Should you visit Leon or David?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Leon and David can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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.
In the Pacific West of Panama, David is the capital city of Chiriqui province. The city's population of almost 150,000 is among the wealthiest in the country. There is a well established middle class and unemployment remains low in the area. The area has grown rapidly in recent years with growing commercial and banking sectors. The city is well connected to the rest of the country by the Pan American Highway.
Which city is cheaper, David or Leon?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Leon is $50, while the average daily cost in David is $25. 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 Leon and David in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Leon is $28. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
David's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $20. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $9.88.
Leon food costs typically run travelers around $10 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
In David travelers spend around $8.09 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Leon
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Leon.
The cost of a taxi ride in Leon is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $1.27 per person, per day, on local transportation in Leon.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $9.64 per day to get around in David.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leon
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leon:
León hotels to Del Bajio Airport (BJX) - Departure Private Transfer:
Reliable one-way transfer Guanajuato Leon International Airport to Hotel:
Is it cheaper to fly into Leon or David?
Prices for flights to both David 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.
Entertainment and activities in Leon typically cost an average of $4.90 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $3.51 per person, per day in David. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Leon
Here are a few actual costs in Leon for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
León 3-Hour Guided City Tour Including Entrance Fees:
León: 5-Hour Volcano Boarding Tour on Cerro Negro:
Volcano Board Adventure on Cerro Negro:
Leon City Walking Private Tour:
León: Flor de Caña Rum Factory 4-Hour Tour:
Leon City Tour:
León City tour and Mud pools of San Jacinto:
plant-based friendly tapas tour:
Volcano Boarding Private Tour:
Rum Tour & Chorotega Museum Experience:
Private: León City Walking Tour from León:
Hike El Hoyo Volcano "Private Tour":
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Leon may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $2.98 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Leon and David, we can see that Leon is more expensive. And not only is David much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to David would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in David 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 Leon would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Leon than you might in David.
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