A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Cocoa Beach vs. Panama City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Cocoa Beach and Panama City. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Cocoa Beach or Panama City?

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Florida has long been a favorite vacation spot for travelers looking for sun, sand, and waves. The location was also made famous as the setting for the 1960's television show, "I Dream of Jeannie". The town of just over 11,000 is located in Brevard County along the Atlantic coast. Many people visit the area because of its excellent surfing. There are many surfing festivals and competitions held here yearly and the famous Ron Jon's surf shop receives about 2 million visitors a year. The city is also home to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.

Panama City

As the tropical breeze kisses your face amidst the never-ending rows of palm trees and high-rise beach condos, you find both pleasure and peace in this popular beach vacation spot. Such a city could be no place else than Panama City, Florida, located on the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf Coast. The entire region is known for it's calm beach with white sand, blue water, and spring break and summer vacation fun. Panama City offers a multitude of hotels, parks, beaches, and restaurants to make it a prime destination to both party and relax. However, as you explore the city, you will find that Panama City acquires its own diverse, vibrant character unique to other beach towns. Bring out the fishing rods and boogie boards and take advantage of one of Florida's most popular destinations! It's a great destination for families, kids, younger travelers, singles, couples, and retirees alike.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City or Cocoa Beach?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cocoa Beach is $116, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $179. 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 Cocoa Beach and Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cocoa Beach $68
    Panama City $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cocoa Beach $136
    Panama City $206
Compare Hotels in Cocoa Beach and Panama City

Looking for a hotel in Cocoa Beach or Panama City? 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 Cocoa Beach


Hotels in Panama City


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $20
    Panama City $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cocoa Beach

Also for Cocoa Beach, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $267
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $264
  • Private Van Service Transfer to or from Orlando International Airport: $101
  • Shared Port Canaveral Round-trip Transfer: $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Panama City:

  • Transfers from Tocumen Airport to Panama City: $40
  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera Village: $130
  • Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita: $18
  • Transfer to Carti, San Blas from Panama City: $80
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panamá City to Panamá Tocumen Airport: $28
  • Transfer in private minivan from Panama City to Panama Tocumen Airport: $44
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita or Gamboa: $27
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Playa Blanca: $63
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Colon Cruise Terminal: $54
  • Transfer from Playa Bonita or Gamboa to Tocumen Airport: $27
  • Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport: $19

Is it cheaper to fly into Cocoa Beach or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City and Cocoa Beach 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
    Cocoa Beach $35
    Panama City $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Panama City.

  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $13
    Panama City $15

Tours and Activities in Cocoa Beach

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

  • Cocoa Beach Mural Tour (Self-Guided): $25
  • Group Kayak Tour to Search for Wildlife and Explore the Mangrove Tunnels: $44
  • Mangrove Tunnels, Manatee, and Dolphin Sunset kayak tour with Fin Expeditions: $49
  • Mangrove Tunnel & Dolphin Sunset Kayak Tours with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!: $50
  • Bicycle Tours and Rentals Throughout the Space Coast: $50
  • Mangrove Tunnel/Manatee & Dolphin Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!: $50
  • Self-Guided Kayaking Manatee and Dolphin Tour: $55
  • Dinoflagellate Bioluminescence Kayak Tour: $55
  • Bioluminescent Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach, Florida!!: $65
  • Private Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructors: $65
  • One Hour Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructor: $70
  • Electric Bike Group Tour - Port Canaveral & Cocoa Beach: $85

Tours and Activities in Panama City

Here are a few actual costs in Panama City for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Nights in San Blas Islands! Beach & Community Tour includes La casa de papel: $326
  • 2-day San Blas Islands in Shared Cabin with Tour, Meals and Transport Included: $209
  • 2D/1N Private Cabin (min 2 Guests) in San Blas INCLUDING Day Tour + Transport: $231
  • 5-Day Tour to Bocas del Toro from Panama City: $974
  • 5-Hour City Tour & The Panama Canal Including Ticket: $81
  • 5-Hour Tour of Panama City, Panama from Tocumen Airport: $123
  • A Volcano adventure: Hiking, Waterfall and more: $275
  • Adventure and relaxing at the Caribbean: $165
  • AfroLatino Travel - AfroPanama in Focus City Day Tour: $138
  • All Inclusive Full-Day Taboga Island Catamaran Tour from Panama City, Panama: $89
  • All inclusive San Blas 4 Islands Day Tour No hidden fees: $176
  • Amazing Bayano Cave experience: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cocoa Beach $16
    Panama City $45

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

Also in Panama City, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cocoa Beach and Panama City, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Cocoa Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cocoa Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cocoa Beach 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 Panama City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Panama City than you might in Cocoa Beach.


When is the best time to visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City in the Summer?

Both Panama City and Cocoa Beach during the summer are popular places to visit. Furthermore, most visitors come to Panama City for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Cocoa Beach is generally around the same temperature as Panama City. Temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 81°F (27°C), and Panama City stays around 82°F (28°C).

Panama City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach usually gets more rain in July than Panama City. Cocoa Beach gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cocoa Beach 81°F (27°C) 
    Panama City 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Cocoa Beach and Panama City. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Panama City because of the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Cocoa Beach is a little warmer than Panama City in the autumn. The temperature in Cocoa Beach is usually 77°F (25°C) in October, and Panama City stays around 71°F (22°C).

Cocoa Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Panama City. At this time of the year, Cocoa Beach gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C) 
    Panama City 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Cocoa Beach as well as Panama City. Additionally, the shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Panama City this time of year.

In the winter, Cocoa Beach is much warmer than Panama City. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cocoa Beach in January are around 63°F (17°C), and Panama City is about 52°F (11°C).

Cocoa Beach usually gets less rain in January than Panama City. Cocoa Beach gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C) 
    Panama City 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City in the Spring?

Both Panama City and Cocoa Beach are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Panama City for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, Cocoa Beach is generally a little warmer than Panama City. Temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 73°F (23°C), and Panama City stays around 68°F (20°C).

In April, Cocoa Beach usually receives around the same amount of rain as Panama City. At this time of the year, Cocoa Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C) 
    Panama City 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Panama City and Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Panama City
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm)
Oct 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Nov 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)


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Cocoa Beach vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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