A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico San Cristobal de Las Casas vs. Playa del Carmen for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Cristobal de Las Casas or Playa del Carmen?

Should I visit San Cristobal de Las Casas or Playa del Carmen? 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.

San Cristobal de Las Casas

Far away from the luxuries of Cancun and Cabo, Mexico's San Cristobal de las Casas is a stunning colonial city located in the southern state of Chiapas. Due to its strategic location, the town is commonly used as a transfer point for travelers looking to cross the border between Guatemala and Mexico. San Cristobal also has an immensely strong appeal among budget-minded travelers as it's one of Mexico's most affordable cities.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Playa del Carmen or San Cristobal de Las Casas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Cristobal de Las Casas is $67, while the average daily cost in Playa del Carmen is $54. 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas and Playa del Carmen in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $62 in San Cristobal de Las Casas For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $31
    Playa del Carmen $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $62
    Playa del Carmen $52

Food

While meal prices in San Cristobal de Las Casas can vary, the average travelers spends about $16 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Cristobal de Las Casas should cost around $6.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Cristobal de Las Casas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $16
    Playa del Carmen $16

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

Local Transportation

To get around in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the average visitor spends $22 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.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $22
    Playa del Carmen $16

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

Is it cheaper to fly into San Cristobal de Las Casas or Playa del Carmen?

Prices for flights to both Playa del Carmen and San Cristobal de Las Casas 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

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $9.56 per person, per day.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $9.56
    Playa del Carmen $11

Tours and Activities in San Cristobal de Las Casas

For San Cristobal de Las Casas, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Chamula and Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour: $17
  • San Cristóbal de las Casas Photo Walking Tour: $30
  • Indigenous Villages Cultural Tour: Chamula and Zinacantan from San Cristóbal de las Casas: $31
  • Sumidero Canyon and Chiapa de Corzo Combo Tour: $38
  • Cañon del Sumidero tour from San Cristobal de las Casas: $38
  • Full Day Tour: Wonders of Agua Azul Cascades and Palenque Ruins: $45
  • Tour cascadas de Agua Azul, Cascada Misol-Ha y Zona Arqueológica de Palenque.: $45
  • Agua Azul, Misol Hà Waterfalls and Palenque Ruins Tour: $47
  • Adventure in Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo: $50
  • Tour to San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan: $52
  • Tour to Palenque Archaeological Site, Cascadas de Agua Azul & Misol Ha: $62
  • Photo Polaroid Tour in San Cristóbal de las Casas: $65

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

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting San Cristobal de Las Casas spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $20
    Playa del Carmen $14

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas and Playa del Carmen, we can see that San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Cristobal de Las Casas 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.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
San Cristobal de Las Casas vs. Playa del Carmen 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.