A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Guatemala City vs. La Fortuna for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Guatemala City or La Fortuna?

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

Should I visit Guatemala City or La Fortuna? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Guatemala City or La Fortuna?

Guatemala City

Referred to by the locals as "Guate," Guatemala City is the largest and most modern city in Guatemala, as well as its capital. While the atmosphere of the place is big, dirty, and dangerous with city fumes and skyscrapers, it is the hub of the country. It is the place where travelers first step foot into Guatemala and, though it is a place of modern chaos, it does have some of the best galleries and museums as well as a selection of bars, cafes, and restaurants.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela. It is the closest town to Arenal Volcano, and the area is often simply refered to as Arenal. The volcano itself is active and has been constantly erupting since 1968. It erupts on average 41 times a day. This area of northern Costa Rica is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.

Which place is cheaper, La Fortuna or Guatemala City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guatemala City is $44, while the average daily cost in La Fortuna is $100. 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 Guatemala City and La Fortuna in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guatemala City $24
    La Fortuna $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guatemala City $48
    La Fortuna $98
Compare Hotels in Guatemala City and La Fortuna

Looking for a hotel in Guatemala City or La Fortuna? 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 Guatemala City

Hotels in La Fortuna

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: Guatemala City Hotel Prices and La Fortuna Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guatemala City $6.09
    La Fortuna $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guatemala City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guatemala City:

  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Guatemala City Airport to Antigua: $16
  • PRIVATE Group Transfer From Guatemala City to La Antigua: $20
  • Ground Transfer From Antigua To Guatemala City Airport: $23
  • Ground Transfer Airport - Antigua Guatemala: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer La Aurora airport to Guatemala: $24
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Guatemala City Airport to Hotel: $25
  • Private Transfer from Antigua Guatemala to Puerto Quetzal Port: $27
  • Private Transfer From Airport to Hotel in Guatemala City: $30
  • Guatemala Airport Roundtrip Transfer to Antigua Guatemala: $33
  • Transfer Private Vehicle from Guatemala City - Guatemala Airport (GUA): $33
  • Transfer Private Vehicle from Guatemala City Airport (GUA) -Guatemala City : $33
  • Private Arrival Transfer: La Aurora International Airport to Antigua Hotel: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Fortuna

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Fortuna:

  • La Fortuna or Monteverde: One-Way Boat Transfer: $36
  • Transfer From Liberia Airport To Arenal La Fortuna San Carlos: $42
  • Private Transfer From Liberia Airport to Arenal La Fortuna: $42
  • La Fortuna de Arenal: Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal Lake: $45
  • Monteverde: Transfer to La Fortuna de Arenal via Lake Arenal: $45
  • White Water Tubing Tour with Guide and Transfers: $55
  • Scenic Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal Lake: $56
  • One-Way Transfer from La Fortuna to Monteverde through Arenal Lake: $57
  • Arenal lake boat transfer from to Monteverde from La Fortuna: $60
  • Arenal La Fortuna to Liberia Airport (LIR) - Departure Transfer : $63
  • La Fortuna de Arenal: Private or Shared Transfer to Liberia: $65
  • Sloth Watching Tour with Transfer and Snacks: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Guatemala City or La Fortuna?

Prices for flights to both La Fortuna and Guatemala City 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
    Guatemala City $15
    La Fortuna $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guatemala City

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

  • Cooking class/Pepian Workshop: $35
  • Taste of Guatemala,Walking Food Tour in Antigua Guatemala : $50
  • Private Street Food Tour in Antigua Guatemala: $65
  • Make your own Mayan Pepian - Cooking class: $69
  • Taste Antigua Guatemala Walking Food Tour : $75
  • Market food tour and tortilla workshop: $79
  • Market and Mayan Cooking Class: $80
  • Foodie & street food tour: $85
  • Authentic Guatemalan Cooking Class in Antigua: $90
  • Guatemalan Cooking Class and Market Tour: $98
  • Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City: $120
  • Antigua Market, Cooking Class and Choco Museum from Guatemala City: $178

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Fortuna

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

  • Skip the Line: Mineral Hot Springs Full Day Ticket w/ Optional Lunch or Dinner: $38
  • Farm-To-Table Cooking Class : $45
  • Organic Farm Visit & Farm-to-Table Cooking Class: $45
  • Typical Costa Rican Cooking Classes in La Fortuna: $48
  • Costa Rica Cooking, El Fogon de Chela: $50
  • Baldi Hot Springs Day Pass with lunch or dinner included: $57
  • Private typical cooking class with a Costa Rican family: $59
  • 3-Hour Costa Rican Cooking Class with Dinner: $62
  • Cooking Class "Cook Like a Local" La Fortuna: $63
  • Rainforest Night Walk and Authentic Costa Rican Dinner from La Fortuna: $65
  • Combo Cooking Class and Salsa Dance Lesson: $73
  • Cooking and Salsa Dance Lesson Combo : $74

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guatemala City $1.19
    La Fortuna $42

Tours and Activities in Guatemala City

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

  • Artisan Shoemaking & Leather Craft Tour: $10
  • Culinary Experience in Guatemala City: $15
  • Antigua Private Cultural Walking Tour: $15
  • Half Day Antigua Guatemala Tour: $17
  • Antigua Cultural Walking Tour : $18
  • Historical and Cultural Walking Tour of Antigua Guatemala : $20
  • Walking Tour of the Wonders of La Antigua Guatemala: $20
  • Graffiti Walking Tour in 4 Grados Norte Guatemala City : $20
  • Chicken Bus Experience to San Juan del Obispo : $22
  • Antigua Walking Tour: $23
  • Antigua Market Culture and Cuisine Tour: $25
  • Antigua Walking Tour Morning and Afternoon: $25

Tours and Activities in La Fortuna

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

  • Skip-the-Line La Fortuna Waterfall Admission Ticket: $18
  • Hiking Experience to Volcano Base Arenal Park: $20
  • Two Destinations Tour - La Fortuna Top Destinations : $20
  • Three hours walking tour around the deep Tropical Rain Forest: $20
  • Hiking Experience to Volcano Base Arenal Park: $23
  • Guided tour to La fortuna waterfalls: $25
  • Sloth Tour: $25
  • Don Olivo Chocolate Tour: $25
  • Arenal Observatory Trails Admission Ticket: $25
  • Night tour through the Tropical Forest at Tifakara : $27
  • Eden Chocolate Tour - The best chocolate tour in La Fortuna: $27
  • Jungle Night Tour in The Banks of Río Celeste.: $28

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guatemala City $6.76
    La Fortuna $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Guatemala City

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

  • Antigua Bar Crawl: $26

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

Which is Bigger, Guatemala City or La Fortuna?

Guatemala City is bigger, and its population is about 330.5 times larger than the population of La Fortuna. When comparing the population of Guatemala City vs. La Fortuna, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Guatemala City vs. La Fortuna Travel Comparison

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