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You’re ready to book your next vacation. There’s just a slight catch – you’re on a very strict budget. How can you still go on a great holiday, filled with plenty of adventure, great food, and an awesome culture without breaking the bank?

Say “hola” to Mexico, the affordable getaway you’ve been looking for! From relaxing on serene shores and partaking in thrilling water activities to exploring ancient ruins and the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, Mexico is calling.

It’s safe to say that I’ve done my fair share of traveling, and I can safely say that Mexico is quite an affordable country and one of my favorite budget-friendly destinations.

Let me just clarify, when I say “budget-friendly”, I don’t mean you’ll be slumming it. Instead, I just mean you’ll get the best bang for your buck.

To help you spend less time worrying about what’s left in your bank account and more time actually enjoying your holiday, I’ve put together a list of the best cheap places to visit in Mexico. Let’s get straight to it!

Top 10 Cheap Places to Visit in Mexico

Whether you want to spend your time discovering the rich arts and culture of the country or sunbathing on picturesque beaches, there’s a suitable spot for every kind of budget traveler. Here are my 10 picks of the cheapest places in Mexico to vacation. 

1. Mexico City

The Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is filled to the brim with opportunities to explore the vibrant culture, history, and arts that the country is so famous for. A trip to this lively location is one of the best cheap vacations that Mexico offers. 

It boasts several famed museums and must-see attractions like the Chapultepec Castle, Templo Mayor Museum, and Palacio de Bellas Artes.

If you’re seeking something more adventurous, take a day trip to one of the most remarkable archaeological sites, the ancient city of San Juan Teotihuacán. It’s around 1.5 hours out of Mexico City but the Mesoamerican pyramids are definitely a sight to behold!

The capital city is also home to an array of eateries where you can taste traditional Mexican cuisine, from delectable enchiladas to tasty tacos. Of course, you have to try the local street food, which is often better than some of the top-end restaurants.

I’ve also found that the street food here is a lot more affordable than eating out at a restaurant, especially when you escape the tourist hotspots, like Centro Histórico (historic city center) and Polanco.

When it comes to accommodation, you have various options from affordable hostels to reasonably priced hotels. For example, you can stay at Hotel MX centro from $74 per night or Massiosare El Hostal from $29 per night.

2. Xilitla

Botanical garden in Xilitla, Mexico

If you’re looking to stay in a scenic location, Xilitla is one of the cheapest vacation spots to unwind. Nestled amongst lush rainforests in San Luis Potosí, Central Mexico, this place is filled with cascading waterfalls, breathtaking views, and impressive landmarks. It’s basically the dream destination for nature lovers!

A must-see attraction is the Las Pozas, an awe-inspiring collection of surrealistic structures in tropical gardens. Situated in the Sierra Gorda mountains, Las Pozas features concrete sculptures, bridges, and over 80 acres of natural waterfalls and turquoise pools.

Xilitla is also a superb spot for affordable accommodation. You can find hotel rooms that cost less than $55 per night, such as Hotel CaféNaranja Xilitla and Hotel Sierra Linda.

3. Oaxaca City

Oaxaca in Mexico

Oaxaca City is the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in the indigenous history and rich Mexican culture. This is one of Mexico’s hidden gems that certainly doesn’t get enough attention.

Colorful colonial architecture and fascinating museums give visitors a glimpse of the past. Oaxaca City offers the most authentic experience you’ll get in Mexico and it’s completely affordable.

To better understand this city, I highly recommend you visit Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. Here, you’ll be taken on a journey of Oaxaca’s culture and history, from the very beginning right until the present day. It’s a haven for history buffs!

If you prefer more modern art, take a street art bike tour around the city. You’ll cruise around the colorful posters, murals, and stencil art painted by the talented locals.

While you’re out and about, you’ll also come across many local artisan handicrafters dotted about the city. This is the perfect chance to grab an affordable souvenir or two.

Some other spots I suggest you check out include Zona Arqueológica de Monte Albán, Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca, and Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. 

When it comes to where you should stay, Santísimo Hostal Boutique is a great spot for only $18 per night. Alternatively, Hotel Maela is an affordable stay in the heart of Oaxaca City from $68 per night.

4. Playa Del Carmen

Sea turtles in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Considered to be among the safest cities in Mexico, Playa del Carmen is an excellent pick if you want to relax in a coastal resort town without breaking the bank. It’s home to stunning beaches, endless palm trees, and an array of restaurants and nightclubs. 

The city is also a superb spot for adventure-seeking travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. With plenty of snorkeling, swimming, and diving options, you’ll be able to explore the dazzling coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. A few of my must-visit beaches include Mamitas Beach, Akumal Beach, and Playa Xcalacoco.

