A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Montego Bay vs. San Juan for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Montego Bay or San Juan?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Montego Bay and San Juan can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Montego Bay

As with most places around the tropical oasis of Jamaica, Montego Bay (or "MoBay") is an ideal place to visit for a Caribbean getaway. It is Jamaica's second largest city and the capital of St. James parish on the northern coast. Montego Bay is considered to be the tourist capital of the country and is where the largest airport is located, bringing in many international travelers.

San Juan

If you've ever set foot on a Caribbean cruise, you've probably spent a bit of time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, maybe you should consider spending more than just a port day in this beautiful and historically rich city.

As the capital and largest city in all of Puerto Rico, San Juan is home to approximately 400,000 people. Established in 1521, it is also the second oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas.

As this city fuses a historic paradise with modern day energy, it has absolutely everything to offer. Intellectual wanderers, beach bums, rainforest adventurers and radical surfers will all find plenty to do in San Juan.

Which city is cheaper, San Juan or Montego Bay?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Montego Bay is $166, while the average daily cost in San Juan is $153. 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 Montego Bay and San Juan in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Montego Bay is $170. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $198 in San Juan For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montego Bay $85
    San Juan $99
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montego Bay $170
    San Juan $198

Food

In Montego Bay travelers spend around $68 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.

Food in San Juan costs travelers about $29 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Montego Bay $68
    San Juan $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Montego Bay

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Montego Bay.

  • Night cruise and swim the Falmouth Mystic Lagoon, Dinner and Rum Punch Inclusive: $85
  • Dinner or lunch at pier one Montego bay Food Tour: $144

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan

For San Juan, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour: $112
  • Authenic Puerto Rican Food Tasting Cooking Lesson (Volunteer Option Available): $115
  • Old San Juan Sunset Walk & Taste Food Tour: $119
  • Puerto Rican Food Tour: $152

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Montego Bay is $12 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in San Juan, the average visitor spends $11 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montego Bay $12
    San Juan $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Montego Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Montego Bay:

  • Private RoundTrip Transfer Donald Sangster Airport MBJ to Port Antonio byMinivan: $633
  • Airport Transfers Montego Bay Luxury Sedan Car (Private): $453
  • Private RoundTrip Transfer: Donald Sangster Airport MBJ to Kingston by Minivan: $417
  • Luxury White House Hotels Transfers: $400
  • Luxury Negril Hotels Transfers: $400
  • Luxury Ocho Rios Hotels Transfers: $400
  • Airport transfers: $345
  • Mini Van Luxury Ocho Rios Hotels Transfers: $308
  • Private Round Trip Transfer Donald Sangster Airport MBJ to Mandeville by Minivan: $283
  • Montego Bay to Kingston Hotel/Airport Transfer: $272
  • Airport - Ocho Rios Hotels Transfers and Returns: $260
  • Montego Bay Airport Transfer: $260

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan

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

  • Private Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to San Juan Airport: $16
  • Airport Transfers: SJU to Hotels in Isla Verde/Condado/Old San Juan Puerto Rico: $25
  • San Juan Port Arrival Transfer: $27
  • San Juan Port Departure Transfer: $27
  • San Juan Bus Terminal Shuttle Transfer: $34
  • San Juan Airport Shuttle Transfer: $37
  • Private,One Way Transfer,To/From:Airport/CruisePort/Hotels to Dorado & RioGrande: $46
  • Transfers from San Juan (SJU, hotels, ports, locations nearby) to Dorado City: $50
  • Transfers from San Juan (SJU/hotels/ports/locations nearby) to Río Grande City: $50
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in San Juan: $51
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Juan Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port: $51
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Juan to Luis Munoz Marin Int. Airport (SJU): $52

Is it cheaper to fly into Montego Bay or San Juan?

Prices for flights to both San Juan and Montego Bay 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

Montego Bay's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In San Juan, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $40 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montego Bay $26
    San Juan $40
Typical Entertainment prices in Montego Bay

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Montego Bay are as follows:


  • Admission to Doctor's Cave Beach
    $2.79
  • Snorkeling Trip
    $20
  • One Tank Dive
    $39
  • 1.5 Hr Horseback Ride
    $45

Tours and Activities in Montego Bay

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Montego Bay are as follows:

  • "Ocho Rios Nature Lovers Tour": $75
  • (MBJ) Montego Bay Highlight Tour: $45
  • 3-Day Sightseeing Tour of Portland and Ocho Rios starting in Montego Bay: $695
  • 3-Day Sightseeing Tour of Treasure Beach and Negril departing from Montego Bay: $695
  • 3-Hour Reggae & Snorkeling Catamaran Cruise from Montego Bay: $99
  • 4 Hours Montego Bay Private Sightseeing Highlight Tour: $308
  • 7 Hour Lethe River Rafting, Beach, City Tour & Local Market: $125
  • 7 Mile Beach Private Tour from Montego Bay or Falmouth: $108
  • 7-Day Bus Tour Across Jamaica from Montego Bay: $2,769
  • A Culinary Experience at Zimbali Retreat: $185
  • A Private Tour of Southcoast Saint Elizabeth: $256
  • ATV AdVENTURE FROM OCHO RIOS: $25

Typical Entertainment prices in San Juan

For San Juan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Horseback Riding Tour
    $40
  • Full Day Snorkeling Trip
    $100
  • 1 Hr Windsurfing Lesson
    $75

Tours and Activities in San Juan

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

  • Old Let the city's buildings tell you their stories on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Skip the line! Port-Airport transportation: $10
  • Scenic Walking Tour in the Historic Old San Juan: $30
  • San Juan Sightseeing Tour: $30
  • City Tour San Juan and surroundings: $30
  • Guided Sunrise Kayak Experience at Condado Lagoon: $39
  • Old San Juan Walking Tour: $41
  • Oneway - to/from SJUAirport, Cruise Port, Hotels in SAN JUAN - Standard Sedan: $43
  • Pinones(Loiza) Tour: An Authentic Food & Beach Experience: $45
  • The Best Old San Juan Walking Tour: $45
  • Fountain of Youth Tour of Old San Juan: $46
  • San Juan Small-Group Snorkeling Tour on Coral Reef: $49

Alcohol

The average person spends about $11 on alcoholic beverages in Montego Bay per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Juan, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.83.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montego Bay $11
    San Juan $9.83

Sample the Local Flavors in Montego Bay

Also in Montego Bay, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Hampden Rum Distillery / Montego Bay Highlight Tour & 876 Beach Club: $82
  • Montego Bay Jamaica Rum Distillery Tour Private Driver: $215
  • Montego Bay Pub Crawl To Negril and Rick's Cafe: $255

Sample the Local Flavors in San Juan

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Juan:

  • Bacardi Rum Distillery and Old San Juan Tour: $95
  • Private Old San Juan and Bacardí or Barrilito Distillery Experience: $195
  • Bacardi Rum Distillery with Cocktail Class and Old San Juan tour: $208
  • 3 Day Puerto Rico Extravaganza (Beach, Biobay, Rain Forest, Distillery & Old SJ): $902


When comparing the travel costs between Montego Bay and San Juan, we can see that Montego Bay 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 Caribbean Islands, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Montego Bay vs. San Juan Travel Comparison

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