Cost Of Living For A Couple In The Yucatan

While traveling the world we thought it would be a great idea to give our subscribers exact numbers of how much it costs to live in these countries for one month.  Recently we stayed in Mexico,  so here you go, this is the Cost Of Living For A Couple In The Yucatan. Our goal is to live the culture and experience every place as a local would. We try to find the most economical way to live in these countries but also have a great time experiencing everything that the country has to offer.

We mostly stay in Airbnb’s. The only exception would be at the beginning or end of each month. We often stay a night or two in the city we are flying in or out of. The reason we don’t use Airbnb’s for one or two night stays is that the service and cleaning fee often add up to more than an inexpensive hotel.

If you’re looking for a week’s vacation and more of a resort/hotel experience, please contact us directly at joel@2travelinglovers.com we always find great resorts in our travels. We specifically try to find a resort in each country for our Honeymoon series on our blog. Click here for our choice in Mexico.

Where Did We Stay?

In February 2019 we spent 5 weeks in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. We stayed long term in Merida, and we spent one week in Valladolid, a few nights in Playa Del Carmen, and the island of Isla Mujeres near Cancun.

Accommodations – $955 for the month

The Airbnb that we rented in Mexico was $775 for the month. We rented it for a month because it was a better deal than renting it for 3 weeks due to the monthly discount this particular Airbnb offered. It was a studio apartment, in a newer building called Sky City in North Merida. It had everything we needed; shower, comfortable bed, air conditioning, stove, fridge, but it was a bit small for a lengthy stay.

We book all of our lodging accommodations through Airbnb or Booking.com. If you are interested in booking a hotel or checking prices, please use our link at no cost to you. Click here for Booking.com.

If you are interested in checking out Airbnb prices, click here. You will receive a $40 travel credit after your first booking.

What would we do differently regarding accommodations?

If we had to do it all over again, we would have stayed in the center of the city or Progreso. The center of Merida is where everything happens, you’re in walking distance of everything you may need, also there are plenty of great restaurants, things to do, and beautiful architecture. Progreso is on the ocean, so it’s about 10 degrees cooler and has a laid back beach vibe.

We were in Merida in February, and most days it was 90 degrees with 45% humidity. If you go during the summer temperatures can reach 115 degrees.  It does cost a little more to stay in the downtown area of Merida; however, if you take into account your time getting back and forth, it’s worth it for a shorter trip. If you choose to stay in north Merida, make sure to stay near a Walmart or grocery store. We spent a lot of time and money going back and forth, although our condominium was nice, it didn’t have any amenities near it.

The other towns we stayed in…

The Airbnb we rented in Valladolid was $180 for the week. It was a decent two bedroom home, with a family of iguanas living in the backyard (really cool), and plenty of space. Nothing fancy but it had air conditioning, full kitchen, dishes everything you needed for an extended stay.

At the end of our stay, before flying out of Cancun, we stayed two nights on the island of Isla Mujeres. It’s an island off the coast of Cancun. We had an amazing time, and we did our honeymoon blog on this island. If you’re interested in reading about the resort, click here, for a nice accommodation on Isla Mujeres expect to spend anywhere from $80 to $110.

For our stay in Playa Del Carmen and our first night in Merida (before heading to Valladolid) we used points from our American Express credit card. We wrote a blog post on the best travel credit cards for travel if you interested click here.

Consensus

Expect to spend $700 – $1,200 per month on modest accommodations. Many places on Airbnb have better deals when you book monthly.

“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”



Booking.com

Transportation

Transportation – Car/Taxi/Uber/Bus – $570

Was it safe?

We drove all around the Yucatan, hundreds and hundreds of miles and we never felt unsafe once. We tried to visit as many locations and small towns as possible. Merida is probably one of the safest cities in all of Mexico. To put it into perspective, I would rather walk around Merida at night than most big cities in America.

Transportation – $525

Our transportation total includes Uber, taxis, buses, cab, rental cars, and gas.

The only time we used a cab was from the Merida airport to our hotel in Merida for our first nights stay before heading to Valladolid. They do not allow Uber drivers to pick up from the airport, so we had to take a cab, which cost $20.

We rented a car from a private couple. If you’re interested, you can contact us directly through this site. I’m not putting his name or number as the vehicles are older with high miles. That being said we did pay a lot less over an extended period of time going this route over renting from a rental car company.

