A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Puerto Vallarta vs. La Paz for Resorts, Beaches, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

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

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 La Paz can help you decide which place is right for you.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a cultural, coastal, and colorful town. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

La Paz

La Paz is a authentic, cultural, and beautiful city. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Puerto Vallarta and La Paz: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options


Is there more to do in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Tourists will generally find more to do in La Paz. Although Puerto Vallarta and La Paz are both popular with visitors, La Paz has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. La Paz is more popular for its museums and beaches, while Puerto Vallarta is known for its nightlife and resorts. Puerto Vallarta is popular for its natural beauty and vibrant nightlife. La Paz is popular for its beautiful beaches, fascinating cultural setting, and authentic local atmosphere. It is also home to Balandra Beach.

How is Puerto Vallarta different from La Paz?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between La Paz and Puerto Vallarta. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

La Paz is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Puerto Vallarta is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its museums and history.

Many visitors head to La Paz specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Sights and landmarks around town include La Paz Cathedral, the Museo de Antropología e Historia de Baja California Sur, the the Museo de Arte de Baja California Sur, and Teatro Juarez.

Puerto Vallarta is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are a number of historical sights around town like Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.


Is the Food Better in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at superb restaurants in both Puerto Vallarta and La Paz.

Dining out in Puerto Vallarta is an experience not to be missed. The charming character combined with the authentic local cuisine makes for a wonderful culinary experience. There's everything from taco stands to romantic restaurants that you can try.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in La Paz. As the capital of Baja California Sur, you'll find many local restaurants that serve traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine. The recipes include seafood and local produce. You'll find everything from food stalls to high end restaurants around town.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Nightlife?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Puerto Vallarta is notable for nightlife and partying. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its evening party scene.

Puerto Vallarta has plenty to do after the sun goes down. You'll find a mix of active clubs, cozy bars, and cosmopolitan cafes. Head to the Romantic Zone or Los Muertos Beach for some of the best places.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in La Paz. There are many bars and restaurants around the Malecón.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Resorts?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Puerto Vallarta is a world-class destination for its resorts. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its luxury resorts.

Puerto Vallarta is a world class resort vacation destination. There are many different places to stay from all-inclusive resorts to high end hotels or beachfront properties.

La Paz has a few great resort options. There are a number of hotels and resorts around town that make for a nice vacation.


Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Puerto Vallarta and La Paz both offer superb scuba diving or snorkeling spots.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Puerto Vallarta. Divers in the area may get to experience once in a lifetime opportunities like diving with manta rays, dolphins, whale sharks, hammerheads, or schools of jacks.

Many visitors go to La Paz to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. There are organized diving and snorkeling excursions available around town. It's location by the Sea of Cortez makes diving a world class experience.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Beaches?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

La Paz is renowned for the beach. Also, Puerto Vallarta is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its beaches.

With world-famous beaches, La Paz is a very popular vacation destination. The beaches in the area are the main draw, and you'll find beaches that are family-friendly, romantic, or full of amenities. Some consider the beaches in the area among the best in Mexico.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Puerto Vallarta. There are many beaches spread out around town that have soft sand and blue water. Most have all of the amenities you could need. Popular beaches include Playa de los Muertos, Playa Mismaloya, and Playa Conchas Chinas.

Is the Shopping Better in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Both Puerto Vallarta and La Paz are superb shopping destinations.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Puerto Vallarta. There's a mix of shopping malls, open-air markets, boutiques, and international brands.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting La Paz. Local boutiques, souvenir shops, and art galleries all make for interesting shopping opportunities.


Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Families?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

You'll find superb kid-friendly activities in either Puerto Vallarta or La Paz.

Puerto Vallarta is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will love the water parks and thrilling activities, such as Aquaventuras Water Park or Los Veranos Canopy Tour. There's rock climbing and ropes courses at Las Animas Aventura Park. You'll also find horseback riding and even pirate boat tours in the area.

La Paz is a very family-friendly destination. Older kids will enjoy swimming with whale sharks, whale watching, and experiencing the region's wildlife. There are also many beaches in the area where kids can play.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Couples?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Puerto Vallarta is notable for its romantic activities. Also, La Paz is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Puerto Vallarta is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will enjoy sunset boat trips, horseback riding, and adventure sports. There are also many restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic dinner or a refreshing drink.

La Paz is a good town for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy walking along the beach promenade known as Malecon. There are also beaches and amazing animal experiences such as whale watching or dolphin viewing.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Both Puerto Vallarta and La Paz are superb destinations for backpackers.

Puerto Vallarta is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. There are hostels around, as well as many adventure sports or thrilling activities that backpackers will enjoy.

La Paz is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The city offers an authentic experience and hostels that make it a budget-friendly option for backpackers.


Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Both Puerto Vallarta and La Paz offer good public transit options.

Puerto Vallarta has a few public transit options. There are blue, green or orange buses that travel around town.

La Paz has some public transit options. There's a cheap local bus system around town.

Is Puerto Vallarta or La Paz a more walkable city?

Puerto Vallarta
La Paz

Puerto Vallarta and La Paz both are superb when exploring on foot.

Puerto Vallarta is a very walkable destination. There are several walkable neighborhoods in town such as 5 de Diciembre, el Centro, and Zona Romantica.

La Paz is very walkable. The city is very walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Puerto Vallarta Worth Visiting? and Is La Paz Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in La Paz or Puerto Vallarta?

How long in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

It's fun to spend time in either Puerto Vallarta or La Paz. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Puerto Vallarta due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Puerto Vallarta, and 2-4 days is enough time in La Paz.