I especially love the nightlife here. For an unforgettable experience, book your tickets and make your way to Coco Bongo. The live music and mesmerizing performances create a vibe that will get even the stiffest of dancers shimmying.

Booking a stay at one of the many all-inclusive resorts in Playa Del Carmen might sound tempting, but I’d advise against it.

While you’re guaranteed that your food and (sometimes) drinks are included in the cost, the prices of these packages can be quite hefty. Rather stay in one of the cheaper three-star hotels and eat where the locals do to save money.

5. Loreto

Loreto in Mexico

Nestled on the Baja California Peninsula lies Loreto, known for its peaceful charm, white sand beaches, and pocket-friendly prices. The city features captivating Mexican traditions and a rich heritage with many interesting sites to explore. 

If you’re a history lover, head to the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range. Here, you’ll discover several trails leading to prehistoric cave paintings. Or, make your way to town to visit Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, a church built in the 17th century that’s symbolic of the Monqui Native American settlement.

You’ll also find a number of gorgeous beaches around the coast with epic snorkeling and kayaking opportunities. Another must-visit destination is the Bahia de Loreto National Park. You won’t want to miss out on spotting some seasonal dolphins and whales from the shore!

From January to March is the prime whaling season. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may spot some humpback, blue, grey, and orca whales. I highly recommend catching a whale-watching tour to give yourself the best chance of experiencing these beautiful animals.

6. Mazatlan

Mazatlan in Mexico

If you’re a beach bum, Mazatlan offers endless sandy shores along the Pacific to relax on. And if you’re a surfer, you’ll love this place even more thanks to its massive Pacific waves.

Stepping back onto dry land, you’ll also come across striking architecture and museums where you can learn more about Mexico’s fascinating history and rich culture. Alternatively, you can also take a day trip to one of the neighboring towns.

I recommend you book a half-day tour of the Sierra Madre Villages. From learning how bricks are made by hand to experiencing the small-town communities, this tour is everything you could ask for and more. In five short hours, you’ll feel like you have an insider’s scoop on the local’s simple way of life.

There are also many kid-friendly activities in Mazatlan. From visiting the Acuario Mazatlan aquarium to waterslides at Parque Acuatico Mazagua, the kids will be entertained without it taking a hit on your wallet.  

For quaint accommodation, book a stay at Hotel Kiko for under $30 per night or Hotel Oasis for less than $50 (this one has an included breakfast, too!).

7. Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido in Mexico

Visit Puerto Escondido for a relaxing getaway on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca. Think pristine beaches, crystal blue waters, and the charm of a small fishing village. For the most part, Puerto Escondido remains a lesser-known gem, which is probably why it’s such an affordable destination.

When you’re ready to hit the beach, Playa Coral, Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Bacocho, and Puerto Angelito are all excellent choices. Playa Coral is my favorite of the four. This beach is almost hidden, which makes it feel really private.

I found that the waters were also a lot calmer than those of Playa Bacocho. I suggest venturing here in the morning, though, as you are quite exposed to the sun in the afternoons.

The Lagoon of Manialtepec, located around 8 miles from Puerto Escondido, offers some great bird-watching opportunities. And when the sun sets, best you bring your bathing suit to swim among the bioluminescent lights.

There are several mid-size hotels and restaurants in the area. If you want cheaper accommodation, opt for a stay in one of the budget-friendly hostels like the Pipeline Hostel and Residencia Artistica. Both options offer a comfortable stay for less than $30 per night.

8. Guanajuato

Guanajuato in Mexico

Guanajuato is a historically rich city that offers an affordable escape in Central Mexico. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its silver mining history, striking colonial architecture, and buildings that flow over the hilltop.

The maze of streets offers the perfect opportunity to explore this town on foot, which saves you from having to catch a taxi or hire a car. Here you can stroll through the historic district and marvel at the colorful buildings. 

I suggest starting your journey from Jardín de la Unión, a plaza in the city center lined with bars, restaurants, cafes, and beautifully manicured gardens. Then, hit the streets to stroll through the historic district and gaze at the colorful buildings.

While you’re out and about, stop by the Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera to see some work from the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera.

The Museum of the Mummies of Guanajuato is also a good excursion if you’re not too squeamish about being surrounded by over 100 mummified bodies.

Additionally, there are many vibrant art galleries and famous attractions to explore. These include the Juarez Theater, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, and Monumento Al Pipula. 

When it comes to laying your head down at night, Hostal del Desterrado gets rave reviews at an attractive $18 per night. But, if you’re not too keen on shared living spaces, Hotel Casa Posos is a nice alternative at around $50 per night.

9. Sayulita

Sayulita in Mexico

Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Sayulita offers a bohemian atmosphere with plenty of enjoyable activities. This affordable beach town is home to serene shores, and it’s an especially popular spot for water sports. 

