A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Guatemala City vs. Panama City

Should you visit Guatemala City or Panama City?

Should I visit Guatemala City or Panama City? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Panama City

Panama City is the cosmopolitan capital city of the country of Panama. With a population of almost 900,000 and almost 1.5 million in the metropolitan area, it's a very diverse city with expat residents from all over the world. You don't have to search far to find someone who speaks English, and many Panamanians are quite helpful and friendly.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City or Guatemala City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Guatemala City is $36, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $68. 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 Guatemala City and Panama City in more detail.




Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $19. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Guatemala City the cost is $38 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $56 in Panama City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guatemala City $19
    Panama City $28
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guatemala City $38
    Panama City $56


Food

On average, meal and food prices in Guatemala City cost around $12 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.80.

In Panama City travelers spend around $17 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Guatemala City $12
    Panama City $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guatemala City

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

  • Taste Antigua Guatemala Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Guatemala Food Tour from Guatemala City: $117
  • Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City: $118
  • Antigua Market, Cooking Class and Choco Museum from Guatemala City: $178

Typical Food prices in Panama City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Panama City:


  • Sandwich
    $8.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

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

  • Panama Evening Food Tour: $60
  • Panama City Food Tour: Taste of Panama Walking Tour: $76
  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Guatemala City is $4.96 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in Panama City, the average visitor spends $8.54 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guatemala City $4.96
    Panama City $8.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guatemala City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Guatemala City:

  • Private Transfer from Guatemala City to Coban: $155
  • Ground Transfer Guatemala City To Panajachel, Lake Atitlan: $128
  • Private Transfer from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlán: $120
  • Transfer from Airport to Antigua: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: Guatemala to La Aurora International Airport (GUA): $38
  • Private Transfer from La Aurora Airport to Antigua Guatemala: $28
  • Airport transfer from Guatemala City airport to Antigua: $26
  • Collective Transfer From Guatemala City to La Aurora Airport: $20
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Guatemala City Airport to Antigua: $16
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Guatemala City Airport to Hotels: $14
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Guatemala City Hotels to Airport: $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

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

  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Private Departure Transfer to Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Tocumen International Airport to Panama City Hotels: $15
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Panama City Hotels to Tocumen International Airport: $15
  • Airport Private Transfer Tocumen Direct to Panama City: $18
  • Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita: $18
  • Private Airport Transfer: Panama City to Tocumen International Airport (PTY): $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to Panama City: $19
  • Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport: $19
  • Private Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Downtown Panama City, Panama: $20
  • Private Transfer Airport PTY to Panama City: $22


Entertainment

Guatemala City's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $0.97 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In Panama City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $53 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guatemala City $0.97
    Panama City $53

Tours and Activities in Guatemala City

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

  • 11-Day Mayan Ruins Tour: Guatemala and Copán: $1,859
  • 2 Day Tour Share and Private to Copan and Quirigua: $247
  • 2 Day Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City: $150
  • 2-Day Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour from Guatemala City or Antigua: $265
  • 2-Day Tour: Auto Safari Chapín Zoo and Monterrico Black Sand Beach from Guatemala City or Antigua: $276
  • 3-Day Tour of Cobán and Semuc Champey from Guatemala City: $391
  • 4-Day Tour: Guatemala City, Antigua, Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan: $345
  • 5-Day Tour from Antigua, Chichicastenango, Panajachel and Santiago Atitlán: $439
  • 6-Day Tour: Traditional Guatemala Including Antigua, Chichicastenango Market, Lake Atitlan and Tikal: $910
  • 8-Day Best of Guatemala Tour: Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Lake Atitlan and Tikal Ruins: $1,508
  • Acatenango Volcano Overnight Adventure from Guatemala City: $295
  • Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City: $69

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • Casco Antiguo Virtual Live Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: Panama La Vieja Admission Ticket: $15
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $25
  • Sea Breeze Champagne Adventure: $28
  • Welcome to Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Panama City and Canal Tour ( Centro de Visitante de Miraflores): $31
  • Day Tour Panama Hop-On & Hop-off Sightseeing Bus: $33
  • Private Panama Canal Tour: $41
  • Tour Colonial Panama: $42
  • Shopping Tour in Panama: $42
  • Panama Viejo Ruins Sightseeing Tour: $43
  • Panama City Tour highlight: $45


Alcohol

The average person spends about $5.50 on alcoholic beverages in Guatemala City 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 Panama City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guatemala City $5.50
    Panama City $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Panama City:

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Guatemala City and Panama City, we can see that Panama City 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 Panama City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Panama City than you might in Guatemala City.

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Guatemala City vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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