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If you’re looking for an affordable vacation destination, you will not run out of options with the cheapest places to visit in Mexico.
With its rich culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes, the country offers unforgettable experiences that won’t break the bank.
For history buffs and adventure seekers, Mexico is home to many ancient ruins and archaeological sites, including the famous Mayan and Aztec pyramids. Its historic cities offer glimpse into how the pre-Columbian past and colonial history created the country you see today.
Mexico is an ideal destination for those seeking a cultural experience. And what about its diverse landscapes comprised of mountains, beaches, jungles and deserts. How about tacos, guacamole, mole and other regional dishes that are sure to satisfy any foodie’s palate?
There’s a reason Mexican people say, “Mexico lo tiene todo,” which means Mexico has it all!
If you plan to visit the country and get the most out of your dollar, you’ve come to the right place!
This article offers a list of some of the cheapest places to visit in Mexico, whether you like history, natural landscapes or want to sample local cuisines around the country. The daily budget for each destination includes accommodation, food, activities, and transportation, and covers only the bare minimum.
The amount can still vary, depending on factors like your preferences and travel style.
Cheapest Places to Visit in Mexico: an overview
Where to stay: Hotel Don Carlos
Morelia is a hidden gem of Mexico in west-central part of the country. It’s the capital of Michocan State, famous for its colonial Old Town that’s a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is home to the spectacular Morelia Cathedral, as well as many historic landmarks like the Clavijero Palace, the Casa Natal de Morelos museum, and the Roman-style Morelia aqueduct.
Morelia also boasts world-class museums including Michoacan Regional Museum (Museo Regional De Michoacan), and State Museum (Museo del Estado).
✅ Read: Best things to do in Michoacan
Morelia is one of the best cheap places to visit in Mexico, and it’s more affordable than many popular destinations like Mexico City and San Miguel De Allende. The city offers tons of things to do if you like a mix of culture and adventure.
Take a walking tour of Morelia with a local guide to learn the highlights of Morelia and its history
Have a sweet tooth? Sample delicious Mexican sweets in the Mercado de Dulces.
How to get there: The fastest way to get to Morelia is by flying to Morelia International Airport, Aeropuerto Internacional General Francisco Mujica (MLM) which has domestic flights from Mexico and international flights from the United States.
You can also get to Morelia by driving or taking a bus from major cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara.
Estimated budget per day: $40-50 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Casa Encantada
One of the most popular day trips from Morelia, Pátzcuaro is a pueblo magico known for its Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebration which takes place November 1-2.
Even if you can’t make it to this annual event, you can still enjoy the place as you take a stroll around the village to see Nuestra Señora de la Salud Basilica, sample some local food at Plaza Vasco de Quiroga, or buy handmade crafts and souvenirs from local artisans at Casa de los Once Patios.
You can also take a day trip to places like Santa Clara del Cobre, Tzintzintzan and Ihuatzio Archaeological Site, small towns within driving distance from Patzcuaro. You can get there by combi (a small mini van that you can catch in Patzcuaro), a rental car or guided tour.
How to get to Patzcuaro: Morelia International Airport (MLM) is the closest airport to Patzcuaro. From there, you can take a bus, rent a car, or get a taxi.
Estimated budget per day: $40-60 USD
4. San Cristobal De Las Casas
Where to stay: Hotel Bo
San Cristobal de las Casas is the crown jewel of Chiapas, where you can explore the colorful streets full of history and colonial charm. It’s one of the cheapest places to visit in Mexico where you can enjoy all things culture and outdoors on a budget.
If you want to stay fit and healthy on holiday, climb up to the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe on top of a hill and later visit other churches and museums like Museo Del Ambar and Casa Na Bloom.
If you want to buy the best textiles and handicrafts in the country, check out Mercado de Artesania, one of the best artisan markets in Mexico.
Chiapas is one of the most spectacular states in Mexico and you can take many day trips from San Cristobal to appreciate its scenic beauty. Try a boat tour through Sumidero Canyon, one of the jewels of Southern Mexico or take a trip to Lagunas De Montebello along the Mexico-Guatemala border.
I recommend the majestic El Chiflon waterfalls, another popular day trip from San Cristobal De Las Casas which is often combined with a stop at Lagunas De Montebello National Park.
