Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Panama City?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. So, let's dig into it.
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.
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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cocoa Beach and Panama City in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Cocoa Beach, $136 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Cocoa Beach, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $68, such as in a hostel.
A hotel room in Panama City is about $206 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
While meal prices in Cocoa Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $35 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Cocoa Beach should cost around $14 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cocoa Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
On average, meal and food prices in Panama City cost around $53 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $21.
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:
Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner:
The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour:
Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA:
Cocoa Beach's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $20 per person, per day on transportation in Cocoa Beach.
The average price of local transportation around Panama City is $38 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
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:
Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Van Service Transfer to or from Orlando International Airport:
Shared Port Canaveral Round-trip Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Panama City:
Transfers from Tocumen Airport to Panama City:
Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks):
Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera Village:
Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita:
Transfer to Carti, San Blas from Panama City:
Transfer in private vehicle from Panamá City to Panamá Tocumen Airport:
Transfer in private minivan from Panama City to Panama Tocumen Airport:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita or Gamboa:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Playa Blanca:
Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Colon Cruise Terminal:
Transfer from Playa Bonita or Gamboa to Tocumen Airport:
Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport:
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Cocoa Beach can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $13 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Panama City's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
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):
Group Kayak Tour to Search for Wildlife and Explore the Mangrove Tunnels:
Mangrove Tunnels, Manatee, and Dolphin Sunset kayak tour with Fin Expeditions:
Mangrove Tunnel & Dolphin Sunset Kayak Tours with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!:
Bicycle Tours and Rentals Throughout the Space Coast:
Mangrove Tunnel/Manatee & Dolphin Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!:
Self-Guided Kayaking Manatee and Dolphin Tour:
Dinoflagellate Bioluminescence Kayak Tour:
Bioluminescent Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach, Florida!!:
Private Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructors:
One Hour Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructor:
Electric Bike Group Tour - Port Canaveral & Cocoa Beach:
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:
2-day San Blas Islands in Shared Cabin with Tour, Meals and Transport Included:
2D/1N Private Cabin (min 2 Guests) in San Blas INCLUDING Day Tour + Transport:
5-Day Tour to Bocas del Toro from Panama City:
5-Hour City Tour & The Panama Canal Including Ticket:
5-Hour Tour of Panama City, Panama from Tocumen Airport:
A Volcano adventure: Hiking, Waterfall and more:
Adventure and relaxing at the Caribbean:
AfroLatino Travel - AfroPanama in Focus City Day Tour:
All Inclusive Full-Day Taboga Island Catamaran Tour from Panama City, Panama:
All inclusive San Blas 4 Islands Day Tour No hidden fees:
Amazing Bayano Cave experience:
Typically, people visiting Cocoa Beach spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Panama City may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $45 per day on alcoholic beverages.
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):
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.
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