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

Should you visit Antigua Guatemala or San Jose?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Antigua Guatemala or San Jose, 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.

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.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

Which city is cheaper, San Jose or Antigua Guatemala?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Antigua Guatemala is $50, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $54. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Antigua Guatemala and San Jose in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Antigua Guatemala $17
    San Jose $29
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Antigua Guatemala $34
    San Jose $58

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Antigua Guatemala $9.82
    San Jose $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:


  • Taxi from SJO
    $18
  • Local Bus
    $2.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

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

  • Round Trip Transfer From San Jose Airport To Dreams Las Mareas Guanacaste: $779
  • Private roundtrip transfers from San Jose Intl Airport to Guanacaste Hotels: $700
  • Round trip transfer from San Jose Airport to La Fortuna/Arenal: $373
  • One Way Private transfer from San Jose Intl Airport to Guanacaste Hotels: $350
  • Private transfer from Corcovado Puntarenas to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $340
  • San José Airport (SJC) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $321
  • Private Transfer - Juan Santa María International Airport to Uvita or Dominical: $320
  • Private Transfer from San Jose to Puerto Viejo, Limon: $299
  • Private Transfer San José to Arenal with stop in Poas & La Paz Waterfall: $297
  • Transfer TO or FROM SJO Airport to Samara Beach: $292
  • Private transfer from San José or SJO Airport to Liberia up to 5 passengers: $280
  • Private One Way Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde: $280

Is it cheaper to fly into Antigua Guatemala or San Jose?

Prices for flights to both San Jose 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Antigua Guatemala $11
    San Jose $9.91
Typical Food prices in Antigua Guatemala

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


  • Lunch
    $3.21
  • Lunch
    $7.71

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:

  • Short Cooking Class in Antigua, Guatemala: $37
  • Guatemalan Food Cooking Class: $45
  • Cooking Classes: $49
  • Food Tour in Antigua Traditional Market: $58
  • Market and Mayan Cooking Class: $60
  • Guatemalan Mestizo and Gourmet Food Tour in Antigua: $71
  • Authentic Guatemalan Cooking Class: $72
  • Guatemalan Cooking Class and Market Tour: $84
  • Food Tour in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala: $87
  • Guatemala City Market and Food Tour from Antigua: $90
  • Guatemala Cooking Class Tour: $100

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

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

  • Vip Evening Sightseeing Tour with Dinner: $66
  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $66
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $160

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Antigua Guatemala $12
    San Jose $12

Tours and Activities in Antigua Guatemala

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

  • 2-Day Kayak and Hike Adventure Package from Antigua: $199
  • Antigua ATV Coffee Tour: $39
  • Antigua ATV Cultural Adventure: $55
  • Antigua ATV Mountain Adventure: $66
  • Antigua ATV Sunset Tour: $59
  • Antigua ATV Villages Tour: $62
  • Antigua Family Walking Tour: $541
  • Antigua Guatemala Walking Group Tour: $26
  • Stopover Tour: $75
  • Antigua Market Culture and Cuisine Tour: $20
  • Antigua Walking Tour: $22
  • Antigua Walking Tour Morning and Afternoon: $18

Tours and Activities in San Jose

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

  • 1 Night in Tortuguero + Tour to the Tortuguero National Park: $555
  • 11-Day Tour from Monteverde Cloud Forest and Tortuguero, Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio National Parks: $1,693
  • 13 Days - Fly & Drive - Touring Costa Rica: $2,770
  • 3 in 1 Eco Tour Rain Forest Aerial Tram, River Cruise & Nature Walk Private Tour: $315
  • 3-Day Monteverde Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio Park Tour All Inclusive: $485
  • 3-Day Tour to Tortuguero National Park from San Jose: $708
  • 3-Days Eco Adventure Tortuguero National Park walking & Canoe Tour All Inclusive: $390
  • 4 Days Adventure in Costa Rica's Eco-tourism Destinations All Inclusive: $725
  • 4-Day Adventure in Tortuguero National Park: $465
  • 4-Day Arenal Volcano Monteverde and Manuel Antonio Park Tour All Inclusive: $570
  • 5-Hour Guided VIP City Bus Tour from San Jose: $66
  • 6 in 1 RainForest Adventure From San Jose: $139

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Antigua Guatemala $9.05
    San Jose $9.69

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • San Jose Bar Hunt: Sweet San Jose Bar Crawl: $12


When comparing the travel costs between Antigua Guatemala and San Jose, we can see that San Jose is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Central America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Antigua Guatemala vs. San Jose Travel Comparison

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