A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Belize City vs. San Juan del Sur for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Belize City or San Juan del Sur?

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 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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Belize, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Belize, The Best 2-Week Tours in Nicaragua, and The Best Adventure Tours to Nicaragua.


Which place is cheaper, San Juan del Sur or Belize City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Belize City is $88, while the average daily cost in San Juan del Sur is $53. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belize City and San Juan del Sur in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Belize City $49
    San Juan del Sur $21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Belize City $98
    San Juan del Sur $42
Compare Hotels in Belize City and San Juan del Sur

Looking for a hotel in Belize City or San Juan del Sur? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Belize City


Hotels in San Juan del Sur


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Belize City Hotel Prices and San Juan del Sur Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Belize City $5.82
    San Juan del Sur $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belize City

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

  • Belize City to Philip Goldson Airport BZE Departure Transfer: $23
  • Belize City to/from Placencia/Hopkins Shuttle Transfer: $113
  • Belize city water taxi terminal to Airport transfer: $30
  • Belize: Belize City to/from San Ignacio Shuttle Transfer: $68
  • Philip Goldson Airport BZE to Belize Arrival Private Transfer: $23
  • Private Transfer from Belize City Port to Belize Airport (BZE): $60
  • Private Transfer from Belize City and Airport to Placencia: $160
  • Transfer Belize city to bacalar: $50
  • We do transfers from airport to any where in Belize.: $49

Is it cheaper to fly into Belize City or San Juan del Sur?

Prices for flights to both San Juan del Sur 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Belize City $27
    San Juan del Sur $18

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:

  • Altun Ha Mayan Site & Food Tour: $80

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Belize City $29
    San Juan del Sur $15

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 Tour: $40
  • Belizean Bits & Bites Food Tastings and City Tour in Belize: $50
  • Hassle free Cave Tubing Adventure from Belize City with Lunch: $55
  • Charlie's Cave Tubing Tour for cruisers (lunch included): $65
  • Second largest Barrier Reef Adventure Snorkeling: $70
  • Guided Cave Kayaking Tour with Pickup: $77
  • Altun Ha Mayan Ruins and River Wallace and Manatee Watch Tour: $85
  • Cave Tubing Experience from Belize City: $85
  • Altun Ha Mayan Site tour from Belize City: $85
  • Half-Day Altun Ha Temple & Belize City Tour: $86
  • "Taste Bud EXPLOSION" Food Tasting City Tour : $89
  • Turtle Garden Snorkeling Tour and Island Break : $90

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:

  • ATV Adventure Tour in San Juan del Sur, NICARAGUA: $130
  • Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur: $159
  • SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park: $103
  • San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour: $118
  • atv tour also in Costa Rica: $132

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Belize City $12
    San Juan del Sur $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Belize City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Belize City:

  • Belize: City Highlights Tour with Rum Distillery Visit: $49


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Belize City Expensive? and Is San Juan del Sur Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Belize City or San Juan del Sur?

Belize City has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of San Juan del Sur. When comparing the sizes of Belize City and San Juan del Sur, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur in the Summer?

Both San Juan del Sur and Belize City during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Belize City because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to San Juan del Sur year-round.

San Juan del Sur gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Belize City. Belize City usually gets more rain in July than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while San Juan del Sur receives 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in Belize City. In the summer, Belize City often gets more sunshine than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Juan del Sur receives 175 hours of full sun.

In July, Belize City is generally around the same temperature as San Juan del Sur. Daily temperatures in Belize City average around 28°C (82°F), and San Juan del Sur fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Belize City 28°C (82°F) 
    San Juan del Sur 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Belize City and San Juan del Sur. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Belize City year-round. San Juan del Sur attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

San Juan del Sur receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Belize City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Belize City usually receives more rain than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 255 mm (10 in) of rain, while San Juan del Sur receives 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

Belize City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as San Juan del Sur during autumn. Belize City gets 196 hours of sunny skies, while San Juan del Sur receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Belize City is around the same temperature as San Juan del Sur in the autumn. The daily temperature in Belize City averages around 26°C (80°F) in October, and San Juan del Sur fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Belize City 26°C (80°F) 
    San Juan del Sur 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Belize City as well as San Juan del Sur. Belize City attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to San Juan del Sur throughout the year.

Belize City receives a lot of rain in the winter. Belize City usually gets more rain in January than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while San Juan del Sur receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Juan del Sur. In the winter, Belize City often gets less sunshine than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 199 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Juan del Sur receives 244 hours of full sun.

In the winter, Belize City is cooler than San Juan del Sur. Typically, the winter temperatures in Belize City in January average around 24°C (74°F), and San Juan del Sur averages at about 26°C (79°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Belize City 24°C (74°F) 
    San Juan del Sur 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Belize City or San Juan del Sur in the Spring?

Both San Juan del Sur and Belize City are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Belize City throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to San Juan del Sur because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In April, Belize City usually receives more rain than San Juan del Sur. Belize City gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while San Juan del Sur receives 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the spring.

It's quite sunny in San Juan del Sur. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Belize City. Belize City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as San Juan del Sur during spring. Belize City gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while San Juan del Sur receives 242 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Belize City is generally around the same temperature as San Juan del Sur. Daily temperatures in Belize City average around 27°C (80°F), and San Juan del Sur fluctuates around 29°C (84°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Belize City 27°C (80°F) 
    San Juan del Sur 29°C (84°F)

Typical Weather for San Juan del Sur and Belize City

Belize City San Juan del Sur
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°C (74°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 24°C (76°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 27°C (80°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 25 mm (1 in) 28°C (82°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 52 mm (2 in) 29°C (84°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 29°C (84°F) 131 mm (5.2 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 243 mm (9.6 in) 27°C (81°F) 144 mm (5.7 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 187 mm (7.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 151 mm (5.9 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 27°C (81°F) 210 mm (8.3 in)
Oct 26°C (80°F) 255 mm (10 in) 27°C (81°F) 197 mm (7.8 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 31°C (88°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Dec 25°C (76°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)