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

Should you visit Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta?

Should I visit Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta? 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.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta remains a popular tourist destination with Americans, particularly during spring break when students flock to the area. The area is quite beautiful and has many gorgeous beaches, interesting jungles and waterfalls nearby, and no shortage of luxury resorts and four star restaurants. Many of the locals speak English and are friendly and open to helping tourists with directions or general information. Puerto Vallarta's popularity means that its prices are some of the highest in Mexico, particularly during holidays when the area can get quite crowded.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Vallarta 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 Puerto Vallarta is $77. 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 Puerto Vallarta 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.

Puerto Vallarta's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $84. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $42.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Playa del Carmen $26
    Puerto Vallarta $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Playa del Carmen $52
    Puerto Vallarta $84

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.

The price of a meal in Puerto Vallarta can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $25 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Puerto Vallarta $25

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 Puerto Vallarta

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Puerto Vallarta.

  • Taco102 - dinner taco walk - all inclusive: $45
  • Go Off The Beaten Path with a Foodie | Food Tour in Pitillal: $50
  • Food Tour after Sunset in Pitillal: $50
  • Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $55
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour: $55
  • Food Tour in Old Town with a Foodie & Photographer: $55
  • Mole & Pozole Food Tour: $57
  • Vallarta by Road Food Tour: $68
  • Authentic Jaliscan Cooking Class with a Local Helene in a Traditional Hacienda: $77
  • Tasting Vallarta Gourmet Food Tour: $88
  • Puerto Vallarta Cooking Class: Market Tour, Lesson and Tastings: $90

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Puerto Vallarta.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $16
    Puerto Vallarta $13

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 Puerto Vallarta

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Airport Transfer Puerto Vallarta: $117
  • BEST PRICE Puerto Vallarta round-trip transfer Hotel Airport (by areas): $53
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Marina Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport: $58
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport to Marina Vallarta: $58
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport to Nuevo Vallarta: $106
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport to Puerto Vallarta: $68
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport to Punta de Mita: $173
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) Airport: $68
  • Private AC Airport Transfer to Sayulita: $72
  • Private Airport Transfer: Licenciado Díaz Ordaz Airport (PVR) to Puerto Vallarta: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: Puerto Vallarta to Licenciado Díaz Ordaz Airport (PVR): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Hotel (1 - 3): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Vallarta 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Puerto Vallarta. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Playa del Carmen $11
    Puerto Vallarta $12

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 Puerto Vallarta

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Puerto Vallarta are as follows:

  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $8.50
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $24
  • Puerto Vallarta Art Tour: $27
  • Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour: $29
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $29
  • Sayulita And San Pancho Beachs Tour: $34
  • Puerto Vallarta PhotoWalk and City Tour: $35
  • City Tour and Tequila Tasting Puerto Vallarta: $36
  • Zip Line Canopy Jungle Adventure from Puerto Vallarta: $39
  • Private Tour in El Malecon Boardwalk Bike Ride: $40
  • Puerto Vallarta Local-Style Walking tour: $41
  • Sayulita & San Pancho Beach Town Tour: $43

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 $16 on alcoholic beverages in Puerto Vallarta 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
    Puerto Vallarta $16

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 Puerto Vallarta, we can see that Puerto Vallarta 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 Puerto Vallarta would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Vallarta than you might in Playa del Carmen.

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.

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Playa del Carmen vs. Puerto Vallarta Travel Comparison

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