A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Leon vs. Bocas del Toro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Leon or Bocas del Toro?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Leon and Bocas del Toro can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Leon or Bocas del Toro?

Leon

Leon is one of the oldest city's in Nicaragua and you can see hints of its colonial past in the architecture around town. Tourism is not a major part of the economy in Leon, but the city is gaining popularity with budget travelers and backpackers and more recently tour groups are including Leon in their itinerary.

With a population of just over 200,000, Leon is the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua. During the university season the population grows dramatically as there is a heavy presence of students in Leon. It is a popular university town, and this young population gives the city plenty of energy and entertainment.

Bocas del Toro

The capital of the Bocas del Toro province, this city of the same name sits in the Caribbean West region of Panama. Bocas del Toro, or Bocas Town, is in the district of Bocas del Toro, which also includes the towns of Bastimentos, Cauchero, Punta Laurel, and Tierra Oscura. The district has a population of about 17,000 and covers a total area of 433.2 square kilometers, and the town has a population of about 13,000. The area is a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, excellent snorkeling and diving, and interesting culture.

Which city is cheaper, Bocas del Toro or Leon?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Leon is $48, while the average daily cost in Bocas del Toro is $61. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Leon and Bocas del Toro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Leon $13
    Bocas del Toro $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Leon $26
    Bocas del Toro $54
Compare Hotels in Leon and Bocas del Toro

Looking for a hotel in Leon or Bocas del Toro? 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 Leon


Hotels in Bocas del Toro


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Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Leon Hotel Prices and Bocas del Toro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Leon $1.23
    Bocas del Toro $8.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leon:

  • Reliable one-way transfer Guanajuato Leon International Airport to Hotel: $161
  • León hotels to Del Bajio Airport (BJX) - Departure Private Transfer: $138

Typical Local Transportation prices in Bocas del Toro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bocas del Toro:


  • Water Taxi
    $3.00

Is it cheaper to fly into Leon or Bocas del Toro?

Prices for flights to both Bocas del Toro and Leon 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
    Leon $9.87
    Bocas del Toro $22

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Leon

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

  • Tlakualli Food Tour: $12

Typical Food prices in Bocas del Toro

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bocas del Toro:


  • Lunch
    $15
  • Breakfast
    $14

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Leon $4.74
    Bocas del Toro $17

Tours and Activities in Leon

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

  • 3-Day Tour to Ometepe Island from León: $500
  • 7-Day Tour: Learn to Surf in Nicaragua: $1,436
  • 7-Days Tour: Punta Miramar Surf Camp: $1,179
  • Best of Leon and Granada *Private Tour*: $626
  • Charming Nicaragua "9 days Private Tour": $1,080
  • Hike El Hoyo Volcano "Private Tour": $67
  • Horseback Riding Private Tour: $87
  • Kayak Private tour at Juan Venado Island: $92
  • León 3-Hour Guided City Tour Including Entrance Fees: $25
  • León: 5-Hour Volcano Boarding Tour on Cerro Negro: $35
  • León: Flor de Caña Rum Factory 4-Hour Tour: $45
  • Leon City Tour: $46

Typical Entertainment prices in Bocas del Toro

For Bocas del Toro, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Island Boat Tour
    $25
  • Starfish Island Boat Trip
    $20
  • Yoga Class
    $5.00

Tours and Activities in Bocas del Toro

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Bocas del Toro.

  • Small-Group Speed Boat and Snorkel Tour from Bocas del Toro: $68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Leon $2.88
    Bocas del Toro $9.49


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


When is the best time to visit Leon or Bocas del Toro?

Both destinations experience a warmer tropical climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Leon or Bocas del Toro in the Summer?

Both Bocas del Toro and Leon during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Leon because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bocas del Toro because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

Bocas del Toro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Leon. Leon usually gets less rain in July than Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the summer, Leon often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 175 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 124 hours of full sun.

In the summer, Leon is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro. Typically, the summer temperatures in Leon in July are around 27°C (81°F), and Bocas del Toro is about 26°C (79°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Leon 27°C (81°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Leon or Bocas del Toro in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Leon and Bocas del Toro. Leon attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Bocas del Toro attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Bocas del Toro receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Leon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Leon usually receives around the same amount of rain as Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

Leon usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during autumn. Leon gets 195 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Leon is generally around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro. Temperatures in Leon average around 27°C (81°F), and Bocas del Toro stays around 26°C (79°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Leon 27°C (81°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Leon or Bocas del Toro in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Leon as well as Bocas del Toro. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Leon throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Bocas del Toro throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Bocas del Toro. Leon usually gets less rain in January than Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Leon this time of the year. In the winter, Leon often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 244 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun.

Leon is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro in the winter. The temperature in Leon is usually 26°C (79°F) in January, and Bocas del Toro stays around 25°C (77°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Leon 26°C (79°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Leon or Bocas del Toro in the Spring?

Both Bocas del Toro and Leon are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Leon because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bocas del Toro because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Bocas del Toro. In April, Leon usually receives less rain than Bocas del Toro. Leon gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Leon. Leon usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during spring. Leon gets 242 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 172 hours of full sun in the spring.

In the spring, Leon is a little warmer than Bocas del Toro. Typically, the spring temperatures in Leon in April are around 29°C (84°F), and Bocas del Toro is about 26°C (79°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Leon 29°C (84°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Typical Weather for Bocas del Toro and Leon

Leon Bocas del Toro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 319 mm (12.6 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 25°C (77°F) 201 mm (7.9 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 26°C (78°F) 193 mm (7.6 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 287 mm (11.3 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 27°C (80°F) 281 mm (11.1 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 196 mm (7.7 in) 26°C (80°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 144 mm (5.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 408 mm (16.1 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 151 mm (5.9 in) 28°C (82°F) 255 mm (10 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 210 mm (8.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 197 mm (7.8 in) 26°C (79°F) 198 mm (7.8 in)
Nov 31°C (88°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 26°C (78°F) 367 mm (14.4 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 402 mm (15.8 in)


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Leon vs. Bocas del Toro Travel Comparison

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