Should you visit Belize City or Puerto Viejo?
Should I visit Belize City or Puerto Viejo? 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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town in Caribbean Costa Rica in the province of Limon. There are two gorgeous National Parks nearby - Cahuita and Manzanillo, and it rains more than on the Pacific side, which is why it is so lush and green with the rainforest coming down to the sea. Clear water, coconut palms, great surf and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere make Puerto Viejo a favorite among travelers. Located on about an hour south of Limon, Puerto Viejo is the center of activity between the smaller villages of Cahuita and Manzanillo. The relaxed, seaside town is framed by jungle, turquoise seas, banana plantations and scenic rivers. It's known for the Salsa Brava surf break and beaches like black-sand Playa Negra, but this burgeoning party town is no longer a destination only for intrepid surfers; it's bustling with tourist activity. Stylish eateries serve global fusion, and intentionally rustic bamboo bars pump dancehall and reggaeton. With its blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, expat Europeans and indigenous Costa Ricans, Puerto Viejo charms visitors with a unique mix of people and cultures. Rastafari culture has a firm foothold in the town, and many Rastas sell handmade jewelry and other wares along the town's vibrant roadside. Nearby you'll find rainforest fruit and cacao farms and wide-open beaches. If you're looking to chill a little, party a little and eat a little, you've come to the right place.
Which city is cheaper, Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo is $85. 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 Puerto Viejo 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 $88 in Puerto Viejo 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.
The average traveler spends about $20 per day in Puerto Viejo 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
Belize City $22
Puerto Viejo $20
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):
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.
Puerto Viejo'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 $28 per person, per day on transportation in Puerto Viejo.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belize City
Also for Belize City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Transfer: Belize Airports or Water Taxi Terminal to Hotel in San Ignacio:
Private Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels:
Helicopter Transfer to Grand Caribe Heliport, Ambergris Caye:
Belize: Belize City to/from Placencia/Hopkins Transfer:
Belize Travelcation Airport Shuttle & Transfers:
Is it cheaper to fly into Belize City or Puerto Viejo?
Prices for flights to both Puerto Viejo 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Puerto Viejo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $23 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
Typically, people visiting Belize City spend on average $9.58 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Puerto Viejo spend on average $8.72 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Belize City and Puerto Viejo, we can see that Puerto Viejo is more expensive. And not only is Belize City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Belize City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Belize City 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 Puerto Viejo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Viejo than you might in Belize City.
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