Should you visit San Juan del Sur or Isla de Ometepe?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Juan del Sur and Isla de Ometepe. 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.
Isla de Ometepe
Ometepe is a dramatically beautiful island in Lake Nicaragua in the country of Nicaragua. The island is the largest in the lake and is formed by two dramatic twin volcanoes that climb high from the water's surface. The two volcanoes are Concepcion and Maderas, and they are joined by an isthmus to make one island with an area of 276 square kilometers. The island is 31 kilometers long and between 5 and 10 kilometers wide. There are several small settlements on the island as well as a few coffee plantations. It is also one of the top sights in the country and makes for a unique travel destination.
Which city is cheaper, Isla de Ometepe 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 Isla de Ometepe is $29. 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 Isla de Ometepe in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $34 for a double occupancy room in San Juan del Sur.
A hotel room in Isla de Ometepe is about $22 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Isla de Ometepe cost around $11 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $4.40.
Meals for one day
San Juan del Sur $15
Isla de Ometepe $11
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:
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 cost of a taxi ride in Isla de Ometepe is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.60 per person, per day, on local transportation in Isla de Ometepe.
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:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Juan del Sur or Isla de Ometepe?
Prices for flights to both Isla de Ometepe 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.
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.
Entertainment and activities in Isla de Ometepe typically cost an average of $11 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
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:
SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park:
Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur:
San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour:
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 $7.40 on alcoholic beverages in Isla de Ometepe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Juan del Sur and Isla de Ometepe, we can see that San Juan del Sur is more expensive. And not only is Isla de Ometepe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Isla de Ometepe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Isla de Ometepe 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 Juan del Sur would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Juan del Sur than you might in Isla de Ometepe.
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