A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Copan vs. San Jose for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Copan or San Jose?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Copan and San Jose can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Copan or San Jose?


If you are a lover of history, or just really want to tap into your inner Indiana Jones, a trip to Copan, Honduras is right up your alley. Located in western Honduras, the cobblestone lined streets and white adobe buildings topped with red roofs provide the beautiful backdrop to this once powerful city.

Occupied by the Maya for 2,000 years, Copan was the ruling city in the southern Mayan kingdom. Settled nicely in a fertile river valley among rolling hills, this city is absolutely fascinating and the perfect place to explore history.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Costa Rica.

Which place is cheaper, San Jose or Copan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Copan is $90, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $90. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Copan and San Jose in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Copan $23
    San Jose $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Copan $46
    San Jose $98
Compare Hotels in Copan and San Jose

Looking for a hotel in Copan or San Jose? 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 Copan

Hotels in San Jose

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: San Jose Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Copan $78
    San Jose $20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:

  • Taxi from SJO
  • Local Bus

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

Also for San Jose, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport transfer from SJO Airport to Los Sueños Marriott: $170
  • Arrival Transfer San Jose Airport SJO to Arenal by Minivan: $177
  • Arrival Transfer San Jose Airport SJO to San Jose City by Minivan: $35
  • Arrival Transfer San Jose Airport to Manuel Antonio by Minivan: $158
  • Direct transfer from San Jose to La Fortuna, English Speaking Driver: $155
  • Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to Jaco - Arrival Private Transfer: $68
  • Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to Jaco - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $137
  • Juan Santamaria Intl Airport(SJO) to Puntarenas city-Round-Trip Private Transfer: $168
  • Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) to Puntarenas city- Arrival Private Transfer: $84
  • Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) to San Jose – Arrival Private Transfer: $32
  • Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) to San Jose – Round-Trip Private Transfer: $64
  • One way Transfer from SJO airport or San José to Playa Dominical max 5 passenger: $240

Is it cheaper to fly into Copan or San Jose?

Prices for flights to both San Jose and Copan 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 Meals for one day
    Copan $21
    San Jose $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

For San Jose, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Bites and Sights: Walking Food Tour in San Jose : $34
  • Tropical Cooking Classes: $52
  • San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Food Tour and visit Gold Museum : $60
  • San Jose By Night Tour: Farm to Table Dinner & Cocktails Classes: $63
  • Explore San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Tour with Local Dinner: $67
  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $76
  • Dinner + Typical Show in the best viewpoint of the City: $99
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $179

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Copan $25
    San Jose $21

Tours and Activities in San Jose

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

  • Entrance ticket to the Hacienda Orosi: $21
  • Hiking Experience in El Quetzal Private Reserve: $26
  • Visit a Butterfly Chapel, Gardens, Coffee Tour with Typical Lunch: $30
  • Sarapiqui Frog Tour: $30
  • Private Roasting and Cupping Coffee Experience: $30
  • Hacienda Alsacia Starbucks Coffe Tour: $31
  • Poas Volcano National Park - Admission Ticket: $32
  • San Jose Walking Nature Tour: Sloths, Birds and Trees: $33
  • 2-Hour Orosi Nocturnal Tour: $33
  • Private Custom Guided Tour in San Jose: $33
  • Historical Tour and Old Houses by Dota: $35
  • Skip the Line: Rescate Wildlife Rescue Centre General Admission Ticket: $35

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Copan $7.23
    San Jose $17

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • Bar Crawl in Downtown San Jose: $38
  • Wine Tour and Tasting: $85

When comparing the travel costs between Copan and San Jose, we can see that San Jose 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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Copan Expensive? and Is San Jose Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Copan or San Jose?

San Jose has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of Copan. When comparing the sizes of Copan and San Jose, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.