A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Belize City vs. Santa Elena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Belize City or Santa Elena?

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

Should I visit Belize City or Santa Elena? 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 Santa Elena?

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.

Santa Elena

Santa Elena is a cute town, and the closest to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. It's one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, and is a great place to experience the cloud forest and see some of country's unique wildlife.

In the Monteverde Cloud Forest you have a good chance of seeing rare quetzals which are the national bird of Costa Rica. Other common animals include white-faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, orange-kneed tarantulas, any of 8-9 species of hummingbirds, and sloth.

Santa Elena is about 1,400 meters above sea level and has a humid and damp environment. The average yearly temperature is 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the average rainfall is 3,000 millimetres. Humidity can be anywhere between 74% and 97%.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Elena 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 Santa Elena is $66. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belize City and Santa Elena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Belize City $39
    Santa Elena $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Belize City $78
    Santa Elena $80
Compare Hotels in Belize City and Santa Elena

Looking for a hotel in Belize City or Santa Elena? 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 Santa Elena


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 Santa Elena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Belize City $4.64
    Santa Elena $8.02

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: $1,493
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels: $160
  • Tours&airport transfer: $128
  • Private Transfer: Belize Airports or Water Taxi Terminal to Hotel in San Ignacio: $96
  • Belize Travelcation Airport Shuttle & Transfers: $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Elena

Also for Santa Elena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One Way Private Transfer from Monteverde to Samara: $262
  • One Way Private Transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio: $265

Is it cheaper to fly into Belize City or Santa Elena?

Prices for flights to both Santa Elena 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 $22
    Santa Elena $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: $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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Belize City $23
    Santa Elena $22

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 Santa Elena

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Elena.

  • 100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde: $58
  • Canopy Tour Plus Night Walk: $111
  • Canopy Tour Plus Walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest: $164
  • Canopy plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $121
  • Ceibal Day Tour from Flores: $100
  • Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $56
  • Crocodile Tour on the Tarcoles River from Monteverde: $318
  • El Mirador Helicopter Tour: $535
  • Guatemala Birding Tour at Tikal and Uaxactún National Park: $643
  • Horseback Riding Tour Plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $133
  • Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde: $81
  • Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde Plus Walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest: $181

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Belize City $9.57
    Santa Elena $4.49


When comparing the travel costs between Belize City and Santa Elena, 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.


When is the best time to visit Belize City or Santa Elena?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Belize City or Santa Elena in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Belize City and Santa Elena. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Belize City throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Santa Elena throughout the year.

Santa Elena receives a lot of rain in the summer. Belize City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Belize City usually receives more rain than Santa Elena. Belize City gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while Santa Elena receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In Belize City, it's very sunny this time of the year. Belize City usually receives more sunshine than Santa Elena during summer. Belize City gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Santa Elena receives 164 hours of full sun in the summer.

Belize City is around the same temperature as Santa Elena in the summer. The temperature in Belize City is usually 28°C (82°F) in July, and Santa Elena stays around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Belize City 28°C (82°F) 
    Santa Elena 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Belize City or Santa Elena in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Belize City as well as Santa Elena. Plenty of visitors come to Belize City because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Santa Elena because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Santa Elena. Belize City receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Belize City usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Santa Elena. Belize City gets 255 mm (10 in) of rain, while Santa Elena receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Belize City often gets more sunshine than Santa Elena. Belize City gets 196 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Santa Elena receives 169 hours of full sun.

In the autumn, Belize City is around the same temperature as Santa Elena. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Belize City in October are around 26°C (80°F), and Santa Elena is about 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Belize City 26°C (80°F) 
    Santa Elena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Belize City or Santa Elena in the Winter?

Both Santa Elena and Belize City are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Belize City attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Santa Elena attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

It's quite rainy in Belize City. In January, Belize City usually receives more rain than Santa Elena. Belize City gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Santa Elena receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.

It's quite sunny in Santa Elena. Belize City usually receives less sunshine than Santa Elena during winter. Belize City gets 199 hours of sunny skies, while Santa Elena receives 264 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Belize City is generally cooler than Santa Elena. Temperatures in Belize City average around 24°C (74°F), and Santa Elena stays around 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Belize City 24°C (74°F) 
    Santa Elena 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Belize City or Santa Elena in the Spring?

Both Santa Elena and Belize City during the spring are popular places to visit. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Belize City throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Santa Elena throughout the year.

Belize City usually gets more rain in April than Santa Elena. Belize City gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Santa Elena receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Santa Elena, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Belize City. In the spring, Belize City often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Santa Elena. Belize City gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Santa Elena receives 255 hours of full sun.

Belize City is around the same temperature as Santa Elena in the spring. The temperature in Belize City is usually 27°C (80°F) in April, and Santa Elena stays around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Belize City 27°C (80°F) 
    Santa Elena 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Santa Elena and Belize City

Belize City Santa Elena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°C (74°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 24°C (76°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 25 mm (1 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 52 mm (2 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 243 mm (9.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 187 mm (7.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 26°C (80°F) 255 mm (10 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 25°C (76°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)


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Belize City vs. Santa Elena Travel Comparison

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