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

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Merida?

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Merida? 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.


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.

Which city is cheaper, Merida 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 $53, while the average daily cost in Merida is $58. 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 Merida in more detail.


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.

The prices for places to stay in Merida can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $29, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $58.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $26
    Merida $29
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $52
    Merida $58


On average, meal and food prices in Playa del Carmen cost around $15 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 $6.00.

Food in Merida costs travelers about $19 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $15
    Merida $19

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 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

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.

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.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Merida $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Playa del Carmen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Playa del Carmen:

  • Wedding Transfers Services in Round Trip Playa del Carmen: $144
  • Transfers Mexico (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum): $55
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Playa del Carmen to Cancún Airport: $33
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport: $40
  • Transfer in Private Car from-to Xcaret to Cancun Airport (CUN): $32
  • Transfer from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen - ROUND TRIP: $143
  • Transfer Airport - Hotel - Airport (From Paradisus Esmeralda to Playacar): $56
  • Transfer Airport - Hotel - Airport (From Ocidental Xcaret to Barcelo Palace): $66
  • Super Deal: Cancun Airport-Hotel-Cancun Airport Private Round Trip Transfer: $105
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport - Playa del Carmen: $13
  • Roundtrip private AC Airport Transfer to Riviera Maya: $70
  • Private Transfer to Xplor / Xenses / Xplor Fire: $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Merida

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

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

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

Prices for flights to both Merida 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.


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.

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.

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

Tours and Activities in Playa del Carmen

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

  • (4x1) Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del carmen in a full day tour: $53
  • 15-Day Trip in Mexico: South 2 North Adventures: $1,553
  • 2 Cenotes Tour From Playa Del Carmen: $71
  • 2 Cenotes Xpress Tour From Playa Del Carmen: $58
  • 3 Cenotes + 1 Lagoon Extraordinary Tour from Playa del carmen: $83
  • 3 Cenotes + 1 Lagoon Fantastic Tour fom Playa del Carmen: $88
  • 3 Cenotes + 1 Lagoon Tour Full Day from Playa del Carmen: $90
  • 3 days diving tour: $352
  • 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves: $109
  • 3D Museum of Wonders Admission Ticket: $32
  • 3x1 (Cenotes + Lagoon) Tour Full Day from Playa del Carmen: $88
  • 4 ADVENTURES 1 DAY Tulum Coba Cenote and Playa del Carmen: $52

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
  • Uxmal Entrance (for 2)
  • Mayan Village Entrance (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Merida

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

  • Turibus Panoramic Sightseeing Tour of Merida: $6.00
  • Chichen Itza, The greatness of the Mayas: Creation legends Tour: $6.99
  • TuriCervecero Merida - Tasting Tour and Craft Beer Experience: $21
  • Guided Walking Tour in Merida: $25
  • Mérida Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Panoramic Sightseeing Merida City Tour: $36
  • Merida Sightseeing Tour: $37
  • Merida Cantinas Walking Tour with Beer and Snacks: $49
  • Merida Street Food Walking Tour: $51
  • Tour Cenotes Santa Bárbara: $62
  • Local market Tour - Culinary Experience: $62
  • Small Group Cenotes Adventure and Family Lunch Tour: $64


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.

Typically, people visiting Merida spend on average $10 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $14
    Merida $10

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 comparing the travel costs between Playa del Carmen and Merida, we can see that Merida is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Playa del Carmen vs. Merida Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.