A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Tulum vs. Isla Mujeres for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tulum or Isla Mujeres?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Tulum and Isla Mujeres 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.

Isla Mujeres

About eight miles from the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Mujeres is an island in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. The town, of the same name, has a population of about 13,000. Tourism has grown in the area since the 1970s and today it is a significant part of the island's economy. As such, there are plenty of amenities that cater specifically to visitors. The island's proximity to Cuba make it a common transit point for Cubans in route to the United States.

Which city is cheaper, Isla Mujeres 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 Isla Mujeres is $99. 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 Isla Mujeres 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Isla Mujeres.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $40
    Isla Mujeres $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    Isla Mujeres $104

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.

In Isla Mujeres travelers spend around $31 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    Isla Mujeres $31
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 Isla Mujeres

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

  • Private Deluxe Lobster Dinner In A Catamaran: $1,600

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 average price of local transportation around Isla Mujeres is $24 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.
    Tulum $19
    Isla Mujeres $24
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Isla Mujeres

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Isla Mujeres:

  • Private Catamaran To Isla Mujeres And Transfer: $1,520

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Isla Mujeres?

Prices for flights to both Isla Mujeres 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.

Isla Mujeres's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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.
    Tulum $21
    Isla Mujeres $14

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 Isla Mujeres

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

  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour with Lunch Included: $45
  • Street Art of Isla Mujeres Tour: $60
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour: $63
  • Isla Mujeres walking tour for Beach & Sun lovers!: $75
  • Cancun: Isla Mujeres Snorkel Tour with Ferry Ride and Lunch: $75
  • Luxury Catamaran tour to isla mujeres with transportation from Tulum: $108
  • Tulum & Playa del Carmen Combo Tour with Catamaran Adventure: $115
  • From Cancun: Swim with Whale Sharks Tour: $125
  • 2020 SPECIAL!! 2 Tank Adventures Drift and Wreck dives: $125
  • Scuba Diving Adventure without Certification! Try it today!: $165
  • Private and Shared Whale Shark Tour from Tulum: $180
  • The Best of Isla Mujeres Walking Tour: $409

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.

The average person spends about $17 on alcoholic beverages in Isla Mujeres per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $17
    Isla Mujeres $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Isla Mujeres

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

  • Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Bar Crawl: $121


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tulum and Isla Mujeres, we can see that Isla Mujeres is more expensive. And not only is Tulum much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tulum would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tulum 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 Isla Mujeres would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Isla Mujeres than you might in Tulum.

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Tulum vs. Isla Mujeres Travel Comparison

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