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

Should you visit Guatemala City or Managua?

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

Should I visit Guatemala City or Managua? 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 Managua?

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.


Managua is the capital, and largest city in Nicaragua. The economy is generally centered around the trade of coffee, cotton, and other types of agriculture. It also is a textile capital for the area. Managua is also a very reasonably priced destination in Central America. Restaurants and hotels are quite affordable and you'll find all kinds of international cuisine around the city. Transportation is also incredibly affordable and you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised at the cost of intercity bus rides.

Which place is cheaper, Managua 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 Managua is $55. 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 Managua in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guatemala City $24
    Managua $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guatemala City $48
    Managua $46
Compare Hotels in Guatemala City and Managua

Looking for a hotel in Guatemala City or Managua? 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 Managua

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 Managua Hotel Prices.

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guatemala City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guatemala City:

  • Private Transfer from GUA to Panajachel, Lake Atitlan: $285
  • Transfer from La Antigua Guatemala to Monterrico (One Way): $260
  • Private Transfer from Antigua Guatemala to Lake Atitlan : $250
  • Guatemala La Aurora Airport(GUA)to Panajachel Round-Trip Transfer: $238
  • Private Transfer from Guatemala City to Coban: $161
  • Guatemala Airport to San Felipe de Lara RoundTrip PrivateTransfer: $152
  • Ground Transfer Guatemala City To Panajachel, Lake Atitlan: $150
  • Guatemala City Airport(GUA) to Quetzaltenango-Round-Trip Transfer: $130
  • Private Transfer from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlán : $125
  • Guatemala La Aurora Airport(GUA) to Panajachel - Arrival Transfer: $119
  • Private Transfer from Guatemala La Aurora Airport (GUA) to Antigua: $102
  • Guatemala La Aurora Airport(GUA) to Antigua - Round-Trip Transfer: $80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Managua

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

  • Transfer From Managua International Airport: $20
  • Managua to Managua Augusto Airport (MGA) - Departure Transfer: $21
  • Managua Augusto Sandino Airport(MGA) to Managua- Arrival Transfer: $21
  • Managua Augusto Sandino Airport to Managua - Round-Trip Transfer : $41
  • Granada Transfer: $44
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • PRIVATE San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56
  • Transfer from and To Poneloya or Las Peñitas Beach- Leon, Nicaragua: $68
  • Private Transfer from Managua City Hotels to Corinto Cruise Port: $70
  • Private Transfer from Managua Augusto Airport to Corinto Port: $70
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Guatemala City or Managua?

Prices for flights to both Managua 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
    Managua $17

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 Managua

For Managua, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Managua City Tour + Tradicional Dinner: $84

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guatemala City $1.19
    Managua $16

Tours and Activities in Guatemala City

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

  • ¡Pacaya Volcano Tour from Antigua!: $84
  • 11-Day Mayan Ruins Tour: Guatemala and Copán: $1,995
  • 14 Days Private Sightseeing Tour in Guatemala: $3,236
  • 2 Day Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Antigua: $150
  • 2 Day Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City: $150
  • 2 Days Chichicastenango and Panajachel Shared Tour: $175
  • 2 days / 1 night Tour Magical Lake Atitlan Tour: $421
  • 2 days Private Tour to Copan and Quirigua: $600
  • 2- Day Tour: Yaxha Sunset & Tikal from Antigua Guatemala: $566
  • 2-Day Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour from Guatemala City or Antigua: $265
  • 2-Day Kayak and Hike Adventure Package from Antigua: $219
  • 2-Day Shared Hiking Tour to Acatenango Volcano from Antigua: $105

Tours and Activities in Managua

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

  • Nicaragua Private Guide and Transportation Service: Customized Tours: $47
  • Private lava tour-Masaya Volcano from Managua: $49
  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $53
  • Laguna de Apoyo Day pass plus Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $60
  • Granada Isletas and City tour: $68
  • PRIVATE Laguna de apoyo day pass + masaya volcano lava tour: $70
  • PRIVATE TOUR at Granada +Lake boar ride + Lava tour at Masaya volcano: $70
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour" : $75
  • PRIVATE Day trip Granada Isletas +Colonial City tour from Managua: $80
  • PRIVATE Boat ride + Colonial city tour at Granada+Catarina lookout: $80
  • Masaya volcano Night Tour: $80
  • PRIVATE Boat tour + Granada City +Masaya Volcano Night Tour : $85

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guatemala City $6.76
    Managua $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 Managua, we can see that Managua 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 Managua would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Managua than you might in Guatemala City.

Which is Bigger, Guatemala City or Managua?

Guatemala City is bigger, and its population is about 2% larger than the population of Managua. When comparing the population of Guatemala City vs. Managua, 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. Managua Travel Comparison

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