Hawaii or Cancun for Honeymoon? Which is a Best Romantic Gateway!

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Hawaii or Cancun for Honeymoon? If you feel stuck in this dilemma, you are not alone. The majority of Americans encounter this quandary while deciding on the perfect honeymoon spot.

Both of these places feature some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, blue lagoons, and picturesque landscapes making it difficult to decide which one to visit for a honeymoon, solo vacation, or a family holiday. While each of these locales is an incredibly popular vacation spot, they are rather different.

In this article, I’ve compared Hawaii and Cancun on a range of crucial factors to assist you in deciding which one to visit for your honeymoon vacation.

Cancun is a better honeymoon destination than Hawaii if you are on a budget and if the beach is your first priority. Cancun is the place where your vacation will revolve around a beach and the resort. Hawaii is a better vacation than Cancun if the beach is not a priority for you and you are an adventurous soul who is ready to explore the lush green mountains of Hawaii.

Hawaii or Cancun for Honeymoon? Here’s an Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

Travel Cost

For many people, flight price and flight duration play important roles while comparing Hawaii and Cancun for vacation. That is why we should begin by comparing the flight prices and durations of both destinations.

If we compare flight prices from the USA to Hawaii and the USA to Cancun it is clear that flights to Cancun are generally cheaper than Hawaii throughout the year. Generally, the average flight price from the USA to Cancun is $200 to $400 per person. In the case of Hawaii, airline prices differ considerably depending on your departure location.

Generally, it costs $860 per person to fly to Hawaii from the east coast, $685 per person from the midwest, and $430 per person from the west coast. However, keep in mind that these are only estimations and that travel prices fluctuate frequently. Also, unlike Hawaii, non-stop flights from many major cities of the USA to Mexico are available.

When it comes to flight duration, again Cancun has a shorter flight duration than Hawaii. The average flight duration from the USA to Cancun varies from 3 to 5 hours.

While flight duration from the USA to Hawaii varies from 5 to 10+ hours depending on your location of departure. Generally, it takes about 5-6 hours from the west coast and 10+ hours from the East coast of the USA to reach Hawaii.

Winner: Cancun. Flying to Cancun from the USA is faster and cheaper than flying to Hawaii

Accommodation

It doesn’t matter if you are on a honeymoon trip or family vacation or a backpacking trip, accommodation often takes the biggest chunk of our travel cost. Especially, when comparing Hawaii and Cancun, the accommodation makes the biggest difference and compels many people to chose Cancun over Hawaii.

The following table summarises the average cost of lodging in Hawaii and Cancun.

PlacesHawaiiCancun
Budget$57 $25
Mid-range hotel$165 $66
Villas/Luxury rooms$527 $350
Beachside hotel in Hawaii
Beachside hotel in Hawaii

It goes without saying that Hawaii is exorbitantly more expensive than Cancun in every way, including accommodation. According to data provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the average cost of lodging in Hawaii in 2018 was $264.

In general, you can expect to pay between $130 and $550 for accommodation in Hawaii (Budget or Luxury). However, if you are a budget traveler or on a low budget, you may stay at youth hostels or on Airbnb for between $32 and $55.

Accommodation in Cancun is quite cheaper than Hawaii. The reason is that most of the resorts in Cancun offer very affordable all-inclusive packages.

These all-inclusive packages often include lodging, three meals per day, and almost all alcoholic drinks. Outdoor activities and spa treatments are also included in some resorts’ all-inclusive packages.

The typical cost of these all-inclusive family vacation packages is between $1000 and $3000. However, you can usually find a decent all-inclusive package of around $2000 that will cover nearly all of your family’s needs. These all-inclusive packages are quite affordable and that’s why more and more Americans are choosing Cancun over Hawaii for their vacation.

Even if you opt-out of these all-inclusive packages, you can still find reasonably priced lodging options. In Cancun, there is a very well-known place called ‘Zona Hotelera.’

There are hundreds of accommodation options in this area, ranging from two to five-star hotels. You can easily find decent lodging for between $17 and $57 per night for solo travelers and couples and between $64 and $114 per night for a family of four here, which is much less than in Hawaii.

Food

Comparison of Average Cost of food per day

PlacesHawaiiCancun
Meal for Two
(Inexpensive Restaurant)
$30$10
Meal for Two
(Mid-range Restaurant)
$70$28.78
Beer $6.50$2.00
Cappuccino$5.67$2.09
The average cost
of food per day
$75$56

As expected, Hawaii offers expensive food as compared to Cancun. Even if you go to the cheapest restaurant, you have to pay at least $15 to $20 per person. If you are a backpacker you can buy food from the supermarket that will save you a lot of money on meals.

