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

Should you visit San Ignacio or San Jose?

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

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

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!

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

Which place is cheaper, San Jose or San Ignacio?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Ignacio is $71, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $88. 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 San Jose in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Ignacio $19
    San Jose $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Ignacio $38
    San Jose $96
Compare Hotels in San Ignacio and San Jose

Looking for a hotel in San Ignacio or San Jose? 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 San Jose


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 San Jose Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Ignacio $3.10
    San Jose $19

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

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:


  • Taxi from SJO
    $25
  • Local Bus
    $2.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

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

  • Private Transfer San José Airport - La Fortuna: $180
  • Airport transfer from SJO Airport to Los Sueños Marriott: $150
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Jose Airport SJO to San Jose City by Minivan: $35
  • Arrival Private Transfer from San Jose Airport SJO to Monteverde by Minivan: $164
  • Arrival Private Transfer: San Jose Airport SJO to Puntarenas by Minivan: $136
  • Arrival Transfer San Jose Airport SJO to Arenal by Minivan: $164
  • Arrival Transfer San Jose Airport to Manuel Antonio by Minivan: $148
  • Departure Private Transfer: San Jose City to San Jose Airport SJO by Minivan: $35
  • Direct Transfer From San Jose to Cahuita, English Speaking Driver: $243
  • Direct Transfer From San Jose to Limon, English Speaking Driver: $194
  • Direct Transfer From San Jose to Monteverde, English Speaking Driver: $182
  • Direct transfer from San Jose to La Fortuna, English Speaking Driver: $154

Is it cheaper to fly into San Ignacio or San Jose?

Prices for flights to both San Jose 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
    San Jose $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 with local chocolate experience: $135

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

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

  • Bites and Sights: Walking Food Tour in San Jose : $33
  • Tropical Cooking Classes: $52
  • San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Food Tour and visit Gold Museum : $60
  • San Jose By Night Tour: Farm to Table Dinner & Cocktails Classes: $63
  • Explore San Jose By Night: Food and Culture Tour with Local Dinner: $67
  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $76
  • Private Authentic Food Tour in San José: $84
  • Dinner + Typical Show in the best viewpoint of the City: $99
  • City Tour + Dinner at the best viewpoint of San José: $149
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $179
  • Arenal Volcano & Baldi Hot Springs + lunch & dinner From San José: $194

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Ignacio $100
    San Jose $21

Tours and Activities in San Ignacio

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

  • 6-Hour Private 7 Miles Cave Kayaking Experience in Belize: $135
  • ATM Cave Tour from San Ignacio: $155
  • 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 Ruin Tour: $125
  • Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch: $125
  • Caracol Maya Site, Rio Frio Cave & Rio On Pools with Belizean Tour guide & Lunch: $115
  • Cave Canoeing with Local Tour Guide: $80

Tours and Activities in San Jose

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

  • Entrance Ticket to the Farm of Hacienda Orosi: $11
  • Entrance ticket to the Hacienda Orosi: $21
  • Hiking Experience in El Quetzal Private Reserve: $26
  • Visit a Butterfly Chapel, Gardens, Coffee Tour with Typical Lunch: $30
  • AWA Water Museum - Waterfall Adventure (Organic Food Experience): $30
  • Sarapiqui Frog Tour: $30
  • Hacienda Alsacia Starbucks Coffe Tour: $31
  • Poas Volcano National Park - Admission Ticket: $32
  • 2-Hour Downtown San Jose Walking Tour: $33
  • San Jose Walking Nature Tour: Sloths, Birds and Trees: $33
  • 2-Hour Orosi Nocturnal Tour: $33
  • Private Custom Guided Tour in San Jose: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Ignacio $17
    San Jose $16

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • Bar Crawl in Downtown San Jose: $37
  • Wine Tour and Tasting: $85
  • Bar Crawl in San Jose in a Deluxe Party Bus: $100


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


Which is Bigger, San Ignacio or San Jose?

San Jose has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of San Ignacio. When comparing the sizes of San Ignacio and San Jose, 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 San Jose?

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 San Jose in the Summer?

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

It's quite rainy in San Jose. San Ignacio receives a lot of rain in the summer. San Ignacio usually gets more rain in July than San Jose. San Ignacio gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while San Jose 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 San Jose. San Ignacio gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Jose receives 164 hours of full sun.

In July, San Ignacio is generally around the same temperature as San Jose. Daily temperatures in San Ignacio average around 28°C (82°F), and San Jose fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


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

Should I visit San Ignacio or San Jose in the Autumn?

Both San Jose 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 San Jose because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

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

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

San Ignacio is around the same temperature as San Jose in the autumn. The daily temperature in San Ignacio averages around 26°C (80°F) in October, and San Jose fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


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

Should I visit San Ignacio or San Jose in the Winter?

Both San Jose 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 San Jose year-round.

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

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

In the winter, San Ignacio is cooler than San Jose. Typically, the winter temperatures in San Ignacio in January average around 24°C (74°F), and San Jose averages at about 27°C (81°F).


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

Should I visit San Ignacio or San Jose in the Spring?

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

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Jose 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 San Jose during spring. San Ignacio gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while San Jose receives 255 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, San Ignacio is generally around the same temperature as San Jose. Daily temperatures in San Ignacio average around 27°C (80°F), and San Jose fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).


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

Typical Weather for San Jose and San Ignacio

San Ignacio San Jose
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)