A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Antigua Guatemala vs. Jaco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Antigua Guatemala or Jaco?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Antigua Guatemala or Jaco, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Antigua Guatemala or Jaco?

Antigua Guatemala

Before a disastrous earthquake in 1773, Antigua was the colonial capital of Guatemala. For 200 years it had reigned as so and today shows remnants of its glorious past with Spanish colonial buildings and other architectural landmarks still standing. Due to this large amount of preserved architecture, Antigua was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is now the most touristed city of Guatemala.


Jaco is a beach destination on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This resort city is located in the county of Garabito in the Puntarenas province. It has a population of about 10,000 residents and a 2.5 mile long beach that is an excellent surfing destination.

Because Jaco is located on the coast, it's weather is influenced by the water. The climate is humid with a relative humidity of about 80%, but climbing to 90% in the month of June. The temperature is usually between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. There are distinct wet and dry seasons with August through early December being the rainy season and late December through early April being the dry season. Rain is irregular during the rest of the year.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Guatemala, The Best Eco Tours in Guatemala, The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Costa Rica.

Which place is cheaper, Jaco or Antigua Guatemala?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Antigua Guatemala is $63, while the average daily cost in Jaco is $103. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Antigua Guatemala and Jaco in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Antigua Guatemala $22
    Jaco $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Antigua Guatemala $44
    Jaco $134
Compare Hotels in Antigua Guatemala and Jaco

Looking for a hotel in Antigua Guatemala or Jaco? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Antigua Guatemala

Hotels in Jaco

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Antigua Guatemala Hotel Prices and Jaco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Antigua Guatemala $12
    Jaco -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Antigua Guatemala

Also for Antigua Guatemala, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Guatemala City to Aurora to Antigua Guatemala: $130
  • Private Transfer from Antigua to the Airport: $72
  • Private Transfer from Antigua Guatemala to Puerto Quetzal Port: $28
  • Private Transfer from Antigua Guatemala to La Aurora Airport: $36
  • Private Transfer From Antigua to Guatemala City / Airport: $50
  • Private Ground Transfer From Antigua To Guatemala City Airport: $23
  • From Guatemala City: One-way Shared Transfer to Antigua: $20
  • From Antigua: Transfer to Guatemala City: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jaco

Also for Jaco, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer to Jaco beach from San José or the airport one way: $245
  • Private transfer from Jaco Beach to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $219
  • Private Transfer - San Jose Airport & Los Sueños Resort/Marriot : $200
  • Jaco or Playa Hermosa: Transfer to San Jose or Alajuela: $173
  • From Tortuga Island Boat Tour with Lunch and Transfer: $135
  • Jaco/Monteverde to Liberia Airport (LIR) - Departure Transfer : $91
  • Arrival Transfer Barcelo Tambor to Juan Santamaria Airport SJO : $83
  • Transfer FROM Jaco Beach TO SJO Airport OR RETURN (One Way): $70
  • Shuttle & transfer rides to SJO Airport Costa Rica: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Antigua Guatemala or Jaco?

Prices for flights to both Jaco and Antigua Guatemala change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Antigua Guatemala $14
    Jaco $21
Typical Food Prices in Antigua Guatemala

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Antigua Guatemala:

  • Lunch
  • Lunch

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Antigua Guatemala

For Antigua Guatemala, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Make your own Mayan Pepian - Cooking class: $69
  • Antigua: Cooking Class with Local Family: $74
  • Street Food Tour Around Antigua: $75
  • Market food tour and tortilla workshop: $79
  • Market and Mayan Cooking Class: $80
  • Guatemalan Cooking Class & Market Tour: $85
  • Foodie & street food tour: $85
  • Authentic Guatemalan Cooking Class in Antigua: $90
  • Private Cooking Class of Typical Guatemalan Dishes: $95
  • Guatemalan Cooking Class and Market Tour: $98
  • From Guatemala City: Guatemala Cooking Class Tour: $110
  • The Best Food Tour in Antigua: $116

Typical Food Prices in Jaco

For Jaco, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Hermosa BeachLlunch
  • Tsunami Sushi Dinner
  • Taco Bar Dinner
  • Pizza & Smoothie Lunch
  • Ice Cream
  • Breakfast Taco Bar
  • Fruit Plate

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jaco

For Jaco, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Traveling Spoon Ceviche Private Online Cooking Class: $40
  • Taste of Costa Rica: Traditional Food Tour in Jacó: $87
  • Night Walk Tour and Jungle Dinner in Jaco: $89
  • Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Combo Tour with Lunch & Dinner: $195

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Antigua Guatemala $15
    Jaco $60

Tours and Activities in Antigua Guatemala

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Antigua Guatemala.

  • ¡Pacaya Volcano Tour from Antigua!: $100
  • 2-Day Kayak and Hike Adventure Package from Antigua: $219
  • 2-Day Shared Hiking Tour to Acatenango Volcano from Antigua: $125
  • 2-Day Shared Hiking Tour to Acatenango Volcano from Antigua: $110
  • 2-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market: $220
  • 2-day tour to Acatenango Volcano: $75
  • 3-Hour Chateau Defay Vineyard Tour in Central America: $65
  • 4WD Acatenango Volcano Tour / Summit & Sunrise: $240
  • ANTIGUA Villages Tour: $72
  • ATV Cultural & Adventure Tour: Shared Antigua Villages Experience: $90
  • ATV or UTV Coffee Tour in Antigua Guatemala: $100
  • Acatenango Overnight Hike Multiday Tour: $116

Typical Entertainment Prices in Jaco

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Jaco's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Dance Class
  • Surf Lesson
  • Bike Rental
  • Tortuga Island Tour
  • Massage

Tours and Activities in Jaco

For Jaco, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Jungle & River ATV Adventure, 2 hours / Jacó: $95
  • Ocean views Zip Line Canopy Tour in Jaco Beach and Los Suenos : $71
  • 1 hour 45 minutes Crocodile Adventure Tour in Tarcoles River: $45
  • 2 Hour ATV Jungle Adventure Jaco: $75
  • 2 hour Double ATV Tour + Waterfalls in Jaco Beach : $99
  • 3-Hour ATV Jungle Waterfall Adventure: $95
  • 3-Hour ATV Jungle Waterfall Adventure: $110
  • 3-Hour Private Guided Experience of 7 Course Contemporary Indian Tasting Menu: $225
  • 3.000 ft Private Paragliding Experience in Costa Rica: $290
  • 4×4 Waterfalls and Jungle Experience: $80
  • 4x4 Happy Jungle Booze Cruise: $115
  • 5 Hour Off-Road ATV+ Zipline+ Waterfall Rappelling+ Tractor Jungle Tour: $160

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Antigua Guatemala $11
    Jaco $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Antigua Guatemala

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Antigua Guatemala:

  • Antigua Bar Crawl: $26

Typical Alcohol Prices in Jaco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Jaco:

  • Wine
  • Night at the Bar

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Antigua Guatemala and Jaco, we can see that Jaco is more expensive. And not only is Antigua Guatemala much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Antigua Guatemala would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Antigua Guatemala and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Jaco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Jaco than you might in Antigua Guatemala.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Antigua Guatemala Expensive? and Is Jaco Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Antigua Guatemala or Jaco?

Antigua Guatemala has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Jaco. When comparing the sizes of Antigua Guatemala and Jaco, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.