If you have opted for the all-inclusive package then you don’t need to worry about food as it would cover all your meals and drinks. However, even if you venture outside of your resort for food, you will readily find cuisine that is substantially less expensive than in Hawaii.

But, if you are a foodie looking to save money, I would recommend trying Cancun’s delectable street food in Downtown Cancun. On the streets of Cancun, you can have a substantial supper for as little as $4 to $6. This is the reason why Cancun’s street food is so popular with tourists.

Winner: Cancun. Cancun offers far more affordable food as compared to Hawaii

Beaches: Which are better?

Cancun beach
White sandy beach with umbrellas in Cancun

Cancun has better beaches than Hawaii. Cancun is known for its soft, white-sand beaches and greenish-blue color water. In fact, in Cancun, visitors spend most of their time on the beaches enjoying their breathtaking beauty.

You can see Cancun’s white sand beaches stretching miles along the shore. Cancun is the place where the gulf of Mexico connects with the Caribbean sea. So it’s no wonder why Cancun has world-class beaches.

Cenote Mexico
Ik-Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Also, you can swim in Cancun’s natural refreshing swimming pools known as ‘Cenotes’. Cenotes are natural sinkholes found around Cancun and are highly popular with tourists.

On the flipside, Cancun is a very popular tourist destination, which means its beaches are typically more crowded than those in Hawaii. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to encounter beach vendors attempting to sell you souvenirs. Also, for some people, Cancun is a concrete jungle due to its high commercialization and excessive American influence.

While Hawaii, too, boasts a diverse selection of world-class beaches with red, green, and black color sands, Cancun’s soft white powdery beaches and warm blue waters provide a far better beach experience.

Winner: Cancun

Water sports Activities

Hawaii surfing

Cancun may have nicer beaches than Hawaii, but Hawaii outshines Cancun when it comes to water sports activities. Hawaii is home to a diverse array of water sports activities. This is not to say that Cancun lacks quality water sports activities. Simply put, Hawaii provides a superior experience to Cancun.

Hawaii snorkeling
Snorkeling in Hawaii

Snorkeling, in particular, is quite terrific and easy in Hawaii. It is one of the world’s top snorkeling locations. The thrill of floating in Hawaii’s warm, crystal clear waters is unmatched.

Hawaii’s abundant marine life adds to the joy of snorkeling. Apart from snorkeling, there are numerous other things to choose from in Hawaii, like surfing, scuba diving, whale watching, wakeboarding, banana boat rides, and waterskiing.

Cancun, like Hawaii, has several excellent snorkeling areas. Cancun, on the other hand, is preferable for swimming due to its warm and shallow waters. Furthermore, if you’re visiting Cancun, I’d recommend paying a visit to a very famous underwater museum nearby.

Winner: Hawaii

Things to do

Hawaii

Hawaii couple adventure

If you and your soulmate are an adventure seeker, then Hawaii is the ideal vacation destination for you. Hawaii is without a doubt the undisputed champion when it comes to adventure and breathtaking scenery. There are various options for adventurous souls in Hawaii.

Hawaii consists of six major islands, each with its own distinct characteristics. You can visit the large island to hike volcanoes, or you can visit Kauai to experience Hawaii’s lush green forests, or you can visit Maui to explore its marine life.

In other words, from breathtaking scenery and lush green forests to active volcanoes and waterfalls, Hawaii offers a plethora of adventure opportunities to visitors.

🏖 Suggested Read: Is Maui Worth Visiting? 9 reasons Why You Must Visit!!

Cancun

Cancun couples on beach

Cancun is a destination for those looking to relax and rejuvenate on the beach under the shade of swaying palm trees. It is not a suitable location for adventure enthusiasts, as Cancun lacks the mountains, beautiful landscapes, and waterfalls found in Hawaii.

Indeed, if you choose all-inclusive packages, your holiday will focus entirely on your resort and beach. Apart from its beaches and resorts, Cancun is well-known for its reasonably priced shopping malls and flea markets. Marina Town Center, Luxury Avenue, and Kukulcan Plaza are just a few of the Hotel Zone’s best shopping centers.

Chichén itzá
Chichén itzá

I would especially urge you to visit the mysterious city of chichén itzá. Chichén itzá was an important religious center for the Mayan people in ancient times. It is still home to a number of ancient Mayan monuments, including temples, pyramids, and graves. Thus, if you are interested in history, you will undoubtedly enjoy this location.

Winner: Hawaii, Hawaii offers numerous adventure opportunities as compared to Hawaii

🏖 Suggested Read: Is Cancun Worth Visiting? REAL Pros and Cons to HELP you decide!!

Safety

Safety is definitely is a major issue when you compare Hawaii and Mexico. Hawaii is definitely one of the safest travel destinations in the world. In fact, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the USA.