How to get to San Cristobal De Las Casas: There’s no airport in San Cristobal De Las Casas. You can take a flight Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport (TGZ) before catching a bus or taxi to San Cristobal de Las Casas.
Estimated budget per day: $40-60 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Cartesiano
Your eyes will have a feast on beautiful, unusual architecture in Puebla from colorful streets filled with rainbow houses in Callejon De los Capes (Ally of the frogs) and buildings to ornate churches.
Some of the most popular places to visit in Puebla are Parque Ecologico and ArboTerra, Zona Historica de los Fuertes, and Biblioteca Palafoxiana. For Mexican decor, check out their many artisanal stores.
Puebla is also where the rich, thick chocolate-flavored sauce mole poblano originated, so make sure to give it a try. You can also indulge in sweet treats with over 300 different types at Calle de los Dulces.
One of the best things about Puebla is that it’s relatively close to Mexico City, and you can get there by bus in about 1,5 hours.
How to get to Puebla: Buses depart from Mexico City to Puebla.
Estimated budget per day: $40-50 USD
Where to stay: Quinta Real Zacatecas
Located in northern Mexico, Zacatecas is known for its silver mining history and a UNESCO-designated Old City.
You can visit a real-life mine at Mina El Eden, the iconic Cubo Aqueduct, the Guadalupe Viceregal Museum, the Rafael Coronel Museum, and a lot more. Besides the culture, Zacatecas is one of the cheapest cities in Mexico, located off the beaten path.
How to get there: You can fly to Zacatecas via Zacatecas International Airport (ZCL) or travel by bus from Mexico City.
Estimated budget per day: $25-50 USD
Where to stay: Hotel 1697
Skip pricey Cabo San Lucas and head to Loreto, a hidden gem of Baja California, located about 5 hours north from the popular Cabo San Lucas.
From a boat tour to the islands, snorkeling, scuba diving, and blue whale watching, hiking to see the Sierra de la Giganta rock art, and going to San Javier Mission, Loreto is one of the cheapest cities in Mexico for adventure lovers.
Miles away from nightlife and mega-resorts, it’s a paradise for nature lovers with gorgeous beaches and a well-preserved environment.
Estimated budget per day: $47-75 USD
Where to stay: Le Muuch Hotel Boutique
Valladolid is a colonial city in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula and is one of the most popular pueblos magicos in the region famous for its pastel architecture, wonderful cenotes and proximity to Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Some of the top attraction in Valladolid include the colonial Cathedral San Gervasio, La Casa de Los Venados, a private museum that houses more than 3,000 pieces of traditional Mexican art; and San Bernardino Convent.
However, the best thing to do in Valladolid is to simply grab your camera and spend time wandering around the colorful streets of this quiet pueblo.
How to get there: With no major airport, the best way to get to Valladolid is by taking a bus from Cancun or any other major destination in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Estimated budget per day: $20-76 USD
Where to stay: Casa Del Rector Hotel Boutique
If you want to see the coolest mummy in the world and kiss your lover to have 15 years of happiness together, then visit Guanajuato.
It’s where Mexico’s Mummy Museum and the historical landmark Callejon del Beso or Alley of the Kiss can be found. Alley of the Kiss is known for a tragic love story similar to Romeo and Juliet. Visiting wineries, going on a food tour, hiking, and joining historical tours are some of the most fun things to do in the city.
How to get there: The nearest airport is Del Bajío International Airport. From there, you can drive a car or take a taxi.
Estimated budget per day: $46-65 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Patio Santiago
Queretaro is the capital of the Queretaro state which boasts Aztec monuments, colorful Jacaranda trees, Baroque arches, and some of the best wineries in Mexico. It’s one of the most popular getaway from Mexico City.
If you’re on a day trip, don’t miss hiking up to Peña de Bernal, one of the world’s largest monoliths. There is also an ancient pyramid and a Roman-style aqueduct to visit.
How to get there: From Queretaro International Airport, you can take a bus or taxi, or rent a car.
Estimated budget per day: $33-72 USD
Where to stay: Hacienda Puerto Campeche
Campeche is home to the UNESCO-listed Old Town and several forts that date to the 17th and 18th century when Campeche was a major port in the Gulf of Mexico and was frequently attacked by the pirates.
The Campeche malecon (waterfront walk) is a perfect place to watch the sunset and snap a photo of the colorful Campeche sign.
