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

Should you visit Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo?

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 Tamarindo, 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 Tamarindo?

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.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a small beach town in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. This town is usually sought out by surfers, fishers, couples, and families. There are delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and friendly Tico's and Tica's (local Costa Rican nicknames) everywhere.

Which city is cheaper, Tamarindo 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 Tamarindo is $77. 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 Tamarindo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bocas del Toro $26
    Tamarindo $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bocas del Toro $52
    Tamarindo $64

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bocas del Toro $8.15
    Tamarindo $44
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tamarindo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tamarindo:

  • Transfer TO or FROM Tamarindo Area to SJO Airport: $325
  • Private transfer from Tamarindo to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $265
  • Volcano Adventure Sisisi Transfers & Tours Costa Rica: $155
  • Private Transfer to Tamarindo Beach from Liberia Airport: $100
  • Transfer Liberia to Tamarindo: $90
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Liberia Airport to Tamarindo with Free Drinks: $89
  • Liberia Airport Private Transfer To Or From Tamarindo: $86
  • Private Premium Transfer: From Tamarindo Zone: $85

Is it cheaper to fly into Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo?

Prices for flights to both Tamarindo 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
    Tamarindo $21
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
    Tamarindo $11
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 Tamarindo

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Tamarindo are as follows:

  • 2 Days & 2 Nights Diving Adventure: $1,750
  • 2.5 Hours Tamarindo ATV Snorkel Tour to Secluded Beaches: $77
  • 4 Hour Beach & Mountain Tamarindo ATV Adventure: $144
  • ATV Adventures: $85
  • ATV Tour at Tamarindo: $77
  • ATV Tour in Tamarindo: $92
  • ATV Zipline Tour from Tamarindo/Flamingo: $125
  • ATV and SUP Tour from Tamarindo Beach: $128
  • Afternoon Sailing Tour in Guanacaste: $85
  • Antares Sailing Adventures tour: $87
  • Arenal One Day Tour: $230
  • Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure: $81

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bocas del Toro $9.42
    Tamarindo $8.90


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bocas del Toro and Tamarindo, we can see that Tamarindo 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 Tamarindo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tamarindo than you might in Bocas del Toro.


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

Both destinations experience a warmer tropical 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 Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo in the Summer?

Both Tamarindo and Bocas del Toro during the summer are popular places to visit. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bocas del Toro throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Tamarindo throughout the year.

Tamarindo 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 more rain in July than Tamarindo. Bocas del Toro gets 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the summer, Bocas del Toro often gets less sunshine than Tamarindo. Bocas del Toro gets 124 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 164 hours of full sun.

Bocas del Toro is around the same temperature as Tamarindo in the summer. The temperature in Bocas del Toro is usually 26°C (79°F) in July, and Tamarindo stays around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Tamarindo 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo in the Autumn?

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

Tamarindo receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Bocas del Toro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Bocas del Toro usually receives less rain than Tamarindo. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain.

Bocas del Toro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Tamarindo during autumn. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 159 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 169 hours of full sun.

In the autumn, Bocas del Toro is around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Bocas del Toro in October are around 26°C (79°F), and Tamarindo is about 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo in the Winter?

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

Bocas del Toro receives a lot of rain in the winter. Bocas del Toro usually gets more rain in January than Tamarindo. Bocas del Toro gets 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tamarindo. In the winter, Bocas del Toro often gets less sunshine than Tamarindo. Bocas del Toro gets 159 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 264 hours of full sun.

In January, Bocas del Toro is generally around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Temperatures in Bocas del Toro average around 25°C (77°F), and Tamarindo stays around 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bocas del Toro 25°C (77°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Bocas del Toro or Tamarindo in the Spring?

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

It's quite rainy in Bocas del Toro. In April, Bocas del Toro usually receives more rain than Tamarindo. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain.

It's quite sunny in Tamarindo. Bocas del Toro usually receives less sunshine than Tamarindo during spring. At this time of the year, Bocas del Toro gets 172 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 255 hours of full sun.

Bocas del Toro is cooler than Tamarindo in the spring. The temperature in Bocas del Toro is usually 26°C (79°F) in April, and Tamarindo stays around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F) 
    Tamarindo 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Tamarindo and Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro Tamarindo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 319 mm (12.6 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 201 mm (7.9 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 193 mm (7.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 27°C (80°F) 281 mm (11.1 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 26°C (80°F) 276 mm (10.9 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 408 mm (16.1 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 255 mm (10 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 26°C (79°F) 163 mm (6.4 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 26°C (79°F) 198 mm (7.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 367 mm (14.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 25°C (77°F) 402 mm (15.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)


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Bocas del Toro vs. Tamarindo Travel Comparison

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