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

Should you visit Roatan or Leon?

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 Leon. 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 Leon?


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.


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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best Adventure Tours to Honduras, The Best 2-Week Tours in Nicaragua, and The Best Adventure Tours to Nicaragua.

Which place is cheaper, Leon 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 Leon is $59. 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 Leon in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Roatan $11
    Leon $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Roatan $22
    Leon $32
Compare Hotels in Roatan and Leon

Looking for a hotel in Roatan or Leon? 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 Leon

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Roatan $19
    Leon $1.51
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:

  • AJ's Sloth & Monkeys Family Excursion, City Tour & Private Transfer: $57
  • Chocolate Factory, Rum Factory, Markets, Island Tour, Private Transfer: $50
  • Ground transfers and ticket ferry to Utila or La Ceiba: $80
  • Honduras Airport(RTB) to Honduras -Arrival Private Transfer: $39
  • Honduras Roatan Airport (RTB) to Honduras -Round-Trip Transfer: $77
  • Honduras to Honduras Airport (RTB)-Departure Private Transfer: $39
  • Horseback Riding, Beach with Palapa and Transfer: $130
  • Mahogany Bay Cruise Port to Roatan - Arrival Private Transfer: $39
  • Mayan Eden Eco Park, Chocolate Factory & Transfer: $65
  • Mayan Eden Eco Wildlife Park, City Tour & Private Transfer: $67
  • North Side Blue Channel & Starfish Snorkeling, 20min JetSki, Transfer Included: $165
  • Roatan Buggy Adventure, Monkey & Sloth Park, Beach Pass plus Private Transfer: $207

Is it cheaper to fly into Roatan or Leon?

Prices for flights to both Leon 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 $9.42
    Leon $12

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 Leon

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

  • Tlakualli Food Tour: $19

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Roatan $27
    Leon $5.82

Tours and Activities in Roatan

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

  • Organized trips and adventures: $26
  • Big Daddy Private Tour Roatan Island in Honduras: $44
  • Private Tour in Roatan with Pick Up: $44
  • Roatan VIP Free-Style Private Tour: $45
  • Customizable Best Of Roatan Island Tour in Honduras: $45
  • Shore Excursion: Roatan East West Private Half-Day Island 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
  • Make your day, Your way Roatan city freestyle tour: $49
  • Roatan : Private Customizeble Tour with Driver & Guide: $50
  • Roatan City Tour-Viewpoints, Landmarks, Chocolate and Rum Tasting: $50
  • Good Samaritan Tour: $51

Tours and Activities in Leon

Here are a few actual costs in Leon for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Half Day Private Tour of Cerro Negro's Volcano Boarding: $35
  • Leon City Walking Private Tour : $48
  • Rum Tour & Chorotega Museum Experience: $62
  • Hike El Hoyo Volcano "Private Tour" : $67
  • Old Leon and Asososca Lagoon Private Tour: $82
  • Volcano Boarding Private Tour : $84
  • Kayak Private tour at Juan Venado Island: $92
  • Telica Sunset Tour : $93
  • Horseback Riding Private Tour : $103
  • Half-Day Leon City Tour: $135
  • Somoto Canyon "Private Tour from Leon" : $154
  • 6 Hours Sunset Private Guided Tour of Telica Volcano in León: $165

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Roatan $7.07
    Leon $3.54

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 Leon, we can see that Leon 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 Leon would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Leon 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 Leon Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Roatan or Leon?

Leon has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Roatan. When comparing the sizes of Roatan and Leon, 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.