Cancun vs Puerto Rico for vacation? Which is BETTER to Visit?

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Cancun Vs Puerto Rico for Vacation? If you’re struggling to decide between Puerto Rico and Cancun for your next vacation, this is the article for you. Both of these destinations are fantastic places to visit for a vacation. Whereas Puerto Rico is known as the hidden beach paradise in the Caribbean, Cancun is known as the top vacation destination in Central America.

We’ve compared Puerto Rico and Cancun in this article based on a range of important factors to assist you in deciding which one to visit for your next vacation. So, let’s find out which is a better vacation destination between Puerto Rico and Cancun?

Puerto rico is a better option for vacation if you love Caribbean vibes, secluded beaches, and an abundance of adventure activities. Cancun is a better vacation option if you are on a limited budget and love big city vibes, lively beaches, and vibrant nightlife scene.

ParametersPuerto RicoCancun
Cost of a
7-day Trip💵
$2779 (For a couple)$1998 (For a couple)
Known for👍Caribbean beaches, amazing history, Tropical rainforest, Waterfalls, and Numerous adventure activitiesLively beaches, Chichen Itza, Upscale shopping malls, Vibrant nightlife, Cenotes
Beaches🏖A diverse range of white sandy beaches with Caribbean charmLively, wide, little congested white sandy beaches
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Hiking, Kayaking, Ziplining, Mountain biking, Surfing, ATV riding, SnorkelingWater activities, Snorkeling, swimming in cenotes, Visiting Mayan ruins, shopping, nightlife
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Old San Juan, El Yunque rainforest, Culebra Island, Bioluminescent Bay, Flamenco beachChichén Itzá, Cancun underwater museum, La Isla shopping mall, Cenotes, Isla Mujeres
Best Place to Stay🏨Old San JuanHotel Zone

Cancun vs Puerto Rico for Vacation? Let’s see how they fair?

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Beaches🏖

Cancun

Cancun beach city
Cancun beach| Image by Keith Pomakis oon Wikimedia Commons

Cancun is narrow 14 miles long island that includes nearly 11 public beaches. Cancun is on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It has wide, long white sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise blue waters and lined by hundreds of resorts and hotels.

Cancun undeniably has the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. Cancun is a highly commercialized tourist destination. That’s why its beaches are well-equipped and well developed.

But at the same time, due to high commercialization, Cancun feels like a concrete jungle. So, you won’t get that relaxing Caribbean feel in Cancun. Also, Cancun’s beaches are a little congested and livelier. Cancun is best suited for those people who love city vibes and lively beaches.

Puerto Rico

Playa de Puerto Rico, Mogan

Puerto Rico is 110 miles long and 35 miles wide island with nearly 300 beaches. So, Puerto Rico is a far bigger island than Cancun and has far more beaches than Cancun. In other words, Puerto Rico offers a diverse range of beaches as compared to Cancun that caters to the taste of all kinds of visitors.

It doesn’t matter if you like lively beaches, secluded beaches, romantic beaches, or unspoiled beaches, Puerto Rico has them all!! Puerto Rico is known as the hidden paradise of the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico has relaxing Caribbean vibes that you won’t find in Cancun. It is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue waters. It undoubtedly has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

Winner: Puerto Rico

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Accommodation🏨

When it comes to accommodation, Cancun is a cheaper option as compared to Puerto Rico. The reason is Cancun’s affordable all-inclusive vacation packages. Most of the hotels in Cancun offer attractive all-inclusive vacation packages that include everything from flight costs, accommodation to meals.

These all-inclusive vacation packages are affordable options for families and honeymooners. Cancun’s hotel zone is the best area to stay in Cancun. There are hundreds of hotels in the hotel zone that offers a diverse range of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury.

On the other hand, Puerto Rico, like Cancun, offers a diverse range of lodging options. However, as a US territory, it has more expensive lodging than Cancun.

While it is true that budget accommodations are available in Puerto Rico, they are hard to find. If you do not conduct adequate research, lodging may consume the lion’s share of your vacation budget in Puerto Rico.

