A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Juan del Sur vs. Boquete for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Juan del Sur or Boquete?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Juan del Sur and Boquete. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is a popular port destination on the Pacific coast of southwest Nicaragua. The town was once a quaint fishing village but has grown into a tourist town with activities for visitors that include surfing, fishing, and, of course, partying. The town has a population of just over 15,000, most of whom are either fishermen or involved in the tourism industry. There is also a large expat community from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Boquete

Boquete is a village located in the pacific west of Panama. This town very recently became an attractive destination for tourists and expatriates. Before the early 2000's, it was a quiet town hidden away in the mountains with very little tourism. After the development of Valle Escondido, which is a largely residential area, many North Americans flocked to this town and an expat community developed. Boquete is known for it's near perfect year round temperature of about seventy degrees Fahrenheit, beautiful untouched nature, and world renowned coffee.

Which city is cheaper, Boquete or San Juan del Sur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Juan del Sur is $44, while the average daily cost in Boquete is $43. 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 Juan del Sur and Boquete in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $34 for a double occupancy room in San Juan del Sur.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Boquete is $36. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Juan del Sur $17
    Boquete $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Juan del Sur $34
    Boquete $36

Food

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in San Juan del Sur 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.

Boquete food costs typically run travelers around $15 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Boquete $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan del Sur

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

  • Food Tour - Nicaragua Gastronomy: $102

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around San Juan del Sur is $15 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.

The average price of local transportation around Boquete is $4.18 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Boquete $4.18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan del Sur

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Juan del Sur:

  • One-Way Private Transfer from San Juan del Sur to Managua: $146

Is it cheaper to fly into San Juan del Sur or Boquete?

Prices for flights to both Boquete and San Juan del Sur 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 Juan del Sur's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 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.

Boquete's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $13
    Boquete $14

Tours and Activities in San Juan del Sur

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

  • Open Bar Sunset Cruise in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: $30
  • SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park: $100
  • ATV Tour: $103
  • Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur: $159
  • San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour: $201

Tours and Activities in Boquete

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

  • Whale Watching (July 15 to October 15), and Island Tour in the Gulf of Chiriqui: $85
  • Specialized Birdwatching Tour: $102
  • Dirtbike adventure in Boquete (half day): $165

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting San Juan del Sur may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $3.56 on alcoholic beverages in Boquete per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Juan del Sur $11
    Boquete $3.56


When comparing the travel costs between San Juan del Sur and Boquete, we can see that San Juan del Sur 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.

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San Juan del Sur vs. Boquete Travel Comparison

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