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

Should you visit Tulum or Merida?

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

Merida

Merida is the largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. It is also the capital of the state of Yucatan as a whole. There is a population of 750,000 and is very rich in diversity and culture.

Which city is cheaper, Merida 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 Merida is $59. 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 Merida 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 prices for places to stay in Merida can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $30, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $60.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $40
    Merida $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    Merida $60

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.

Food in Merida costs travelers about $20 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    Merida $20
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 Merida

For Merida, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Traveling Spoon Yucatecan Sopa de Lima Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Merida Market Tour and Cooking Class: $69
  • Private Yucatecan Cooking Lesson in a Local Merida Home: $70
  • Taste of the Yucatan: Merida Cooking Class and Market Visit: $77
  • Private Market Tour and Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Merida with Transfers: $95
  • Merida Cooking, Pottery, Classes Tour~Also An Accessible Tour: $99
  • Wonders of the Mayab: Chichen Itza, Yokdzonot Cenote & Cooking Class: $176

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.

Merida's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $12 per person, per day on transportation in Merida.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $19
    Merida $12
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:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Merida

Also for Merida, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Merida Airport to Hotels: $12
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Merida Airport: $12
  • Merida hotels to Mérida International Airport (MID) - Private Departure Transfer: $36
  • Mérida International Airport (MID) to Merida hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotels to Merida Airport: $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Merida Airport to Hotels: $38
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida airport to central Merida: $46
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida hotels to Merida airport: $46
  • BEST PRICE Merida City one-way transfer Hotel Airport.: $50
  • Mérida International Airport (MID) to Merida hotels - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $72
  • BEST PRICE Merida City round-trip transfer. Hotel Airport.: $100
  • Transfer: MERIDA - CHIQUILA (HOLBOX ISLAND) or CHIQUILA (HOLBOX ISLAND) - MERIDA: $235

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Merida?

Prices for flights to both Merida 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Merida can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $11 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $21
    Merida $11

Tours and Activities in Tulum

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

  • (4X1) Tulum, Coba, Cenote & Playa del Carmen, 1 Full Day Tour From Cancun Now!: $71
  • 2 Cenotes Adventure from Tulum - Small Group - All Inclusive: $119
  • 4 in 1 Day Tour - Coba, Cenote ,Tulum & Playa del Carmen: $61
  • 4 in 1 Tour - Coba, Cenote, Tulum & Playa del Carmen: $53
  • 4 in 1 VIP Tour Tulum, Coba, Playa del carmen & Cenote: $66
  • An exclusive experience of high cuisine mixed with theater performance: $256
  • CENOTE TOUR ( Pet Cementery, Sac Actun and Nicte Ha): $123
  • Caribbean Sea Snorkeling, underground river and cenote adventure from Tulum: $116
  • Cenote Triple Adventure Tour in Tulum: $116
  • Cenote trail jungle bike tour & 3 cenotes in Tulum with lunch: $97
  • Coba Adventure: ATV, Rappel, Ziplines, Cenote, Archeological Zone Tour: $118
  • Coba Guided Tour with Visit to Cacao and Honey Sanctuary: $119

Typical Entertainment prices in Merida

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Merida's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Train at the Zoo
    $0.10
  • Uxmal Entrance (for 2)
    $17
  • Mayan Village Entrance (for 2)
    $5.03

Tours and Activities in Merida

For Merida, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Turibus Panoramic Sightseeing Tour of Merida: $6.00
  • Chichen Itza, The greatness of the Mayas: Creation legends Tour: $6.99
  • TuriCervecero Merida - Tasting Tour and Craft Beer Experience: $21
  • Guided Walking Tour in Merida: $25
  • Mérida Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Panoramic Sightseeing Merida City Tour: $36
  • Merida Sightseeing Tour: $37
  • Merida Cantinas Walking Tour with Beer and Snacks: $49
  • Merida Street Food Walking Tour: $51
  • Tour Cenotes Santa Bárbara: $62
  • Local market Tour - Culinary Experience: $62
  • Small Group Cenotes Adventure and Family Lunch Tour: $64

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.

Typically, people visiting Merida spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $17
    Merida $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tulum and Merida, we can see that Tulum is more expensive. And not only is Merida much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Merida would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Merida 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 Merida.

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Tulum vs. Merida Travel Comparison

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