A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bocas del Toro vs. Puerto Viejo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo?

Bocas del Toro

The capital of the Bocas del Toro province, this city of the same name sits in the Caribbean West region of Panama. Bocas del Toro, or Bocas Town, is in the district of Bocas del Toro, which also includes the towns of Bastimentos, Cauchero, Punta Laurel, and Tierra Oscura. The district has a population of about 17,000 and covers a total area of 433.2 square kilometers, and the town has a population of about 13,000. The area is a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, excellent snorkeling and diving, and interesting culture.

Puerto Viejo

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 Bocas del Toro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bocas del Toro is $61, while the average daily cost in Puerto Viejo is $83. 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 Bocas del Toro and Puerto Viejo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bocas del Toro $26
    Puerto Viejo $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bocas del Toro $52
    Puerto Viejo $86
Compare Hotels in Bocas del Toro and Puerto Viejo

Looking for a hotel in Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo? 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 Bocas del Toro


Hotels in Puerto Viejo


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bocas del Toro $8.15
    Puerto Viejo $27
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bocas del Toro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bocas del Toro:


  • Water Taxi
    $2.98

Is it cheaper to fly into Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro 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
    Bocas del Toro $21
    Puerto Viejo $19
Typical Food prices in Bocas del Toro

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bocas del Toro:


  • Lunch
    $15
  • Breakfast
    $14

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bocas del Toro $17
    Puerto Viejo $23
Typical Entertainment prices in Bocas del Toro

For Bocas del Toro, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Island Boat Tour
    $25
  • Starfish Island Boat Trip
    $20
  • Yoga Class
    $4.97

Tours and Activities in Bocas del Toro

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Bocas del Toro.

  • Small-Group Speed Boat and Snorkel Tour from Bocas del Toro: $68

Tours and Activities in Puerto Viejo

For Puerto Viejo, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Tamarindo: ATV Quad Bike Adventure Tour: $100

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bocas del Toro $9.42
    Puerto Viejo $8.57


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


When is the best time to visit Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo?

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 Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bocas del Toro and Puerto Viejo. Plenty of visitors come to Bocas del Toro because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Puerto Viejo because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

Puerto Viejo receives a lot of rain in the summer. Bocas del Toro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Bocas del Toro usually receives around the same amount of rain as Puerto Viejo. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain.

Bocas del Toro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Puerto Viejo during summer. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 124 hours of sunny skies, while Puerto Viejo receives 124 hours of full sun.

In the summer, Bocas del Toro is around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bocas del Toro in July are around 26°C (79°F), and Puerto Viejo is about 26°C (79°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Bocas del Toro as well as Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Puerto Viejo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

It's quite rainy in Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Bocas del Toro usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro gets 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Bocas del Toro often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro gets 159 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Puerto Viejo receives 159 hours of full sun.

In October, Bocas del Toro is generally around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo. Temperatures in Bocas del Toro average around 26°C (79°F), and Puerto Viejo stays around 26°C (79°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo in the Winter?

Both Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bocas del Toro throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Puerto Viejo throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Puerto Viejo. It's quite rainy in Bocas del Toro. In January, Bocas del Toro usually receives around the same amount of rain as Puerto Viejo. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain.

Bocas del Toro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Puerto Viejo during winter. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 159 hours of sunny skies, while Puerto Viejo receives 159 hours of full sun.

Bocas del Toro is around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo in the winter. The temperature in Bocas del Toro is usually 25°C (77°F) in January, and Puerto Viejo stays around 25°C (77°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bocas del Toro 25°C (77°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Puerto Viejo in the Spring?

Both Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Bocas del Toro because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Puerto Viejo because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

Puerto Viejo gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Bocas del Toro. Bocas del Toro usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro gets 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the spring, Bocas del Toro often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Puerto Viejo. Bocas del Toro gets 172 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Puerto Viejo receives 172 hours of full sun.

In the spring, Bocas del Toro is around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bocas del Toro in April are around 26°C (79°F), and Puerto Viejo is about 26°C (79°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Typical Weather for Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro Puerto Viejo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 319 mm (12.6 in) 25°C (77°F) 319 mm (12.6 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 201 mm (7.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 201 mm (7.9 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 193 mm (7.6 in) 26°C (78°F) 193 mm (7.6 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 287 mm (11.3 in)
May 27°C (80°F) 281 mm (11.1 in) 27°C (80°F) 281 mm (11.1 in)
Jun 26°C (80°F) 276 mm (10.9 in) 26°C (80°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 408 mm (16.1 in) 26°C (79°F) 408 mm (16.1 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 255 mm (10 in) 28°C (82°F) 255 mm (10 in)
Sep 26°C (79°F) 163 mm (6.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 26°C (79°F) 198 mm (7.8 in) 26°C (79°F) 198 mm (7.8 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 367 mm (14.4 in) 26°C (78°F) 367 mm (14.4 in)
Dec 25°C (77°F) 402 mm (15.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 402 mm (15.8 in)


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Bocas del Toro vs. Puerto Viejo Travel Comparison

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