Backpacking Mexico – How Much Does it Cost?

This is a more pragmatic post than my previous instalments. Due to the subjective and personalised nature of travel, it’s incredibly hard and headache-inducing to figure out the correct budget for a backpacking trip. Therefore, I’ve created a comprehensive list of everything I spent during my brief two-week spell backpacking in Mexico en route to Guatemala.

I was staying in dorms, filling up on the free breakfast and moving location every 3/4 days. Hopefully you can judge your own travel budget based on how similar or different your travel habits are to mine.

All prices are in Mexican Pesos. At the time of writing £1 is worth M$25.9. US$1 is M$16.8.

Day 1. 27/08/2015.

130 – Bus from Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

38 – Bus from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum

15 – 500ml water

100 – Bed in a dorm.

30 – Padlock

Daily total: 313


Day 2. Tulum. 28/08/2015.

130 – Dorm.

60 – 24hr bicycle rental

60 – 2 x beer from a beach bar

70 – Quesadilla at a beach bar

Daily total: 320

Looking back on these first two days I was definitely still jet-lagged, which explains the lack of any real activity or food as I was mostly sleeping.

Day 3. Tulum. 29/08/2015.

130 – Dorm.

40 – Collectivo return to beach

30 – Beer at beach

35 – Beer at bar

59 – Entrance to Tulum ruins

50 – 5 x tacos

50 – 2 x beers at taco restaurant

100 – 4 x beers at a bar

10 – Coca Cola

Daily total: 504


Day 4. Valladolid. 30/08/2015.

84 – Bus from Tulum to Valladolid

150 – Dorm. @ Hostel Candelaria

20 – Coca Cola

60 – Salad (I heartbreakingly asked for an ‘ensalada’ instead of ‘enchilada’)

30 – Cheesy chips from a food stand

30 – Beer

Daily total: 374


Day 5. Valladolid. 31/08/2015.

150 – Dorm.

30 – Collectivo to Chichen Itza

220 – Chichen Itza entrance fee

30 Collectivo return from Chichen Itza

30 – Water at Chichen Itza

30 – Cola at Chichen Itza

44 – 4 x cans of beer

40 – 4 x tacos

Daily total: 574


Day 6. Valladolid. 01/09/2015.

150 – Dorm.

50 – Shared taxi to Ek Balam ruins

180 – Ek Balam entrance fee

100 – Taxi from Ek Balam to a cenote, and the return to Valladolid

140 – Entrance fee to ‘Agua Dulce’ cenote and one other

4 – Ham and cheese pastry from a street vendor

50 – Chicken quesadilla

Daily total: 674


Day 7. Valladolid-Merida. 02/09/2015.

150 – Dorm.

105 – Bus from Valladolid to Merida

40 – 2 x beers at a cantina

50 – 2 x 1l beers from a shop

18 – Torta from a street vendor

10 – Cola

Daily total: 373


Day 8. Merida. 03/09/2015.

170 – Dorm. @ Nomadas Hostel

50 – Anthropology Museum entrance fee

56 – 2 x 1l beers

10 – Water

20 – 2 x tacos

18 – Torta

Daily total: 324


Day 9. Merida. 04/09/2015.

170 – Dorm.

5 – Empanada at the local market

7 – Torta

25 – Cooking lesson

25 – Beer at a bar

30 – Beer at a bar

100 – 2 x 1l beers at a bar

Daily total: 362


Day 10. Merida-San Cristobal. 05/09/2015.

778 – Overnight bus to San Cristobal

20 – Burger

20 – Pack of chocolate biscuits

20 – Taxi to bus station in Merida

10 – Water

Daily total: 848


Day 11. San Cristobal. 06/09/2015.

120 – Dorm @ Hostel Puerta Viajo

50 – 3 x Tamales + 1 hot chocolate

66 – 6 x beers from a shop

60 – 2 x beers at a bar

Daily total: 296


Day 12. San Cristobal. 07/09/2015

120 – Dorm.

55 – Collectivo to Comitan

35 – Collectivo to El Chiflon Cascada (waterfalls)

30 – Entrance fee for El Chiflon

25 – Collectivo return to Comitan

55 – Collectivo return to San Cristobal

50 – 5 x tacos

00 – Free mojitos at the hostel

Daily total: 370


Day 13. San Cristobal. 08/09/2015.

120 – Dorm.

15 – Collectivo to neighbouring village church

20 – Entrance fee to church

15 – Collectivo return from church

16 – 2 x tacos

40 – Torta

16 – Bottle of local whiskey(?)

20 – 2l bottle of Fanta

Daily total: 262


Day 14. San Cristobal. 09/09/2015.

120 – Dorm.

75 – Burger and chips

16 – Tea

Daily total: 211


Day 15. San Cristobal-Guatemala. 10/09/2015.

300 – Shuttle bus from the hostel to Lago De Atitlan, Guatemala

330 – Mexico exit fee

Daily total: 630


Trip total: M$6,435 (£247.70) (US$382.17)

Daily average: M$429 (£16.51) (US$25.47)

Before arriving in the Yucatan, I was told Mexico was more expensive than the Central American countries to backpack through. My experience hasn’t confirmed this as I’ve been surprised by the affordability of the food and accommodation.

I’ve been on several excursions and had lots of good nights with people in hostels. I’ve also seen and done many things that didn’t cost any money so aren’t included in this costing. This budget still has wiggle room on either side, you could travel Mexico for cheaper, but you could also spend a lot more.

Hopefully seeing an actual travel budget in full will give some perspective of how far your own money will go.

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