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

Should you visit Managua or Bocas del Toro?

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

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 Managua and Bocas del Toro can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Managua or Bocas del Toro?

Managua

Managua is the capital, and largest city in Nicaragua. The economy is generally centered around the trade of coffee, cotton, and other types of agriculture. It also is a textile capital for the area. Managua is also a very reasonably priced destination in Central America. Restaurants and hotels are quite affordable and you'll find all kinds of international cuisine around the city. Transportation is also incredibly affordable and you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised at the cost of intercity bus rides.

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 place is cheaper, Bocas del Toro or Managua?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Managua is $55, while the average daily cost in Bocas del Toro is $77. 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 Managua and Bocas del Toro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Managua $23
    Bocas del Toro $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Managua $46
    Bocas del Toro $66
Compare Hotels in Managua and Bocas del Toro

Looking for a hotel in Managua 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 Managua


Hotels in Bocas del Toro


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: Managua Hotel Prices and Bocas del Toro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Managua $20
    Bocas del Toro $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Managua

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

  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • Private Transfer from Managua Augusto Airport to Corinto Port: $71
  • Private Transfer from Managua City Hotels to Corinto Cruise Port: $71
  • Transfer from and To Poneloya or Las Peñitas Beach- Leon, Nicaragua: $68
  • Managua Augusto Airport (MGA) to Managua-Round-Trip Transfer: $66
  • Transfer From Managua International Airport: $66
  • PRIVATE San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • Granada Transfer: $44
  • Managua Augusto Sandino Airport(MGA) to Managua- Arrival Transfer: $33
  • Managua to Managua Augusto Airport (MGA) - Departure Transfer: $33

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bocas del Toro

Also for Bocas del Toro, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Colon Cruise Terminal - Tocumen Airport or Panama City: $55
  • Transfer from Bocas del Toro to Puerto Viejo: $54
  • Private Transfer from Colón Port to Panama Tocumen Airport PTY: $43

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

Prices for flights to both Bocas del Toro and Managua 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
    Managua $17
    Bocas del Toro $27

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.
    Managua $16
    Bocas del Toro $21

Tours and Activities in Managua

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Managua.

  • 3 full days PRIVATE tour at Granada, Masaya and Leon area from Managua: $203
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour" : $75
  • Between Volcanoes Tours; Granada-Masaya.: $155
  • Granada Isletas and City tour: $68
  • Laguna de Apoyo Day pass plus Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $60
  • Leon City and Rum Tasting Tour from Managua: $215
  • Managua City Tour: $88
  • Managua City Tour: $84
  • Managua’s Rich History: A Walking Tour Through Time: $244
  • 4-Hour Guided Historical Walking Tour: $484
  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $53
  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour The Impressive Power of Nature: $80

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.

  • Bocas Cacao Farm Tour: $105
  • Dolphin Bay and Coral Cay with Drinks Private Tour in Zapatilla: $65
  • Full Day Private Shore Tour in Panama from Colón Cruise Port: $234
  • Full-Day Speedboat Tour, Wildlife, and Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro in Panama: $68
  • Small-Group Speed Boat and Snorkel Tour from Bocas del Toro: $68
  • Speed Boat tour to Mangrove Point -Starfish Beach -Bocas del Drago and Birds Island: $65
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Experience in Bahia Honda Bocas del Toro: $60

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Managua $11
    Bocas del Toro $12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Managua and Bocas del Toro, we can see that Bocas del Toro is more expensive. And not only is Managua much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Managua would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Managua 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 Managua.

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


Which is Bigger, Managua or Bocas del Toro?

Managua has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Bocas del Toro. When comparing the sizes of Managua and Bocas del Toro, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


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

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 Managua or Bocas del Toro in the Summer?

Both Bocas del Toro and Managua are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Managua throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Bocas del Toro because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Bocas del Toro. It's quite rainy in Managua. In July, Managua usually receives less rain than Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.

Managua usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during summer. Managua gets 175 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 124 hours of full sun in the summer.

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


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

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

Both Bocas del Toro and Managua during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Managua because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Bocas del Toro year-round.

Bocas del Toro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Managua. Managua usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, Managua often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 195 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun.

In October, Managua is generally around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro. Daily temperatures in Managua average around 27°C (81°F), and Bocas del Toro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).


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

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

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Managua and Bocas del Toro. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Managua year-round. Bocas del Toro attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Bocas del Toro receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Managua usually receives less rain than Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.

In Managua, it's very sunny this time of the year. Managua usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during winter. Managua gets 244 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun in the winter.

Managua is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro in the winter. The daily temperature in Managua averages around 26°C (79°F) in January, and Bocas del Toro fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).


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

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

The spring brings many poeple to Managua as well as Bocas del Toro. Managua attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Bocas del Toro throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Bocas del Toro. Managua usually gets less rain in April than Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Managua this time of the year. In the spring, Managua often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. Managua gets 242 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 172 hours of full sun.

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


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

Typical Weather for Bocas del Toro and Managua

Managua 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)