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

Should you visit Tulum or Isla Mujeres?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Tulum and Isla Mujeres can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Tulum or Isla Mujeres?


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.

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 place 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 $118, while the average daily cost in Isla Mujeres is $143. 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 Tulum and Isla Mujeres in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $58
    Isla Mujeres $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $116
    Isla Mujeres $152
Compare Hotels in Tulum and Isla Mujeres

Looking for a hotel in Tulum or Isla Mujeres? 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 Tulum

Hotels in Isla Mujeres

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: Tulum Hotel Prices and Isla Mujeres Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $27
    Isla Mujeres $34
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tulum

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

  • Scooter Rental

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tulum

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tulum:

  • Chetumal City to Chetumal Airport CTM Departure Private Transfer: $24
  • Shared Transfer Cancun Airport - Tulum: $32
  • Tulum to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $71
  • Tulum to Xcaret - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $78
  • Xcaret to Tulum - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $78
  • Private Transfer in Vehicle from Tulum to Cancun Airport : $80
  • Tulum to Playa del Carmen - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $83
  • Horseback Riding in the Jungle w/ Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun airport: $107
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan - Minibus: $108
  • Tulum Hotels to Merida Rejon Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $115
  • Tulum to Cancun - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $123

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $33
    Isla Mujeres $45
Typical Food prices in Tulum

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

  • Lunch

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: $76
  • Vegan Walking Food Tour with Tasting: $79
  • Tulum Vegan Food Tour: $80
  • Mexican Cooking from Scratch and Mezcal Tasting in a Local Home in Tulum: $87
  • Dinner in the Tulum Jungle with Premium Wine Tasting: $120
  • Authentic Mexican Food Tour in Tulum: $146
  • Gourmet Experience: 5 Course Dinner, Cocktail Class and Wine Pairing: $149
  • Private Cooking Class in Tulum with a Chef: $154
  • Private transfer for 5 hours (go dinner,cenotes, shopping and more) : $219
  • Private Mayan Food Cooking Class and Cenote: $289
  • All Inclusive Romantic Dinner in 34' Catamaran Aventura: $850
  • All Inclusive Private Romantic Dinner in 60' Sunseeker : $850

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $31
    Isla Mujeres $20

Tours and Activities in Tulum

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

  • Audioguide Tulum, Audioguide-App Mayastadt Tulum, Tour Tulum Archaeological Site: $4.32
  • Tulum Archeological Site ticket: $9.00
  • Tulum Archeological Site Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.00
  • Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket: $9.00
  • Cancun: Coba Ruins Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - The Return Home: $10
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour - Coba Ruins: The trail of the Mayas: $10
  • Self-Guided Mayan Ruins Tour: $13
  • Cenotes Casa Tortuga tickets: $22
  • Tulum Archeological Site Guided Walking Tour: $24
  • Cenotes Casa Tortuga tickets: $24
  • Archeological Guided Walking Tour in Tulum: $26

Tours and Activities in Isla Mujeres

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

  • “ Tour in Isla Mujeres “ Transparent boat ride: $40
  • Tour Isla Mujeres excursion in Collective Transparent Boat: $40
  • Crystal Boat Tour to Isla Mujeres and Reefs: $42
  • Snorkel Tour at Musa and Manchones Reef: $45
  • Isla Mujeres MUSA Snorkeling Experience: $47
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour Adventure: $48
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour MUSA and Manchones reef: $50
  • Street Art of Isla Mujeres Tour: $70
  • Half Day to Isla Mujeres (LITE TOUR IM): $79
  • 3 Hours VIP Semiprivate Tour Isla Mujeres Full Snorkeling Experience : $84
  • Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour: $89

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $25
    Isla Mujeres $25

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 : $141

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.

Which is Bigger, Tulum or Isla Mujeres?

Isla Mujeres is bigger, and its population is about 49% larger than the population of Tulum. When comparing the population of Tulum vs. Isla Mujeres, 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 and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Tulum vs. Isla Mujeres Travel Comparison

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