The most important thing you need to verify when renting a car in foreign countries, such as Mexico is that you are getting full coverage insurance. Your credit card will most likely not cover third-party collision. We have read and heard some nightmare stories of what could happen if you don’t have the proper insurance. Whether the stories are true or not we are not willing to take that chance.

Car rental for 13 days was $260 and gas was $140.

Uber’s are cheap in Merida. A 30-minute ride into the center of town cost us around $4. Our suggestion would be to rent a car for the days that you want to do excursions and take Uber around the city.

Uber total cost for the month $55

A bus ride from north Merida into the center of town cost .42 per person. We took the bus to the center of Merida three or four times. We also went to Progreso a few times, and that ride cost $2 round trip per person on an air-conditioned bus.

Bus cost total $13

How was driving in the Yucatan?

Generally speaking, don’t listen to the news or your friends. You need to experience it yourself. We drove around the Yucatan, through all of the back roads and small cities and never once did we feel uncomfortable. The only time we ever felt uncomfortable in a car, in the Yucatan, was when our native Merida driver drove us to the ferry in Cancun.

The police stopped us and questioned him for 10 minutes. Supposedly, the only people allowed to drive tourists around town, to the airport or excursions are licensed tour companies or transportation services. He told us that the police could impound a private citizens car for doing this.

"We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong."

Excursions, Food & Shopping

Excursions – $256

For two people, excursions are going to cost in between $40-$90 if you use a tour company. With a little research and having a car, you can significantly diminish that cost over an extended period.

When you’re in the Yucatan, you will probably want to see cenotes, ruins, museums, and beaches. I understand that I’m generalizing a lot on this, but if you want a more in-depth post on specific cenotes, ruins, and museums while in Merida click here. We did The Ultimate 4- day Itinerary When In Merida which goes into GREAT detail. Click here to read that post and see the video.

Visiting the Mayan ruins can range from $3 a person to $25 per person. We suggest if you’re on a budget, going to one expensive ruins, like Uxmal or Chichen Itza and then visit some of the less expensive ruins. For an impressive, inexpensive ruins, cenote and museum experience click here. Uxmal was beautiful, and we were glad to see these ruins, but some of the smaller, less expensive ones were just as interesting. In our opinion, once you’ve seen three or four different Mayan ruins, there won’t be much difference on the fifth.

Cenotes are going to range anywhere from $3 to around $12. We did see some amazing cenotes! We also went to a ton of them in the five weeks we were in the Yucatan. We have a great deal of information and opinions on these cenotes.  If you are interested in visiting Valladolid during your stay in the Yucatan, we have post and video on the “5 Best Cenotes Near Valladolid Mexico” you may want to see. Click here.

To sum it up? Cenotes are going to be your least expensive excursions, but also some of the most fun! That’s our 2 cents.

Restaurants – $450

We tried to learn from our mistakes from the previous month in the Dominican Republic. Sometimes we forget that we are not in California at our regular jobs anymore. Going out to $100 dinners is just not in the budget. That being said, Mexico was incredibly inexpensive to go out and eat.

For example, there was a nice restaurant on the top floor of our condominium complex with beautiful views, great food, and good drinks. The name was Gin 47, and we went up during happy hour quite a few times. Drinks were 2 for 1 during happy hour which included martini’s, all well drinks, and beer. We also got two appetizers which were enough to fill us up. Our total bill was around $22 for 2 drinks each and 2 appetizers during happy hour.

If you are staying in the center of Merida, you could easily find spots with good food for $7 a plate.

ATM FEES – $31

We typically do not have ATM fees because we have a Charles Schwab checking account; however, we lost our card in an ATM machine during the 1st week in Merida, so we had to use our Wells Fargo checking account to take out cash. This cost us $31 for just three withdrawals!!! I’ll admit it, this was my fault. Uuuggg, needless to say, Joel was not happy with me.  In Mexico, instead of just sliding your card in the slot and immediately taking it out, the machine keeps the card until the entire transaction is complete. From what I hear not all ATM machines are like this, but all of the ATM’s we found kept the card until completion.  If you decide to open a Charles Schwab investor checking account, click here and you will have the opportunity to earn a $100 into your newly opened account.

