A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Ignacio vs. Bocas del Toro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro, 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 Ignacio or Bocas del Toro?

San Ignacio

So you want a tropical getaway, but also don't want to lay around with nothing to do. You want an adventure! You want relaxation and exploration.

You want to visit the small town of San Ignacio, Belize.

This section of the Cayo region is really more of a jungle than a typical Belize beach getaway. Located close the ancient Mayan ruins on the western and inland side of Belize, this town is most popular for its many outdoor adventures including hiking, climbing, and caving!

Bocas del Toro

The capital of the Bocas del Toro province, this city of the same name sits in the Caribbean West region of Panama. Bocas del Toro, or Bocas Town, is in the district of Bocas del Toro, which also includes the towns of Bastimentos, Cauchero, Punta Laurel, and Tierra Oscura. The district has a population of about 17,000 and covers a total area of 433.2 square kilometers, and the town has a population of about 13,000. The area is a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, excellent snorkeling and diving, and interesting culture.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Belize, The Best G Adventures Tours to Belize, The Best Adventure Tours to Panama, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Panama.


Which place is cheaper, Bocas del Toro or San Ignacio?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Ignacio is $72, while the average daily cost in Bocas del Toro is $77. 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 Ignacio and Bocas del Toro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Ignacio $19
    Bocas del Toro $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Ignacio $38
    Bocas del Toro $66
Compare Hotels in San Ignacio and Bocas del Toro

Looking for a hotel in San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro? 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 Ignacio


Hotels in Bocas del Toro


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: San Ignacio Hotel Prices and Bocas del Toro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Ignacio $3.11
    Bocas del Toro $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Ignacio

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Ignacio:

  • From Van Transfer To Flores Peten in Guatemala: $20
  • San Ignacio Hotel to Belize City Transfer: $20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Bocas del Toro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Bocas del Toro:


  • Water Taxi
    $3.01

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bocas del Toro

Also for Bocas del Toro, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Colón Port to Panama Tocumen Airport PTY: $42
  • Transfer Colon Cruise Terminal - Tocumen Airport or Panama City: $55
  • Transfer from Bocas del Toro to Puerto Viejo: $54

Is it cheaper to fly into San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro?

Prices for flights to both Bocas del Toro and San Ignacio 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 Ignacio $21
    Bocas del Toro $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Ignacio

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

  • Xunantunich & Food Tour with local chocolate experience: $150

Typical Food Prices in Bocas del Toro

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bocas del Toro:


  • Lunch
    $15
  • Breakfast
    $14

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Ignacio $100
    Bocas del Toro $22

Tours and Activities in San Ignacio

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

  • ATV Excursions in Cayo with Waterfalls Experience: $174
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour and Picnic: $125
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour from San Ignacio : $120
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal with Local Tour guide & Belizean Lunch: $120
  • Barton Creek Tour: $98
  • Belize Cave Tubing Adventure from San Ignacio: $90
  • Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch: $125
  • Cave Canoeing with Local Tour Guide: $80
  • Cave Tubing Adventure at Nohoch Che'en and Jaguar Paw : $115
  • Cave Tubing and Zip line Adventure from San Ignacio: $144
  • Cave Tubing with local tour Guide and Belizean Lunch: $90
  • Deluxe Cave Tubing combo Adventure: $125

Typical Entertainment Prices in Bocas del Toro

For Bocas del Toro, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Island Boat Tour
    $25
  • Starfish Island Boat Trip
    $20
  • Yoga Class
    $5.01

Tours and Activities in Bocas del Toro

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Bocas del Toro.

  • Stand Up Paddle Board Experience in Bahia Honda Bocas del Toro: $60
  • Speed Boat tour to Mangrove Point -Starfish Beach -Bocas del Drago and Birds Island: $65
  • Dolphin Bay and Coral Cay with Drinks Private Tour in Zapatilla: $66
  • Full-Day Speedboat Tour, Wildlife, and Snorkeling in Bocas del Toro in Panama: $68
  • Full Day Private Shore Tour in Panama from Colón Cruise Port: $231

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Ignacio $17
    Bocas del Toro $12


When comparing the travel costs between San Ignacio and Bocas del Toro, we can see that Bocas del Toro 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 Central America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro?

San Ignacio has a larger population, and is about 70% larger than the population of Bocas del Toro. When comparing the sizes of San Ignacio and Bocas del Toro, 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.


When is the best time to visit San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro?

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 Ignacio or Bocas del Toro in the Summer?

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

Bocas del Toro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in San Ignacio. San Ignacio usually gets less rain in July than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 408 mm (16.1 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in San Ignacio. In the summer, San Ignacio often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 124 hours of full sun.

San Ignacio is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro in the summer. The daily temperature in San Ignacio averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Bocas del Toro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Ignacio 28°C (82°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro in the Autumn?

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

Bocas del Toro receives a lot of rain in the autumn. San Ignacio gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, San Ignacio usually receives more rain than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 255 mm (10 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 198 mm (7.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

San Ignacio usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during autumn. San Ignacio gets 196 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In the autumn, San Ignacio is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro. Typically, the autumn temperatures in San Ignacio in October average around 26°C (80°F), and Bocas del Toro averages at about 26°C (79°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Ignacio 26°C (80°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro in the Winter?

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

It's quite rainy in Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio receives a lot of rain in the winter. San Ignacio usually gets less rain in January than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 319 mm (12.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the winter, San Ignacio often gets more sunshine than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 199 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bocas del Toro receives 159 hours of full sun.

In January, San Ignacio is generally around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro. Daily temperatures in San Ignacio average around 24°C (74°F), and Bocas del Toro fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Ignacio 24°C (74°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Bocas del Toro in the Spring?

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

It rains a lot this time of the year in Bocas del Toro. In April, San Ignacio usually receives less rain than Bocas del Toro. San Ignacio gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Bocas del Toro receives 287 mm (11.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Ignacio. San Ignacio usually receives more sunshine than Bocas del Toro during spring. San Ignacio gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while Bocas del Toro receives 172 hours of full sun in the spring.

San Ignacio is around the same temperature as Bocas del Toro in the spring. The daily temperature in San Ignacio averages around 27°C (80°F) in April, and Bocas del Toro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Ignacio 27°C (80°F) 
    Bocas del Toro 26°C (79°F)

Typical Weather for Bocas del Toro and San Ignacio

San Ignacio Bocas del Toro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°C (74°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 319 mm (12.6 in)
Feb 24°C (76°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 201 mm (7.9 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 25 mm (1 in) 26°C (78°F) 193 mm (7.6 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 52 mm (2 in) 26°C (79°F) 287 mm (11.3 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 27°C (80°F) 281 mm (11.1 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in) 26°C (80°F) 276 mm (10.9 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 243 mm (9.6 in) 26°C (79°F) 408 mm (16.1 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 187 mm (7.4 in) 28°C (82°F) 255 mm (10 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 163 mm (6.4 in)
Oct 26°C (80°F) 255 mm (10 in) 26°C (79°F) 198 mm (7.8 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 367 mm (14.4 in)
Dec 25°C (76°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 402 mm (15.8 in)