Cancun vs. Hawaii: Which is Better For Vacations In 2023

Regarding tourist destinations, Cancun vs. Hawaii is a common debate; which one is better?

This question poses a challenge to answer because both beaches exhibit natural beauty and unique qualities to offer tourists worldwide.

Opting for Cancun or Hawaii once in a lifetime for a honeymoon and vacation can be an overwhelming decision. I am here to compare Hawaii and Cancun to help you avoid the confusing situation of choosing between the two.

So let’s have a look at what each destination has to offer.


Cancun is a well-known city on Mexico’s Northeast coast, paired with a gorgeous white sand beach with clear water, a perfect option for scuba diving or snorkeling. Cancun becomes very hot during summer but comes with excellent nightlife, thus making it a great entertaining place to visit with family and friends. However, the location is not chosen by those who are peace lovers as it is most famous among college students, so it is expected to be overcrowded in March and April.

You can visit the incredible pools in Cancun to relax in gorgeous pools and enjoy a variety of treatments. It is a great place to visit for those who are fond of learning about cultural heritage because it is close to Chechen Itza’s ruins. It is cheaper than Hawaii, so your investment goes further while visiting Cancun.


Hawaii is a pacific island chain created by sea eruptions in the Pacific Ocean. It used to be part of the giant continent paired with continental shelves, but it was gone away from them due to tectonic activity. In Hawaii islands, the population is around 160,000 to 180,000 people. However, more than 1.4 million people like to visit there each year. Due to tourism, retail, and transportation, Hawaii is the world’s most well-known tourist destination and makes up 8% of its economy.

As you might know, Hawaii is famous for its gorgeous beaches; the two most popular are Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Waikiki beach. The weather conditions in Hawaii are different depending on the location. There are four seasons on the Hawaii coast, winter, summer, fall, and spring. Generally, as an oversized island, it has a tropical climate with very little temperature difference throughout the year. However, other islands on this coast get colder or hotter during the year due to the closeness to the equator of the sea.   

Cancun vs. Hawaii Cost

When you talk about the cost of Cancun vs. Hawaii, Cancun is in the reasonable price range compared to Hawaii in terms of flights and hotels. But these two can get congested during the peak time of visitors, like winter gateway destination and spring break. However, Oleo Cancun Playa Boutique All-inclusive Resort provides all-inclusive experiences and the best rooms with excellent accommodations with sea views at less than half the price of most neighboring hotels.

On the other hand, Hawaii can be more expensive for those with tight travel budgets. It is located in the heart of Waikiki, 2 minutes walk from the famous Waikiki beach, and surrounded by dining and shipping. While visiting it will stretch your budget, the elegant and panoramic views of the city and ocean along the infinity swimming pools will be worth it. 

Hawaii Vs. Cancun for Honeymoon

The most critical and decisive factor in choosing Cancun or Hawaii for the honeymoon destination. Cancun is the better option without question than Hawaii if the cost and budget are your primary concern. Due to the vibrant nightlife and smooth powdery beaches, Cancun is less expensive than Hawaii because these all are absent in Hawaii.

However, Cancun is widely recognized as a holiday destination because it brings more honeymoon vibes than Hawaii. On the other hand, if the budget is not your primary concern, Hawaii is the best option than Cancun. The reason is the breathtaking gorgeous beaches and landscapes that make these locations ideal and attractive gateways for romantic days.

Therefore, based on these facts, both of these destinations are best to visit on honeymoon as these places feature beautiful blue lagoons, beaches, and landscapes, making it hard to decide which one to choose.

Cancun or Hawaii for Family Vacations

Cancun and Hawaii offer cultural and educational outdoor activities and experiences for your kids and family. However, if you want to provide a learning experience for your family, Cancun provides the best opportunity to witness an ancient foreign culture. So it will be better than before traveling; learning of Spanish language will be an excellent opportunity to teach your kids to interact and respect other people from a different culture.

That being said, your kids will also experience a different culture in Hawaii Some of the Polynesian dishes are innovative and unique to the islands. However, overall, Hawaii comes with cleanliness and law and order for your kids living in the US. Therefore, they will feel like they are in a place they have never been before. Hawaii offers more cultural island experiences than Cancun.

Therefore, Cancun and Hawaii are both fantastic destinations to visit. However, which makes one travel destination the perfect fit for your family while the other might prove to be more challenging.

Cancun is an ideal option for those families:

Wants to have no time change or a slight change applicable to the residents in the Eastern and Central zones

The families that are on a budget

Valuable experience for your kids

Those who want to enjoy most of the time of their vacations on the beach

Hawaii is an ideal option for those:

Want to have more options for beach variety

I do not want to deal with passports

Want to enjoy many water and land activities

I prefer the familiarity with US culture and safety

Why is Cancun better than Hawaii?

You might think, why?

