Should you visit Belize City or Panama City?
Should I visit Belize City or Panama City? 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.
Panama City is the cosmopolitan capital city of the country of Panama. With a population of almost 900,000 and almost 1.5 million in the metropolitan area, it's a very diverse city with expat residents from all over the world. You don't have to search far to find someone who speaks English, and many Panamanians are quite helpful and friendly.
Which city is cheaper, Panama City 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 Panama City is $68. 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 Panama City 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $56 in Panama City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
In Panama City travelers spend around $17 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Belize City $22
Panama City $17
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):
Typical Food prices in Panama City
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Panama City:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City
For Panama City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Panama Evening Food Tour:
Panama City Food Tour: Taste of Panama Walking Tour:
Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy:
Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner:
The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour:
Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA:
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.
To get around in Panama City, the average visitor spends $8.54 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belize City
Also for Belize City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
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:
Belize: Belize City to/from Placencia/Hopkins Transfer:
Belize Travelcation Airport Shuttle & Transfers:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City
Also for Panama City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfers from Tocumen Airport to Panama City:
Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks):
Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera Village:
Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita:
Transfer to Carti, San Blas from Panama City:
Transfer in private vehicle from Panamá City to Panamá Tocumen Airport:
Transfer in private minivan from Panama City to Panama Tocumen Airport:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita or Gamboa:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Playa Blanca:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Colon Cruise Terminal:
Transfer from Playa Bonita or Gamboa to Tocumen Airport:
Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Belize City or Panama City?
Prices for flights to both Panama City 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.
In Panama City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $53 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Belize City
For Belize City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
4-Day Aktun Tunichil Muknal and Lamanai City Tour:
5-Day Belize Sea and Land Adventure:
7-Night Tour Including The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Lodge and Ambergris Caye:
9-Day Tour Including Tikal Islander and Ambergris Caye:
All Day Reef fishing tour with lunch from Belize City:
Altun Ha & Belize City Tour from Caye Caulker:
Altun Ha Cave Tubing and Zip line Tours from Belize City:
Altun Ha City v.i.v Tour:
Altun Ha Maya & Belize City Adventure:
Altun Ha Mayan Ruins and River Wallace and Manatee Watch Tour:
Altun Ha Mayan Site tour from Belize City:
Altun Ha and Belize City Tour from San Pedro:
Tours and Activities in Panama City
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Panama City.
2 Nights in San Blas Islands! Beach & Community Tour includes La casa de papel:
2-day San Blas Islands in Shared Cabin with Tour, Meals and Transport Included:
2D/1N Private Cabin (min 2 Guests) in San Blas INCLUDING Day Tour + Transport:
3.5-Hour Discover Panama City Tour:
5-Day Tour to Bocas del Toro from Panama City:
5-Hour City Tour & The Panama Canal Including Ticket:
5-Hour Tour of Panama City, Panama from Tocumen Airport:
6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise:
A Volcano adventure: Hiking, Waterfall and more:
Adventure and relaxing at the Caribbean:
AfroLatino Travel - AfroPanama in Focus City Day Tour:
All Inclusive Full-Day Taboga Island Catamaran Tour from Panama City, Panama:
Typically, people visiting Belize City spend on average $9.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Panama City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.
Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Panama City:
Panama Bar Crawl (private):
When comparing the travel costs between Belize City and Panama City, we can see that Belize City 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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