A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Roatan vs. La Fortuna for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Roatan or La Fortuna?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Roatan and La Fortuna. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Roatan or La Fortuna?


Your next great vacation lies just thirty miles off the north coast of Honduras. Right above the world's largest coral reef is the island of Roatan. As a popular tourist attraction and standard cruise destination, it's not uncommon to see tons of Americans during your trip. In fact, the cruising industry has had huge impact on the island's culture. While ships are in port, traffic will be heavier and prices may go up. Because of the growth of tourism, most locals speak both Spanish and English.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela. It is the closest town to Arenal Volcano, and the area is often simply refered to as Arenal. The volcano itself is active and has been constantly erupting since 1968. It erupts on average 41 times a day. This area of northern Costa Rica is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best Adventure Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Eco Tours in Costa Rica.

Which place is cheaper, La Fortuna or Roatan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Roatan is $38, while the average daily cost in La Fortuna is $104. 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 Roatan and La Fortuna in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Roatan $11
    La Fortuna $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Roatan $22
    La Fortuna $102
Compare Hotels in Roatan and La Fortuna

Looking for a hotel in Roatan or La Fortuna? 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 Roatan

Hotels in La Fortuna

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: Roatan Hotel Prices and La Fortuna Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Roatan $19
    La Fortuna $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Roatan

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Roatan are as follows:

  • Water Taxi

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Roatan

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Roatan:

  • Transfers to West End by night from hotels in West Bay or Sandy Bay: $15
  • Roatan Island hotels to Mahogany Bay Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $38
  • Honduras to Honduras Airport (RTB)-Departure Private Transfer: $38
  • Round trip transfers from airport or ferry to hotel: $40
  • Chocolate Factory, Rum Factory, Markets, Island Tour, Private Transfer: $50
  • Roatan Sun & Fun, Sloths & Monkeys, Beach & Private Transfer: $63
  • Mayan Eden Eco Park, Chocolate Factory & Transfer: $65
  • West Bay Beach, Chocolate, & Rum Factory & Transfer: $67
  • Catch a ride to West Bay & back to Port, Hotel, or Airport (Roundtrip Transfer): $75
  • Honduras Roatan Airport (RTB) to Honduras -Round-Trip Transfer: $76
  • Roatan Private Catamaran Shipwreck, Blue Channel and Starfish with Transfer: $90
  • West Bay Aquarium Snorkeling, Chocolate & Rum Factory, City Tour plus Transfer: $91

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Fortuna

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Fortuna:

  • La Fortuna or Monteverde: One-Way Boat Transfer: $39
  • Private Transfer From Liberia Airport to Arenal La Fortuna: $42
  • White Water Tubing Tour with Guide and Transfers: $55
  • Scenic Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal Lake: $56
  • One-Way Transfer from La Fortuna to Monteverde through Arenal Lake: $57
  • Arenal lake boat transfer from to Monteverde from La Fortuna: $60
  • Sloth Watching Tour with Transfer and Snacks: $68
  • La Fortuna de Arenal: Transfer to Liberia or LIR Airport: $70
  • From Lake Arenal Kayaking Trip with Transfer: $90
  • La Fortuna de Arenal: Transfer to Liberia or LIR Airport: $187
  • Private Transfer Arenal / La Fortuna town to San Jose Airport (SJO): $195
  • Private transfer from SJO Airport to La Fortuna / Van A/C & WiF: $199

Is it cheaper to fly into Roatan or La Fortuna?

Prices for flights to both La Fortuna and Roatan 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 Meals for one day
    Roatan $9.44
    La Fortuna $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Roatan

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

  • Cooking classes from a Local!: $200

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Fortuna

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in La Fortuna.

  • Organic Farm Visit & Farm-to-Table Cooking Class: $45
  • Cooking Class and Sugar Cane Experience: $45
  • Typical Costa Rican Cooking Classes in La Fortuna: $48
  • Costa Rica Cooking, El Fogon de Chela: $50
  • Cooking Class "Cook Like a Local" La Fortuna: $63
  • Rainforest Night Walk and Authentic Costa Rican Dinner from La Fortuna: $65
  • 3-Hour Costa Rican Cooking Class with Dinner: $68
  • Private cooking class in organic farm at La Fortuna: $75
  • Ceviche & Empanadas Cooking Class: $77
  • Combo Cooking Class and Salsa Dance Lesson: $80
  • Costa Rican Cooking Class+Dinner+Night Frog Tour: $81
  • Cooking with a Costa Rican familiy: $90

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Roatan $27
    La Fortuna $44

Tours and Activities in Roatan

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

  • Roatan Private Snorkeling Experience with Pick Up: $35
  • Shore Excursion: Roatan VIP Customizable Island Tour: $35
  • Private Tour in Roatan with Pick Up: $44
  • Shore Excursion: Private Half-Day Sightseen Tour and Beach: $45
  • Shore Excursion: Roatan East West Private Half-Day Island Tour : $45
  • Roatan Chocolate Factory Rum Factory and Beach Day Tour: $45
  • Customizable Best Of Roatan Island Tour in Honduras: $45
  • Roatan VIP Free-Style Private Tour: $45
  • 4-to-5 Hour Cruise Ship Tour, Monkeys/Sloths & West Bay Resort: $48
  • Monkeys and Sloth Hang Out with Island Tour in Roatan: $49
  • Monkeys & sloth hangout,Chocolate Factory,Rum Factory, island tour/Beach : $49
  • Goodman's Island Style Roatan Highlights Tour: $50

Tours and Activities in La Fortuna

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for La Fortuna are as follows:

  • Skip-the-Line La Fortuna Waterfall Admission Ticket: $20
  • Rainforest Chocolate Tour from La Fortuna: $30
  • arenal fortuna city tour: $30
  • Don Olivo Chocolate Tour: $30
  • 1-Hour Private Sloth Tour in the Rainforest from Costa Rica: $30
  • Rainforest Chocolate Tour: $30
  • Místico Arenal Hanging Bridges Admission Ticket: $32
  • Los Lagos Hot Springs Admission Ticket : $36
  • Sloth Tour in Arenal Volcano Park & Local Snack: $39
  • La Fortuna Eden Chocolate Tour: $40
  • Sloths Watching Tour through Sloth's Territory: $40
  • La Fortuna Rainforest Birdwatching Tour: $43

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Roatan $7.09
    La Fortuna $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Roatan

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Roatan:

  • Half-Day Tour in Roatan With Brewery, Rum and Chocolate Factories visit: $46
  • Bar Crawl Tour in West End Village by Pedibike- Let the Good Times Roll: $80

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Roatan and La Fortuna, we can see that La Fortuna is more expensive. And not only is Roatan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Roatan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Roatan 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 La Fortuna would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Fortuna than you might in Roatan.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Roatan Expensive? and Is La Fortuna Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Roatan or La Fortuna?

Roatan has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of La Fortuna. When comparing the sizes of Roatan and La Fortuna, 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.