Getting the most from your trip to Cancun on a budget is easier than you thought.
Tried and tested by savvy travelers like YOU, we’re pleased to inform you that you can indeed explore the regions highlights for under $50.
Don’t believe us? Keep reading.
For newcomers, the impressive all-inclusive, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters of Mexico don’t exactly scream low-budget vacation.
That’s why millions of visitors come prepared with wads of cash ready to spend spend spend because they don’t know any different!
The beauty of Mexico is that despite its glimmering exterior, the heart and essence of the country are not centered around money, far from it.
Meaning, that for the savvy traveler it is possible to explore the colorful beauty of Cancun on a budget.
How to Explore Cancun on a Budget
I like you already, because you’re here, doing your research.
Most travelers don’t even bother to do that, they just throw some cash at the first vendor they meet and hope that they don’t get ripped off.
So without further ado and in no particular order…
Here are the best low budget or no – cost Cancun activities that you and your family can enjoy on your vacation.
Time to create memories that last a lifetime!
1. Mayan Ruins + Museo Maya de Cancun
Escape the confines of your hotel and explore the REAL Mexico. That’s where the magic waits for you.
Mexico is a country that is shrouded in a fascinating and enchanting history. It would be criminal to visit without at least exploring some of the epic archaeological ruins that remain here.
The entrance to these sites alone is not expensive.
Around $13 dollars for Chichen Itza and around just $3 for Tulum.
It only gets expensive when you start buying them as part of a tour or if you prefer having a guide show you around who can explain in greater detail the significance of the ruins.
It’s also important you consider your modes of transport to these places, but you will save heaps of money if you go it alone without a guide.
Luckily, there are easily accessible ruins to explore right here in Cancun.
Both cost just 50 pesos to visit.
You can also get a unique and affordable learning experience at Museo Maya de Cancun which houses an extensive collection of Mayan artifacts.
You’ll have the chance to see hundreds of pieces from important archaeological sites in the area, plus, sculptures, tools, and ceramics.
The cost of admission (70 pesos) includes access to the San Miguelito ruins that are on the museum’s vast property.
2. Ventura Park
Keeping the kids entertained is no easy feat. Ventura Park is a godsend for families traveling to Cancun.
The value for money at this attraction is by far the best in comparison to other leading attractions.
By the time you’ve booked tours for the entire family to most attractions in this region, the price can amount up to the cost of your airfare.
Not at Ventura Park!
At Ventura Park, the ‘unlimited ticket’ that grants you access to ALL of the park’s attraction is just:
- $64.17 USD for adults
- $45.45 USD for children.
However, if you book online prior to the visit you can save up to 30%. Whittling prices down to $39! Just head to VenturaPark.Com
The park enjoys a privileged position in the heart of Cancun meaning you don’t have to waste valuable time traveling.
Ventura Park is made up of 6 different worlds and is the only family water & theme park in Cancun.
Regardless of your age, you will find something to suit all visitors.
Prices also include an open buffet and all non-alcoholic drinks.
Here’s a breakdown of the 6 worlds:
- Wet’n Wild Water Park – Expect waterslides, an ultramodern wave pool, a semi-submerged water playground, a relaxing lazy river, and a climbable wet dome. Perfect for kids wanting to make a splash!
2. Aaah! Ventura – Fly like a bird through the air (soaking up the views) on exhilarating zip lines, swing like Tarzan on a bungee-swing, or traverse a hanging aerial bridge. Adrenaline junkies will love this!
3. Fun World – the endless fun starts here! Your kids will love the roller-coaster, merry-go-round, crazy chairs and kids playground.
4. Underworld – a high tech arcade with the latest in virtual reality technology as well as laser-tag inspired bumper cars!
5. Grand Prix – race against the whole family at a seaside go-kart track.
6. Dolphinaris (additional cost) – enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience to interact with amazing dolphins. Swim alongside them, shake their fin, pet their smooth and soft skin, and even getting a peck on the cheek while learning all about the parks important research efforts.
Check out their currents offers here and save even more money!
3. Visit Isla Mujeres
Experience island life in the Caribbean!
A sense of escapism permeates all great vacations.
It’s a chance to disconnect from our crazy everyday lives and take some well-earned quality time out with our kids and our loved ones.
Jetting off from the mainland by boat sparks a sense of adventure unlike any other.
There is something exciting about retreating to an idyllic island in the middle of the ocean where you’re completely surrounded by 50 shades of blue.
It’s intoxicating and time seems to slow down the moment you step foot on to the ferry.
Isla Mujeres feels otherworldly but is in fact just a 20-minute ferry ride away from Cancun’s coast.