Comparison of average accommodation cost in Puerto Rico and Cancun

Accomodation typeCancunPuerto Rico
Budget$25$47
Mid-range hotel$66$111
Villas/Luxury rooms$219$237

Winner: Cancun

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Nature🌳

Puerto Rico

El-Yunque-Puerto-Rico

Puerto rico is an excellent option for nature lovers. Nealy 55% of Puerto Rico’s area is covered by forests. There are 36 nature reserves and 19 state forests in Puerto Rico. Especially, El Yunque, which is the only tropical rainforest in the USA, is a must-visit place for nature lovers.

There are numerous scenic hiking trails, nature reserves, waterfalls, and amazing mountainous terrains in Puerto Rico which makes it an excellent destination for nature and adventure lovers.

Cancun

Cancun-cenote-1

When it comes to Cancun, tourists spend most of their time in the resort and beach area. But, if you are a nature or adventure lover, there are a lot of things to do and experience for you in Cancun. You can visit the Mayan jungles for its famous natural swimming pools known as ‘Cenotes.’

These cenotes are well-known among nature enthusiasts, and it is believed that they have healing properties. Many tour companies provide jungle tours to the nearby Mayan jungle, which include activities such as an ATV tour, cenotes, ziplining, and a skywalk.

XCaret park
XCaret park

Some of the animals found in the Mayan jungle include blue herons, anteaters, iguanas, ocelots, and manatees. If you don’t want to take a jungle tour, you can visit a nature park in Cancun, such as Xcaret, which has nearly 50 natural and cultural attractions.

Winner: Draw

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Activities🏄🏼‍♂️

Puerto Rico

Old-San-Juan-Puerto-Rico

When it comes to activities, Puerto Rico is a better option than Cancun. Whether you are a beach lover, a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventurer, there is something for everyone!!

If you are a beach lover, there are over 300 diverse ranges of beaches in Puerto Rico. If you are a nature or adventure lover, again Puerto Rico is a great place to visit.

Puerto Rico’s interior is mountainous, with forests covering 55% of the land. There are numerous outdoor activities to explore in Puerto Rico for adventure lovers, including zip-lining, hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking.

Old San Juan is a must-see for history buffs. Old San Juan is the cultural and historical center of Puerto Rico. This 500-year-old city is home to numerous sixteenth-century Spanish colonial Buildings.

Cancun

Cancun-activities

Cancun is well-known for its diverse range of water sports activities, including snorkeling, surfing, flyboarding, jungle boat tours, scuba diving, parasailing, and much more. Apart from water sports, Cancun is known for its wild nightlife and excellent shopping scene.

Cancun’s vibrant nightlife, in particular, is world-famous. Without a doubt, Cancun is one of the world’s best party destinations. Cancun has a plethora of upscale shopping malls and flea markets for shopaholics to explore.

Mayan City Chichén itzá
Mayan City Chichén itzá

Chichén itzá, a mysterious Mayan city near Cancun, is a must-see for history buffs. Chichén itzá was a critical location for the Mayans in ancient times. It retains a number of Mayan monuments, including temples, pyramids, and burial sites.

Winner: Puerto Rico

🏖Suggested Read: Costa Rica Vs Cancun for Vacation? Which is BETTER to Visit?

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Food🍤

When it comes to food, picking a winner between Puerto Rico and Cancun is very hard. Both of these destinations are known for delicious culinary traditions.

Puerto Rican cuisine draws on a variety of culinary traditions, including Spanish, African, and Taino Arawak. Food in Puerto Rico, on the other hand, is more expensive than in Cancun. We discovered, however, that if you ask locals for recommendations or go where locals go, you can find delicious Puerto Rican food at a reasonable price. 

Cancun, on the other hand, is home to nearly every type of international cuisine, as well as traditional Mexican fare. We do, however, recommend that you sample Cancun’s delectable street food.

Cancun’s street food is delicious and reasonably priced. Cancun’s downtown is the best place to try the city’s street food.

