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

Should you visit Isla Mujeres or Cancun?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Isla Mujeres and Cancun. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Isla Mujeres or Cancun?

Isla Mujeres

About eight miles from the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Mujeres is an island in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. The town, of the same name, has a population of about 13,000. Tourism has grown in the area since the 1970s and today it is a significant part of the island's economy. As such, there are plenty of amenities that cater specifically to visitors. The island's proximity to Cuba make it a common transit point for Cubans in route to the United States.


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.

Which place is cheaper, Cancun or Isla Mujeres?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Isla Mujeres is $143, while the average daily cost in Cancun is $143. 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 Isla Mujeres and Cancun in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Isla Mujeres $76
    Cancun $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Isla Mujeres $152
    Cancun $190
Compare Hotels in Isla Mujeres and Cancun

Looking for a hotel in Isla Mujeres or Cancun? 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 Isla Mujeres

Hotels in Cancun

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: Isla Mujeres Hotel Prices and Cancun Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Isla Mujeres $34
    Cancun $17

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: $8.00
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer (Cancun Airport To/From Cancun): $11
  • Shared Transfer to Cancun Downtown or Hotel Zone: $14
  • Shared transfer from Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $15
  • Shared Transfer from Cancun Airport : $15
  • Shared Transfer Cancun Airport - Cancun Hotel Zone: $17
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer To/From Cancun International Airport: $19
  • Shared Transfer Cancun Airport - Puerto Morelos: $19
  • Cancun Airport private transfer to Cancun hotel zone: $20
  • Private Transfer Cancun Airport to Cancun (Hotel Zone & Center): $20
  • Private Transfer in Cancun: $20
  • transfers between hotels in Cancun hotel strip: $20

Is it cheaper to fly into Isla Mujeres or Cancun?

Prices for flights to both Cancun and Isla Mujeres 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
    Isla Mujeres $45
    Cancun $28

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)Pirate Adventure! Open Bar, Dinner and Show : $63
  • (2x1 price) Pirate Night! Dinner, Fun and Show: $63
  • (2x1 price) Dinner Show and Pirates Experience : $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.
    Isla Mujeres $20
    Cancun $34

Tours and Activities in Isla Mujeres

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Isla Mujeres are as follows:

  • Romantic tour in Isla Mujeres: $126
  • Scuba Diving Adventure WITHOUT CERTIFICATION! Try it today!: $175
  • “ Tour in Isla Mujeres “ Transparent boat ride: $40
  • 3 Hours VIP Semiprivate Tour Isla Mujeres Full Snorkeling Experience : $84
  • Crystal Boat Tour to Isla Mujeres and Reefs: $42
  • Exciting Swim with Whale Sharks Private VIP Tour : $1,829
  • Half Day Whale Shark and Manta Ray Snorkel Adventure in Isla Mujeres with Lunch: $185
  • Half Day to Isla Mujeres (LITE TOUR IM): $79
  • Half-Day Guided Tour to Parque Nacional Isla Contoy: $129
  • Isla Contoy Private Day Tour, from Cancun: $1,685
  • Isla Mujeres MUSA Snorkeling Experience: $47
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour: $89

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
  • 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 : $25
  • Skip the line access Mandala Beach Club: $25
  • Atv amazing experience from Cancun for the less: $25
  • Cancun City Tour and Shopping: $27
  • Full-Day Tour to Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen: $28

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Isla Mujeres $25
    Cancun $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Isla Mujeres

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

  • Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Bar Crawl : $141

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

When comparing the travel costs between Isla Mujeres and Cancun, we can see that Cancun is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Which is Bigger, Isla Mujeres or Cancun?

Cancun is bigger, and its population is about 43.4 times larger than the population of Isla Mujeres. When comparing the population of Isla Mujeres vs. Cancun, 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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Isla Mujeres vs. Cancun Travel Comparison

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