A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kingston vs. Tamarindo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kingston or Tamarindo?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Kingston or Tamarindo, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Kingston or Tamarindo?

Kingston

Kingston is Jamaica's capital city with a population of about 579,000. For being located on an island, Kingston is a very large city with several different zip codes. Not only is Kingston the cultural capital of the country, but also the commercial one as well.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a small beach town in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. This town is usually sought out by surfers, fishers, couples, and families. There are delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and friendly Tico's and Tica's (local Costa Rican nicknames) everywhere.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica.


Which place is cheaper, Tamarindo or Kingston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kingston is $108, while the average daily cost in Tamarindo is $117. 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 Kingston and Tamarindo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kingston $64
    Tamarindo $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kingston $128
    Tamarindo $96
Compare Hotels in Kingston and Tamarindo

Looking for a hotel in Kingston or Tamarindo? 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 Kingston


Hotels in Tamarindo


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: Kingston Hotel Prices and Tamarindo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kingston $29
    Tamarindo $67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kingston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kingston:

  • All Island Private Transfer To/From Kingston Airport (KIN): $22
  • MBJ Airport Transfer to/ from Hotels : $25
  • Airport Transfer Norman Manley international airport: $30
  • Private Transfer to/from Kingston Airport: $43
  • Private Transfer From Norman Manley Airport to Kingston one way: $48
  • Airport Transfer in Kingston: $50
  • Private Airport Transfer of Norman Manley and Kingston Hotels : $50
  • First Class Airport Transfers: $52
  • 10. Norman Manley Intl Kingston Airport Fun-Transfer to/from Montego Bay Resorts: $125
  • Kingston Airport Transfers to Runaway Bay: $127
  • Kingston : Private Airport Transfer to Montego Bay: $168
  • Transfer for Kingston Airport to and from Hotels in Montego Bay: $173

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tamarindo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tamarindo:

  • Airport Transfer from Liberia Airport to Andaz Papagayo Hyatt (Round Trip): $180
  • Flamingo/Tamarindo to Liberia Airport(LIR)- Departure Transfer: $39
  • JW Marriott/Riu Hotel to Liberia Airport (LIR) Departure Transfer: $39
  • Liberia Airport To Tamarindo Private Transfer: $55
  • Liberia Airport Transfer To Playa Conchal And Playa Flamingo: $165
  • Monteverde: Transfer to Tamarindo: $65
  • Playa Conchal & Flamingo From Liberia Airport, Transfer Service: $168
  • Playa Grande to Liberia Airport (LIR) Departure Private Transfer: $31
  • Private Airport Transfer from Liberia to Tamarindo beaches Areas & surrounding : $140
  • Private Round Trip Transfer: From Liberia Airport To Reserva Conchal: $270
  • Private Round Trip Transfer: From Liberia Airport To Secrets Papagayo: $188
  • Private Transfer - Liberia Airport & Riu Hotel: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Kingston or Tamarindo?

Prices for flights to both Tamarindo and Kingston 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kingston $26
    Tamarindo $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tamarindo

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

  • Online Class on Zoom: Cooking Costa Rica Homemade Food: $35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kingston $13
    Tamarindo $17

Tours and Activities in Kingston

Here are a few actual costs in Kingston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Walking Tour with Mural Exploration: $26
  • Montego Bay: All inclusive tours: $30
  • Club Kingston VIP Departure Lounge Experience: $38
  • Bob Marley Museum Tour Skip the Line Tickets: $45
  • Cannabis Shopping Tour with Lunch: $50
  • Ocho Rios Shore Excursion: Bus Tour of Ocho Rios, Fern Gully and Turtle Beach: $62
  • Devon House Heritage Tour with Ice Cream from Kingston: $63
  • Devon House Tour with Ice Cream from Kingston: $64
  • Kingston Half Day Community and Art Tour: $70
  • Tour a Jamaican Farm: $70
  • Shared Tour: Irie Blue Hole & Secret Falls Adventure Tour from Ocho Rios: $73
  • Kingston City Guided Tour - Classic: $73

