On this page you will find our estimated Mexico cost of travel. Read on for suggested shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets in this colourful and deceptively large country. We also have info on the local currency and typical prices.
How much spending money for Mexico?
Mexico Travel Costs on a Shoestring Budget
US$30/day | 575 Mexican Pesos
Mexico, one of the most visited countries in North America, is a large and mostly cheap place to travel in although there are a few notable exceptions. These are mostly the tourist resorts such as Cancun, where prices for almost everything are significantly higher than you’ll find in the rest of the country. If you avoid them, then there is no reason why you can’t get by on something like $30/day on average and still have a really good time.
It is a country with lots of excellent local dishes and drinks so eating and drinking out is one of the highlights of a visit to Mexico and is generally very good value as even the fussiest of eaters won’t struggle to find something that grabs their fancy. Travelling around is reasonably priced if you can put up with long hours on buses but if you do want to visit the North as well as the South then you might want to allow for a bit more than this as it’s a lot of miles you will need to cover. Flying between destinations is getting cheaper in Mexico with a few budget airlines running domestic routes.
Accommodation is very cheap if you’re willing to stick to hostel dorms and won’t take up a large chunk of this budget leaving you with plenty left over for other things. Check out our page on the backpacking costs in Central America to see how Mexico compares to its Southern neighbours.
More Comfortable Mexico Backpacking Budget
US$50/day | 950 Pesos
Adding $20 will give you a lot more freedom to take trips or try a few more different activities out. You can afford to do a bit of partying even on our shoestring Mexico backpacking budget but the party culture is quite big here so this may be a smarter budget for anyone looking to go out most nights. Drinks aren’t particularly expensive if you avoid the swankier places and in the more traveller-orientated towns, girls can often get free entry and free drinks in many nightspots.
If you want to see most of the country as opposed to sticking in one region for a longer period of time then US$50 might be a better budget too particularly if you are restricted more by time than money.
Check out our backpacking route for Mexico, for a suggested itinerary.
Mexico Cost of Travel – How to Reduce it!
One way to cut travel costs in Mexico is to do a work exchange. Worldpackers is a platform which allows travellers to search for placements which can act as a great way to cut your travel costs with free food and a place to sleep normally included.
At the time of writing, there are 245 opportunities for these kind of exchanges in Mexico. These vary from hostel work to teaching roles in some amazing locations. Be sure to use our Worldpackers promo coupon if you opt to register!
Is Mexico Expensive?
Flight from Mexico City to Cancun (2 hours 15 mins) – from 1200 Pesos ($65)
Bus from Playa del Carmen to Chetumal (4 hours) – from 175 Pesos ($9.50)
Meal at an inexpensive local restaurant – 80 Pesos ($4.50)
Local beer at a non-touristy bar or restaurant – 20 Pesos ($1)
Dorm bed in Mexico City or San Cristobal – from 80 Pesos ($4.50)
Dorm bed in Playa del Carmen or Tulum – from 140 Pesos ($7.50)
Budget private double or twin room in Mexico City – from 170 Pesos ($9)
Entrance to Chichén Itzá – 200 Pesos (including tax) ($11)
Note, these prices haven’t been checked since 2016. Everything else on this page was updated in early 2019.
Currency – Mexican Peso
£1 = 24.93 Pesos
€1 = 21.71 Pesos
US$1 = 19.11 Pesos
(Exchange rates are correct as of January 2019)
Some businesses in tourist destinations like Cancun may still accept US Dollars despite a law aimed at banishing the Dollar from the Mexican economy. However it is still advantageous to pay for things in Mexican Pesos and in most parts of the country Dollars are not accepted.
Be sure to visit Tulum which is one of the few places that both those interested in Mexico’s archaeological wonders and wonderful beaches will enjoy. The Hostal Chalupa is one of the best places to stay on a budget.
This post was updated in January 2019.