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

Should you visit Merida or Cancun?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Merida or Cancun, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Merida

Merida is the largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. It is also the capital of the state of Yucatan as a whole. There is a population of 750,000 and is very rich in diversity and culture.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cancun or Merida?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Merida is $59, while the average daily cost in Cancun is $99. 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 Merida and Cancun in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Merida can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $30, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $60.

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


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Merida $30
    Cancun $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Merida $60
    Cancun $132

Food

Food in Merida costs travelers about $20 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Merida $20
    Cancun $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Merida

For Merida, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Traveling Spoon Yucatecan Sopa de Lima Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Merida Market Tour and Cooking Class: $69
  • Private Yucatecan Cooking Lesson in a Local Merida Home: $70
  • Taste of the Yucatan: Merida Cooking Class and Market Visit: $77
  • Private Market Tour and Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Merida with Transfers: $95
  • Merida Cooking, Pottery, Classes Tour~Also An Accessible Tour: $99
  • Wonders of the Mayab: Chichen Itza, Yokdzonot Cenote & Cooking Class: $176

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

Local Transportation

Merida's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $12 per person, per day on transportation in Merida.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Merida $12
    Cancun $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Merida

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

  • Transfer: MERIDA - CHIQUILA (HOLBOX ISLAND) or CHIQUILA (HOLBOX ISLAND) - MERIDA: $235
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Merida Airport: $12
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Merida Airport to Hotels: $12
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotels to Merida Airport: $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Merida Airport to Hotels: $38
  • Mérida International Airport (MID) to Merida hotels - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $72
  • Mérida International Airport (MID) to Merida hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida hotels to Merida airport: $46
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida airport to central Merida: $46
  • Merida hotels to Mérida International Airport (MID) - Private Departure Transfer: $36
  • BEST PRICE Merida City round-trip transfer. Hotel Airport.: $100
  • BEST PRICE Merida City one-way transfer Hotel Airport.: $50

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:

  • VIP SERVICES With Transfer Cancun Airport Round Trip (Costa Mujeres): $267
  • Transfer in Private car from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Xcaret: $32
  • Transfer in Private car from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Akumal City: $70
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cancún Airport to Tulum Riviera: $59
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cancún Airport to Playa del Carmen: $33
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cancun Hotel Zone to Cancun Airport: $17
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $17
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cancun Hotel Zone to Cancun Airport: $19
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen: $40
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cancun Airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $19
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Akumal City: $79
  • Transfer from Cancun airport to Cancun Hotel Zone: $59

Is it cheaper to fly into Merida or Cancun?

Prices for flights to both Cancun and Merida 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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Merida can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $11 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Merida $11
    Cancun $24
Typical Entertainment prices in Merida

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


  • Train at the Zoo
    $0.10
  • Uxmal Entrance (for 2)
    $17
  • Mayan Village Entrance (for 2)
    $5.03

Tours and Activities in Merida

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

  • 2-Day Tour Chichen Itza: Overnight Stay at Mayaland Resort from Merida: $189
  • 2-Day Uxmal Tour from Merida with Overnight at Hacienda Uxmal: $169
  • 4 Day Best of Merida Tour in a 3 Star Hotel: $534
  • 4 Days of Ecotourism in Yucatán in a 3 Star Hotel: $748
  • 4 Days of Minitour in Yucatán in a 3 Star Hotel: $2,331
  • 5 Day Mayan Wonders of the Yucatan Tour in a 3 Star Hotel: $736
  • 5 Day Unforgettable Yucatan Tour in a 3 Star Hotel: $622
  • 6 Days Unforgettable Yucatan Tour: Merida to Cancun in a 3 Star Hotel: $740
  • 7 Days Discovering Yucatán Tour: Mérida, Izamal and Cancún in a 3 Star Hotel: $3,084
  • Adventure in the Mayab: Bike, Swim, Stroll in Cenotillo & Izamal: $121
  • Amazing Cenotes of Santa Bárbara Adventure Tour: $86
  • Between Mangroves and Crocodiles: Day & Night Coast Experiences: $252

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)
    $86

Tours and Activities in Cancun

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

  • (4x1) Tour Plus Coba,Tulum,Playa del Carmen & Cenote - from Riviera Maya: $67
  • (4x1) Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen a complete tour from Cancún: $69
  • (4x1) Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen in Our Full Day Tour: $75
  • (All inclusive) Catamaran Tour to Isla Mujeres from Cancun for the less: $65
  • 1 Day Tour to Bacalar, Cenotes and 7 color Lagoon with lunch from Cancun: $109
  • 1 Lagoon + 3 Cenotes Tour Plus from Cancun and Playa del Carmen: $85
  • 1 Lagoon and 3 Cenotes Tour Departure form Cancun: $81
  • 1-Day Coba-Tulum Tour (Cancun departure) EMC1T: $158
  • 1-day Chichen Itza Classic Tour ( Cancun departure) ( EMC1CE ): $122
  • 10-Day Wildlife Adventure Ecofriendly Tour from Cancun: $2,595
  • 10-Day Yucatan Heritage Ecofriendly Tour from Cancun: $2,495
  • 11 Day-Birdwatching Ecofriendly Tour from Cancun: $3,490

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Merida spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Cancun spend on average $9.01 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Merida $11
    Cancun $9.01

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 Merida and Cancun, we can see that Cancun is more expensive. And not only is Merida much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Merida would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Merida 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 Merida.

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Merida vs. Cancun Travel Comparison

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