A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers La Ceiba vs. San Jose for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit La Ceiba or San Jose?

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 La Ceiba and San Jose can help you decide which place is right for you.

La Ceiba

La Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras, situated on the north Caribbean coast. The city has a population of about a quarter million people. Many people who visit this city do so before heading into Pico Bonito National Park. It hasn't had the best infrastructure for tourists in the past but is developing fast. It is about 200 kilometers from San Pedro Sula, another large city in Honduras.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

Which city is cheaper, San Jose or La Ceiba?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in La Ceiba is $54, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $60. 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 La Ceiba and San Jose in more detail.



Accommodation

La Ceiba's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $38. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $19.

The prices for places to stay in San Jose can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $32, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $64.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Ceiba $19
    San Jose $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Ceiba $38
    San Jose $64

Food

While meal prices in La Ceiba can vary, the average travelers spends about $15 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in La Ceiba should cost around $6.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in La Ceiba is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

While meal prices in San Jose can vary, the average travelers spends about $11 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Jose should cost around $4.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Jose is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    La Ceiba $15
    San Jose $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

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

  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $66
  • Vip Evening Sightseeing Tour with Dinner: $66
  • San Jose Evening Tour with Dinner: $77
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $160

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around La Ceiba is $26 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 San Jose, the average visitor spends $17 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.
    La Ceiba $26
    San Jose $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:


  • Taxi from SJO
    $20
  • Local Bus
    $2.21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: Juan Santamaria Int. Airport (SJO) to Alajuela: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: San Jose City to San Jose Airport SJO by Minivan: $29
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from SanJose City to SanJose Juan Santamaría Airport: $30
  • Private transfer from San Jose-Heredia-Alajuela Hotels to International Airport: $55
  • Private Transfer from San Jose Airport One Way: $56
  • San Jose Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Jose Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $65
  • San Jose Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • San Jose Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $65
  • Private transfer from SJO Intl Airport to downtown Hotels: $65
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport to San Jose City - One Way: $73
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport to Mountain View City - One Way: $73

Is it cheaper to fly into La Ceiba or San Jose?

Prices for flights to both San Jose and La Ceiba 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

La Ceiba's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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 San Jose, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Ceiba $18
    San Jose $14

Tours and Activities in La Ceiba

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

  • Romantic tour in La Ceiba: $496
  • The best of La Ceiba walking tour: $496

Tours and Activities in San Jose

For San Jose, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Skip the Line: The Childrens Museum Ticket in Costa Rica: $7.00
  • San Jose Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Jose Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Skip the Line: The National Museum Admission Ticket: $30
  • San Jose Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • San Jose ART Walking Tour - small groups, creative experience: $32
  • San Jose Bites and Sights Tour: $34
  • San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and Architecture: $38
  • Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Admission Ticket: $39
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour: $44
  • From 2.5-Hour Costa Rica Atlantic Zip Line Tour: $50
  • San Jose City Tour: $53

Alcohol

The average person spends about $4.23 on alcoholic beverages in La Ceiba per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting San Jose spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Ceiba $4.23
    San Jose $11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • San Jose Bar Hunt: Sweet San Jose Bar Crawl: $12


When comparing the travel costs between La Ceiba and San Jose, we can see that San Jose 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. Since both cities are in Central America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
La Ceiba vs. San Jose Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.