➡️ Read: The best beaches in Campeche
Prices in Campeche are surprisingly low, as most international tourists still haven’t figured out that this place is a hidden gem. After traveling around the country, I think that Campeche is one of the best places to visit in Mexico on a budget if you want to experience the authentic side of the country without tourist crowds.
You can wander through its streets and snap pictures of colorful architecture and churches. You can also visit Edzná, a spectacular Mayan ruin sits, Fuerte De San Miguel to learn about the pirate history of this region or Museo de Arquitectura Maya, where you can get a look at the Mayan heritage of the region.
If you’re a foodie, Calle 59 is a must-visit, as it’s home to some of the best restaurants in Campeche.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Campeche is by taking a bus from Cancun or any other major destination in the Yucatan Peninsula. Another option is to fly to Campeche International Airport (CPE), which has daily flights from Mexico City.
Estimated budget per day: $40-72 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Rosas y Xocolate
The capital of Mexico’s Yucatan State, Merida is a colonial city with fascinating history and Mayan heritage. With mystical cenotes, Mayan ruins like Uxmal and Mayapan, delicious Yucatec food, Merida makes for a perfect base for your adventures in the Yucatan Peninsula.
You can easily spend a week in Merida, because the city has so much to do.
➡️ Read: How to get to Tulum from Merida
Some of the highlights of Merida include the Great Museum of Mayan World, Merida Plaza Grande, La Casa De las Artesanias and Merida Catedral.
How to get there: You can fly into Merida International Airport (MID) from Mexico and United States. Another option is to take a bus from Cancun to Merida.
Estimated budget per day: $50-70 USD
Where to stay: Carolina Bacalar
Nicknamed Maldives of Mexico, Bacalar is known for its Lagoon of Seven Colors (Laguna de Siete Colores) that boasts different shades of blue – from dark ink to transparent turquoise colors.
Aside from visiting Bacalar Lagoon (the main attraction in the area), swimming, and kayaking, you can also visit many historical landmarks, the Mayan ruins, and cenotes like Cenote Azul and Cenote Bruja.
And don’t forget to visit Los Rapidos, a small channel that connects two parts of the Bacalar lagoon where you can swim, kayak and snorkel.
Whether you want to enjoy a solo trip, celebrate your recent wedding or have fun with your friends – Bacalar is a perfect place for all types of vacation.
➡️ Check my complete guide to the best Bacalar hotels
How to get to Bacalar: From Cancun International Airport, you can get to Bacalar by renting a car or taking ADO bus. Another option is to fly to Chetumal International Airport (CTM), about 40 minutes away from Bacalar.
Estimated budget per day: $50-70 USD
Whether you’re into watersports or a history buff, Mazatlán has something for you. With many cultural and historical attractions, as well as natural areas, you won’t run out of things to do in this popular city located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
Here, you can stroll along the oceanfront of Malecon, hit the beach, visit the turtle sanctuary, explore the city’s historic center, hike to the lighthouse, visit churches, and celebrate the annual Mazatlan carnival.
How to get there: Fly to Mazatlán International Airport and get into town by taxi, bus, or car rental.
Estimated budget per day: $29-57 USD
15. La Paz
Where to stay: Posada De Las Flores
For beach lovers, La Paz is a playground. From kayaking and swimming with whale sharks and sea lions in the Sea of Cortez to visiting stunning Baja California beaches, you will have the best time in their beautiful stretches of sand. You can also go off-roading, sailing, sandboarding, and shopping.
How to get there: You can fly to La Paz International Airport (LAP) or San Jose del Cabo International Airport (SJD) just outside of Cabo San Lucas. There’s also a ferry from Mazatlán to La Paz.
Estimated budget per day: $60-80 USD
Where to stay: Quinta Real Aguascalientes
Located in north-central Mexico, Aguascalientes is an overlooked city that makes for a perfect budget vacation in Mexico.
Here you can learn history along the downtown streets, and check out interesting exhibits in museums. You can also catch some cycling action, enjoy the waterslides at Valladolid Water Park, and experience zip-lining at Boca de Tunel.
How to get there: You can fly to Aguascalientes International Airport (AGU), take a bus from Mexico City or rent a car.
Estimated budget per day: $50-80 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Santa Prisca
Located 3,5 hours from Mexico City, Taxco is a former silver mining town and the only pueblo magico in Guerrero. Taxco is one of the most popular getaways from the capital, with many people coming here for weekends and holidays.
