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

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Oaxaca de Juarez?

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Oaxaca de Juarez? 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.

Oaxaca de Juarez

Officially known as Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca is the capital and largest city in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It's a beautiful colonial city in the foothills of the Sierra Madre. The city has beautiful architecture and a variety of festivals as well as a tree lined square called El Zocalo. Oaxaca's economy is heavily dependent on tourism and it is a wonderful place to see Mexican art and handicrafts. There are many artists and artisans in Oaxaca and the contemporary art scene is on the rise. The artists combine the area's rich indigenous culture and tradition with a modern twist. While you're in the area you should definitely make a point of experiencing the area's wonderful museums, interesting architecture, charming hotels and unique twist on Mexican cuisine.

Which city is cheaper, Oaxaca de Juarez 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 Oaxaca de Juarez is $31. 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 Oaxaca de Juarez 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.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $26 in Oaxaca de Juarez For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $26
    Oaxaca de Juarez $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $52
    Oaxaca de Juarez $26

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 Oaxaca de Juarez travelers spend around $9.58 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
    Oaxaca de Juarez $9.58

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 Oaxaca de Juarez

For Oaxaca de Juarez, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Oaxaca Street Food Tour: $13
  • Oaxacan Vegetarian Cooking Class: $51
  • OAXACA STREET FOOD TOUR, eat like a local.: $55
  • Flavors of Oaxaca: Cooking Class with No Set Menu and Local Market Tour: $77
  • MAIZ Cooking Class & Tour To The CASA Oaxaca: $77
  • Ancestral cooking class with market visit: $259

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.

To get around in Oaxaca de Juarez, the average visitor spends $8.61 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Oaxaca de Juarez $8.61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Playa del Carmen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Playa del Carmen:

  • Private Transfer to Cenote at Tulum: $200
  • Private Transfer to Cenotes at Riviera Maya: $160
  • Cancun Airport Private Transfer One Way:To or From Playa del Carmen Upto 15Pass.: $150
  • Wedding Transfers Services in Round Trip Playa del Carmen: $144
  • Transfer from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen - ROUND TRIP: $143
  • Airport Transfers to Playa del Carmen - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $137
  • Super Deal: Cancun Airport-Hotel-Cancun Airport Private Round Trip Transfer: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer Playa del Carmen to Cancun Airport CUN by SUV: $105
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Playa del Carmen to Cancun airport: $87
  • 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 7Pass.: $85
  • Private Transfer Cancun Airport - Playa del Carmen Zone - Cancun Airport: $82

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Oaxaca de Juarez

Also for Oaxaca de Juarez, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) to Oaxaca hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $75
  • Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) to Oaxaca hotels -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Playa del Carmen or Oaxaca de Juarez?

Prices for flights to both Oaxaca de Juarez 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.

In Oaxaca de Juarez, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $8.58 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $11
    Oaxaca de Juarez $8.58

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

Tours and Activities in Oaxaca de Juarez

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Oaxaca de Juarez.

  • Oaxaca City Tour: $15
  • Oaxaca City Tour: $24
  • Oaxaca Street Art Tour: $24
  • Tour Monte Albán: $28
  • Mitla, Teotitlan and Santa Maria del Tule Sightseeing Tour from Oaxaca: $32
  • Private VIP Tour Oaxaca: $40
  • Oaxaca Gallery Art Tour: $43
  • Oaxaca City Sightseeing Tour: Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman, Oaxaca Regional Museum and Benito Juarez Market: $47
  • Oaxaca Private Foodies Delight Market Tour and Street Food: $48
  • Monte Alban, Arrazola, Coyotepec and Cuilapam Full-Day Tour from Oaxaca: $48
  • Gastronomy Experince with chef, Culture of Mezcal & Textiles. Private Tour.: $199
  • Romantic tour in Oaxaca: $449

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Oaxaca de Juarez, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.92.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Playa del Carmen $14
    Oaxaca de Juarez $9.92

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 Oaxaca de Juarez, we can see that Playa del Carmen is more expensive. And not only is Oaxaca de Juarez much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Oaxaca de Juarez would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Oaxaca de Juarez 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 Playa del Carmen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Playa del Carmen than you might in Oaxaca de Juarez.

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Playa del Carmen vs. Oaxaca de Juarez Travel Comparison

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