Now, this town is quite rustic, but the locals and beautiful beaches more than make up for it. And when I say there’s a lot to do, I’m not exaggerating.

From horseback riding through the lush jungle trails to tours of the Marietas Islands National Park for exhilarating snorkeling experiences and whale watching, you’re in for an adventure.

However, if you’re still not satisfied, there’s also mountain biking through the jungle, zip-lining, and browsing at local markets for handmade crafts and goods.

The waves at Playa Sayulita beach are great if you’ve been thinking of taking up surfing. The breaks at this beach are ideal for beginners, and all the surf gear you’ll need can be easily hired. While you’re about to catch a wave, you may even come across giant turtles, vibrant reefs, and diverse tropical fish species.

Once you’re done exploring, head back to the Sayunique Boutique Hostal (from $28 per night) or Posada Las Graditas (from $55 per night) to rest up before your next adventure.

10. Cholula

Cholula Landscape in Mexico

Wrapping up my list of the best cheap places to visit in Mexico is Cholula, in Central Mexico. While you may be familiar with its larger neighbor Puebla, Cholula offers you much better value for money.

Whether you opt to experience the lively nightlife scene or explore one of the many attractions, Cholula will not disappoint.

One of the most remarkable landmarks in the city that you have to check out is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, otherwise known as Tlachihualtepetl. 

Dating all the way back to the 3rd Century BC, this pre-Hispanic pyramid is the world’s largest pyramid by volume. It’s also the world’s largest archaeological site of a pyramid. Yep, even beating those in Egypt!

There’s a church located right at the top of this pyramid, which requires a pretty long trek to get to. But, let me tell you, the 360-degree views of Cholula and Puebla are well worth it!

Some of the other popular nearby attractions include Francisco Peláez Roldan Ethnobotanical Garden, Museo de sitio de Cholulal, and Convento de San Gabriel Arcángel.

Cholula is also a great stop if you’re taking a day trip from Mexico City, which is only around two hours away.

For accommodation, Hotel Lerma, just outside Cholula, is a great choice that costs only $21 per night.

Tips for Exploring Affordable Destinations in Mexico

When exploring Mexico on a budget, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • The cheapest months to travel to Mexico are April, May, October, and November. While there might be cheaper rates in April, you may also experience crowds of spring breakers.
  • Eating street food is a great way to save some cash while tasting authentic Mexican flavors.
  • Make use of public transportation like buses rather than overpriced taxis.
  • If you are traveling by taxi, it’s best to negotiate the price in advance. 
  • Tap water isn’t safe to drink in many areas of Mexico, so it’s helpful to have a reusable water bottle on hand. 
  • Traveling as a group is also a great way to save money by sharing expenses with your friends and family. For that, I recommend looking for the best Mexico resorts for a group.
Street market in Mexico

Enjoy an Inexpensive Escape in Mexico

Mexico boasts an array of affordable vacation destinations filled with fun activities, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun at a beach town or marvel at colonial architecture in historic cities, there are many suitable spots for an adventure.

Are you ready to have the cheapest vacation in Mexico? Tell your travel buddy and book those tickets – a thrilling trip awaits you. If you’re looking for an island escape, check out this guide on the best of Cozumel.

Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip

Regarding cheap airfare, I highly recommend using Skyscanner and Expedia. These are two of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.

Additionally, I recommend getting the WayAway Plus membership to save money on cheaper fares and earn cashback (sent straight to your PayPal) on your bookings.

For hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and other types of accommodation, I highly recommend They are my go-to booking site because they usually have the cheapest fares.

If you’re a registered user (“Genius”), you can take advantage of their “Genius discount” to save even more money. I almost always book my accommodation with Booking, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars with their Genius discount.

And of course, as one of the largest travel booking sites in the world, Expedia is another excellent accommodation booking site with a free reward program and discounted member prices.

If you’re looking to save money by staying at a hostel, HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels with shared dorms and private rooms. On the other hand, Vrbo offers a wide variety of rooms and apartments at affordable prices.

Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness.

I use HeyMondo to insure my trips and recommend them. Their affordable plans offer a 24/7 assistance platform for claims, medical coverage for every traveler, adventure sports and covid-19 coverage, and more. And better yet, GloboTreks readers get 5% off their plan! Get a quote.

Alternatively, if you’re a nomad and travel often or long-term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on long-term travel insurance.

If you’re looking for the best day tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.

 offers the easiest and most accessible way to book overland transportation with local operators, be it by bus, train, ferry, plane, mini-van, or even private transfers.

If renting a car, then I highly recommend DiscoverCars to get the largest car selection at the best price.

Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.

Ten Cheap Places to Travel in Mexico | Best and Cheapest Vacations Spots
Adventure Awaits


Plus, receive a short e-book with 15 Beginner Tips and Tricks to Save Money on Flights!​

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