A Travel Price Comparison for Nicaragua Managua vs. Leon for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Managua or Leon?

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 Leon can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Leon or Managua?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Managua is $44, while the average daily cost in Leon is $48. 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 Managua and Leon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Managua $18
    Leon $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Managua $36
    Leon $26

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Managua $16
    Leon $1.23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Managua

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

  • Granada Transfer: $44
  • Las Peñitas or Poneloya beach Transfer: $67
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to Granada: $83
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to San Juan del Sur: $146
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • Private Airport Transfer: Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA) to Managua: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Managua to Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA): $13
  • Private Transfer From Managua International Airport: $17
  • Private Transfer from and To Poneloya or Las Peñitas Beach- Leon, Nicaragua: $68
  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Managua or Leon?

Prices for flights to both Leon 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 $14
    Leon $9.84

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Managua $13
    Leon $4.73

Tours and Activities in Managua

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

  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $34
  • Masaya Volcano National Park Evening Tour, with hotel pickup: $34
  • Nicaragua Private Guide and Transportation Service: Customized Tours: $47
  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour from Granada: $48
  • Coffee Tour: $49
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour": $54
  • Granada+Apoyo Lagoon +handicraft market+ Masaya volcano night tour: $55
  • Laguna de apoyo day pass + masaya volcano lava tour: $60
  • Laguna de Apoyo Day pass plus Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $60
  • Managua City Tour: $65
  • Granada Isletas +Colonial City tour: $68
  • Granada Isletas and City tour: $68

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Managua $9.02
    Leon $2.88

Sample the Local Flavors in Managua

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Managua:

  • Private Flor de Caña Rum Distillery and León City: $165


When comparing the travel costs between Managua and Leon, we can see that Leon 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

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Managua vs. Leon Travel Comparison

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