A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Fernando vs. Tamarindo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Fernando or Tamarindo?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Fernando or Tamarindo, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: San Fernando or Tamarindo?

San Fernando

As the industrial capital of Trinidad & Tobago, San Fernando is an oil city which attracts more business visitors than tourists. While it is primarily focused on industry, the city has a certain charm with its old buildings and sloping streets that frame pretty views of the sea. It is the big city of Trinidad's southern half with plenty to offer in nightlife, especially during Carnival.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a small beach town in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. This town is usually sought out by surfers, fishers, couples, and families. There are delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and friendly Tico's and Tica's (local Costa Rican nicknames) everywhere.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica.


Which place is cheaper, Tamarindo or San Fernando?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Fernando is $154, while the average daily cost in Tamarindo is $117. 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 San Fernando and Tamarindo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Fernando $74
    Tamarindo $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Fernando $148
    Tamarindo $96
Compare Hotels in San Fernando and Tamarindo

Looking for a hotel in San Fernando or Tamarindo? 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 San Fernando


Hotels in Tamarindo


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: Tamarindo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Fernando $50
    Tamarindo $67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tamarindo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tamarindo:

  • Transfer to La Fortuna de Arenal: $307
  • Private Transfer from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa or Fortuna: $300
  • Round Trip Transfer Liberia Airport (LIR) to JW Marriott Guanacaste: $280
  • Round Trip Transfer Liberia Airport (LIR) to Westin Conchal Hotel: $270
  • Private Round Trip Transfer: From Liberia Airport To Reserva Conchal: $270
  • Round Trip Transfer From Liberia Airport To Secrets Papagayo: $250
  • Private Liberia airport transfer: $200
  • Transfer To/From Liberia Airport To/ From JW Marriott Guanacaste: $195
  • Private Round Trip Transfer: From Liberia Airport To Secrets Papagayo: $188
  • Round Trip Transfer Liberia Airport (LIR) to Riu Guanacaste Hotel: $181
  • Round Trip Transfer Liberia Airport (LIR) to Riu Guanacaste Hotel: $171
  • Round Trip Transfer Liberia Airport (LIR) to Planet Hollywood Beach Resort: $171

Is it cheaper to fly into San Fernando or Tamarindo?

Prices for flights to both Tamarindo and San Fernando 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
    San Fernando $48
    Tamarindo $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tamarindo

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

  • Online Class on Zoom: Cooking Costa Rica Homemade Food: $35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Fernando $28
    Tamarindo $17

Tours and Activities in Tamarindo

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

  • ATV Tour Top Adventure Through beaches & Towns: $96
  • ATV adventure from Riu, Secrets and papagayo: $90
  • Ecologic farming Sloth tour Hiking & Chocolate -Coffee tour: $165
  • Premium Tour: Rincón de la Vieja Volcano Adventure Combo Tour: $220
  • Sloth Farm Watching Tour & Amazimg Waterfall: $195
  • Tamarindo wildlife Estuary boat ride tour 2 hours: $85
  • Wildlife Tour at Palo Verde National Park: $199
  • 1 Full Private Tour To Arenal Volcano + Baldi Hot Springs: $180
  • 1,5 Hours Private Horseback Riding Tour in Playa Conchal: $80
  • 3-in-1 Rincon de la Vieja National Park Nature Day Tour: $300
  • 5-Hour Guided Sunset Boat Tour in Tamarindo Costa Rica: $95
  • 5-in-1 Rincon de la Vieja National Park Adventure Day Tour: $300

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Fernando $22
    Tamarindo $13


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Fernando and Tamarindo, we can see that San Fernando is more expensive. And not only is Tamarindo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since San Fernando is in Caribbean Islands and Tamarindo is in Central America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Tamarindo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tamarindo 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 San Fernando would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Fernando than you might in Tamarindo.

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



When is the best time to visit San Fernando or Tamarindo?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit San Fernando or Tamarindo in the Summer?

Both Tamarindo and San Fernando during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to San Fernando because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Tamarindo year-round.

Tamarindo gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in San Fernando. San Fernando usually gets more rain in July than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 266 mm (10.5 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in San Fernando. In the summer, San Fernando often gets more sunshine than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 206 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 164 hours of full sun.

San Fernando is around the same temperature as Tamarindo in the summer. The daily temperature in San Fernando averages around 27°C (81°F) in July, and Tamarindo fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Fernando 27°C (81°F) 
    Tamarindo 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit San Fernando or Tamarindo in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both San Fernando and Tamarindo. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to San Fernando year-round. Tamarindo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

Tamarindo receives a lot of rain in the autumn. San Fernando gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, San Fernando usually receives less rain than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 199 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

In San Fernando, it's very sunny this time of the year. San Fernando usually receives more sunshine than Tamarindo during autumn. San Fernando gets 207 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 169 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In the autumn, San Fernando is around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Typically, the autumn temperatures in San Fernando in October average around 27°C (81°F), and Tamarindo averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Fernando 27°C (81°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Fernando or Tamarindo in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to San Fernando as well as Tamarindo. San Fernando attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Tamarindo throughout the year.

San Fernando usually gets more rain in January than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tamarindo. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Fernando this time of the year. In the winter, San Fernando often gets less sunshine than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tamarindo receives 264 hours of full sun.

In January, San Fernando is generally around the same temperature as Tamarindo. Daily temperatures in San Fernando average around 26°C (78°F), and Tamarindo fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Fernando 26°C (78°F) 
    Tamarindo 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Fernando or Tamarindo in the Spring?

Both Tamarindo and San Fernando are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to San Fernando throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Tamarindo because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In April, San Fernando usually receives more rain than Tamarindo. San Fernando gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Tamarindo receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

It's quite sunny in Tamarindo. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Fernando. San Fernando usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Tamarindo during spring. San Fernando gets 238 hours of sunny skies, while Tamarindo receives 255 hours of full sun in the spring.

San Fernando is around the same temperature as Tamarindo in the spring. The daily temperature in San Fernando averages around 27°C (81°F) in April, and Tamarindo fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Fernando 27°C (81°F) 
    Tamarindo 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Tamarindo and San Fernando

San Fernando Tamarindo
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (78°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 26°C (79°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (80°F) 34 mm (1.3 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 51 mm (2 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 117 mm (4.6 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 27°C (81°F) 252 mm (9.9 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 266 mm (10.5 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 225 mm (8.9 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 203 mm (8 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 199 mm (7.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 228 mm (9 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 155 mm (6.1 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)