The town was one of the oldest mining towns in the Americas, where silver was part of the local economy even in pre-Columbian times.
Today, there are still plenty of old mines in Taxco, and you can check out one of them at Hotel La Mission, which offers guided tours of this old mine.
Taxco was established in the early 1500s by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, who recognized the value of silver produced here.
However, it’s William Spratling, an American who lived in Taxco, considered the godfather of silver craft in Taxco. Sprawling revived the craft of silver works in Taxco in the 1930s after it was in decline and began teaching locals how to create silver works.
Taxco even has a museum dedicated to William Spratling, that’s home to a large collection of Aztec jewelry, pottery, and silverware as well as other artworks.
Some of the highlights of Taxco include Santa Prisca Church on the main square of Taxco, Casa Borda, which is often referred to as Taxco’s cultural center, and The Teleferico de Taxco (the Taxco Cableway) which takes you to the panoramic spot above Taxco.
And, if you want to buy a present for your friends back home, don’t forget to visit Taxco Artisan Market, where you can pick up some colorful souvenirs and handmade silver jewelry.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Taxco is by taking a bus from Mexico City from the Taxquena terminal. Another option is to take one of guided tours of Taxco from Mexico City which include many highlights of Taxco and surrounding areas like Grutas de Cacahuamilpa.
The best way to get to Taxco is by renting a car, as you can explore the area on your own and visit other places along the way, like Cuernavaca, a historic town just south of Mexico City.
Daily budget: $40-60 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Camino Surreal Xilitla
This is one unique place to explore for its exotic landscape, beautiful waterfalls, and incredible surrealist gardens. Situated in a dense jungle, Xilitla is not your usual destination. The main attractions include Las Pozas gardens, the open cavern Sótano de las Golondrinas, the waterfalls of Tamasopo and Los Comales Xilitla Waterfall, and La Morena Wharf.
How to get there: Xilitla has no airport or any direct way to it. Fly to Queretaro Airport (QRO) and take a taxi from there. If you are traveling to Xilitla from Mexico City, you can take a bus or get a car.
Estimated budget per day: About $70-80 USD
Where to stay: Hotel San Francisco Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala is one of the best day trips from Mexico City that has very little international tourism. While you might not have yet heard about this city, Tlaxcala is one of the most fun places for a budget vacation in Mexico.
The city is mostly known for its colonial center where you can visit churches, archaeological sites, museums, and the Government Palace. Popular places nearby include the magical city Huamantla, and the firefly sanctuary. You can also enjoy regional nature and outdoor activities in La Malinche National Park and hike to La Malinche volcano, an inactive volcano.
How to get there: You can get to Tlaxcala by bus or car from Mexico City. The nearest airport is Puebla International Airport.
Estimated budget per day: $50-65 USD
20. Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Where to stay: Fiesta Inn Tuxtla Guttierez
In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, you can go on excursions, ecotourism trips, and hikes with the Sumidero Canyon trip, a boat trip along Río Grijalva River, and a visit to other nearby natural destinations.
If you want a close encounter with birds and animals, Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo is for you. Marimba Park, Catedral de San Cristobal Martir, and Chiapa de Corzo archaeological sites are other awesome places to visit.
How to get there: From Mexico City, take a bus or fly to Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport (TGZ). Once you arrive at the airport, you can catch a taxi, or public bus to your hotel.
Estimated budget per day: $40-60 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Fray Junipero Serra
Tepic is the capital of Nayarit state that’s often overlooked by travelers who go to the Nayarit Cost.
And yet, Tepic has so much to offer! Besides that, it’s one of the cheapest cities in Mexico that offers a quick acces to some of the best beaches in Mexico.
Its main plaza, Plaza de Armas Tepic, is the center of action where you can relax or watch a live performance or music. You should not also skip visiting Catedral de la Purísima Concepción de María, Museo Regional de Nayarit, and Zitákua, a little village that’s home to the indigenous Huichol people. Tepic is a place where you can try many topical fruits and other delicious local food options.
How to get there: You can fly from Mexico City to Tepic International Airport (TPQ). Alternative airports are Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara. You can take a bus to Tepic from these airports.