The average cost of food in Puerto Rico and Cancun

PlacesCancunPuerto Rico
Meal
(Inexpensive Restaurant)
$9$12
Meal for Two
(Mid-range Restaurant)
$40$52
Beer 🍺$2.07$2
Cappuccino☕️$2.24$2.79

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Nightlife 🙌🏼

Cancun is the clear winner here when it comes to nightlife. Cancun is undoubtedly one of the best party destinations in the world. During the daytime, Cancun is all about the sea, sand, and sun, but at night time, Cancun transforms into a hive of buzzing nightclubs.

Punta Cancun is the best place to go for party animals in Cancun. This area is densely packed with nightclubs and pubs where you can spend the entire night dancing and drinking.

But, it doesn’t mean that Puerto Rico doesn’t have good nightlife. Puerto Rico, too, has good nightlife but as compared to Cancun, Puerto Rico lags far behind. La Placita de Santurce and Condado are best places to visit for party animals in Puerto rico.

Winner: Cancun

Cancun vs Puerto Rico: Safety

Cancun and Puerto Rico are both relatively safe vacation destinations. Indeed, Puerto Rico is regarded as one of the Caribbean safest islands. When it comes to Mexico, popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Tulum are relatively safe.

That is why each year, millions of tourists flock to these Mexican tourist destinations. However, remember to exercise basic safety precautions while traveling to avoid petty crimes such as theft and pickpocketing.

Winner: Draw

Cancun vs Puerto Rico for family vacation?👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

When it comes to family vacations, Cancun has a slight advantage over Puerto Rico. Cancun is an affordable option for families due to its all-inclusive packages. There are numerous family-friendly activities and attractions in Cancun, from water activities to shopping in Xcaret park. Additionally, Cancun’s hotel zone is home to a slew of world-class family-friendly hotels.

Puerto Rico is more expensive than Cancun but if you are not low on a budget it is an excellent option for families. Puerto Rico is a far bigger island than Cancun and there are undoubtedly more activities to explore in Puerto Rico than in Cancun. Also, Puerto Rico has more beaches and that Caribbean charm that you won’t get in Cancun.

Winner: Cancun

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Cancun vs Puerto Rico for Honeymoon?👩🏻‍❤️‍💋‍👨🏼

While Puerto Rico is more expensive than Cancun, it is a better honeymoon destination than Cancun. Cancun is a highly commercialized destination. It has a big-city vibe and is better suited to those who enjoy vibrant atmospheres and resort vacations.

Puerto Rico, on the other hand, exudes a romantic Caribbean charm. Numerous secluded, relaxing, and romantic locations exist in Puerto Rico that are ideal for honeymooners.

If you’re looking for a beachfront resort in Puerto Rico, Rio Grande is the place to go. While Isabela and Culebra are must-see destinations in Puerto Rico for couples seeking secluded romantic beaches.

Winner: Puerto Rico

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Cancun vs Puerto Rico for a vacation?

Both Puerto Rico and Costa Rica are excellent vacation destinations. They do, however, appeal to different types of people. Puerto Rico, with its diverse range of Caribbean-style beaches and nature reserves, is ideal for those seeking a relaxing beach experience as well as a variety of adventure activities.

Cancun, on the other hand, is better suited for those who love lively beaches and want to spend majority of their vacation in and around the beach and resort area.

🏖Suggested read: Puerto Rico Vs Costa Rica for Vacation? Which is Better to Visit?

🏖Suggested read: Puerto Rico vs US Virgin Islands for Vacation? Which is Better to Visit?

🏖You may also like: Cancun vs Cabo vs Cozumel vs Tulum vs Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen for Vacation?

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Hello there, wanderlust. I've been traveling around the world with my friend Aditya for the last three years since finally quitting my job, and life has been a thrilling roller coaster ride so far. Traveling is a spiritual experience for me, not just something I do for fun. Traveling has taught me that "the only certain thing about life is uncertainty." So, embrace uncertainty and make the most out of every moment.

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