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?

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

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres? 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 Isla Mujeres?

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 place 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 $79, while the average daily cost in Isla Mujeres is $144. 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 Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $39
    Isla Mujeres $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $78
    Isla Mujeres $152
Compare Hotels in Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres

Looking for a hotel in Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres? 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 Isla Mujeres

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 Isla Mujeres Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $23
    Isla Mujeres $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Playa del Carmen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Playa del Carmen:

  • Round transfer from Chetumal Airport to hotel in Bacalar: $21
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Playa del Carmen: $23
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Puerto Aventuras: $23
  • Chetumal Airport (CTM) to Chetumal - Arrival Private Transfer: $24
  • Chetumal Airport CTM to Chetumal City Arrival Private Transfer: $24
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Akumal: $24
  • Private Transfer to Xplor / Xenses / Xplor Fire from Playa del Carmen: $25
  • Punta Sam / Isla Blanca to Cancún Airport (CUN)- Departure Private Transfer: $27
  • Playa del Carmen to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $31
  • Puerto Aventuras to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $31
  • Shared transfer from Playa del Carmen tu Cancun airport: $38
  • Akumal to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Departure Private Transfer: $40

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $23
    Isla Mujeres $45

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.

  • Cenotes by Bike and Mayan Cooking Class Half-Day Guided Tour: $57
  • Private Cooking Class Paella Preparation: $64
  • Playa Del Carmen Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $65
  • Playa del Carmen Walking Food Tour: $69
  • Playa del Carmen Food Tour: $71
  • crazy walking food tour Inlakech Playa del Carmen: $73
  • Vegan Mexican Walking Food Tour: $74
  • Hands-on Mexican Cooking Class: $92
  • Seafood Tour in Playa del Carmen: $93
  • PDC Traditional Mexican Cooking Experience: $99
  • Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Playa del Carmen: $110
  • Playa del Carmen Mexican Cooking Experience and Local Markets Tour: $145

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $17
    Isla Mujeres $20

Tours and Activities in Playa del Carmen

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

  • Tulum Legends: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of the Ancient Mayan City: $6.99
  • Tulum Ruins: Self-Guided Tour with Audio Narration & Map: $9.99
  • Ek Balam Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Shopping Tour & Tulum Mayan Ruins: $11
  • Tulum Ruins, Cancun Self Guided Walking Tour (GPS, Audio and Trivia): $15
  • Entrance to the Xcajum Ecotourism Park: $20
  • Yal-Kú Park in Riviera Maya Admission Ticket: $23
  • Full-Day Tour to Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen: $23
  • General Admission Ticket to Chikin Ha in Playa del Carmen: $26
  • Chichen Itza and Cenote Full Day Tour from Playa del Carmen: $28
  • Ice Bath Experience on the Beach: $30
  • Tulum and 2 Cenotes Half Day Tour from Riviera: $34

Tours and Activities in Isla Mujeres

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

  • “ Tour in Isla Mujeres “ Transparent boat ride: $40
  • Tour Isla Mujeres excursion in Clear Boat Collective: $41
  • Snorkel Tour at Musa and Manchones Reef: $45
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Experience: $47
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour Adventure: $48
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour : $50
  • Street Art of Isla Mujeres Tour: $70
  • 3 Hours VIP Semiprivate Tour Isla Mujeres Full Snorkeling Experience : $84
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour: $90
  • Half Day to Isla Mujeres (LITE TOUR IM): $99
  • SPECIAL!! 2 Tank Adventures Drift and Wreck dives: $125

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $21
    Isla Mujeres $25

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:

  • Ek Balam, Mayan Cenote, Artisanal Distillery and Valladolid : $169

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

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.

Which is Bigger, Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres?

Playa del Carmen is bigger, and its population is about 4.4 times larger than the population of Isla Mujeres. When comparing the population of Playa del Carmen vs. Isla Mujeres, 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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Playa del Carmen vs. Isla Mujeres Travel Comparison

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