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

Should you visit Flores or Santa Elena?

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

Flores

The town of Flores is located in Peten, Guatemala. The main hub is located on an island on Lago Peten Itza, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway. On the other side of the causeway are the towns of Santa Elena and San Benito, however, all three are often referred to as Flores. Most people visit the area for its proximity to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, though the town itself is also charming with colonial buildings and historic churches lining the cobbled streets.

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 Flores?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Flores is $26, while the average daily cost in Santa Elena is $58. 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 Flores and Santa Elena in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $14 for a double occupancy room in Flores If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Santa Elena, $70 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Santa Elena, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $35, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Flores $6.92
    Santa Elena $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Flores $14
    Santa Elena $70

Food

While meal prices in Flores can vary, the average travelers spends about $10 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Flores should cost around $4.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Flores is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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
    Flores $10
    Santa Elena $15

Local Transportation

To get around in Flores, the average visitor spends $6.32 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

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 $7.03 per person, per day on transportation in Santa Elena.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Flores $6.32
    Santa Elena $7.03

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Flores

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

  • Round-Trip Private Transfer to Tikal from Flores: $90
  • Tikal National Park Tour with Guide and Transfer: $45

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Flores or Santa Elena?

Prices for flights to both Santa Elena and Flores 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

In Flores, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $16 per person, per day.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Santa Elena can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $19 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Flores $16
    Santa Elena $19
Typical Entertainment prices in Flores

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Flores's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Tikal Entrance (for 2)
    $39
  • Map of Tikal
    $3.23

Tours and Activities in Flores

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

  • 2-Day Mayan Ruins Tour of Tikal and Yaxha from Flores: $302
  • Bird Observation Tour: $117
  • Bird Watch Tour in Ixpanpajul, Tikal or Taxha: $274
  • Birding Tour In Tikal: $130
  • Crater Azul, Full day Tour, From FLORES, Petén.: $171
  • Day Tour to Ixpanpajul Natural Park: $171
  • Day Tour to Petén Itzá Lake and Petencito Zoo: $123
  • Day Trip from Flores with Sunrise in Tikal and Archeology Tour: $80
  • El Mirador And Crater Azul Tour From Flores 2d / 1n: $703
  • El Mirador And Tikal Tour From Flores 2d / 1n: $670
  • El Mirador And Yaxha Tour From Flores City 2d / 1 N: $650
  • El Mirador Tour By Helicopter From Flores: $482

Tours and Activities in Santa Elena

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

  • 100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde: $58
  • Canopy Tour Plus Night Walk: $111
  • Canopy Tour Plus Walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest: $164
  • Canopy plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $121
  • Ceibal Day Tour from Flores: $100
  • Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $56
  • Crocodile Tour on the Tarcoles River from Monteverde: $318
  • El Mirador Helicopter Tour: $535
  • Guatemala Birding Tour at Tikal and Uaxactún National Park: $643
  • Horseback Riding Tour Plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane): $133
  • Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde: $81
  • Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde Plus Walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest: $181

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Flores spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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 $3.93.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Flores $17
    Santa Elena $3.93
Typical Alcohol prices in Flores

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Flores are as follows:


  • Two Margaritas
    $2.59


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

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Flores vs. Santa Elena Travel Comparison

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