A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Playa del Carmen vs. Cabo San Lucas for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas?

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

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Playa del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas?

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is in Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. It's a popular resort town and is about seventy kilometers south of Cancun. It has a European atmosphere with many small hotels and a nice relaxed feel. It was originally a small fishing town but tourism began with the introduction of a passenger ferry to Cozumel. The area developed rapidly and there are many luxury hotels, condos, and resorts. There are also American chains and a variety of shopping opportunities nearby.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas ("Cabo") is on the far southern end of the Baja Peninsula. It has countless resorts and activities for visitors. There are world class golf courses, fine dining options, and five star resorts. Prior to the 1980s, Cabo was a quiet fishing village but with the construction of a nearby airport in 1977, the city rapidly grew into one of Mexico's most popular resort vacation spots. Today, Cabo has one of the country's most vibrant nightlife scenes. It also has plenty of water sport activities, and a great beach scene.

Which city is cheaper, Cabo San Lucas or Playa del Carmen?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Playa del Carmen is $55, while the average daily cost in Cabo San Lucas is $96. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $27
    Cabo San Lucas $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $54
    Cabo San Lucas $86
Compare Hotels in Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas

Looking for a hotel in Playa del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas? 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 Playa del Carmen


Hotels in Cabo San Lucas


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: Playa del Carmen Hotel Prices and Cabo San Lucas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Cabo San Lucas $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Playa del Carmen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Playa del Carmen:

  • Airport Transfers to Playa del Carmen - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $137
  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer One Way:To or From Playa de Carmen Upto 11 Pass.: $85
  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer One Way:To or From Playa del Carmen Up to 3Pass.: $68
  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer One Way:To or From Playa del Carmen Up to 7Pass.: $85
  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer One Way:To or From Playa del Carmen Upto 15Pass.: $150
  • Cancun Airport private departure transfer (Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport): $72
  • Cancun Airport: Private Transfer to Hotels in Playa del Carmen: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport CUN by SUV: $105
  • El Dorado Maroma to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $41
  • Holbox Island Tour with Transfer Options: $119
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cabo San Lucas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cabo San Lucas:

  • Arrival Share Transfer Service One way from Los Cabos airport to Hotel: $21
  • Cabo San Lucas hotels to Los Cabos Airport (SJD) - Private Departure Transfer: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Service One way from Hotel to Los Cabos airport: $66
  • Los Cabos Airport (SJD): Private Deluxe Minivan Transfer: $133
  • Los Cabos: Private Transfer to/from Los Cabos Airport (SJD): $74
  • Private Round Trip Transfer - Los Cabos Int. Airport and Local Area: $180
  • Private Tesla Transfer from Los Cabos Airport to Cabo San Lucas Area: $261
  • Private transfer: Cabo San Lucas to Cabo San Lucas Airport (SJD): $622
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz up to 15 passengers: $514
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo to La Paz up to 10 passengers: $457
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo to La Paz up to 5 passengers: $400
  • Transfer in Private Car from Cabo San Lucas to Los Cabos Airport (SJD): $201

Is it cheaper to fly into Playa del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas?

Prices for flights to both Cabo San Lucas and Playa del Carmen 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Cabo San Lucas $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Playa del Carmen

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Playa del Carmen.

  • Playa Del Carmen Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $54
  • Local Walking Food Tour: $54
  • Walking Food Tour in Downtown Playa del Carmen: $55
  • Playa del Carmen Food Tour: $65
  • Vegan Mexican Walking Food Tour: $69
  • Playa del Carmen Food Tour: $71
  • Playa del Carmen Authentic Mexican cooking class and Market Tour: $91
  • Hands-on ● Mexican Cooking Class: $92
  • Cooking Class & Local Markets Tour: $99
  • Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Playa del Carmen: $103
  • Playa del Carmen Mexican Cooking class and Local Markets Tour: $105
  • Traditional Mexican Food Cooking Lesson: $109

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cabo San Lucas

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cabo San Lucas.

  • Cabo San Lucas Sunset and Dinner Cruise: $50
  • Eat Like A Local Cabo Food Tour: $59
  • Parrillada dinner with a Private Chef in your villa/condo in Cabo or San Jose: $59
  • Catch of the day dinner in your private villa/condo in Cabo or San Jose del Cabo: $62
  • Cabo San Lucas "Catch of the Day" Seafood Tour: $62
  • Sunset Mexican Dinner Cruise. Fajitas dinner & live music: $68
  • Jumbo Shrimp Dinner in Your Private Villa or Condo in Cabo or San Jose del Cabo: $78
  • Lobster Tail Dinner with a Private Chef in Your Villa in Cabo or San Jose: $80
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise with Open Bar from Cabo San Lucas: $89
  • Los Cabos Sunset Dinner Cruise: $89
  • Whale-Watching Dinner Cruise in Los Cabos: $89
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise in Cabo San Lucas: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $12
    Cabo San Lucas $29

Tours and Activities in Playa del Carmen

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

  • Playa del Carmen Shopping Tour Fifth Avenue and Mamitas Beach Club: $9.99
  • Playa del Carmen City Tour: $27
  • Playa del Carmen Street Art Tour: $27
  • 3D Museum of Wonders Admission Ticket: $32
  • Reef Snorkeling Experience in Playa del Carmen: $34
  • PDC Running Experience w/Breakfast: $35
  • Playa del Carmen PhotoWalk and City Tour: $37
  • Playa del Carmen Private Art Tour and Gallery Visit: $41
  • Playa del Carmen Private PhotoWalk Tour: $41
  • Playa del Carmen Bike Art Tour: $42
  • Chichen itza full day tour: $43
  • Chichen Itza FULL DAY TOUR: $43

Tours and Activities in Cabo San Lucas

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

  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour - Cabo San Lucas: $17
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $20
  • Glass Bottom Boat Sightseeing Tour in Cabo San Lucas: $20
  • Land's End Tour in a Glass Bottom Boat (VisitA Cabo): $26
  • Cabo's Only Clear Boat Tour- see it all in one tour!: $28
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour to the Arch in Cabo San Lucas: $30
  • Cabo's only Clear Boat Tour to Lands End, Lover's Beach, the Arch and more!: $33
  • Lands End & Snorkeling Adventure: $33
  • Cabo San Lucas only Clear Boat Tour to Lands End: $33
  • Sunset Tour & Land's End in a Glass Bottom Boat (VisitA Cabo): $36
  • Clear Glass-Bottom Boat Cabo Tour: $36
  • The Fenway Bar Experience: $39

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $14
    Cabo San Lucas $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Playa del Carmen

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Playa del Carmen:

  • Playa Del Carmen Private Mexican Wine Tasting: $152


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas, we can see that Cabo San Lucas is more expensive. And not only is Playa del Carmen much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Playa del Carmen would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Playa del Carmen 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 Cabo San Lucas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cabo San Lucas than you might in Playa del Carmen.

Budget Your Trip

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Playa del Carmen vs. Cabo San Lucas Travel Comparison

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