A Travel Price Comparison for Nicaragua San Juan del Sur vs. Leon for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Juan del Sur or Leon?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for San Juan del Sur and Leon. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: San Juan del Sur or Leon?

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.

Leon

Leon is one of the oldest city's in Nicaragua and you can see hints of its colonial past in the architecture around town. Tourism is not a major part of the economy in Leon, but the city is gaining popularity with budget travelers and backpackers and more recently tour groups are including Leon in their itinerary.

With a population of just over 200,000, Leon is the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua. During the university season the population grows dramatically as there is a heavy presence of students in Leon. It is a popular university town, and this young population gives the city plenty of energy and entertainment.

Which city is cheaper, Leon 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 $43, while the average daily cost in Leon is $48. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for San Juan del Sur and Leon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Juan del Sur $17
    Leon $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Juan del Sur $34
    Leon $26
Compare Hotels in San Juan del Sur and Leon

Looking for a hotel in San Juan del Sur or Leon? 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 Juan del Sur


Hotels in Leon


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 Juan del Sur Hotel Prices and Leon Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $14
    Leon $1.21

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leon:

  • León hotels to Del Bajio Airport (BJX) - Departure Private Transfer: $138
  • Reliable one-way transfer Guanajuato Leon International Airport to Hotel: $161

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

Prices for flights to both Leon 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Leon $9.72

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Leon

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Leon.

  • Tlakualli Food Tour: $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $12
    Leon $4.67

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:

  • 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 Leon

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

  • León 3-Hour Guided City Tour Including Entrance Fees: $25
  • León: 5-Hour Volcano Boarding Tour on Cerro Negro: $35
  • Volcano Board Adventure on Cerro Negro: $39
  • Leon City Walking Private Tour: $41
  • León: Flor de Caña Rum Factory 4-Hour Tour: $45
  • Leon City Tour: $46
  • León City tour and Mud pools of San Jacinto: $54
  • plant-based friendly tapas tour: $57
  • Volcano Boarding Private Tour: $62
  • Rum Tour & Chorotega Museum Experience: $62
  • Private: León City Walking Tour from León: $63
  • Hike El Hoyo Volcano "Private Tour": $67

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Juan del Sur $11
    Leon $2.84


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


When is the best time to visit San Juan del Sur or Leon?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit San Juan del Sur or Leon in the Summer?

Both Leon and San Juan del Sur are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. San Juan del Sur attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Leon attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Leon. It's quite rainy in San Juan del Sur. In July, San Juan del Sur usually receives around the same amount of rain as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Leon receives 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.

San Juan del Sur usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Leon during summer. San Juan del Sur gets 175 hours of sunny skies, while Leon receives 175 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, San Juan del Sur is generally around the same temperature as Leon. Temperatures in San Juan del Sur average around 27°C (81°F), and Leon stays around 27°C (81°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Juan del Sur 27°C (81°F) 
    Leon 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Juan del Sur or Leon in the Autumn?

Both Leon and San Juan del Sur during the autumn are popular places to visit. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to San Juan del Sur throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Leon throughout the year.

Leon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in San Juan del Sur. San Juan del Sur usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Leon receives 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the autumn, San Juan del Sur often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 195 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Leon receives 195 hours of full sun.

San Juan del Sur is around the same temperature as Leon in the autumn. The temperature in San Juan del Sur is usually 27°C (81°F) in October, and Leon stays around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Juan del Sur 27°C (81°F) 
    Leon 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Juan del Sur or Leon in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both San Juan del Sur and Leon. Plenty of visitors come to San Juan del Sur because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Leon because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

In January, San Juan del Sur usually receives around the same amount of rain as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Leon receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Leon this time of the year. In San Juan del Sur, it's very sunny this time of the year. San Juan del Sur usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Leon during winter. San Juan del Sur gets 244 hours of sunny skies, while Leon receives 244 hours of full sun in the winter.

In the winter, San Juan del Sur is around the same temperature as Leon. Typically, the winter temperatures in San Juan del Sur in January are around 26°C (79°F), and Leon is about 26°C (79°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Juan del Sur 26°C (79°F) 
    Leon 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit San Juan del Sur or Leon in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to San Juan del Sur as well as Leon. San Juan del Sur attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Leon attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

San Juan del Sur usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Leon receives 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Leon. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Juan del Sur this time of the year. In the spring, San Juan del Sur often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Leon. San Juan del Sur gets 242 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Leon receives 242 hours of full sun.

In April, San Juan del Sur is generally around the same temperature as Leon. Temperatures in San Juan del Sur average around 29°C (84°F), and Leon stays around 29°C (84°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Juan del Sur 29°C (84°F) 
    Leon 29°C (84°F)

Typical Weather for Leon and San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur Leon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 27°C (80°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 28°C (82°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 29°C (84°F) 131 mm (5.2 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 196 mm (7.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 196 mm (7.7 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 144 mm (5.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 144 mm (5.7 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 151 mm (5.9 in) 27°C (81°F) 151 mm (5.9 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 210 mm (8.3 in) 27°C (81°F) 210 mm (8.3 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 197 mm (7.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 197 mm (7.8 in)
Nov 31°C (88°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 31°C (88°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 11 mm (0.4 in)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

More City Comparisons
Share This Page
Pin This Page
San Juan del Sur vs. Leon Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.