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

Should you visit Tulum or Mexico City?

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

Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world. There are an estimated 26 million people living in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area. The area is about 60 kilometers by 40 kilometers and is surrounded by tall mountains and volcanoes on three sides. Mexico City proper has about 8.8 million people and is the capital of the country. More than a third of the country's economy is based here, making it the wealthiest city in all of Latin America.

Which city is cheaper, Mexico City or Tulum?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tulum is $82, while the average daily cost in Mexico City is $138. 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 Mexico City 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.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $44 in Mexico City For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $40
    Mexico City $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    Mexico City $44

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.

While meal prices in Mexico City can vary, the average travelers spends about $18 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Mexico City should cost around $7.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Mexico City is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    Mexico City $18
Typical Food prices in Tulum

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


  • Lunch
    $2.52

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

Typical Food prices in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $11
  • Coffee and Snacks
    $3.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mexico City

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

  • Traveling Spoon Mexican Tacos and Tortillas Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Mexico City Private Food Tour: $60
  • Private Contemporary Mexican Cooking Class Inspired by Family Recipes: $68
  • Mexico City Private Traditional Pre-Hispanic Cooking Class: $83
  • Private Mexican Cooking Lesson in a Coyoacan Apartment: $86
  • Wrestling show and a Mexican dinner: $101
  • Private Market Tour and Authentic Mexican Cooking Class with a Local in Coyoacan: $105
  • Mexican Cooking Lesson in a Local Home: $106
  • Authentic Mexican Cooking Lesson With a Gastronomic Historian in Mexico City: $109
  • Taco Night Private Food Tour in Mexico City: $112
  • Traditional Mexican Cooking Class in a Beautiful Home: $119
  • Private Market Tour and Hands-On Home Cooking With a Local in Mexico City: $123

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.

Mexico City'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 $8.85 per person, per day on transportation in Mexico City.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $19
    Mexico City $8.85
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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Mexico City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Mexico City:


  • Metro
    $1.01
  • Uber Ride
    $3.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

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

  • Shared Transfer Mexico city Airport - Mexico city Downtown hotels: $16
  • Private Departure transfer from Mexico City Center to Mexico City Airport (MEX): $21
  • Transfer in private vehicle from México City to México Airport: $24
  • Transfer AICM Airport - any Hotel in CD Mexico: $24
  • Private Airport Transfer: B. Juarez International Airport (MEX) to Mexico City: $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mexico City to B. Juarez International Airport (MEX): $27
  • Departure Shared Transfer to Mexico City Airport: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Mexico City Center to Mexico Airport: $29
  • Shared Arrival Transfer from Mexico City Airport: $38
  • Private Transfer From Mexico City Airport to Downtown: $42
  • Mexico City - Mexico City International Airport(MEX) -Private Departure Transfer: $44
  • Round Trip Mexico City Airport (MEX) Transfer to Mexico City Center: $45

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Mexico City?

Prices for flights to both Mexico City 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 Mexico City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $10 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $21
    Mexico City $10

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

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

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

  • Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal Tour and Tasting: $20
  • Customizable Tour with a Private Guide: $25
  • Tickets to Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Museum Skip The Line FREE CANCELATION: $25
  • Full-Day City Tour with Anthropology Museum: $27
  • Mexico City Tour with Anthropology Museum entrance fee included: $27
  • Tickets & Transport to Frida Kahlo's Museum & Diego Rivera's Studio: $28
  • Private tour to Anthropology Museum: $29
  • Xochimilco & Coyoacan Full-Day Tour with Frida Kahlo Museum: $32
  • Teotihuacan + Basilica de Guadalupe + Tlatelolco Tour!: $34
  • Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco All-Inclusive Tour: $35
  • Full City Tour/español-ingles: $36
  • From Teotihuacan and Guadalupe Shrine Day Tour: $36

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 Mexico City spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $17
    Mexico City $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Mexico City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mexico City:

  • Full-Day Peña de Bernal Wine Tours: $220


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tulum and Mexico City, we can see that Mexico City 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 Mexico City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Mexico City than you might in Tulum.

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Tulum vs. Mexico City Travel Comparison

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