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

Should you visit Tulum or Puerto Vallarta?

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

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 city 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 $81, while the average daily cost in Puerto Vallarta is $77. 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 Puerto Vallarta 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.

Puerto Vallarta's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $84. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $42.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tulum $40
    Puerto Vallarta $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    Puerto Vallarta $84

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.

The price of a meal in Puerto Vallarta can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $25 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    Puerto Vallarta $25
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 Puerto Vallarta

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

  • Taco102 - dinner taco walk - all inclusive: $45
  • Go Off The Beaten Path with a Foodie | Food Tour in Pitillal: $50
  • Food Tour after Sunset in Pitillal: $50
  • Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta: $55
  • Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour: $55
  • Taste of Pitillal Food Tour: $55
  • Food Tour in Old Town with a Foodie & Photographer: $55
  • Mole & Pozole Food Tour: $57
  • Vallarta by Road Food Tour: $68
  • Authentic Jaliscan Cooking Class with a Local Helene in a Traditional Hacienda: $77
  • Tasting Vallarta Gourmet Food Tour: $88
  • Puerto Vallarta Cooking Class: Market Tour, Lesson and Tastings: $90

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Puerto Vallarta.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $19
    Puerto Vallarta $13
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 Cancún 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 Cancún 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 Puerto Vallarta

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Hotel: $18
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Puerto Vallarta International Airport: $18
  • Puerto Vallarta Roundtrip Shuttle Airport Transfer: $26
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Hotel (1 - 3): $26
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Pueto Vallarta International Airport (1 - 3): $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: Licenciado Díaz Ordaz Airport (PVR) to Puerto Vallarta: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: Puerto Vallarta to Licenciado Díaz Ordaz Airport (PVR): $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta Airport: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Hotel (4 - 6): $29
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Pto. Vallarta International Airport (4 - 6): $29
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Puerto Vallarta International Airport: $36
  • Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) - Private Departure Transfer: $46

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.





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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Puerto Vallarta. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $21
    Puerto Vallarta $12

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 Puerto Vallarta

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

  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $8.50
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $24
  • Puerto Vallarta Art Tour: $27
  • Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour: $29
  • Puerto Vallarta City Tour: $29
  • Sayulita And San Pancho Beachs Tour: $34
  • Puerto Vallarta PhotoWalk and City Tour: $35
  • City Tour and Tequila Tasting Puerto Vallarta: $36
  • Zip Line Canopy Jungle Adventure from Puerto Vallarta: $39
  • Private Tour in El Malecon Boardwalk Bike Ride: $40
  • Puerto Vallarta Local-Style Walking tour: $41
  • Sayulita & San Pancho Beach Town Tour: $43

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 $16 on alcoholic beverages in Puerto Vallarta 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
    Puerto Vallarta $16


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.

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Tulum vs. Puerto Vallarta Travel Comparison

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