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

Should you visit Copan or Santa Elena?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Copan and Santa Elena can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Copan

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.

Santa Elena

Santa Elena is a cute town, and the closest to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. It's one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, and is a great place to experience the cloud forest and see some of country's unique wildlife.

In the Monteverde Cloud Forest you have a good chance of seeing rare quetzals which are the national bird of Costa Rica. Other common animals include white-faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, orange-kneed tarantulas, any of 8-9 species of hummingbirds, and sloth.

Santa Elena is about 1,400 meters above sea level and has a humid and damp environment. The average yearly temperature is 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the average rainfall is 3,000 millimetres. Humidity can be anywhere between 74% and 97%.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Elena or Copan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Copan is $74, while the average daily cost in Santa Elena is $60. 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 Copan and Santa Elena in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Copan is $36. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Santa Elena, $72 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Santa Elena, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $36, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Copan $18
    Santa Elena $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Copan $36
    Santa Elena $72

Food

The price of a meal in Copan can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $17 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $6.80 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

Santa Elena food costs typically run travelers around $15 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Copan $17
    Santa Elena $15

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Copan is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $64 per person, per day, on local transportation in Copan.

Santa Elena'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 $7.23 per person, per day on transportation in Santa Elena.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Copan $64
    Santa Elena $7.23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Elena

Also for Santa Elena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One Way Private Transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio: $265
  • One Way Private Transfer from Monteverde to Samara: $262

Is it cheaper to fly into Copan or Santa Elena?

Prices for flights to both Santa Elena 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.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Copan typically cost an average of $21 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Santa Elena can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Copan $21
    Santa Elena $20

Tours and Activities in Santa Elena

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Elena.

  • The Original Canopy Tour Monteverde: $50
  • Night Walk Tour: $53
  • Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $56
  • 100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde: $58
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Canopy Tour: $77
  • Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde: $81
  • Tikal Sunset Tour in Small Group from El Remate: $93
  • Tikal Sunrise Tour from El Remate in Small Group: $96
  • Ceibal Day Tour from Flores: $100
  • Tikal Guided Sunrise Tour in Small Group from Flores: $103
  • Night Walk Tour plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1(Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $110
  • Canopy Tour Plus Night Walk: $111

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Copan may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.91 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Santa Elena, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.04.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Copan $5.91
    Santa Elena $4.04


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

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Copan vs. Santa Elena Travel Comparison

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