A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Tulum vs. San Cristobal de Las Casas for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tulum or San Cristobal de Las Casas?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Tulum and San Cristobal de Las Casas 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.

San Cristobal de Las Casas

Far away from the luxuries of Cancun and Cabo, Mexico's San Cristobal de las Casas is a stunning colonial city located in the southern state of Chiapas. Due to its strategic location, the town is commonly used as a transfer point for travelers looking to cross the border between Guatemala and Mexico. San Cristobal also has an immensely strong appeal among budget-minded travelers as it's one of Mexico's most affordable cities.

Which city is cheaper, San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas is $67. 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 San Cristobal de Las Casas 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 $62 in San Cristobal de Las Casas 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
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tulum $80
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $62

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas can vary, the average travelers spends about $16 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Cristobal de Las Casas should cost around $6.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Cristobal de Las Casas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tulum $23
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $16
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

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.

To get around in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the average visitor spends $22 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tulum $19
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $22
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

Is it cheaper to fly into Tulum or San Cristobal de Las Casas?

Prices for flights to both San Cristobal de Las Casas 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.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $9.56 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tulum $21
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $9.56

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas

For San Cristobal de Las Casas, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Chamula and Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour: $17
  • San Cristóbal de las Casas Photo Walking Tour: $30
  • Indigenous Villages Cultural Tour: Chamula and Zinacantan from San Cristóbal de las Casas: $31
  • Sumidero Canyon and Chiapa de Corzo Combo Tour: $38
  • Cañon del Sumidero tour from San Cristobal de las Casas: $38
  • Full Day Tour: Wonders of Agua Azul Cascades and Palenque Ruins: $45
  • Tour cascadas de Agua Azul, Cascada Misol-Ha y Zona Arqueológica de Palenque.: $45
  • Agua Azul, Misol Hà Waterfalls and Palenque Ruins Tour: $47
  • Adventure in Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo: $50
  • Tour to San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan: $52
  • Tour to Palenque Archaeological Site, Cascadas de Agua Azul & Misol Ha: $62
  • Photo Polaroid Tour in San Cristóbal de las Casas: $65

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 San Cristobal de Las Casas spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tulum $17
    San Cristobal de Las Casas $20


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

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Tulum vs. San Cristobal de Las Casas Travel Comparison

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