Traveling to Hawaii will generally be in the higher price range than Cancun in terms of many aspects like distance, flight, and activities. All these aspects are cheaper in Cancun compared to Hawaii, as these experiences and activities are more varied and diverse in Cancun compared to Hawaii.

Looking at the factors, you can see that Cancun is better than Hawaii.

Flight Options

Let’s suppose you are traveling from the US, so the distance between the US and Cancun and the US and Hawaii will play a significant role in making your decision. Therefore, if you come from New York, traveling to Hawaii will cost you $900 or more during summer.

On the other hand, if you visit Cancun in the same place. It will come to around $600. Another aspect is that when you plan to book your flight from New York to Hawaii, there is no other alternative option to opt for the connecting flight. While for Cancun, nonstop flights from New York to Mexico are available.

Travel Budget

Your budget is the most crucial consideration when visiting Cancun or Hawaii. Most of the Cancun resorts come with packages including accommodation, meals, and land transfers. Due to the all-in-one packages, Mexico is the most popular and well-known among all tourists. So you might want to opt for Cancun if you want a cheaper vacation but hassle-free option.

Yet, there are also inclusive packages in Hawaii but with a higher price range. When you opt to stay in Hawaii, you have to spend as much in Hana up to $4000, but in Cancun, spending $2000 is sufficient.

Travel Time

Most people do not want to spend more time traveling. So let’s suppose how far is Cancun and Hawaii from the US. If your departure is from Los Angeles and traveling to Hawaii, it will take 6 hours. If you are coming from Newark, the flight will take 12 hours to reach. While for Cancun, from New York, it will take 4 hours, and from Los Angeles, it will be 5 hours.

Why is Cancun the Best Spot for Beach Vacation?

Cancun is one of the best vacation spots in Latin America and a favorite destination in Mexico. Likewise, it is ranked 35th out of 100the tourism spots worldwide according to Eurometer calculation. With this definition, there is no denying that Cancun is the right spot for vacation around the globe.

Well, for your ease, we highlight the various beautiful features of Cancun here.

Cultural Heritage

Cancun is considered to be the heart of the Mexican Caribbean, as year after year, more and more tourists want to visit the Yucatan Peninsula to get a glance at gorgeous beaches. The location is well preserved and maintained, and walking during the Mayan period was straightforward. In addition to the tourist destination, Cancun can take you back to the rich Mexican heritage and civilization.

The Mayan period kept the peninsula vibrant and busy as trade, culture, and religion were often part of the Yucatan. Moreover, the Chichen Itza Maya Ruins is one of the most elegant ruins in Mexico. It rightly deserves its listing as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Mouth-Watering Mexican Cuisine

No doubt you don’t want to miss the delicious Mexican cuisine. You can opt for the traditional food and cutting edge at the level of five-star food options as it is one of the greatest highlights while visiting the state of Mexico. To taste the delicious food in the streets, you can switch to Ciudad Cancun with endless Mexican dishes.

The Unmatched Beauty of Beaches

Cancun is an overall cultural site and takes you to the unmatched beauty of beaches and sand. Visiting the Cancun coastline means having endless chances to have fun and entertainment. While Hawaii has six major islands to choose from. Cancun offers Las Perlas Tulum, Tortugas Beach, and Mamitas.

Superb Accommodations

The best accommodations in every aspect are crucial to every tourist’s list. No doubt the accommodations in Cancun are the best. When you stay in Hotel Zone or Zona Hotelera, you can find variations in everything. So in Cancun, the best hotels and resorts are easy to navigate and find.


Is it better to go to Cancun or Hawaii?

Regarding hotels and flights, it is better to opt for Cancun than Hawaii because it is cheaper. But it can be overcrowded during peak times like winter and spring break. Hawaii has more sandy beaches but is in the higher price range for most tourists.

Is Cancun more expensive than Hawaii?

Food in Hawaii, especially on Kauai and Maui, is costly. Likewise, you can opt for the decent and all-inclusive plans in Cancun for $90 to 125 $ per day.

Which is better, Mexico or Hawaii?

In terms of safety, Hawaii is a better choice than Mexico, while Mexico is the best option in terms of affordability. Hawaii has more natural beauty than Mexico, but Mexico is the best in history and culture.

Is Cancun hotter than Hawaii?

Cancun is hooter than Hawaii, as it has many white sand beaches with soft and powdery sand. The water is calmer and warmer in Cancun as compared to Hawaii.


So there you have it!

By looking at the features of both tourist sites, Cancun vs. Hawaii, it can be concluded that both are stunning places to visit, and you must spare your time and investment to visit them for a vacation or your honeymoon.

With plenty of available flights, Cancun is easy to access, so that is the reason why tourists prefer Hawaii vs. Cancun. Hawaii has beautiful landscapes, and Cancun has impressive beaches and stunning views. Cancun is the better option from an overall vacation point of view, as it allows you to experience variant Mexican culture and is cheaper than Hawaii in terms of accommodation, food, and distance from the USA.