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

Should you visit Tulum or Puerto Vallarta?

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 Puerto Vallarta 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 Puerto Vallarta?


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.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta remains a popular tourist destination with Americans, particularly during spring break when students flock to the area. The area is quite beautiful and has many gorgeous beaches, interesting jungles and waterfalls nearby, and no shortage of luxury resorts and four star restaurants. Many of the locals speak English and are friendly and open to helping tourists with directions or general information. Puerto Vallarta's popularity means that its prices are some of the highest in Mexico, particularly during holidays when the area can get quite crowded.

Which place is cheaper, Puerto Vallarta or Tulum?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tulum is $119, while the average daily cost in Puerto Vallarta is $112. 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 Puerto Vallarta in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $58
    Puerto Vallarta $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $116
    Puerto Vallarta $124
Compare Hotels in Tulum and Puerto Vallarta

Looking for a hotel in Tulum or Puerto Vallarta? 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 Puerto Vallarta

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 Puerto Vallarta Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $27
    Puerto Vallarta $19
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
  • Shuttle Transfer Cancun Airport to Tulum: $32
  • Tulum to Cancún Airport (CUN) - Private Departure Transfer: $69
  • Tulum to Xcaret - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $76
  • Xcaret to Tulum - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $76
  • Private Transfer in Vehicle from Tulum to Cancun Airport : $80
  • Tulum to Playa del Carmen - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $81
  • Horseback Riding in the Jungle w/ Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun airport: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tulum to Cancun Airport CUN by Minivan - Minibus: $108
  • Tulum Hotels to Merida Rejon Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $113
  • Tulum to Cancun - Private Transfer with Optional Sightseeing: $120

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Vallarta

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Private Transfer Licenciado Gustavo Airport to/fr Puerto Vallarta: $24
  • Puerto Vallarta Roundtrip Shuttle Airport Transfer: $28
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - City Center: $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from City Center - Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR): $32
  • Shared transfer from PVR airport to Downtown: $43
  • From Puerto Vallarta Hotels to Cruise Port Departure Transfer: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta Port to Puerto Vallarta Airport(PVR)-Departure Private Transfer : $43
  • Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) to Puerto Vallarta Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta hotels to Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port-Departure Private Transfer: $43
  • Arrival Transfer from Airport to Cruise Port in Puerto Vallarta: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port to Airport PVR Departure Transfer: $43
  • Puerto Vallarta from Cruise Port to Hotels Arrival Transfer: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or Puerto Vallarta?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Vallarta 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
    Puerto Vallarta $36
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: $77
  • Vegan Walking Food Tour with Tasting: $79
  • Tulum Vegan Food Tour: $81
  • 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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Puerto Vallarta

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Puerto Vallarta.

  • Taco102 - dinner taco walk - all inclusive: $45
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour, Breakfast in Pitillal: $55
  • Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $55
  • Puerto Vallarta 3-Hour Food Tour of Authentic Local Cuisine: $55
  • Dinner Tacos Food Tour: $55
  • Off The Beaten Path Food Tour. Dinner in Pitillal : $55
  • Taco Adventure Evening Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour: $55
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours: $55
  • Puerta Vallarta: Seafood Lover's Food Tour: $56
  • Seafood Lover's Tour with Vallarta Food Tours : $59
  • Versalles After Dark Food Tour: $65

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $31
    Puerto Vallarta $18

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: $4.22
  • Tulum Archeological Site Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.00
  • Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket: $9.00
  • Self-Guided Mayan Ruins Tour: $9.99
  • Cancun: Coba Ruins Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Tulum Archeological Site Guided Walking Tour: $21
  • Cenotes Casa Tortuga tickets: $22
  • Mystika Immersive Entrance Ticket: $26
  • Mystika Immersive - A One-of-a-Kind Sensory Spiritual Experience: $27
  • From Casa Tortuga Cenotes Guided Full-Day Tour: $32
  • Tulum Mural Tours: $36
  • Mystika Immersive & Tulum Ruins Skip-the-Line Ticket: $36

Tours and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

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

  • Puerto Vallarta Historical El Centro: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • City Tour Puerto Vallarta - Churches, Tequila Test and more: $18
  • Mexico: Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $20
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $20
  • Skip the Line: Vallarta Botanical Garden Admission Ticket: $21
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off City Bus Tour: $23
  • Private Bike City Tour with Photo Session in Puerto Vallarta: $24
  • Hop On Hop Off Tour with Free Stops in Puerto Vallarta: $24
  • Hike and Yoga Jungle Experience in Mexico: $25
  • Chocolate Tour in Vallarta: $26
  • Butterfly Sanctuary Guided Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $26
  • City Tour, Tequila and Coffee Factory Tour: $29

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $25
    Puerto Vallarta $23

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Vallarta

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Botanical Gardens, Distillery & Coffee Tour: $76
  • Brewery Bus Tour from Mexico: $85
  • Tequila Tour and Tasting at Puerto Vallarta Distillery: $90
  • Secret Agave Bar Crawl in Vallarta: $98
  • All you can drink Bar Crawl: $99
  • 2-Day Guided Tequila Distillery Tour in Mexico with Tasting: $778

When comparing the travel costs between Tulum and Puerto Vallarta, we can see that Tulum is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Which is Bigger, Tulum or Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is bigger, and its population is about 22.3 times larger than the population of Tulum. When comparing the population of Tulum vs. Puerto Vallarta, 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. Puerto Vallarta Travel Comparison

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