Discover the Top 10 Cheap Places to Travel in Mexico

Discover the top affordable destinations in Mexico that offer much more than just a budget-friendly vacation.

If you’re here, you probably enjoy discovering new places without breaking the bank, right? Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve scoped out the best cheap places to travel in Mexico just for you.

Forget about the mainstream destinations; Mexico is a goldmine of diverse culture, culinary delights, and breathtaking vistas waiting to be discovered. Besides being incredibly affordable, it has become a favorite haunt for digital nomads, expats, and budget travelers, thanks to its reasonable cost of living and vibrant lifestyle.

The great thing is, Mexico is vast, which means it offers a wide range of experiences at various price points, suitable for every budget. In this article, we’ll uncover some of the most amazing yet inexpensive Mexico vacations that you can embark on without burning a hole in your pocket.

Stay tuned for more tips on budget travel in Mexico in our comprehensive guide!

Your Ultimate List of Top 10 Cheap Places to Travel in Mexico

Ready to get the low-down on the finest, budget-friendly Mexican destinations, complete with sun-kissed beaches and warm weather? Let’s dive right in!

1. Puerto Vallarta

Ah, Puerto Vallarta, a paradise where affordability meets beauty. Nestled in Jalisco state along the pacific coast, it’s a hotspot for beach lovers and boasts activities galore to keep that fun meter hitting high.

Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta

Don’t forget to check out the vibrant Los Muertos beach and the tranquil Conchas Chinas beach. And hey, why not throw in some snorkeling, art gallery visits, and blissful sunsets at the Malecon?

Thinking of extending your stay? Consider a work exchange program on the Worldpackers platform, offering fantastic volunteer opportunities in Puerto Vallarta. Learn Spanish, make new friends, and immerse yourself in the local culture – all while enjoying free accommodation and other perks!

2. Playa del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula is every budget traveler’s dream destination. Picture this: a gorgeous city that won’t cost an arm and a leg, teeming with vibrant culture and endless adventures. I mean, it’s got a bit of everything!

Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen

From the mystical Cenotes to the historical Chichen Itza, and the energizing nightlife at Coco Bongo, you’re in for a whirlwind of experiences. And if you’re a Frida Kahlo fan, you’re in luck – there’s a museum dedicated just to her!

Looking for a cheap stay? The city offers affordable accommodations and exciting work exchange opportunities in the Yucatan region to spice up your travel experience.

3. Isla Mujeres

If you’re craving a break from Cancun’s hustle and bustle, a 30-minute ferry ride (which only costs 16 bucks, by the way) will transport you to the serene isle of Isla Mujeres.

Here, you can dodge the touristy spots easily. Picture this: cooking delicious homemade meals with fresh ingredients sourced from local grocery stores, thus saving a ton on dining out. Sound good?

Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres

Oh, and the hostels here won’t cost a fortune; in fact, they start from 14 dollars a night. But hey, if you’re up for a long stay, consider volunteering to immerse yourself deeper into this island’s charm while learning to craft delightful cocktails.

4. Valladolid

Nestled between Yucatan and northern Quintana Roo, Valladolid is your go-to destination to experience authentic Mayan culture without the hefty price tag. This vibrant city is relatively untouched by tourism, offering a genuine taste of Mexico.


Here, you can witness traditional dance performances, explore Mayan ruins, and indulge in scrumptious tacos that won’t drain your wallet. Plus, the local market is a treat for your senses.

And the best part? You can even volunteer through Worldpackers to get a closer look at Valladolid’s farm life or help out at a hostel, making your stay both affordable and enriching.

5. Guadalajara

Located in the western part of Mexico, Guadalajara vibrates with a distinctive culture, gastronomy, colonial architecture, and warm locals. Recognized as the heart of Jalisco state, it stands as a Mexican cultural hub.


Being the birthplace of mariachi music, it hosts numerous grand cultural festivities. For travelers drawn to large cities showcasing a blend of tradition and modernity, it emerges as a top affordable pick.

From volunteer opportunities guaranteeing accommodation to budget-friendly hostels priced from $6, Guadalajara ensures a comfortable stay whether you choose to volunteer or relax.

6. Cancun

Beyond its reputation as a party hotspot, Cancun extends much to budget backpackers. While not traditionally considered economical, a proactive approach can lead to pleasant surprises.


Discover private Airbnb rooms for a mere $10 per night, and experience the vibrant city without burning a hole in your pocket. From exploring cenotes and beaches to finding affordable eateries, Cancun accommodates budget explorers well.

Volunteering opportunities abound, opening doors to varied roles including guest reception, culinary positions, and social media content creation. Leveraging local bus routes can facilitate economical exploration of the city and its surroundings.

To make an informed choice between Tulum and Cancun, refer to our comparative guide. Additionally, find insights on ensuring a safe stay in Cancun in our dedicated article.

7. San Cristóbal de las Casas

Nestled in Chiapas close to the Guatemalan frontier, San Cristobal de las Casas is a hidden jewel offering rich cultural experiences and breathtaking landscapes without being heavy on your wallet.

San Cristóbal de las Casas
San Cristóbal de las Casas

Whether immersing in indigenous cultures or hiking the splendid landscapes, the city promises unforgettable experiences. Tours like the Sumidero Canyon come at reasonable rates, yet the option to forge your path remains open.

For vegan travelers, the city offers delightful culinary experiences at pocket-friendly prices. Accommodation options are plentiful, with hostels available from $6 per night, alongside rewarding volunteer positions for extended stays.

8. Mexico City

Embarking on a Mexican journey implies indulging in an array of delicious foods without overstepping your budget. Mexico City, with its street vendors offering authentic and flavorful dishes, often outrivals many restaurants.

Mexico City
Mexico City

Despite being slightly pricier, the capital city recommends itself for its rich cultural tapestry and gastronomic delights. Locals can guide you to economical choices for dining, lodging, and activities. Consider Worldpackers opportunities for an extended budget-friendly stay.

9. Oaxaca City

Oaxaca beckons as an underestimated gem, offering breathtaking landscapes and a rich indigenous culture, promising a budget-friendly immersive experience in Mexican traditions.

Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City

Venture beyond the city to explore attractions like the Monte Alban ruins and Hierve el Agua. The Day of the Dead celebrations, although slightly pricier, provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Affordable hostels and Worldpackers opportunities facilitate a budget stay.

10. Puerto Escondido

Concluding the list is Puerto Escondido, a picturesque beach city nestled in Oaxaca. Swapping the Caribbean charm of Playa Del Carmen and Cancun for the Pacific’s clear waters offers a refreshing change.

Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido

From vibrant nightlife to pristine beaches, boredom remains a stranger in this city. Photographers will find an ideal canvas in the surf waves and coastal cliffs. Numerous work exchange opportunities await in Puerto Escondido, promising a memorable stay.

I'm Santiago, a devoted traveler, husband to Karol and father of two beautiful children. As co-founder and writer of Itinerant Horizons, I share what I've learned from my adventures with other explorers. Let's embark together on an exciting journey to discover captivating destinations!
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