Flashing your cash on an all-inclusive is one way to enjoy Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. But doing it on a budget guarantees authenticity, adventure and better accommodation options than you might have imagined. There are all sorts of ways to make the most of your Cancún adventure without breaking the bank. Eat tacos and sip tequila in no-frills bars; bus it out to jungle-cloaked Mayan temples; go swimming with dolphins in the turquoise depths for free. And you can make the belt even tighter with a stay at one of these cheap hotels in Cancún – all bookable with Culture Trip.
Modeled on Japan’s capsule hotels, this compact Cancún hotel is a great budget-friendly option if you’re planning to be mostly out at the area’s beaches and bars. Sleek futuristic pods with sliding doors come in singles and doubles, with foam mattresses, calming aromatherapy and basics including a safe, plug sockets, a mirror and even a micro TV. What’s more, you’re within easy reach of both the airport and downtown Cancún’s party zone.
Set overlooking the white-powder sands of Cancún’s endless beach strip, this budget-friendly resort hotel certainly doesn’t compromise on location. Unfussy good-size rooms are chic and modern, with slightly splashier options coming with lagoon- or sea-view balconies. A raft of eating and drinking options ranges from refined Italian dining to a poolside cocktail bar, or just head to the beach, flop on a lounge chair and have your refreshments brought to you.
If you’re after some real bang for your buck, check out the rates at this big beachfront hotel. It’s the trio of pools here that take center stage, particularly the frontline infinity pool that stretches almost the width of the property. Two swim-up bars also mean you can stay cool while ordering your margarita, plus a pair of sea-view restaurants make those lingering lunches and romantic dinners all the more memorable.
Set in the heart of downtown Cancún, this colorful colonial-style hotel is strolling distance from plenty of nightlife and a short free transfer to sandy beaches. Rooms are full of traditional Mexican touches, with big US-style beds, A/C and coffee pod machines. An enclosed terrace contains a good-size pool lined with lounge chairs and palm trees, plus there’s a great-value grill restaurant serving up Mexican favorites, burgers and freshly baked bread.
This straightforward downtown hotel has everything you need for a comfortable, easy-on-the-wallet stay in Cancún. Rooms are streamlined and unfussy, with mini-fridges, coffee machines and microwaves to help save a few pesos on eating out. Take a dip in the outside pool or hot tub, or head to the Caribbean waters of Playa Tortugas, one of the best beaches in Cancún, only a five-minute taxi hop away.
This fun and funky lagoon-side hostel is right in the heart of Cancún’s hotel zone, just across from its glistening strip of white sand. It attracts a younger mix of backpackers, budget travelers and digital nomads with its low-cost dorms and laid-back vibe. If you prefer, you can also share a lagoon-view suite with up to three other friends. You’ll wake up to a free breakfast, too, plus regular poolside parties with DJs, live music and, of course, happy hour.
Unlike other budget-friendly bases, Beachscape is in the heart of the hotel zone, with roomy villas, kitchen-ready suites and no-fuss rooms for sleeping off the night before. Cane furnishings nod to the Caribbean, adding character to the spotless, spare rooms, many with balconies and terraces. Throw in a restaurant-café, a generous pool for those morning laps and a spa offering massages for maximum relaxation. Meanwhile, right outside you’ll find one of the most Instagrammable beaches in Cancun, with swaying palms, soul-soothing jade waters and white sand.
Budget travelers really do get luxury for less in these 64 hotel rooms. Spread across two mid-rise blocks, this place is part of the Americas Shopping Plaza – which means direct access to some 250 shops, restaurants, movie theaters, designer stores and supermarkets. The single-, double- or triple-bedroom apartments are functional, with views across the city on one side and the calm waters of the Nichupté Lagoon on the other. Book a room with a whirlpool tub on the balcony for extra bougie vibes while lying back and admiring the view of downtown Cancún.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Ali Ray.
For more budget-friendly stays, check out our guide to the best hostels in Cancún, Mexico, for budget travelers, bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.