A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Belize City vs. San Jose

Should you visit Belize City or San Jose?

Should I visit Belize City or San Jose? 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

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.

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 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 San Jose is $45. 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 San Jose in more detail.




Accommodation

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 prices for places to stay in San Jose can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $27, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $54.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Belize City $39
    San Jose $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Belize City $78
    San Jose $54


Food

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.

While meal prices in San Jose can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.73 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Jose should cost around $3.09 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Jose is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Belize City $22
    San Jose $7.73

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: $70
  • See and Taste Belize Cave Tubing and Food Tour: $77
  • Belize Cultural Food Tour Altun Ha Ruin Included: $95
  • Mestizo Food Tour (Rum & Ruin Included): $125

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:

  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $66
  • Vip Evening Sightseeing Tour with Dinner: $66
  • San Jose Evening Tour with Dinner: $77
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $160


Local Transportation

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 San Jose, the average visitor spends $7.49 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Belize City $4.64
    San Jose $7.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belize City

Also for Belize City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tours&airport transfer: $128
  • Private Transfer: Belize Airports or Water Taxi Terminal to Hotel in San Ignacio: $96
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels: $160
  • Helicopter Transfer to Grand Caribe Heliport, Ambergris Caye: $1,493
  • Belize: Belize City to/from Placencia/Hopkins Transfer: $45
  • Belize Travelcation Airport Shuttle & Transfers: $28

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Jose

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


  • Taxi from SJO
    $21
  • Local Bus
    $2.23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

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

  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from SanJose City to SanJose Juan Santamaría Airport: $30
  • Transfer from San Jose Airport CR (SJO) to Arenal La Fortuna Hotels: $145
  • Transfer from Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport to San Jose: $75
  • Transfer from Manuel Antonio to San Jose Airport: $169
  • Transfer TO or FROM SJO Airport to Samara Beach: $292
  • Transfer TO or FROM SJO Airport to Puerto Viejo Talamanca Limón: $275
  • Transfer From San Jose To La Fortuna, Arenal: $162
  • San José to Norman Y. Mineta San José Airport (SJC) - Departure Private Transfer: $75
  • San José Airport (SJC) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $321
  • San José Airport (SJC) to San Francisco - Arrival Private Transfer: $160
  • San Jose Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $130
  • San Jose Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $160


Entertainment

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 San Jose, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.81 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Belize City $23
    San Jose $4.81

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: $560
  • 5-Day Belize Sea and Land Adventure: $799
  • 7-Night Tour Including The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Lodge and Ambergris Caye: $1,399
  • 9-Day Tour Including Tikal Islander and Ambergris Caye: $1,499
  • All Day Reef fishing tour with lunch from Belize City: $540
  • Altun Ha & Belize City Tour from Caye Caulker: $163
  • Altun Ha Cave Tubing and Zip line Tours from Belize City: $208
  • Altun Ha City v.i.v Tour: $79
  • Altun Ha Maya & Belize City Adventure: $85
  • Altun Ha Mayan Ruins and River Wallace and Manatee Watch Tour: $85
  • Altun Ha Mayan Site tour from Belize City: $70
  • Altun Ha and Belize City Tour from San Pedro: $180

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 Tortuguero National Park Tour from San Jose: $355
  • 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


Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Belize City spend on average $9.58 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting San Jose spend on average $5.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Belize City $9.58
    San Jose $5.92

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Belize City and San Jose, we can see that Belize City is more expensive. And not only is San Jose much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Jose would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Jose 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 San Jose.

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Belize City vs. San Jose Travel Comparison

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