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

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Ensenada?

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Ensenada? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Ensenada

Ensenada is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of Tijuana. It's the only deep water port in the state of Baja California and as such, it is an important commerical fishing port as well as a cruise ship destination. The city has a population of almost 500,000 and is located just 78 miles south of San Diego. The city sits between the ocean and a small mountain range. The surrounding area is known for its wine production, which produces some of the best wine in Mexico.

Which city is cheaper, Ensenada 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 $54, while the average daily cost in Ensenada is $66. 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 Playa del Carmen and Ensenada in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $26. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Playa del Carmen the cost is $52 on average.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $31. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ensenada the cost is $62 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $26
    Ensenada $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $52
    Ensenada $62

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Playa del Carmen cost around $16 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $6.40.

While meal prices in Ensenada can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Ensenada should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Ensenada is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Ensenada $26

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
  • 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
  • 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

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $16 per day to get around in Playa del Carmen.

The average price of local transportation around Ensenada is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Ensenada $14

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
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport: $87
  • Parasailing in Playa del Carmen with transfer: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Playa del Carmen or Ensenada?

Prices for flights to both Ensenada 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $11 per person, per day in Playa del Carmen. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Ensenada's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.24 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $11
    Ensenada $7.24

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 Street Art Tour: $27
  • Playa del Carmen City 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 PhotoWalk Tour: $41
  • Playa del Carmen Private Art Tour and Gallery Visit: $41
  • Playa del Carmen Bike Art Tour: $42
  • Chichen itza full day tour: $43
  • Chichen Itza FULL DAY TOUR: $43

Tours and Activities in Ensenada

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

  • Tourist guide in the Wine Country (Valle de Guadalupe) Ensenada: $11
  • Las Cañadas Canopy Tour in Ensenada: $28
  • The Bufadora Tour: $32
  • La Bufadora Tour in Baja California: $33
  • Scenic Bufadora & Flea Market Shopping Private Tour: $35
  • Ensenada Travels Tours: $64
  • best tours ensenada: $64
  • Las Canadas Ecopark and Bufadora private tour: $65
  • Ensenada Shore Excursion: City Tour & La Bufadora: $68
  • Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California: $77
  • Private tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $80
  • Tuk Tuk, Beach and Bar Tour: $90

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Playa del Carmen may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ensenada may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.39 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $14
    Ensenada $7.39

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Ensenada

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

  • Private wine tour: $65
  • Private Full-Day Wine Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $89
  • Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tour, All Inclusive by AKA Expeditions.: $140
  • Valle de Guadalupe Off The Beaten Path Wine Tasting: $505


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Playa del Carmen and Ensenada, we can see that Ensenada 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 Ensenada would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ensenada than you might in Playa del Carmen.

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Playa del Carmen vs. Ensenada Travel Comparison

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