A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Tulum vs. Cabo San Lucas for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tulum or Cabo San Lucas?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Tulum and Cabo San Lucas can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Tulum

When you think of ancient ruins you probably picture dusty archaeological digs surrounded by sand and professors in khaki shorts. What if I told you there is a way to see ancient ruins and visit a tropical beach? That's exactly what you find in Tulum, Mexico.

Built near the end of Mayan era, the ruins of Tulum served as a port before the arrival of the Spanish. It may have been called Zama, meaning City of Dawn, given that these ruins face the sunrise. Because of Tulum's access to both land and sea routes, this spot was an important hub for the trade industry. It may have had another claim to fame, too. According to some murals and other works around the site, it seems this spot was an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending God. Today, the area is the third most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico with daily tour buses dropping off visitors.

This area is usually packed with people looking to get a glimpse of the seaside ruins. To avoid crowds and capture the best view of the day, try to arrive as early as possible. Of course, Tulum is only one of several archaeological sites in the region, and you can see a comparison of Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan here.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas ("Cabo") is on the far southern end of the Baja Peninsula. It has countless resorts and activities for visitors. There are world class golf courses, fine dining options, and five star resorts. Prior to the 1980s, Cabo was a quiet fishing village but with the construction of a nearby airport in 1977, the city rapidly grew into one of Mexico's most popular resort vacation spots. Today, Cabo has one of the country's most vibrant nightlife scenes. It also has plenty of water sport activities, and a great beach scene.

Which city is cheaper, Cabo San Lucas or Tulum?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tulum is $81, while the average daily cost in Cabo San Lucas is $95. 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 Tulum and Cabo San Lucas in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Tulum is $80. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Cabo San Lucas is $84. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $40
    Cabo San Lucas $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    Cabo San Lucas $84

Food

Food in Tulum costs travelers about $23 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $36 per day in Cabo San Lucas for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    Cabo San Lucas $36
Typical Food prices in Tulum

Some typical examples of dining costs in Tulum are as follows:


  • Lunch
    $2.51

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tulum

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

  • Tulum Local Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Mexican Cooking from Scratch and Mezcal Tasting in a Local Home: $87
  • Private transfer for 5 hours (go dinner,cenotes, shopping and more): $180

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cabo San Lucas

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cabo San Lucas.

  • Cabo San Lucas Sunset and Dinner Cruise: $50
  • Eat Like A Local Cabo Food Tour: $59
  • Parrillada dinner with a Private Chef in your villa/condo in Cabo or San Jose: $59
  • Catch of the day dinner in your private villa/condo in Cabo or San Jose del Cabo: $62
  • Cabo San Lucas "Catch of the Day" Seafood Tour: $62
  • Sunset Mexican Dinner Cruise. Fajitas dinner & live music: $68
  • Jumbo Shrimp Dinner in Your Private Villa or Condo in Cabo or San Jose del Cabo: $78
  • Lobster Tail Dinner with a Private Chef in Your Villa in Cabo or San Jose: $80
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise with Open Bar from Cabo San Lucas: $89
  • Los Cabos Sunset Dinner Cruise: $89
  • Whale-Watching Dinner Cruise in Los Cabos: $89
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise in Cabo San Lucas: $89

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Tulum is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $19 per person, per day, on local transportation in Tulum.

The cost of a taxi ride in Cabo San Lucas is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Cabo San Lucas.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $19
    Cabo San Lucas $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tulum

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Tulum are as follows:


  • Scooter Rental
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tulum

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tulum:

  • Airport Transfer Tulum: $130
  • Airport Transfers to Tulum - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE: $256
  • Cancun Airport private departure transfer (Tulum to Cancun Airport): $103
  • Cancun One Way Private Transfer Airport to Hotel / Hotel to Airport: $61
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan: $100
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun airport: $121
  • One Way Private Tulum Transfers to or from Cancun Airport: $123
  • Private Transfer From Cancun Airport To Tulum: $84
  • Roundtrip private AC Airport Transfer to Tulum: $75
  • Transfer from Cancun Airport to Tulum - ROUND TRIP: $207
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Tulum Riviera to Cancún Airport: $59
  • Tulum to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cabo San Lucas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cabo San Lucas:

  • Arrival Share Transfer Service One way from Los Cabos airport to Hotel: $21
  • Departure Private Transfer Service One way from Hotel to Los Cabos airport: $66
  • Cabo San Lucas hotels to Los Cabos Airport (SJD) - Private Departure Transfer: $92
  • Transfer in private minivan from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo(SJD): $113
  • Private Round Trip Transfer - Los Cabos Int. Airport and Local Area: $180
  • Wild Canyon Adventures Park Pass with transfers included: $199
  • Transfer in Private Car from Cabo San Lucas to Los Cabos Airport (SJD): $201
  • Private Tesla Transfer from Los Cabos Airport to Cabo San Lucas Area: $261
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo to La Paz up to 5 passengers: $400
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo to La Paz up to 10 passengers: $457
  • Round trip transfer from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz up to 15 passengers: $514
  • Private transfer: Cabo San Lucas to Cabo San Lucas Airport (SJD): $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Cabo San Lucas?

Prices for flights to both Cabo San Lucas and Tulum 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

Entertainment and activities in Tulum typically cost an average of $21 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Entertainment and activities in Cabo San Lucas typically cost an average of $29 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $21
    Cabo San Lucas $29

Tours and Activities in Tulum

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

  • Discover the ancient Mayan city and its legends on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Maya Ruins of Tulum Admission Ticket: $12
  • Tulum Taco Tour: $16
  • Tulum City Tour: $24
  • Tulum Street Art Tour: $24
  • Tulum Mural Tours: $28
  • Tulum Bike Art Tour: $45
  • Tour Cenote, Coba, Tulum & Playa del Carmen 4x1 VIP: $52
  • Tour VIP Coba, Tulum, Cenote & Playa del Carmen: $52
  • 4 in 1 Tour - Coba, Cenote, Tulum & Playa del Carmen: $53
  • Four in One Tour - Coba, Tulum, Cenote & Playa del Carmen: $53
  • Tour 4 in 1 Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen.: $54

Tours and Activities in Cabo San Lucas

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

  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour - Cabo San Lucas: $17
  • Glass Bottom Boat Sightseeing Tour in Cabo San Lucas: $20
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $20
  • Land's End Tour in a Glass Bottom Boat (VisitA Cabo): $26
  • Cabo's Only Clear Boat Tour- see it all in one tour!: $28
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour to the Arch in Cabo San Lucas: $30
  • Cabo's only Clear Boat Tour to Lands End, Lover's Beach, the Arch and more!: $33
  • Lands End & Snorkeling Adventure: $33
  • Cabo San Lucas only Clear Boat Tour to Lands End: $33
  • Sunset Tour & Land's End in a Glass Bottom Boat (VisitA Cabo): $36
  • Clear Glass-Bottom Boat Cabo Tour: $36
  • The Fenway Bar Experience: $39

Alcohol

The average person spends about $17 on alcoholic beverages in Tulum 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 Cabo San Lucas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $19 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $17
    Cabo San Lucas $19


When comparing the travel costs between Tulum and Cabo San Lucas, we can see that Cabo San Lucas 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.

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Tulum vs. Cabo San Lucas Travel Comparison

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