Should you visit Tulum or Ensenada?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Tulum and Ensenada can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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.
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 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 Ensenada is $66. 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 Ensenada in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Tulum is $80. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $31. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ensenada the cost is $62 on average.
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.
While meal prices in Ensenada can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Tulum
Some typical examples of dining costs in Tulum are as follows:
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:
Mexican Cooking from Scratch and Mezcal Tasting in a Local Home:
Private transfer for 5 hours (go dinner,cenotes, shopping and more):
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 average price of local transportation around Ensenada is $14 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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tulum
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Tulum are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tulum
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tulum:
Airport Transfer Tulum:
Airport Transfers to Tulum - Private van (ROUND TRIP) FLAT RATE:
Cancun Airport private departure transfer (Tulum to Cancun Airport):
Cancun One Way Private Transfer Airport to Hotel / Hotel to Airport:
Departure Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan:
Mexico Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun airport:
One Way Private Tulum Transfers to or from Cancun Airport:
Private Transfer From Cancun Airport To Tulum:
Roundtrip private AC Airport Transfer to Tulum:
Transfer from Cancun Airport to Tulum - ROUND TRIP:
Transfer in Private Vehicle from Tulum Riviera to Cancún Airport:
Tulum to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Ensenada?
Prices for flights to both Ensenada 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 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.
Ensenada's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $7.24 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.
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:
Skip the Line: Maya Ruins of Tulum Admission Ticket:
Tulum Taco Tour:
Tulum City Tour:
Tulum Street Art Tour:
Tulum Mural Tours:
Tulum Bike Art Tour:
Tour Cenote, Coba, Tulum & Playa del Carmen 4x1 VIP:
Tour VIP Coba, Tulum, Cenote & Playa del Carmen:
4 in 1 Tour - Coba, Cenote, Tulum & Playa del Carmen:
Four in One Tour - Coba, Tulum, Cenote & Playa del Carmen:
Tour 4 in 1 Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa del Carmen.:
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:
Las Cañadas Canopy Tour in Ensenada:
The Bufadora Tour:
La Bufadora Tour in Baja California:
Scenic Bufadora & Flea Market Shopping Private Tour:
Ensenada Travels Tours:
best tours ensenada:
Las Canadas Ecopark and Bufadora private tour:
Ensenada Shore Excursion: City Tour & La Bufadora:
Guadalupe Valley Wine Route Tour in Baja California:
Private tour in Valle de Guadalupe:
Tuk Tuk, Beach and Bar Tour:
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 Ensenada may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.39 per day on alcoholic beverages.
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:
Private Full-Day Wine Tour in Valle de Guadalupe:
Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tour, All Inclusive by AKA Expeditions.:
Valle de Guadalupe Off The Beaten Path Wine Tasting:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tulum and Ensenada, we can see that Tulum 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 Tulum would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tulum than you might in Ensenada.
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