $20
  • ATV, Ziplines and Cenote swim full experience from Cancún : $20
  • Amazing jungle tour adventure speed boat in cancun : $23
  • Skip the line access Mandala Beach Club: $25
  • Isla Mujeres Tour: Beach Club, Snorkel & Sailing with Lunch & Bar: $28
  • Ultimate Tulum Experience Mayan Ruins & Cenote Swim from Cancun: $29
  • Ultimate Tulum Experience Mayan Ruins & Cenote Swim from Riviera Maya: $29

Tours and Activities in Mazatlan

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

  • 4-Hour Private Bird Watching Tour in Mazatlan with Pickup: $100
  • 5-Hour Private Historical Tour in Mazatlán with Pickup: $400
  • Agave Distilled Factory and Salsa Combo Tour Private Vehicle: $385
  • Barrio Bites tour: $67
  • City Tour & Mazatlan Lighthouse: $49
  • Deer Island Kayak tour: $50
  • From Mazatlán: ATV Tour into Sierra Madre with Lunch: $140
  • From Tufted Jay Preserve 2-Day Birdwatching Tour: $550
  • From Zipline & ATV Adventure with Tequila Tasting: $209
  • Half Day Private Paddle Board Experience in Mazatlan: $60
  • Half-Day Tour to Tequila Factory and Villages from Mazatlan: $62
  • Half-Day Ziplining Experience from Mazatlán: $110

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $13
    Mazatlan $18

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: $18
  • Brewery Tour / Craft Beer Tasting Cancun Mexico: $129

Sample the Local Flavors in Mazatlan

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

  • Private Tour to El Quelite Village and Tequila Distillery from Mazatlan: $323

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

Which is Bigger, Cancun or Mazatlan?

Cancun is bigger, and its population is about 53% larger than the population of Mazatlan. When comparing the population of Cancun vs. Mazatlan, 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. Mazatlan Travel Comparison

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