Yucatan Trip Budget: Costs & Tips
Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is one of the more expensive places to travel in Central America. However, with beautiful sights, fun things to do, and tasty food, it’s worth every penny. Here is my Yucatan trip budget, with tips on how to keep costs down…
Hostels throughout the Yucatan peninsula set my partner and I back around MXN150-190 (US$8-10) each. However, a private double often cost the same as two dorm beds, so we managed to avoid dorms most nights.
If you’re planning a diving or snorkelling trip, or any other tour, many hostels offer discounted accommodation & tour combos. Others offer free classes, happy hours, or other incentives, so be sure to shop around.
Yucatan Food & Drink
The price of a meal varies greatly depending on the type of eatery. Dinner can cost anything from MXN60 (US$3) to over MXN200 (US$10.50). We cooked for ourselves quite a bit here, as our hostels tended to have excellent facilities. When we did eat out, we opted for cheap food stalls. The best stalls on offer are in downtown Cancún, where a plate of tasty tacos cost just MXN25 (US$1.30). Local beers cost US$1-2 in most cities.
The buses in the Yucatan are surprisingly expensive, especially compared to elsewhere in Central America. On average, we spent around MXN95 (US$5) per hour of travel. However, these buses were far more comfortable than the chicken buses we had become accustomed to!
Yucatan Activities & Entrance Fees
Our new scuba diving addiction led us to splash out on a dive in Cozumel. Though, at US$75 for a day trip with two dives, the prices in Cozumel were far more reasonable than in some of the surrounding areas. We also splurged on a whale shark snorkelling trip in Isla Mujeres- US$69, and worth every penny!
Total Yucatan Trip Budget
Surprisingly, we stayed relatively within our budget during our time in the Yucatan. Overall, we spent MXN7,450 (US$408) in 12 days. This works out at MXN620 (US$34) per day.
Yucatan Trip Budget Tips
Don’t forget to factor in the departure tax of MXN390. This is included in most flights, but if you enter overland, you will have to pay this fee when you leave (do not pay it on entry, as the record of payment will mysteriously get lost and you will have to pay again on departure).
The cheapest eats are at street stalls, and this is also where you’ll find the tastiest food! Avoid touristy areas and eating at your hostel, where you’ll likely pay way too much for what ends up being a doughy tortilla with bean paste.
As previously mentioned, do shop around for the best deals with hostels, particularly if you are aiming to book a tour.
It’s also worth shopping around for tours and diving centres. That said, be wary of deals that are surprisingly cheap. Read reviews or get recommendations from other travellers before you book.