Should you visit Antigua Guatemala or San Juan del Sur?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Antigua Guatemala or San Juan del Sur, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
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 Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is a popular port destination on the Pacific coast of southwest Nicaragua. The town was once a quaint fishing village but has grown into a tourist town with activities for visitors that include surfing, fishing, and, of course, partying. The town has a population of just over 15,000, most of whom are either fishermen or involved in the tourism industry. There is also a large expat community from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Which city is cheaper, San Juan del Sur 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 Juan del Sur is $44. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Antigua Guatemala and San Juan del Sur in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Antigua Guatemala can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $17, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $34.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $34 for a double occupancy room in San Juan del Sur.
The price of a meal in Antigua Guatemala can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $12 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $4.80 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
The average traveler spends about $15 per day in San Juan del Sur for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Antigua Guatemala $12
San Juan del Sur $15
Typical Food prices in Antigua Guatemala
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Antigua Guatemala:
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:
Guatemalan Food Cooking Class:
Food Tour in Antigua Traditional Market:
Market and Mayan Cooking Class:
Guatemalan Mestizo and Gourmet Food Tour in Antigua:
Authentic Guatemalan Cooking Class:
Guatemalan Cooking Class and Market Tour:
Food Tour in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala:
Guatemala City Market and Food Tour from Antigua:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan del Sur
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Juan del Sur.
Food Tour - Nicaragua Gastronomy:
Antigua Guatemala's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $9.92 per person, per day on transportation in Antigua Guatemala.
The average price of local transportation around San Juan del Sur is $15 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan del Sur
Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Juan del Sur:
One-Way Private Transfer from San Juan del Sur to Managua:
Is it cheaper to fly into Antigua Guatemala or San Juan del Sur?
Prices for flights to both San Juan del Sur 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Antigua Guatemala can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $12 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
San Juan del Sur's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $12 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Tours and Activities in Antigua Guatemala
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Antigua Guatemala.
Antigua old city Walking tour:
Artisan Shoemaking & Leather Craft Tour:
Walking Tour Antigua Guatemala:
Antigua Walking Tour Morning and Afternoon:
La Antigua Cultural Walking Tour:
LA ANTIGUA CULTURAL WALKING TOUR- Afternoon:
Antigua Market Culture and Cuisine Tour:
Antigua Walking Tour:
Private Walking tour of Antigua Guatemala:
Cultural Walking City Tour of Antigua Guatemala:
Full day Walking tour Antigua Guatemala:
Experience Antigua Walking Tour:
Tours and Activities in San Juan del Sur
Here are a few actual costs in San Juan del Sur for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur:
Open Bar Sunset Cruise in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua:
SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park:
San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Antigua Guatemala, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.13.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting San Juan del Sur may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When comparing the travel costs between Antigua Guatemala and San Juan del Sur, we can see that Antigua Guatemala 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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