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

Should you visit San Juan del Sur or Managua?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Juan del Sur and Managua. 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.

Managua

Managua is the capital, and largest city in Nicaragua. The economy is generally centered around the trade of coffee, cotton, and other types of agriculture. It also is a textile capital for the area. Managua is also a very reasonably priced destination in Central America. Restaurants and hotels are quite affordable and you'll find all kinds of international cuisine around the city. Transportation is also incredibly affordable and you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised at the cost of intercity bus rides.

Which city is cheaper, Managua 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 Managua is $45. 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 Managua 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $36 in Managua For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


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

In Managua travelers spend around $15 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 Juan del Sur $15
    Managua $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.

To get around in Managua, the average visitor spends $16 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 Juan del Sur $15
    Managua $16

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 Managua

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

  • Granada Transfer: $44
  • Las Peñitas or Poneloya beach Transfer: $67
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to Granada: $83
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Managua to San Juan del Sur: $146
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • Private Airport Transfer: Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA) to Managua: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Managua to Augusto C Sandino Int. Airport (MGA): $13
  • Private Transfer From Managua International Airport: $17
  • Private Transfer from and To Poneloya or Las Peñitas Beach- Leon, Nicaragua: $68
  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56

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

Prices for flights to both Managua 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.

In Managua, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.


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

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:

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

Tours and Activities in Managua

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

  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $34
  • Masaya Volcano National Park Evening Tour, with hotel pickup: $34
  • Nicaragua Private Guide and Transportation Service: Customized Tours: $47
  • Masaya Volcano Night Tour from Granada: $48
  • Coffee Tour: $49
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour": $54
  • Granada+Apoyo Lagoon +handicraft market+ Masaya volcano night tour: $55
  • Laguna de apoyo day pass + masaya volcano lava tour: $60
  • Laguna de Apoyo Day pass plus Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $60
  • Managua City Tour: $65
  • Granada Isletas +Colonial City tour: $68
  • Granada Isletas and City tour: $68

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Managua, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.28.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Juan del Sur $11
    Managua $9.28

Sample the Local Flavors in Managua

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Managua:

  • Private Flor de Caña Rum Distillery and León City: $165


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

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