A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Managua vs. Puerto Viejo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Managua or Puerto Viejo?

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 Puerto Viejo can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Managua or Puerto Viejo?

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.

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town in Caribbean Costa Rica in the province of Limon. There are two gorgeous National Parks nearby - Cahuita and Manzanillo, and it rains more than on the Pacific side, which is why it is so lush and green with the rainforest coming down to the sea. Clear water, coconut palms, great surf and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere make Puerto Viejo a favorite among travelers. Located on about an hour south of Limon, Puerto Viejo is the center of activity between the smaller villages of Cahuita and Manzanillo. The relaxed, seaside town is framed by jungle, turquoise seas, banana plantations and scenic rivers. It's known for the Salsa Brava surf break and beaches like black-sand Playa Negra, but this burgeoning party town is no longer a destination only for intrepid surfers; it's bustling with tourist activity. Stylish eateries serve global fusion, and intentionally rustic bamboo bars pump dancehall and reggaeton. With its blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, expat Europeans and indigenous Costa Ricans, Puerto Viejo charms visitors with a unique mix of people and cultures. Rastafari culture has a firm foothold in the town, and many Rastas sell handmade jewelry and other wares along the town's vibrant roadside. Nearby you'll find rainforest fruit and cacao farms and wide-open beaches. If you're looking to chill a little, party a little and eat a little, you've come to the right place.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo is $87. 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 Puerto Viejo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Managua $18
    Puerto Viejo $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Managua $36
    Puerto Viejo $90
Compare Hotels in Managua and Puerto Viejo

Looking for a hotel in Managua or Puerto Viejo? 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 Puerto Viejo


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 Puerto Viejo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Managua $16
    Puerto Viejo $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Managua

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

  • Transfer Managua to Granada: $52
  • San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110
  • Private Transfer from and To Poneloya or Las Peñitas Beach- Leon, Nicaragua: $68
  • Private Transfer From Managua International Airport: $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Managua to Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA): $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA) to Managua: $13
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to San Juan del Sur: $146
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to Granada: $83
  • Las Peñitas or Poneloya beach Transfer: $67

Is it cheaper to fly into Managua or Puerto Viejo?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Viejo 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
    Puerto Viejo $20

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Managua $13
    Puerto Viejo $24

Tours and Activities in Managua

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

  • 3 full days tour at Granada, Masaya and Leon area from Managua: $271
  • 4-Days Tour in Colonial Nicaragua: $1,090
  • 5-Day Granada Adventure from Managua: $853
  • 7-Day Best of Nicaragua Experience from Managua: $914
  • 7-Day Volcano Adventure: $1,587
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour": $54
  • Best of Nicaragua 7-Day Tour: Lakes, Islands and Volcanoes: $1,608
  • Boat ride + Colonial city tour at Granada+Catarina lookout: $68
  • Boat ride on lake Granada+Colonial sightseeing+Night tour at Masaya volcano: $68
  • Boat tour + Granada City +Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $68
  • Boat tour+Granada City and Catarina lookout: $68
  • Cerro Negro Volcano Boarding & Boat Tour: $145

Tours and Activities in Puerto Viejo

For Puerto Viejo, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Tamarindo: ATV Quad Bike Adventure Tour: $100

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Managua $9.05
    Puerto Viejo $8.97

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Managua and Puerto Viejo, we can see that Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Viejo than you might in Managua.


When is the best time to visit Managua or Puerto Viejo?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm 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 Puerto Viejo in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Managua and Puerto Viejo. Managua attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Puerto Viejo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Puerto Viejo receives a lot of rain in the summer. Managua gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Managua usually receives less rain than Puerto Viejo. Managua gets 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.

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

In July, Managua is generally around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo. Temperatures in Managua average around 27°C (81°F), and Puerto Viejo stays around 26°C (79°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Managua 27°C (81°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Managua or Puerto Viejo in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Managua as well as Puerto Viejo. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Managua throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Puerto Viejo throughout the year.

It's quite rainy in Puerto Viejo. Managua receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Managua usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Puerto Viejo. Managua gets 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain this time of the year.

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

Managua is around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo in the autumn. The temperature in Managua is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and Puerto Viejo stays around 26°C (79°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Managua 27°C (81°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Managua or Puerto Viejo in the Winter?

Both Puerto Viejo and Managua are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Managua because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Puerto Viejo because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Puerto Viejo. In January, Managua usually receives less rain than Puerto Viejo. Managua gets 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Managua. Managua usually receives more sunshine than Puerto Viejo during winter. Managua gets 244 hours of sunny skies, while Puerto Viejo receives 159 hours of full sun in the winter.

In the winter, Managua is around the same temperature as Puerto Viejo. Typically, the winter temperatures in Managua in January are around 26°C (79°F), and Puerto Viejo is about 25°C (77°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Managua 26°C (79°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Managua or Puerto Viejo in the Spring?

Both Puerto Viejo and Managua during the spring are popular places to visit. Managua attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Puerto Viejo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Puerto Viejo gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Managua usually gets less rain in April than Puerto Viejo. Managua gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Puerto Viejo receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in Managua. In the spring, Managua often gets more sunshine than Puerto Viejo. Managua gets 242 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Puerto Viejo receives 172 hours of full sun.

In April, Managua is generally a little warmer than Puerto Viejo. Temperatures in Managua average around 29°C (84°F), and Puerto Viejo stays around 26°C (79°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Managua 29°C (84°F) 
    Puerto Viejo 26°C (79°F)

Typical Weather for Puerto Viejo and Managua

Managua Puerto Viejo
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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Managua vs. Puerto Viejo Travel Comparison

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