Should you visit Grand Cayman or San Juan?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Grand Cayman and San Juan. 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.
When people think of the Cayman Islands, they typically think of offshore bank accounts and sunny, cruise ship ports. Grand Cayman has more to offer travelers than a playground for the wealthy or a short stopover for cruise passengers. This tropical island is the largest of the three Cayman Islands, it is a shopper's heaven, a center for global finance and an ideal vacation spot.
If you've ever set foot on a Caribbean cruise, you've probably spent a bit of time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, maybe you should consider spending more than just a port day in this beautiful and historically rich city.
As the capital and largest city in all of Puerto Rico, San Juan is home to approximately 400,000 people. Established in 1521, it is also the second oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas.
As this city fuses a historic paradise with modern day energy, it has absolutely everything to offer. Intellectual wanderers, beach bums, rainforest adventurers and radical surfers will all find plenty to do in San Juan.
Which city is cheaper, San Juan or Grand Cayman?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Grand Cayman is $171, while the average daily cost in San Juan is $153. 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 Grand Cayman and San Juan in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Grand Cayman, $238 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Grand Cayman, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $119, such as in a hostel.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $198 in San Juan For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
While meal prices in Grand Cayman can vary, the average travelers spends about $31 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Grand Cayman should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Grand Cayman is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Food in San Juan costs travelers about $29 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
Grand Cayman $31
San Juan $29
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan
For San Juan, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour:
Authenic Puerto Rican Food Tasting Cooking Lesson (Volunteer Option Available):
Old San Juan Sunset Walk & Taste Food Tour:
Puerto Rican Food Tour:
Grand Cayman'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 $25 per person, per day on transportation in Grand Cayman.
To get around in San Juan, the average visitor spends $11 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Grand Cayman
Also for Grand Cayman, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Airport Transfer to West Bay Accommodations (GCM - Grand Cayman):
Airport Transfer - Owen Roberts Intl Airport to GeorgeTown or Seven Mile Beach:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan
Also for San Juan, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfers from San Juan to the East Side (Ceiba: Ferries Vieques and Culebra):
Transfers from San Juan (SJU/hotels/ports/locations nearby) to Río Grande City:
Transfers from San Juan (SJU, hotels, ports, locations nearby) to Ponce City:
Transfers from San Juan (SJU, hotels, ports, locations nearby) to Dorado City:
Transfers from San Juan (Rincón/Mayaguez/Aguadilla/Cabo Rojo) to the West Side:
Transfers between Culebra, Vieques ferry port to SJU airport or San Juan hotels:
San Juan hotel or port to San Juan Airport (SJU) - Departure Private Transfer:
San Juan Port Departure Transfer:
San Juan Port Arrival Transfer:
San Juan Bus Terminal Shuttle Transfer:
San Juan Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Roun Trip Transfer Zip Line Toro Verde:
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Grand Cayman can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $33 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
In San Juan, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $40 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Grand Cayman
For Grand Cayman, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Grand Cayman Private Island Tour:
Night Bioluminescence Snorkel Tour:
Skip the Line: Pedro St. James Castle General Admission and Guided Tour Ticket:
Typical Entertainment prices in San Juan
For San Juan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Horseback Riding Tour
Full Day Snorkeling Trip
1 Hr Windsurfing Lesson
Tours and Activities in San Juan
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Juan.
(Cruise ship Travelers) Hike to a Hidden Waterfall:
(cruise ship travelers) Center of Puerto Rico Day tour:
2.5-Hour Historical Walking Tour of Old San Juan:
ATV and Kioscos de Luquillo Experience!:
Aguas Buenas Agricultural Paradise Tour:
Aquafari Flight Tour Culebra Island from San Juan:
Arecibo Caves Experience!:
Arenales Caves and River Adventure in Puerto Rico:
Arte Boriken-Puerto Rican Urban Art Tour W/ Sip & Paint:
Be Happy Puerto Rico Hop On Hop Off Tour:
Beginners Scuba Diving Tour in San Juan:
Big Waterfall Hiking Adventure - Puerto Rico:
Typically, people visiting Grand Cayman spend on average $10 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 San Juan, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.83.
Typical Alcohol prices in Grand Cayman
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Grand Cayman:
Sample the Local Flavors in San Juan
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Juan:
Bacardi Rum Distillery and Old San Juan Tour:
Private Old San Juan and Bacardí or Barrilito Distillery Experience:
Bacardi Rum Distillery with Cocktail Class and Old San Juan tour:
3 Day Puerto Rico Extravaganza (Beach, Biobay, Rain Forest, Distillery & Old SJ):
When comparing the travel costs between Grand Cayman and San Juan, we can see that Grand Cayman is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Caribbean Islands, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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