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

Should you visit San Ignacio or Panama City?

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

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!

Panama City

Panama City is the cosmopolitan capital city of the country of Panama. With a population of almost 900,000 and almost 1.5 million in the metropolitan area, it's a very diverse city with expat residents from all over the world. You don't have to search far to find someone who speaks English, and many Panamanians are quite helpful and friendly.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City or San Ignacio?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Ignacio is $57, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $68. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for San Ignacio and Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in San Ignacio is about $30 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $56 in Panama City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Ignacio $15
    Panama City $28
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Ignacio $30
    Panama City $56

Food

The average traveler spends about $16 per day in San Ignacio for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

In Panama City travelers spend around $17 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Ignacio $16
    Panama City $17

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 from San Ignacio: $135

Typical Food prices in Panama City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Panama City:


  • Sandwich
    $8.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

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

  • Panama Evening Food Tour: $60
  • Panama City Food Tour: Taste of Panama Walking Tour: $76
  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around San Ignacio is $2.48 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in Panama City, the average visitor spends $8.54 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Ignacio $2.48
    Panama City $8.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Ignacio

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Ignacio:

  • Shared Departure Transfer: San Ignacio Hotels to Belize International Airport: $70
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Belize International Airport to San Ignacio Hotels: $70
  • Shared Departure Transfer: San Ignacio Hotel to Belize International Airport: $60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

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

  • Airport Private Transfer Tocumen Direct to Panama City: $18
  • Airport Transfer Service: $25
  • Departure Private Business Transfer: Panama City to Panama PTY or PAC Airport: $63
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama Airport BLB by SUV: $104
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama Airport BLB by Sedan Car: $58
  • Departure Private Transfer Panama City to Panama PTY or PAC Airport by Sedan Car: $40
  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport One Way Transfer: $80
  • Panama City Private Arrival Transfer: $43
  • Panama City Private Departure Transfer: $43
  • Panama City Tour Full or Half Day with Lunch and Transfers: $121
  • Embera Indian Village Tour w/ Airport Transfer: $192
  • Half-Day City & Canal Tour w/ Airport Transfer: $162

Is it cheaper to fly into San Ignacio or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City 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.





Entertainment

San Ignacio's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $80 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In Panama City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $53 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Ignacio $80
    Panama City $53

Tours and Activities in San Ignacio

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

  • ATM Cave Tour from San Ignacio: $141
  • ATV, Zipline and Cave Tubing Tour from San Ignacio: $250
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour and Picnic: $140
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal with Local Tour guide & Belizean Lunch: $115
  • Barton Creek Tour: $87
  • Belize Cave Tubing Adventure from San Ignacio: $72
  • Caracol Maya Ruin Tour: $118
  • Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch: $109
  • Caracol Maya Site & Pools with Local Tour guide & Belizean Lunch: $115
  • Cave Canoeing with Local Tour Guide: $100
  • Cave Tubing Adventure: $93
  • Cave Tubing and Zip line Adventure from San Ignacio: $160

Tours and Activities in Panama City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Panama City.

  • Casco Antiguo Virtual Live Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: Panama La Vieja Admission Ticket: $15
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $25
  • Sea Breeze Champagne Adventure: $28
  • Welcome to Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Panama City and Canal Tour ( Centro de Visitante de Miraflores): $31
  • Day Tour Panama Hop-On & Hop-off Sightseeing Bus: $33
  • Private Panama Canal Tour: $41
  • Tour Colonial Panama: $42
  • Shopping Tour in Panama: $42
  • Panama Viejo Ruins Sightseeing Tour: $43
  • Panama City Tour highlight: $45

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting San Ignacio may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Panama City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Ignacio $14
    Panama City $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Panama City:

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Ignacio and Panama City, we can see that Panama City 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 Panama City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Panama City than you might in San Ignacio.

Budget Your Trip

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San Ignacio vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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