Should you visit David or Puerto Viejo?
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 Puerto Viejo 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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town in Caribbean Costa Rica in the province of Limon. There are two gorgeous National Parks nearby - Cahuita and Manzanillo, and it rains more than on the Pacific side, which is why it is so lush and green with the rainforest coming down to the sea. Clear water, coconut palms, great surf and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere make Puerto Viejo a favorite among travelers. Located on about an hour south of Limon, Puerto Viejo is the center of activity between the smaller villages of Cahuita and Manzanillo. The relaxed, seaside town is framed by jungle, turquoise seas, banana plantations and scenic rivers. It's known for the Salsa Brava surf break and beaches like black-sand Playa Negra, but this burgeoning party town is no longer a destination only for intrepid surfers; it's bustling with tourist activity. Stylish eateries serve global fusion, and intentionally rustic bamboo bars pump dancehall and reggaeton. With its blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, expat Europeans and indigenous Costa Ricans, Puerto Viejo charms visitors with a unique mix of people and cultures. Rastafari culture has a firm foothold in the town, and many Rastas sell handmade jewelry and other wares along the town's vibrant roadside. Nearby you'll find rainforest fruit and cacao farms and wide-open beaches. If you're looking to chill a little, party a little and eat a little, you've come to the right place.
Which city is cheaper, Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo is $55. 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 Puerto Viejo 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $56 in Puerto Viejo For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
The average traveler spends about $18 per day in Puerto Viejo for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Puerto Viejo $18
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.
Puerto Viejo'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 $5.61 per person, per day on transportation in Puerto Viejo.
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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Puerto Viejo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between David and Puerto Viejo, we can see that Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Viejo than you might in David.
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