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

Should you visit La Ceiba or San Juan del Sur?

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 Juan del Sur 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 Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is a popular port destination on the Pacific coast of southwest Nicaragua. The town was once a quaint fishing village but has grown into a tourist town with activities for visitors that include surfing, fishing, and, of course, partying. The town has a population of just over 15,000, most of whom are either fishermen or involved in the tourism industry. There is also a large expat community from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Which city is cheaper, San Juan del Sur 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 Juan del Sur is $44. 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 Juan del Sur 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $34 for a double occupancy room in San Juan del Sur.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Ceiba $19
    San Juan del Sur $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Ceiba $38
    San Juan del Sur $34

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.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in San Juan del Sur for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    La Ceiba $15
    San Juan del Sur $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan del Sur

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Juan del Sur.

  • Food Tour - Nicaragua Gastronomy: $102

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.

The average price of local transportation around San Juan del Sur is $15 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Ceiba $26
    San Juan del Sur $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan del Sur

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Juan del Sur:

  • One-Way Private Transfer from San Juan del Sur to Managua: $146

Is it cheaper to fly into La Ceiba or San Juan del Sur?

Prices for flights to both San Juan del Sur 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.

San Juan del Sur's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Ceiba $18
    San Juan del Sur $13

Tours and Activities in La Ceiba

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

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

Tours and Activities in San Juan del Sur

Here are a few actual costs in San Juan del Sur for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Open Bar Sunset Cruise in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: $30
  • SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park: $100
  • ATV Tour: $103
  • Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur: $159
  • San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour: $201

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting San Juan del Sur may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Ceiba $4.23
    San Juan del Sur $11


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

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La Ceiba vs. San Juan del Sur Travel Comparison

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