Should you visit David or Bocas del Toro?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between David and Bocas del Toro can help you decide which place is right for you.
In the Pacific West of Panama, David is the capital city of Chiriqui province. The city's population of almost 150,000 is among the wealthiest in the country. There is a well established middle class and unemployment remains low in the area. The area has grown rapidly in recent years with growing commercial and banking sectors. The city is well connected to the rest of the country by the Pan American Highway.
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.
Which city is cheaper, Bocas del Toro or David?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in David is $25, while the average daily cost in Bocas del Toro is $61. 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 David and Bocas del Toro in more detail.
David's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $20. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $9.86.
The prices for places to stay in Bocas del Toro can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $27, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $54.
In David travelers spend around $8.07 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Food in Bocas del Toro costs travelers about $22 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Bocas del Toro $22
Typical Food prices in Bocas del Toro
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bocas del Toro:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $9.63 per day to get around in David.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Bocas del Toro than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $8.20 on transportation in Bocas del Toro on average per day.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bocas del Toro
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bocas del Toro:
Is it cheaper to fly into David or Bocas del Toro?
Prices for flights to both Bocas del Toro and David 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $3.50 per person, per day in David. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Sightseeing expenses in Bocas del Toro, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.
Typical Entertainment prices in Bocas del Toro
For Bocas del Toro, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
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:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Bocas del Toro, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.48.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between David and Bocas del Toro, we can see that Bocas del Toro is more expensive. And not only is David much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to David would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in David 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 Bocas del Toro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bocas del Toro than you might in David.
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