Groceries – $600

Because we are staying in all of these countries for an extended period, we do a lot of grocery shopping. We don’t go out to eat at restaurants every day. Not only is it not in the budget, but we don’t want to gain 20 pounds in a month.

Generally speaking, groceries were similar in cost to the United States. On a $70 grocery trip in the US, it might be $60 in Merida. Corona beer was extremely cheap. You could get a six pack for about $2. Some of the fish you could buy at Walmart was also very cheap but I was a little nervous about buying it.

In Merida, there is a Costco and a few Walmart stores. When we arrived the first week, we went to Costco and did a major grocery shop that cost us around $200. (that included six bottles of wine at $5 a bottle). After that, we just went to the local Walmart when we needed something. As I’m writing this, we are in Costa Rica, in La Fortuna where we can drink the tap water. I’m just now realizing how much money we spent on the water in the last two countries. Come to think of it we bought water when we lived in California also. I can tell you; it’s nice walking over to the tap and filling up your glass. We haven’t done that in a very long time.

Shopping and Incidentals – $650

We are finding out real quick there are additional costs that we didn’t include in our budget when we started. This month we realized that a tablet was not going to work for blog writing/pictures/marketing and internet use. We decided to buy a Chromebook and boy are we glad we did!! This computer is perfect for searching the internet and writing blog posts. It’s also very light, fast, compact and thin. We highly recommend this computer for traveling. Click here if you would like to check it out. 

Another purchase this month was an Osmo Gimbal to stabilize our video. We have been really happy with it and noticed a huge difference when editing our videos. It’s very smooth and easy on the eyes for our subscribers. This gimbal also works with any smartphone. It connects via an app which allows it to do many additional things. If you want to check it out click here

FYI

In Mexico, you can order from Amazon, but it’s a little more expensive. With a Prime Membership you get free shipping in the US but not in Mexico. You also have to pay an import tax. The one awesome thing was delivery. Our address in Merida was five sentences long, but Amazon figured it out and got the packages to us quickly.

Misc. Monthly Costs – $200

We have our cell phone bill which includes international calling. We go through T-Mobile, and our bill is around $100 a month. For Mexico, calling and texting were included in our plan for no additional cost.

We pay $100 per month for a storage unit in Phoenix to keep our stuff.

TOTAL COST FOR 5 WEEKS IN THE YUCATAN WAS $3,667 IF WE DIVIDE THIS BY 5 OUR MONTH COST WOULD BE $2,934.

This total includes our unexpected Chromebook and Gimble purchases which you probably won’t encounter.

VIEW ALL OF OUR IMAGES FROM THIS TRIP

Closing Words

We loved our time in the Yucatan. The cultural experience that we had is going to be one of the most memorable. Seeing the Mayan ruins and visiting the crystal clear cenotes are highlights we will remember forever. The blues and greens when the sun comes out and hits the water are stunning. There are parts of the Yucatan that are very touristy. If you do not like tourists, stay away from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience, those places may be just what you’re looking for. After seeing all three of these spots, our recommendation would be Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun. We have a video on our weekend here and also a blog post and video for a honeymoon destination on Isla Mujeres.

We hope you found our post on the “Cost Of Living For A Couple In The Yucatan” both interesting and informative. We enjoy bringing all of this information to our subscribers in hopes that other couples follow our footsteps and find great places to travel and discover the world.

Travel Resources

If you are interested in checking hotel prices we have found booking.com to have the most competitive prices.  Click here to check out hotels.  

All of our video footage is taken with GoPro HERO6.  It’s a waterproof digital action camera for travel with a touchscreen.  We use this camera daily, and we love it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.

The drone we use is the DJ Spark with Remote Control Combo.  We like this drone because it’s compact, it’s effortless to take on trips, it’s easy to fly, and it shoots 1080p.  All of our drone footage on our blog posts and youtube videos are taken with this drone. We highly recommend it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.             

Another item we use daily is our Primocean Backpack with an insulated cooler bag.  We use this as Christie’s carryon bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination.  We used to use a different backpack and we switched to this one because it’s better made of durable material with quality zippers.  We love this backpack!! The cooler section is smaller; however, all the compartments and the quality of the backpack make it a much better choice for basically the same cost.  We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.  

Our Mission

Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!

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