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

Should you visit Cancun or Puerto Vallarta?

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.

Cancun

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 city 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 $98, while the average daily cost in Puerto Vallarta 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $132 in Cancun For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Puerto Vallarta's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $84. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $42.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cancun $66
    Puerto Vallarta $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cancun $132
    Puerto Vallarta $84

Food

The price of a meal in Cancun can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $18 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $7.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Puerto Vallarta can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $25 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cancun $18
    Puerto Vallarta $25
Typical Food prices in Cancun

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $18

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: $35
  • Cancun Authentic Untouristed Food Tour: $43
  • Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $44
  • Dinner and Show on a Pirate Ship in Cancun with Open Bar: $50
  • Dinner-Show-Party on a Pirate Ship from Cancun! (Open bar included).: $55
  • Experience a Pirate Party Dinner Show at Cancun with Open Bar included!: $56
  • Dinner Show on a Pirate Ship from Cancun with Open Bar: $62
  • Mexican Dinner and Sprits Tasting in Cancun with transportation: $79
  • Captain Hook - Pirate Show and Dinner (Grilled Chicken) 2X1: $85
  • Captain Hook 2X1 - Pirate Show & Dinner with Open Bar: $85
  • Combo Capitan Hook chicken dinner + Isla Mujeres Catamaran: $86
  • Captain Hook - Pirate Show & Dinner (Grilled Chicken) 2X1: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Puerto Vallarta

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

  • Taco102 - dinner taco walk - all inclusive: $45
  • Go Off The Beaten Path with a Foodie | Food Tour in Pitillal: $50
  • Food Tour after Sunset in Pitillal: $50
  • Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $55
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour: $55
  • Food Tour in Old Town with a Foodie & Photographer: $55
  • Mole & Pozole Food Tour: $57
  • Vallarta by Road Food Tour: $68
  • Authentic Jaliscan Cooking Class with a Local Helene in a Traditional Hacienda: $77
  • Tasting Vallarta Gourmet Food Tour: $88
  • Puerto Vallarta Cooking Class: Market Tour, Lesson and Tastings: $90

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cancun than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $12 on transportation in Cancun on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Puerto Vallarta.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cancun $12
    Puerto Vallarta $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cancun

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


  • Taxi Around Town
    $1.41
  • Airport Shuttle (for 2)
    $12
  • Ferry to Isla de Mujeres (for 2)
    $14
  • Local Bus (for 2)
    $1.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cancun

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

  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Cancun Hotel Zone: $6.67
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Cancun International Airport: $8.00
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Cancun International Airport to Hotel: $8.00
  • Shared transfer from Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $8.48
  • Shared transfer from Cancun Hotel Zone to Cancun Airport (CUN): $8.48
  • Cancun Airport Shared One Way Trip Transfers: $8.50
  • Cancun One Way Shared Transfer Airport to Hotel / Hotel to Airport: $8.89
  • Private Departure Transfer from Cancun City Center to Cancún Airport (CUN): $12
  • Cancun Airport private transfer to Cancun hotel zone: $13
  • Private transfer to Cancun Airport from hotels in Cancun Area: $13
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Cancún Airport (CUN) to Cancún City Center: $14
  • Shuttle & PrivateTransfer from/to Cancun Airport: $16

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) to City Center: $91
  • Transfer in private minivan from City Center to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $91
  • Transfer in Private Car from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) to City Center: $47
  • Transfer in Private Car from City Center to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $47
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport: $36
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Puerto Vallarta International Airport: $18
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Hotel: $18
  • Roundtrip transfer private minivan from-to Airport(PVR)-PuertoVallarta (sur): $209
  • Round trip transfer private minivan from-to Puerto Vallarta Airport-City Center: $182
  • Round trip transfer Private Car from-to Puerto Vallarta Airport-PVR-Punta Mita: $240
  • Round trip transfer Private Car from-to Puerto Vallarta Airport-PVR-City Center: $94
  • Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - Private Departure Transfer: $46

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Cancun, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Puerto Vallarta. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cancun $24
    Puerto Vallarta $12
Typical Entertainment prices in Cancun

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


  • Seasick Pills
    $0.50
  • Whale Shark Tour (for 2)
    $85

Tours and Activities in Cancun

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

  • Museo Maya de Cancun Admission ticket: $4.99
  • Turibus Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun: $5.00
  • Turibus Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun plus Aquatic Activity: $19
  • Turibus Hop-on Hop-off City Tour Cancun plus Wax Museum: $19
  • Holbox Street Art Tour: $25
  • Cancun Street Art Tour: $27
  • Cancun City Tour: $27
  • Reef Snorkeling Experience in Puerto Morelos: $27
  • Skip the Line: Cancun Wax Museum Admission Ticket: $28
  • 3 Hours Private Kayak Experience in Cancun: $28
  • Classic 3-island tour on a shared boat: $32
  • Cancun Shopping Tour: $39

Tours and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

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

  • 14 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour: $380
  • 8 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour: $280
  • ATV Adventure Tour in Puerto Vallarta Including Tequila Tasting: $76
  • ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta: $85
  • ATV Adventure in Puerto Vallarta (Single): $76
  • ATV Adventure in Vallarta (Shared): $92
  • ATV Adventure in the Jungle - Shared: $92
  • ATV Adventure in the Jungle Single in Puerto Vallarta: $78
  • ATV Experience Adventure (Single): $77
  • ATV Experience in Puerto Vallarta (Single): $77
  • ATV Tour Jungle Adventure for Single Rider: $85
  • ATV and Zipline Adventure Combo Tour with Tequila Tasting: $230

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Cancun spend on average $9.00 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Puerto Vallarta per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cancun $9.00
    Puerto Vallarta $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Cancun

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

  • Cancun Private Mexican Wine Tasting: $161


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.

Budget Your Trip

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Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta Travel Comparison

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