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How Budget Travelers Are Enjoying Cancun This Winter Amid High Prices

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Cancun is undoubtedly one of the most popular resort destinations in the world, with the coastal destination expected to welcome a record number of travelers in 2023.

Soaring demand means prices in Cancun are also above average when compared to other destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, prompting many travelers to opt for cheaper locations. 

Aerial view of a long white sand beach in cancun

But a new report shows that a growing number of Cancun travelers are enjoying the city on a budget, showing that this coastal hotspot has a lot more to offer than stellar – and pricy – 5-star resorts and overpriced margaritas.

As Cancun continues to soar in popularity, here’s a look at how budget travelers are enjoying Cancun.

a white sand beach in cancun with resorts

Average Spending In Cancun Drops Despite Growing Arrival Figures

Cancun is on track to smash its all-time travel record in 2023 as the coastal destination gears up to welcome over 30 million travelers this year. Resorts in the sunny hotspot were nearly filled up this summer, and new projections show that some areas in Caribbean destinations could reach 100% occupancy during the busy winter holidays. 

Tulum, Mexico, A bird's eye view. Aerial view of Nice beach with beach chairs, thatched umbrellas and palm trees. View from a flying drone of the luxury beach. Top view

But even as Cancun continues to skyrocket in popularity with travelers, a surprising number of visitors are opting to enjoy the city on a budget. 

From visiting affordable museums to nature and local cultural experiences, Cancun offers a number of cost-effective attractions for those willing to find the best deals. 

A new report published by Mexico’s National Statistics and Geography Agency shows that travelers are spending an average of $1050 on their Cancun getaway in 2023. Although that may seem like a high figure, a significant number of Cancun travelers opt for pricy all-inclusive resorts, which can set travelers back hundreds of dollars per night.

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On the other hand, a growing number of visitors are choosing to stay in Airbnbs and other online rentals, which cost significantly less compared to all-inclusives. Although the best deals are found on properties outside of the sought-after Resort Zone, travelers can still enjoy downtown Cancun’s vibrant culture and amazing street food, among other attractions. 

The new statistical overview shows that the average spending of Cancun tourists has decreased by over $500 compared to 2020, as inflation and the high value of the Mexican peso continue to push U.S. travelers to save more. 

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Another reason behind the drop in average spending has to do with a wider demographic change. Following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, Cancun travelers are increasingly younger compared to just several years ago.

And with Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean trending as a global hub for digital nomads and remote workers, tech-savvy travelers are opting for cheaper long-term rentals.

Offering all the advantages that make the sun-soaked destination a hit with travelers without the eye-watering prices of all-inclusive, online rentals continue to surge in popularity.

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But there are also plenty of affordable options for travelers staying in Cancun for a quick visit. From nearby Mayan ruins such as the famous El Meco Archeological Site to Cancun’s top-rated Mayan Museum, this coastal hotspot is full of hidden gems.

Meanwhile, Cancun’s bustling downtown area is a vibrant hub of local life, commerce, and culture. Boasting hundreds of street food vendors, officials are working hard to improve safety and infrastructure for travelers wishing to experience this lesser-known part of the city. 

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With the launching of the Maya Train in just a few weeks, travel in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will become safer, more reliable, and cheaper.

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