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

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres?

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres? 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Isla Mujeres 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 Isla Mujeres 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 Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Isla Mujeres.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $26
    Isla Mujeres $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $52
    Isla Mujeres $104

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.

In Isla Mujeres travelers spend around $31 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Isla Mujeres $31

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Isla Mujeres

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Isla Mujeres.

  • Private Deluxe Lobster Dinner In A Catamaran: $1,600

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 Isla Mujeres is $24 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
    Isla Mujeres $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Playa del Carmen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Playa del Carmen:

  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Playa del Carmen: $13
  • Private Transfer to Xcaret Park: $15
  • Private Transfer to Xplor / Xenses / Xplor Fire: $15
  • Transfer in Private Car from-to Xcaret to Cancun Airport (CUN): $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Playa del Carmen to Cancún Airport: $33
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport: $40
  • El Dorado Maroma to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $41
  • Private Transfer to Xavage / Xoximilco: $45
  • Playa del Carmen to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $46
  • Private Transfer to Xel-Há Park: $50
  • Parasailing in Playa del Carmen with transfer: $50
  • Departure Private Transfer Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan: $52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Isla Mujeres

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Isla Mujeres:

  • Private Catamaran To Isla Mujeres And Transfer: $1,520

Is it cheaper to fly into Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres?

Prices for flights to both Isla Mujeres 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.

Isla Mujeres's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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
    Isla Mujeres $14

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 Isla Mujeres

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

  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour with Lunch Included: $45
  • Street Art of Isla Mujeres Tour: $60
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour: $63
  • Isla Mujeres walking tour for Beach & Sun lovers!: $75
  • Cancun: Isla Mujeres Snorkel Tour with Ferry Ride and Lunch: $75
  • Luxury Catamaran tour to isla mujeres with transportation from Tulum: $108
  • Tulum & Playa del Carmen Combo Tour with Catamaran Adventure: $115
  • From Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks Tour: $125
  • 2020 SPECIAL!! 2 Tank Adventures Drift and Wreck dives: $125
  • Scuba Diving Adventure without Certification! Try it today!: $165
  • Private and Shared Whale Shark Tour from Tulum: $180
  • The Best of Isla Mujeres Walking Tour: $409

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.

The average person spends about $17 on alcoholic beverages in Isla Mujeres per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $14
    Isla Mujeres $17

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 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: $121


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

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Playa del Carmen vs. Isla Mujeres Travel Comparison

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