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

Should you visit San Ignacio or Jaco?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Ignacio or Jaco, 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 Jaco?

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!

Jaco

Jaco is a beach destination on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This resort city is located in the county of Garabito in the Puntarenas province. It has a population of about 10,000 residents and a 2.5 mile long beach that is an excellent surfing destination.

Because Jaco is located on the coast, it's weather is influenced by the water. The climate is humid with a relative humidity of about 80%, but climbing to 90% in the month of June. The temperature is usually between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. There are distinct wet and dry seasons with August through early December being the rainy season and late December through early April being the dry season. Rain is irregular during the rest of the year.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Belize, The Best G Adventures Tours to Belize, The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Costa Rica.


Which place is cheaper, Jaco 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 Jaco 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 San Ignacio and Jaco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Ignacio $19
    Jaco $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Ignacio $38
    Jaco $136
Compare Hotels in San Ignacio and Jaco

Looking for a hotel in San Ignacio or Jaco? 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 Jaco


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 Jaco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Ignacio $3.11
    Jaco -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Ignacio

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Ignacio:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jaco

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

  • From Tortuga Island Boat Tour with Lunch and Transfer: $135
  • Jaco or Playa Hermosa: Transfer to San Jose or Alajuela: $173
  • Jaco/Monteverde to Liberia Airport (LIR) - Departure Transfer : $90
  • Private Transfer - San Jose Airport & Los Sueños Resort/Marriot : $200
  • Private transfer from Jaco Beach to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $219
  • Transfer Private From Jaco to San José or Airport up to 5 passengers (one way) : $245
  • Transfer to Jaco beach from San José or the airport one way: $245

Is it cheaper to fly into San Ignacio or Jaco?

Prices for flights to both Jaco 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
    Jaco $21

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: $135

Typical Food Prices in Jaco

For Jaco, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Hermosa BeachLlunch
    $3.95
  • Tsunami Sushi Dinner
    $18
  • Taco Bar Dinner
    $9.03
  • Pizza & Smoothie Lunch
    $6.33
  • Ice Cream
    $5.93
  • Breakfast Taco Bar
    $3.35
  • Fruit Plate
    $2.97

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jaco

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

  • Costa Rican cooking class with cookbook author Melissa Guzman: $85
  • Taste of Costa Rica: Traditional Food Tour in Jacó: $87
  • Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Combo Tour with Lunch & Dinner: $195

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Ignacio $100
    Jaco $60

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
  • 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
  • From Xunantunich Mayan Tour & Optional Combos: $75
  • Full day, 7 Miles Cave Kayaking adventure in Belize: $135

Typical Entertainment Prices in Jaco

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Jaco's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Dance Class
    $9.85
  • Surf Lesson
    $49
  • Bike Rental
    $9.85
  • Tortuga Island Tour
    $98
  • Massage
    $44

Tours and Activities in Jaco

For Jaco, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Guided Walking Street Art & Graffiti Tour in Jaco Costa Rica : $30
  • Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour: $35
  • 2 Hours Private Guided Hiking Experience to El Miro in Jaco: $35
  • Crocodile Man Tour THE ORIGINAL: $40
  • Jason Crocodile Tours: $40
  • Jaco Beach: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience Tour: $43
  • Horseback Riding Pacific Experience in Tarcoles Garabito: $47
  • Guided visit to Carara National Park (Ticket included): $50
  • From Canopy Tour in Hacienda Nosavar: $50
  • Jaco Horseback Riding Adventure Tours: $59
  • Jaco Horse Tours: $60
  • Chocolate Experience: $62

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Ignacio $17
    Jaco $32

Typical Alcohol Prices in Jaco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Jaco:


  • Wine
    $15
  • Night at the Bar
    $27


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

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 Jaco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, San Ignacio or Jaco?

San Ignacio has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Jaco. When comparing the sizes of San Ignacio and Jaco, 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 Jaco?

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 Jaco in the Summer?

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

It's quite rainy in Jaco. San Ignacio receives a lot of rain in the summer. San Ignacio usually gets more rain in July than Jaco. San Ignacio gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while Jaco receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Ignacio this time of the year. In the summer, San Ignacio often gets more sunshine than Jaco. San Ignacio gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Jaco receives 164 hours of full sun.

In the summer, San Ignacio is around the same temperature as Jaco. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Ignacio in July average around 28°C (82°F), and Jaco averages at about 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Ignacio 28°C (82°F) 
    Jaco 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Jaco in the Autumn?

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

It rains a lot this time of the year in Jaco. It's quite rainy in San Ignacio. In October, San Ignacio usually receives around the same amount of rain as Jaco. San Ignacio gets 255 mm (10 in) of rain, while Jaco receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

San Ignacio usually receives more sunshine than Jaco during autumn. San Ignacio gets 196 hours of sunny skies, while Jaco receives 169 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, San Ignacio is generally around the same temperature as Jaco. Daily temperatures in San Ignacio average around 26°C (80°F), and Jaco fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Ignacio 26°C (80°F) 
    Jaco 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Jaco in the Winter?

Both Jaco and San Ignacio during the winter 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 Jaco year-round.

It rains a lot this time of the year in San Ignacio. San Ignacio usually gets more rain in January than Jaco. San Ignacio gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while Jaco receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Jaco, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the winter, San Ignacio often gets less sunshine than Jaco. San Ignacio gets 199 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Jaco receives 264 hours of full sun.

San Ignacio is cooler than Jaco in the winter. The daily temperature in San Ignacio averages around 24°C (74°F) in January, and Jaco fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Ignacio 24°C (74°F) 
    Jaco 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Ignacio or Jaco in the Spring?

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

In April, San Ignacio usually receives more rain than Jaco. San Ignacio gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Jaco receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Jaco this time of the year. In San Ignacio, it's very sunny this time of the year. San Ignacio usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Jaco during spring. San Ignacio gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while Jaco receives 255 hours of full sun in the spring.

In the spring, San Ignacio is around the same temperature as Jaco. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Ignacio in April average around 27°C (80°F), and Jaco averages at about 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Ignacio 27°C (80°F) 
    Jaco 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Jaco and San Ignacio

San Ignacio Jaco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°C (74°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 24°C (76°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 25 mm (1 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 52 mm (2 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 243 mm (9.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 187 mm (7.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 26°C (80°F) 255 mm (10 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 25°C (76°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)