Not only violent crimes but also petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing are rare. Volcanic eruptions are the sole significant threat in Hawaii, but they are also extremely rare.

On the other hand, Mexico does not enjoy a favorable reputation for safety. However, major tourist locations in Mexico, such as Cancun, are relatively safe in comparison to other regions of the country.

That is why tourism in Cancun continues to grow at a rapid pace year after year. However, if you are visiting Cancun, try to stay inside the resort area and avoid venturing too far away from Cancun.

Winner: Hawaii

Nightlife

Cancun is well-known for its vibrant nightlife. Cancun is all about the sea, sand, and water during the day, but as the sun sets over Cancun, it becomes all about buzzing nightclubs.

Punta Cancun, or Party Zone, is Cancun’s nightlife epicenter. This area is densely packed with nightclubs and pubs where you may dance and drink till the wee hours of the morning. Coco Bongo and Mandala Disco Night Club, in particular, are the best nightclubs in the neighborhood, in my opinion.

Hawaii’s nightlife is rather laid-back. While there are no large nightclubs or DJs in Hawaii, you can enjoy the cocktails, live music, and dance programs at local restaurants and pubs. Oahu is Hawaii’s nightlife capital. On Oahu, there are numerous local pubs and wild dance clubs for party animals.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Oahu worth visiting? You Bet! 9 Good Reasons to Go

Winner: Cancun

Hawaii or Cancun for Honeymoon: Which is better?

Budget is often the decisive factor when it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination between Hawaii and Cancun.

If cost is a prime concern for you, Cancun is unquestionably a better option than Hawaii. Cancun is significantly less expensive than Hawaii, has a more vibrant nightlife, and boasts smooth white powdery beaches that are not found in Hawaii. However, Cancun is more of a holiday destination. It does not have the same honeymoon vibes as Hawaii does.

However, if budget is not a concern for you, Hawaii is a better choice for a Honeymoon than Cancun. The reason being Hawaii’s is breathtakingly gorgeous beaches and landscapes make it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway. Additionally, Hawaii, in comparison to Cancun, has a plethora of things to explore, from lush green forests, wildlife to waterfalls.

Winner: Hawaii, Even though Hawaii is far more expensive than Cancun, it is better suited for a Honeymoon

❤️ Suggested Read: Hawaii or Cabo for Honeymoon? An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

❤️ Suggested Read: Hawaii or Maldives for Honeymoon?

Hawaii or Cancun for Family vacation: Which is better?

When it comes to family vacations, both budget and safety are decisive factors when deciding between Hawaii and Cancun as family vacation destinations.

If your budget is not limited, Hawaii is unquestionably a better choice for a family holiday than Cancun. Hawaii is far safer than Cancun, has numerous family-friendly beaches, and offers a variety of activities for your family’s entertainment.

If your budget is limited, Cancun is certainly a better alternative than Hawaii. Cancun’s all-inclusive packages are quite economical for family vacations, and once you’ve selected one of these packages, you often won’t have to worry about further spending.

Winner: Hawaii. While Cancun is far less expensive than Hawaii, Hawaii provides a higher level of safety and more adventure alternatives for your family

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Hawaii or Cancun for Solo travelers: Which is better?

Cancun is a better alternative than Hawaii for solo travelers. Hawaii is much more expensive in every aspect than Cancun.

Accommodation costs for solo travelers in Cancun range between $15 and $25, whereas in Hawaii, it’s difficult to find accommodations for less than $50. In Hawaii, the cheapest food costs at least $15, whereas in Cancun, you can easily find delicious food for $5 if you stick to street food.

However, if you’re an adventure seeker, Hawaii is a better choice than Cancun. From lush green forests to mountains and waterfalls, Hawaii has a wealth of exciting things to offer adventure-seeking souls.

Winner: Cancun

🏖You may also like: Is Cabo San Lucas worth Visiting? 9 Reasons Why You Must Visit!!

Best Time to visit Hawaii and Cancun

December through April is Cancun’s high season and also the finest time to visit. This is the ideal time of year to visit Cancun’s white-sand beaches and azure blue ocean.

However, if you want to save money, you can visit Cancun between May and August, when you will discover numerous cheap hotel rates, however, the weather will be less pleasant and a little humid. Avoid Cancun from June to November, as this is hurricane season and you will be subjected to frequent rain.

Due to the little rainfall, the months of March through September are the best time to visit Hawaii. Due to Hawaii’s year-round pleasant climate, visiting at any time of year is ideal. If you want to save money on airfares, the best time to visit is between June and September, when airline tickets are the cheapest.

Winner: Hawaii, Hawaii enjoys year-round lovely weather

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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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