By escaping the hustle and bustle of the mainland you are physically taking yourself away from all the craziness and plunging yourself into the true rhythm of the tropics.
On Isla Mujeres, you will feel all your worries and stresses melt away as soon as you feel the island’s sand between your toes.
It’s well worth spending a full or half-day visiting. The cost of a return ticket is around 160 pesos equating to roughly 8 dollars.
Once you’re there is easy to find cheap eats and exploring doesn’t cost a thing.
Trust me, you will never want to leave. Be sure to check out Playa Norte.
4. Browse Mercado 28
Market 28 is a large open-air market in downtown Cancun, brimming with things to see, buy, and eat.
You can easily enjoy half a day here exploring the sights.
The market occupies almost a full city block where you’ll find all kinds of stores from jewelry to local handicrafts.
It’s the perfect place to bag your souvenirs if you want to take a memoir of Cancun home with you.
There are also several restaurants serving, quick, delicious, affordable meals.
Enjoy snooping along all the different stores, you never know what you may find.
Don’t be afraid to haggle with shopkeepers because some of the gifts you find may be overpriced.
5. Go Snorkeling
Cool off in the refreshing crystal clear waters of Cancun.
The Caribbean is a prime snorkeling destination because there is so much to see under that sparkling water.
If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort it is likely that you will have access to snorkel equipment making it easy for you to enjoy what’s on offer under the water.
If you’re not sure where to find the equipment be sure to ask at reception.
If you have one be sure to take a GoPro or underwater camera with you.
The transparency of the water in Cancun makes it a perfect opportunity to get some amazing pictures.
Happy underwater exploring!
6. Stroll Avenida Tulum
Stroll along downtown Cancun’s main street.
It costs absolutely nothing to soak up the ambiance and the sights, plus, it’s a great way to get to know the area.
The further you stray away from the super touristic places the more likely you are to stumble across some hidden local gems.
The wide boulevard has buzzing pedestrian paths on either side and is lined with shops, small markets, bars, and restaurants.
7. Take the Ado Bus to Playa Del Carmen
One of the things I love most about Mexico is how easy it is to get from one place to another for a super affordable price.
You should explore as much of the Riviera Maya as possible during your time here in Mexico. It’s beautiful.
Although the cities are all relatively close in proximity, the vibe of each place is completely different (which I love)!
Playa del Carmen is definitely worth exploring for a day because it is far more relaxed than Cancun, it’s much smaller and compact in size.
It’s a quaint coastal town with a huge expat community. You’ll find unique eateries, cenotes, and great shopping options along 5th Avenue.
If you are keen to visit a cenote during your vacation downtown Playa del Carmen is just ten minutes away from Cenote Azul and will cost you around 200 pesos ($10) in a taxi.
The entrance fee is roughly $7.
Cenote Azul is quite large, and if you can, I recommend coming on a weekday as it will be less busy, this place is a hotspot for locals at the weekend (particularly Sunday).
There are several different areas with various depths. You can laze in the shallows or jump in at a height if you like.
Bring snacks and drinks with you as there isn’t much to buy here.
It’s the perfect place to snorkel or simply relax in the beautiful scenery that encompasses Cenote Azul.
8. Hang out in Parque Las Palapas
Experience the local life and soak up Mexican culture in the city’s main square.
This recently renovated family-friendly park (free to enter) has ample seating for groups to relax and enjoy a cheap snack from food stands.
Corn on the cob, fried plantains, and quesadillas are the local delicacies here, so be sure to get a taste of these delicious goods.
Corn on the cob is incredibly tasty when you have it with lime and chili seasoning (a popular norm here in Mexico).
Kids can run around and play soccer while adults sit in the open-air food court or browse the artisan stands (which are in the design of palapas).
Free outdoor live music plays weekends and most weeknights, too, and visitors often can catch a performance from a mime or other street entertainer.
Parque Las Palapas is a great way to meet new people and experience a local activity.
9. Playa Tortugas
You’re in Cancun, it may sound obvious but hit the beach!
It’s time you get some well-deserved rest and relaxation in the glorious Mexican sunshine.
Playa Tortugas is a little-known gem and is locally known as a relaxed beach in comparison to the other more touristic beaches in Cancun.
The water here is really calm and relaxed so it’s great if you have kids, you don’t have to worry about them getting swept away by a huge wave!
The beach is free and there are tons of restaurants and bars surrounding the beach for when you get hungry.
Bring along some beach toys and inflatables and spend the day here, you won’t regret it!
Do you know of any other activities you can do in Cancun on a budget?
Be sure to let us know in the comments section, we would love to hear from you. 🙂