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 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.

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 $80. 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 Managua and Puerto Viejo in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $36 in Managua For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in Puerto Viejo For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Managua $18
    Puerto Viejo $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Managua $36
    Puerto Viejo $82

Local Transportation

To get around in Managua, the average visitor spends $16 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Puerto Viejo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $26 per person, per day on transportation in Puerto Viejo.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Managua $16
    Puerto Viejo $26

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

In Managua travelers spend around $15 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.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in Puerto Viejo for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Managua $15
    Puerto Viejo $19

Entertainment

In Managua, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Puerto Viejo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Managua $13
    Puerto Viejo $22

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Managua, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.11.

Typically, people visiting Puerto Viejo spend on average $8.22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Managua $9.11
    Puerto Viejo $8.22

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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Managua vs. Puerto Viejo Travel Comparison

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