A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Havana vs. San Juan for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Havana or San Juan?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Havana and San Juan can help you decide which place is right for you.

Havana

The city of Havana is at the top of most peoples' bucket list - mostly because of the allure of a forbidden land. Before the Communist revolution, Cuba was a popular tourist destination. Since it has reopened in the 1990s, it has drawn tourists from all over the world (except the US).

This capital city is a land trapped in the past. With 50 years of neglect, when you step off the plane, prepare to step back in time. A trip to Havana is meant for those with truly open minds - and when they arrive they'll be swept away.

Recently, Cuba has become open to travelers from the U.S., but only through specific travel agencies and tour companies. One of the best ways to get here is to take a cruise to Havana. This way you can have a terrific experience on the boat while also enjoying the culture and history of Havana.

And here's everything you need to know if you're traveling to Cuba as an American.

San Juan

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 Havana?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Havana is $52, 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 Havana and San Juan in more detail.



Accommodation

Havana's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $64. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $32.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Havana $32
    San Juan $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Havana $64
    San Juan $198

Food

The price of a meal in Havana can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $8.18 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $3.27 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Havana $8.18
    San Juan $29
Typical Food prices in Havana

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Havana:


  • Pizza
    $0.03

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: $112
  • Authenic Puerto Rican Food Tasting Cooking Lesson (Volunteer Option Available): $115
  • Old San Juan Sunset Walk & Taste Food Tour: $119
  • Puerto Rican Food Tour: $152

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $15 per day to get around in Havana.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Havana $15
    San Juan $11
Typical Local Transportation prices in Havana

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Havana:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $0.68

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan

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

  • Airport Transfers: SJU to Hotels in Isla Verde/Condado/Old San Juan Puerto Rico: $25
  • Luxury Private Round-Trip Airport Transfer : Luis Muñoz Marín Airport to Hotel: $95
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Juan to Luis Munoz Marin Int. Airport (SJU): $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in Fajardo: $128
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in Ponce: $228
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in San Juan: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in Vieques: $151
  • Private Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to San Juan Airport: $16
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Juan Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port: $51
  • Private San Juan, PR Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $109
  • Private San Juan, PR Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $109
  • Private Transfer San Juan SJU Airport to San Juan-Isla Verde-Condado by Van: $141

Is it cheaper to fly into Havana or San Juan?

Prices for flights to both San Juan and Havana 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $8.98 per person, per day in Havana. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

In San Juan, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $40 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Havana $8.98
    San Juan $40

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
    $40
  • Full Day Snorkeling Trip
    $100
  • 1 Hr Windsurfing Lesson
    $75

Tours and Activities in San Juan

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

  • Old Let the city's buildings tell you their stories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Skip the line! Port-Airport transportation: $10
  • Scenic Walking Tour in the Historic Old San Juan: $30
  • San Juan Sightseeing Tour: $30
  • City Tour San Juan and surroundings: $30
  • Guided Sunrise Kayak Experience at Condado Lagoon: $39
  • Old San Juan Walking Tour: $41
  • Oneway - to/from SJUAirport, Cruise Port, Hotels in SAN JUAN - Standard Sedan: $43
  • Pinones(Loiza) Tour: An Authentic Food & Beach Experience: $45
  • The Best Old San Juan Walking Tour: $45
  • Fountain of Youth Tour of Old San Juan: $46
  • San Juan Small-Group Snorkeling Tour on Coral Reef: $49

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Havana may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $4.61 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Havana $4.61
    San Juan $9.83
Typical Alcohol prices in Havana

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Havana:


  • Mojito
    $0.15

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: $95
  • Private Old San Juan and Bacardí or Barrilito Distillery Experience: $195
  • Bacardi Rum Distillery with Cocktail Class and Old San Juan tour: $208
  • 3 Day Puerto Rico Extravaganza (Beach, Biobay, Rain Forest, Distillery & Old SJ): $902


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

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Havana vs. San Juan Travel Comparison

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