Should you visit Granada or Santa Elena?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Granada and Santa Elena. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Granada is Nicaragua's oldest colonial city, and arguably, the most beautiful city in the country. It sits on the northern edge of Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca) and has many beautifully colored buildings and nice churches. The city's beauty and colonial architecture, along with its relative safety and accessibility, make it one of Nicaragua's top tourist destinations. The city has long been a center for commerce, but today its economy depends heavily on tourism. The city is the sixth largest in Nicaragua and a real estate boom in the early 2000's brought a large number of expats to the town.
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 Granada?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Granada is $23, while the average daily cost in Santa Elena 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 Granada and Santa Elena in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $20 for a double occupancy room in Granada.
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.
Granada food costs typically run travelers around $9.68 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.
Santa Elena food costs typically run travelers around $16 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.
Meals for one day
Santa Elena $16
Typical Food prices in Granada
Some typical examples of dining costs in Granada are as follows:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Granada
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Granada.
Middle Eastern 6-course dinner in Granada with a professional chef:
Albaicín & Sacromonte Guided Walking Tour with Flamenco & Tapas Dinner:
Small Group Food Tour in Granada:
Spanish Tapas Cooking Class in Granada:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $1.78 per day to get around in Granada.
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 $7.31 per person, per day on transportation in Santa Elena.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Granada
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Granada:
Seville Private Transfer from Granada with sightseeing in Antequera and Cordoba:
Private Transfer: Granada to Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX):
Granada to Seville Private Transfer:
Granada Private Transfer to Seville with a Visit to Cordoba:
Private Transfer from Granada to Malaga (AGP) Airport:
Granada to Cordoba Private Transfer:
Granada to Malaga Airport Private Transfer:
One-Way Private Transfer from Granada to San Juan del Sur:
Granada airport private arrival transfer, Mercedes minivan:
Private Transfer IN or OUT in Upscale Vehicle with Professional Driver:
One-Way Private Transfer from Granada to Managua:
Granada airport private arrival transfer, Mercedes Sedan:
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:
One Way Private Transfer from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio:
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $4.73 per person, per day in Granada. 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 Santa Elena can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Typical Entertainment prices in Granada
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Granada are as follows:
Tours and Activities in Granada
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Granada are as follows:
2-Day Seville Tour from Granada with Royal Alcazar Palace, Seville Cathedral and Flamenco Show:
3-Hour Walking Tour of Granada:
3-day Andalucia Tour: Codoba & Seville from Granada:
4WD Sierra Nevada Safari PRIVATE TOUR:
A day in the life of Granada - Private tour with a local:
Albaicin and Sacromonte Guided Tour:
Albaicin and Sacromonte Walking Tour:
Albaicin quarter - night private tour:
Albayzin and Sacromonte Electric Bike Tour in Granada:
Albayzin and Sacromonte Guided Walking Tour in Granada:
Albayzin and Sacromonte private tour at sunset with tapas:
Alhambra & Generalife Guided Premium Tour (Small Groups with Direct Entry):
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:
Night Walk Tour:
Coffee Tour 3 in 1 (Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane):
100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde:
Monteverde Cloud Forest Canopy Tour:
Horseback Riding Tour in Monteverde:
Tikal Sunset Tour in Small Group from El Remate:
Tikal Sunrise Tour from El Remate in Small Group:
Ceibal Day Tour from Flores:
Tikal Guided Sunrise Tour in Small Group from Flores:
Night Walk Tour plus Coffee Tour 3 in 1(Coffee Chocolate and sugar cane):
Canopy Tour Plus Night Walk:
The average person spends about $4.11 on alcoholic beverages in Granada per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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 $4.09.
Typical Alcohol prices in Granada
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Granada:
Sample the Local Flavors in Granada
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Granada:
Wine Tasting in Granada:
Granada Tapas and wine tour!:
Granada Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour - by Oh My Good Guide!:
Small-Group Granada Tapas Bar Crawl Evening Tasting Experience:
BEST OF Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour - by OhMyGoodGuide!:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Granada and Santa Elena, we can see that Santa Elena is more expensive. And not only is Granada much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Granada would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Granada 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 Granada.
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