A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers David vs. Tamarindo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit David or Tamarindo?

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

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 Tamarindo can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: David or Tamarindo?


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.


Tamarindo is a small beach town in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. This town is usually sought out by surfers, fishers, couples, and families. There are delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and friendly Tico's and Tica's (local Costa Rican nicknames) everywhere.

Which place is cheaper, Tamarindo or David?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in David is $32, while the average daily cost in Tamarindo is $119. 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 David and Tamarindo in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    David $12
    Tamarindo $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    David $24
    Tamarindo $98
Compare Hotels in David and Tamarindo

Looking for a hotel in David or Tamarindo? 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 David

Hotels in Tamarindo

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: David Hotel Prices and Tamarindo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    David $12
    Tamarindo $68

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tamarindo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tamarindo:

  • Private Transfer From Liberia Airport to Hotel Riu Guanacaste: $15
  • Private Transfer from Liberia/Tamarindo Guanacaste Airport: $20
  • Playa Grande to Liberia Airport (LIR) Departure Private Transfer: $31
  • Flamingo/Tamarindo to Liberia Airport(LIR)- Departure Transfer: $31
  • JW Marriott/Riu Hotel to Liberia Airport (LIR) Departure Transfer: $38
  • Liberia Airport To Tamarindo Private Transfer: $55
  • From Hotel Transfer to Liberia Guanacaste Airport: $62
  • Monteverde: Transfer to Tamarindo: $65
  • Private Transfer from Liberia Airport to Secrets Papagayo Resort: $66
  • Private Transfer From Liberia Airport To Mangroove Hotel: $67
  • Private Transfer from Liberia Airport to RIU Guanacaste Hotel: $70
  • Airport Transfer from Liberia Airport to Riu Guanacaste Hotel (one way): $82

Is it cheaper to fly into David or Tamarindo?

Prices for flights to both Tamarindo 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    David $10
    Tamarindo $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tamarindo

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Tamarindo.

  • Online Class on Zoom: Cooking Costa Rica Homemade Food: $35
  • Traditional Cooking Class In Tamarindo: $95
  • Traditional Cooking Class In Tamarindo: $95

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    David $4.38
    Tamarindo $17

Tours and Activities in Tamarindo

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Tamarindo are as follows:

  • Tamarindo Estuary Tour: $44
  • Night Turtle Nesting Tour from Tamarindo: $46
  • Mangrove Forest National Marine Park Kayak Tour: $48
  • Tamarindo Birdwatching Crocodiles and Monkey Tour: $50
  • Private Estuary Tour in Tamarindo: $50
  • Hiking Tour of La Leona Waterfall with Lunch: $50
  • Rain Forest Canopy Tour from Zipline, Hanging Bridge: $55
  • ATV Tour of Tamarindo: $55
  • Turtle Nesting Tour: $55
  • Buggy Tour of Tamarindo: $60
  • ATV Beach and Mountain Tour!: $62
  • Tamarindo Kayak Estuary Mangrove Tour: $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    David -
    Tamarindo $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Tamarindo

Also in Tamarindo, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Tamarindo Bar Crawl Experience: $25

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between David and Tamarindo, we can see that Tamarindo 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 Tamarindo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tamarindo than you might in David.

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