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

Should you visit Cancun or Puerto Vallarta?

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 Puerto Vallarta can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cancun or Puerto Vallarta?


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.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta remains a popular tourist destination with Americans, particularly during spring break when students flock to the area. The area is quite beautiful and has many gorgeous beaches, interesting jungles and waterfalls nearby, and no shortage of luxury resorts and four star restaurants. Many of the locals speak English and are friendly and open to helping tourists with directions or general information. Puerto Vallarta's popularity means that its prices are some of the highest in Mexico, particularly during holidays when the area can get quite crowded.

Which place is cheaper, Puerto Vallarta 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 Puerto Vallarta is $112. 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 Puerto Vallarta in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $95
    Puerto Vallarta $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $190
    Puerto Vallarta $124
Compare Hotels in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta

Looking for a hotel in Cancun or Puerto Vallarta? 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 Puerto Vallarta

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 Puerto Vallarta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $17
    Puerto Vallarta $19
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:

  • Small-Group Transfer to Cancun Hotels from Cancun Airport: $6.80
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer (Cancun Airport To/From Cancun): $10
  • Shared Transfer to Cancun Downtown or Hotel Zone: $14
  • Shared transfer from Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $15
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer To/From Cancun International Airport: $19
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Puerto Morelos: $19
  • Private Transfer to Hotels in Cancun Area: $19
  • transfers between hotels in Cancun hotel strip: $20
  • Private Transfer Cancun Airport to Cancun (Hotel Zone & Center): $20
  • Cancun Airport private transfer to Cancun hotel zone: $20
  • Private Transfer in Cancun: $20
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport: $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Vallarta

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Transfer in private minivan from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - City Center: $46
  • Transfer in private minivan from City Center - Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $46
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - City Center: $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from City Center - Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $32
  • Transfer from the airport to punta mita: $171
  • Shared transfer from PVR airport to Downtown: $43
  • Sayulita hotels to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) – Private Departure Transfer : $95
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Vehicle Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVT) - City Center: $64
  • Punta de Mita to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - Private Departure Transfer : $62
  • Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - Private Departure Transfer : $75
  • Puerto Vallarta hotels to Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port-Departure Private Transfer: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta from Cruise Port to Hotels Arrival Transfer: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Cancun or Puerto Vallarta?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Vallarta 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
    Puerto Vallarta $36
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 Puerto Vallarta

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

  • 3-Hour Guided Food Tour in Puerto Villarta: $42
  • Taco102 - dinner taco walk - all inclusive: $45
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour, Breakfast in Pitillal: $55
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $55
  • Puerto Vallarta 3-Hour Food Tour of Authentic Local Cuisine: $55
  • Dinner Tacos Food Tour: $55
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour. Dinner in Pitillal : $55
  • Taco Adventure Evening Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $55
  • Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour: $55
  • Puerta Vallarta: Seafood Lover's Food Tour: $56
  • Seafood Lover's Tour with Vallarta Food Tours : $59

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $34
    Puerto Vallarta $18
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
  • 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
  • ATV, Ziplines and Cenote swim full experience from Cancún : $20
  • Catamaran Amazing Sunset Tour to Isla Mujeres with Snorkeling: $22
  • Amazing jungle tour adventure speed boat in cancun : $23
  • Skip the line access Mandala Beach Club: $25
  • Ultimate Tulum Experience Mayan Ruins & Cenote Swim from Riviera Maya: $29

Tours and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Puerto Vallarta are as follows:

  • 3-hr ATV Mountian Exclusive Tour to Sierre Madre: $65
  • Zip Line Adventure in the heights in Puerto Vallarta 10 zip lines: $66
  •  Tour marietas islands: $350
  • 100' Mega Yacht Private Boat Tour [All Inclusive]: $4,000
  • 1H Private Scenic Airplane Tour over Yelapa and Puerto Vallarta: $491
  • 2 Hour Private Surfing Experience in Puerto Vallarta: $95
  • 3 Hour Private ATV Adventure with Tequila Tasting: $116
  • 3-Hour Exclusive Guided RZR Adventure Sierra Madre Mountains Tour: $125
  • 3-Hour Private Experience in the Hidden Beach at Marietas Islands: $174
  • 3-Hour Private Surf Safari Experience in Punta Mita: $129
  • 3-Hour Taco Tour Puerto Vallarta Electric Bikes with a Licensed Guide: $97
  • 360 Puerto Vallarta City Tour with Lunch: $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $13
    Puerto Vallarta $23

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: $17
  • Brewery Tour / Craft Beer Tasting Cancun Mexico: $129

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Vallarta

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Botanical Gardens, Distillery & Coffee Tour: $76
  • Brewery Bus Tour from Mexico: $85
  • Tequila Tour and Tasting at Puerto Vallarta Distillery: $87
  • Secret Agave Bar Crawl in Vallarta: $98
  • All you can drink Bar Crawl: $99
  • 2-Day Guided Tequila Distillery Tour in Mexico with Tasting: $777

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

Which is Bigger, Cancun or Puerto Vallarta?

Cancun is bigger, and its population is about 2.9 times larger than the population of Puerto Vallarta. When comparing the population of Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta, 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. Puerto Vallarta Travel Comparison

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