Families should spend more time in La Paz than Puerto Vallarta. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in La Paz, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Puerto Vallarta than La Paz. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Puerto Vallarta that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in La Paz than Puerto Vallarta if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in La Paz.


  • How many days in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz? Ideal Length of Stay
    Puerto Vallarta 3-5 
    La Paz 2-4

One day in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Puerto Vallarta. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The beautiful destination of La Paz offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Puerto Vallarta is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The city of La Paz offers scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Five days in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Puerto Vallarta. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

La Paz is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the laid-back destination of Puerto Vallarta. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting La Paz. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Mexico, The Best Luxury Tours to Mexico, The Best Budget Tours to Mexico, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, La Paz or Puerto Vallarta?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Vallarta is $103, while the average daily cost in La Paz is $106. 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 Puerto Vallarta and La Paz in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Vallarta $57
    La Paz $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Vallarta $114
    La Paz $94
Compare Hotels in Puerto Vallarta and La Paz

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Vallarta or La Paz? 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 Puerto Vallarta


Hotels in La Paz


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: Puerto Vallarta Hotel Prices and La Paz Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Vallarta $17
    La Paz $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Vallarta

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Puerto Vallarta Roundtrip Shuttle Airport Transfer: $32
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Zone - Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $37
  • Private transfer from Puerto Vallarta Airport - Hotel Zone: $37
  • Private Airport Transfer to Marina Vallarta: $37
  • Private Airport Transfer to Hotel Zone: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer to Marina Vallarta: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port to Puerto Vallarta hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) to Port Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Puerto Vallarta from Cruise Port to Hotels Arrival Transfer: $44
  • From Puerto Vallarta Hotels to Cruise Port Departure Transfer: $44
  • Puerto Vallarta Port to Puerto Vallarta Airport(PVR)-Departure Private Transfer : $44
  • Private Airport Transfer to Zona Hotlera: $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Paz

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Paz:

  • La Paz hotels to La Paz International Airport (LAP) - Departure Private Transfer: $52
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $52
  • Roundtrip Transfer to La Paz International Airport: $67
  • La Paz Airport to Costa Baja Private Roundtrip Transfer: $83
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $105
  • Los Cabos Airport Private Transfers: $108
  • La Paz Int. Airport (LAP): Private Transfer to La Paz hotels: $174
  • Private La Paz Airport Roundtrip Transfer to La Ventana: $230
  • Private Transfer from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas: $240
  • La Paz Airport: Private Roundtrip Transfer to La Ventan: $241

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Prices for flights to both La Paz 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Vallarta $33
    La Paz $35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Puerto Vallarta

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

  • 3-Hour Guided Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $42
  • Dinner Tacos Food Tour: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour by Vallarta Food Tours : $55
  • Taco Adventure Evening Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $55
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour. Dinner in Pitillal : $55
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour, Breakfast in Pitillal: $55
  • Puerta Vallarta: Seafood Lover's Food Tour: $59
  • Puerto Vallarta 3-Hour Food Tour of Authentic Local Cuisine: $59
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $59
  • Mexican Cooking Class, Tequila Tasting & Unlimited Margaritas: $78
  • Mexican Cooking Class and Tequila Tasting: $89
  • Los Cabos: Twilight Sail with Live Music & Dinner: $93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Paz

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in La Paz.

  • 4 Hours of Guided La Paz Street Food Tour: $75
  • Sunset Horseback Riding and Dinner: $230

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Vallarta $17
    La Paz $11

Tours and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

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

  • Puerto Vallarta Historical El Centro: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $8.99
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $20
  • Mexico: Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $20
  • Reflexology Therapy Experience: $22
  • Guided SUP Board Tour with Digital Photos: $22
  • Butterfly Experience Nature Park Admission : $22
  • Private Bike City Tour with Photo Session in Puerto Vallarta: $22
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off City Bus Tour: $24
  • Hop On Hop Off Tour with Free Stops in Puerto Vallarta: $24
  • City Tour, Tequila and Coffee Factory Tour: $26
  • Butterfly Sanctuary Guided Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $27
  • EcoHike experience through the jungle, mountains and hidden beach: $29

Tours and Activities in La Paz

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for La Paz are as follows:

  • Coral Farm Snorkel Tour: $54
  • Pearl Farm Experience and shop: $63
  • Half Day Sandboarding and Paddleboarding Experience in La Paz: $75
  • Unique Mexican Spirits Tasting & Pairing Experience: $75
  • Mangrove Paddleboarding Experience in La Paz: $84
  • Sunset Sandboarding at La Paz Dunes Tour: $89
  • City Tour & Beaches from La Paz: $91
  • La Paz TACO TOUR: $100
  • Half Day Private Tour of the Beaches of La Paz: $106
  • holy spirit island tour: $108
  • Snorkel Tour with Whale Shark in La Paz: $111
  • Los Cabos Tour from La Paz: $119

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Vallarta $22
    La Paz $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Vallarta

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Fun Mexican Wine Tasting in Beautiful Garden of Puerto Vallarta: $40
  • Brewery Bus Tour- Tacos y Cervezas: $85
  • All you can drink Bar Crawl: $99
  • Private Tequila Farm Distillery Tour w/ Transportation: $100
  • Bar Crawl Experience: $114


When comparing the travel costs between Puerto Vallarta and La Paz, we can see that La Paz 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Puerto Vallarta Expensive? and Is La Paz Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Puerto Vallarta or La Paz?

Puerto Vallarta has a larger population, and is about 9% larger than the population of La Paz. When comparing the sizes of Puerto Vallarta and La Paz, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.