Estimated budget per day: $50-70 USD
Where to stay: Hotel Demetria
The second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara is often overlooked by travelers. And that’s too bad! Guadalajara is one of the cheapest cities in Mexico that has plenty of culture and history, and many natural attractions within driving distance.
Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and is home to some of the most famous Mexican brands like Tequila and March. Once you visit the city, you will understand why Mexican people say “Jalisco es Mexico” – Jalisco is Mexico.
The largest city in the state, Guadalajara is full of charm and traditions.
If you stay in the Historic Center of Guadalajara, you can explore the city on foot, and take a walking tour of the city with one of the local guides who will give you an overview.
Unless you plan on taking day trips from Guadalajara to places like Mazamitla, Lake Chapala, or Tequila, you can explore the city on foot.
The best time to visit Guadalajara is in October when the city has the best weather and hosts various events, including Fiestas de Octubre, a month-long festivities with live performances, marches, and tons of entertainment.
How to get there: Guadalajara is a well-connected city, and you have plenty of options to get there. The best way to get to Guadalajara is by flying to Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) that has flights from the United States and Mexico.
You can also take a bus from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, Morelia, and Mexico City. Another option is to rent a car or take a Bla Bla Car, a shared private car, where you pay a set fee for your seat.
Daily budget: $50-60 USD
Where to stay in Oaxaca: Hotel Boutique Cosijo
Oaxaca is a cultural capital of Mexico, that’s become one of the most popular destinations in the country in recent years.
While Oaxaca traditionally has been a budget destination, prices have been rising in recent years thanks to its growing popularity. Still, you can visit Oaxaca on a budget, as the city offers plenty of inexpensive hotels, phenomenal street food and many inexpensive day trips like Mitla, Monte Alban Archeological Site and Herve El Agua.
Oaxaca is well known for its gastronomy, particularly mole and mezcal, an alcoholic drink made from agave. Whether you want to explore the colorful Old Town Oaxaca, enjoy the culinary or go shopping in one of Oaxaca’s artisan markets, you will have a lot of fun in this city.
How to get there: From Mexico City, take a bus or drive a car. You can also fly to Oaxaca International Airport (OAX), but the international service is limited.
Estimated budget per day: $60-85 USD
How to visit Mexico on a budget:
- Stay in small, locally-owned hotels – Mexico is known for its popular coastal areas like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, where you can find some of the best resorts in the country. Spending your vacation there will cost you a pretty penny, and if your goal is to save money, choose smaller accommodations. Boutique hotels are great if you are looking for good mid-range options.
- Get off the beaten track – Mexico is a perfect destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and foodies and you can easily travel on a budget if you go where most tourists don’t.
- Skip the high season – the high tourist season in Mexico runs from November through the end of April, particularly in coastal areas. While visiting popular beach towns during the rainy season is not ideal, November and May are shoulder months that have smaller crowds and lower prices.
- Eat where locals eat – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to try authentic Mexican food. Some of the best food in Mexico is served in locally owned restaurants where you can try regional dishes and save money. Just don’t forget to carry cash because credit cards are not always accepted.
- Use public transportation to get around – Depending on what destination you visit, you can get around by public buses or colectivos (also known as combis), which are small shared vans that transport people between towns. Public transport in Mexico is very affordable, but you always need to have cash, as credit cards are not accepted.
Cheapest Places to visit in Mexico: FAQ
Is Mexico cheap?
In general, Mexico can be a cheap country to visit. However, the main tourist spots like Mexico City, Tulum and San Miguel De Allende have become more expensive. Mexico gets much cheaper, if you venture off the beaten path and explore some of the country’s lesser-known destinations.
Which city in Mexico is the cheapest?
Among the cheapest cities in Mexico are Puebla, Guadalajara, and Morelia. The average rent in these areas ranges between $300 and $350.
Is Mexico a cheap trip?
Mexico can be a relatively cheap country compared to other popular destinations around the world. But the cost of travel can vary depending on the region, time of year, your travel style, and other preferences. It’s always a good idea to research and plan your trip ahead of time to get the best deals.
Cheapest Places to visit in Mexico: Final Word
Mexico offers a wealth of affordable travel destinations that are perfect for budget-conscious travelers. I hope that this guide provided enough information so that you can visit Mexico on a budget. Remember that Mexico is not an expensive country, where you can travel cheaply by eating street food, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities, group tours and outdoor opportunities, some of which are are free.