Mexico is a massive country so you will have to choose which areas you want to visit. You should dedicate to Ciudad de Mexico at least five days. If you don’t have the time, you can fly directly to Cancun airport and enjoy the Yucatan area. Skip Cancun and Playa del Carmen unless you enjoy massive, tasteless resorts and feeling like you arrived in Miami instead of Mexico. There are much better places to visit!
How much does it cost to travel on a budget?
My monkey partner and I were alternating cheap airbnb apartments with private bedrooms at backpacker hostels. Mexican street food is nice and cheap, enjoy a few $1 and $2 meals! Good markets and supermarkets are easy to find so we were cooking some of the days. Every now and then, we also went to decent restaurants.
We traveled by bus using ADO. There are slightly cheaper companies but ADO provides a very good service (download the app for times information and discounts!). In Ciudad de Mexico, the metro system is safe and very cheap. If you want something more comfortable, Uber offers more security than stopping a random taxi on the street.
These were the costs per person per day:
- Accommodation: $12 / 10.7€ / £9
- Food: $8.5 / 7.57€ / £6.4
- Coffees and beers: $2.5 / 2.2€ / £1.9
- Tickets for cultural visits: $3.6 / 3.2€ / £2.71
- Transport: $5 / 4.4€ / £3.8
- Total: $32 /28.5€ / £24 a day. Or $864 / 769€ / £651 for one amazing month in Mexico.
- Ciudad de Mexico: there is a lot to explore in a city hosting 20 million people.
- San Cristobal and Palenque: unfortunately, there were protests in Chiapas and all the roads to San Cristobal were closed. I was not able to visit what other travelers say is the most beautiful part of Mexico.
- Campeche and Merida: nice colonial cities with Mexican vibes.
- Valladolid: a quiet colonial city and the perfect base camp to explore Chichen Itza and other Mayan ruins.
- Puerto Morelos: a quiet alternative to Cancun, near the airport. Also, my favourite cenote in Mexico.
- Tulum: a small town in the jungle, featuring Mayan ruins, a fantastic beach and a good nightlife.
- Bacalar: discover the 7 colours lagoon.