Tours and Activities in Tamarindo

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

  • Tamarindo Estuary Tour: $44
  • Night Turtle Nesting Tour from Tamarindo: $46
  • Tamarindo Birdwatching Crocodiles and Monkey Tour: $50
  • Turtle Nesting Tour: $55
  • Rain Forest Canopy Tour from Zipline, Hanging Bridge: $55
  • Sea turtle watching tour near playa grande: $55
  • ATV Beach and Mountain Tour!: $62
  • UTV Side By Side Off Road Tour Tamarindo Beach & Flamingo Beach: $65
  • Hiking Tour of La Leona Waterfall with Lunch: $65
  • ATV and UTV Beach Tour from Tamarindo, Flamingo and Conchal Beach: $67
  • ATV Tour through the Flamingo Potrero and Brasilito Area: $70
  • Tamarindo Kayak Estuary Mangrove Tour: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kingston $11
    Tamarindo $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Kingston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Kingston:

  • Ocho Rios Pub Crawl and Sightseeing Tour from Ocho Rios: $185

Sample the Local Flavors in Tamarindo

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

  • Tamarindo Bar Crawl Experience: $25


When comparing the travel costs between Kingston and Tamarindo, we can see that Tamarindo 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. Even though Kingston is in Caribbean Islands and Tamarindo is in Central America, both of these destinations have relatively similar prices of travel. Generally, the levels of luxury and expenses are the same for these cities even though they are geographically far apart.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kingston Expensive? and Is Tamarindo Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Kingston or Tamarindo?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Kingston or Tamarindo in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Kingston and Tamarindo. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Kingston year-round. Tamarindo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Tamarindo receives a lot of rain in the summer. In July, Kingston usually receives less rain than Tamarindo. Kingston gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In Kingston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Kingston usually receives more sunshine than Tamarindo during summer. Kingston gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 164 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Kingston is generally around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Daily temperatures in Kingston average around 29°C (83°F), and Tamarindo fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Kingston 29°C (83°F) 
    Tamarindo 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Kingston or Tamarindo in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Kingston as well as Tamarindo. Kingston attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Tamarindo throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Tamarindo. Kingston receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Kingston usually gets less rain in October than Tamarindo. Kingston gets 167 mm (6.6 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain this time of the year.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Kingston this time of the year. In the autumn, Kingston often gets more sunshine than Tamarindo. Kingston gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 169 hours of full sun.

Kingston is around the same temperature as Tamarindo in the autumn. The daily temperature in Kingston averages around 28°C (82°F) in October, and Tamarindo fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Kingston 28°C (82°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Kingston or Tamarindo in the Winter?

Both Tamarindo and Kingston are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Kingston throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Tamarindo because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In January, Kingston usually receives more rain than Tamarindo. Kingston gets 18 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.

It's quite sunny in Tamarindo. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Kingston. Kingston usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Tamarindo during winter. Kingston gets 257 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 264 hours of full sun in the winter.

In the winter, Kingston is around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Typically, the winter temperatures in Kingston in January average around 26°C (79°F), and Tamarindo averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Kingston 26°C (79°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Kingston or Tamarindo in the Spring?

Both Tamarindo and Kingston during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Kingston because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Tamarindo year-round.

Kingston usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Tamarindo. Kingston gets 27 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Tamarindo, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Kingston. In the spring, Kingston often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Tamarindo. Kingston gets 251 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 255 hours of full sun.

In April, Kingston is generally cooler than Tamarindo. Daily temperatures in Kingston average around 26°C (80°F), and Tamarindo fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Kingston 26°C (80°F) 
    Tamarindo 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Tamarindo and Kingston

Kingston Tamarindo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 18 mm (0.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 26°C (79°F) 16 mm (0.6 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (80°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 26°C (80°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 28°C (83°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 29°C (83°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 29°C (83°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 29°C (83°F) 107 mm (4.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 28°C (82°F) 167 mm (6.6 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 28°C (82°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)