A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Puerto Vallarta vs. Ensenada for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Vallarta or Ensenada?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

Ensenada

Ensenada is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of Tijuana. It's the only deep water port in the state of Baja California and as such, it is an important commerical fishing port as well as a cruise ship destination. The city has a population of almost 500,000 and is located just 78 miles south of San Diego. The city sits between the ocean and a small mountain range. The surrounding area is known for its wine production, which produces some of the best wine in Mexico.

Which city is cheaper, Ensenada or Puerto Vallarta?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Vallarta is $75, while the average daily cost in Ensenada is $64. 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 Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada in more detail.



Accommodation

Puerto Vallarta's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $82. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $41.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $30. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ensenada the cost is $60 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Vallarta $41
    Ensenada $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Vallarta $82
    Ensenada $60

Food

The price of a meal in Puerto Vallarta can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $24 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.60 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

While meal prices in Ensenada can vary, the average travelers spends about $25 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Ensenada should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Ensenada is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Vallarta $24
    Ensenada $25

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 $13 per day to get around in Puerto Vallarta.

The average price of local transportation around Ensenada is $13 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.
    Puerto Vallarta $13
    Ensenada $13

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 Puerto Vallarta or Ensenada?

Prices for flights to both Ensenada and Puerto Vallarta 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 $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.

Ensenada's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.05 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.
    Puerto Vallarta $12
    Ensenada $7.05

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

Tours and Activities in Ensenada

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

  • Tourist guide in the Wine Country (Valle de Guadalupe) Ensenada: $11
  • Las Cañadas Canopy Tour in Ensenada: $28
  • The Bufadora Tour: $32
  • La Bufadora Tour in Baja California: $33
  • Scenic Bufadora & Flea Market Shopping Private Tour: $35
  • Ensenada Travels Tours: $64
  • best tours ensenada: $64
  • Las Canadas Ecopark and Bufadora private tour: $65
  • Ensenada Shore Excursion: City Tour & La Bufadora: $68
  • Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California: $77
  • Private tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $80
  • Tuk Tuk, Beach and Bar Tour: $90

Alcohol

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ensenada may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.19 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Vallarta $16
    Ensenada $7.19

Sample the Local Flavors in Ensenada

Also in Ensenada, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Private wine tour: $65
  • Private Full-Day Wine Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $89
  • Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tour, All Inclusive by AKA Expeditions.: $140
  • Valle de Guadalupe Off The Beaten Path Wine Tasting: $505


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada, we can see that Puerto Vallarta is more expensive. And not only is Ensenada much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ensenada would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ensenada 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 Ensenada.

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
Puerto Vallarta vs. Ensenada 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.