Should you visit Belize City or Leon?
Should I visit Belize City or Leon? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Belize City is the largest city in Belize. It was once the capital of the country, but due to massive hurricane damage in 1961, the country decided to relocate it capital. With a population of 57,000 people, Belize City is located right at the mouth of the Haulover Creek.
This gorgeous tropical city experiences a monsoon climate – meaning there are warm and humid conditions throughout the course of the year. There is a wet season from May to January, so plan for a little bit of rain in that time.
Leon is one of the oldest city's in Nicaragua and you can see hints of its colonial past in the architecture around town. Tourism is not a major part of the economy in Leon, but the city is gaining popularity with budget travelers and backpackers and more recently tour groups are including Leon in their itinerary.
With a population of just over 200,000, Leon is the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua. During the university season the population grows dramatically as there is a heavy presence of students in Leon. It is a popular university town, and this young population gives the city plenty of energy and entertainment.
Which city is cheaper, Leon or Belize City?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Belize City is $70, while the average daily cost in Leon is $49. 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 Belize City and Leon in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $78 in Belize City For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Leon is $26. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
While meal prices in Belize City can vary, the average travelers spends about $22 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Belize City should cost around $8.80 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Belize City is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Leon food costs typically run travelers around $10 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
Belize City $22
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Belize City
For Belize City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Private Mayan Cooking and Tasting Experience in Cayo:
See and Taste Belize Cave Tubing and Food Tour:
Belize Cultural Food Tour Altun Ha Ruin Included:
Mestizo Food Tour (Rum & Ruin Included):
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Leon
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Leon.
Belize City'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 $4.64 per person, per day on transportation in Belize City.
The cost of a taxi ride in Leon is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $1.25 per person, per day, on local transportation in Leon.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belize City
Also for Belize City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Belize Travelcation Airport Shuttle & Transfers:
Helicopter Transfer to Grand Caribe Heliport, Ambergris Caye:
Private Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels:
Private Transfer: Belize Airports or Water Taxi Terminal to Hotel in San Ignacio:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leon
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leon:
Reliable one-way transfer Guanajuato Leon International Airport to Hotel:
León hotels to Del Bajio Airport (BJX) - Departure Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Belize City or Leon?
Prices for flights to both Leon and Belize City 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 Belize City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $23 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in Leon typically cost an average of $4.82 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Belize City
For Belize City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Belize City and Rum Factory Tour:
Downtown Belize City Tour (Rum Factory included):
Belize City Tour:
Kukumba Beach and Belize City Tour:
Cave Kayaking v.i.v.Tour:
Zipline Adventures from Belize City:
Belize Party Bus Ultimate Evening Experience Fridays Only:
Cave Kayaking for Cruise Ship Passengers:
Saint Herman's Cave Hiking and Blue Hole Tour from Belize City:
Altun Ha Mayan Site tour from Belize City:
Private Half-Day Tour in Altun-Ha:
Tours and Activities in Leon
Here are a few actual costs in Leon for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
3-Day Tour to Ometepe Island from León:
7-Day Tour: Learn to Surf in Nicaragua:
7-Days Tour: Punta Miramar Surf Camp:
Best of Leon and Granada *Private Tour*:
Charming Nicaragua "9 days Private Tour":
Hike El Hoyo Volcano "Private Tour":
Horseback Riding Private Tour:
Kayak Private tour at Juan Venado Island:
León 3-Hour Guided City Tour Including Entrance Fees:
León: 5-Hour Volcano Boarding Tour on Cerro Negro:
León: Flor de Caña Rum Factory 4-Hour Tour:
Leon City Tour:
Typically, people visiting Belize City spend on average $9.58 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Leon may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $2.93 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Belize City and Leon, we can see that Belize City is more expensive. And not only is Leon much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Leon would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Leon 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 Belize City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Belize City than you might in Leon.
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