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

Should you visit San Juan del Sur or Quepos?

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 Quepos. 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 Quepos?

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.

Quepos

Quepos is both a district and the capital of Aguirre canton in the Puntareanas Province of Costa Rica. The town is quite small, and the district has a population of about 22,000 people. Quepos is a popular tourist destination in Costa Rica due to its close proximity to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific Coast. The town's economy is centered around tourism and there is no shortage of bars and restaurants in the area. The town also has a lively nightlife for such a small community.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Nicaragua, The Best Adventure Tours to Nicaragua, The Best Wildlife Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Costa Rica.


Which place is cheaper, Quepos 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 $53, while the average daily cost in Quepos is $117. 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 Juan del Sur and Quepos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Juan del Sur $21
    Quepos $77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Juan del Sur $42
    Quepos $154
Compare Hotels in San Juan del Sur and Quepos

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


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 Quepos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $18
    Quepos $9.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Quepos

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

  • Manuel Antonio & Quepos one way transfer to SJO hotels - Airport up to 5 people.: $274
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Quepos - Manuel Antonio to Monteverde: $276
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Uvita to Quepos - Manuel Antonio: $140
  • Private Transfer - San Jose Airport & Manuel Antonio/Quepos : $300
  • Private Transfer From San Jose Airport To Manuel Antonio Beach: $125
  • Private Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Nauyaca: $220
  • Private Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Nauyaca Waterfalls (Round Trip): $199
  • Private Transfer from Quepos Cruise Port to San Jose City Hotels: $90
  • Private transfer from SJ Airport to Manuel Antonio and vice versa: $230
  • Transfer TO or FROM Manuel Antonio, Quepos to SJO Airport - Private (ONE WAY): $105
  • Transfer from Manuel Antonio to SJO Airport and surroundings : $209

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

Prices for flights to both Quepos 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 $18
    Quepos $30

Typical Food Prices in Quepos

For Quepos, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch
    $15
  • Seafood Dinner (for 1)
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Quepos

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

  • Night Jungle Tour with Dinner (Rainmaker Park): $59
  • 3 Hour Cooking Class and Medical Plants Garden: $77
  • Cooking Class & Medicinal Plants Garden Manuel Antonio: $77
  • Night Mangrove Safari Boat Tour with Dinner | Manuel Antonio: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Quepos $17

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 Adventure Tour in San Juan del Sur, NICARAGUA: $130
  • Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur: $159
  • SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park: $103
  • San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour: $118
  • atv tour also in Costa Rica: $132

Tours and Activities in Quepos

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

  • Beach Day Experience in Manuel Antonio: $20
  • Manuel Antonio National Park tour : $27
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour: $28
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Tour: $28
  • 2-3-Hour Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour: $30
  • Manuel Antonio with Mauro / Tickets not Included! : $30
  • Manuel Antonio Park Tour and its Amazing Wildlife and Beaches: $30
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Group Guided Tour: $30
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour: $30
  • Guided Tour in Manuel Antonio National Park!: $35
  • Manuel Antonio Jungle Night Tour with pick up included: $39
  • Guided hiking Tour by the Mystic Ebano Rainforest in Costa Rica: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Juan del Sur $13
    Quepos $15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Juan del Sur and Quepos, we can see that Quepos is more expensive. And not only is San Juan del Sur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Juan del Sur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Juan del Sur 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 Quepos would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Quepos than you might in San Juan del Sur.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is San Juan del Sur Expensive? and Is Quepos Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, San Juan del Sur or Quepos?

Quepos has a larger population, and is about 0% larger than the population of San Juan del Sur. When comparing the sizes of San Juan del Sur and Quepos, 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 Juan del Sur or Quepos?

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 Juan del Sur or Quepos in the Summer?

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

It's quite rainy in Quepos. San Juan del Sur receives a lot of rain in the summer. San Juan del Sur usually gets less rain in July than Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 144 mm (5.7 in) of rain, while Quepos receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

In the summer, San Juan del Sur often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 175 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Quepos receives 164 hours of full sun.

In the summer, San Juan del Sur is around the same temperature as Quepos. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Juan del Sur in July average around 27°C (81°F), and Quepos averages at about 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Juan del Sur 27°C (81°F) 
    Quepos 28°C (82°F)

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

Both Quepos and San Juan del Sur are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to San Juan del Sur throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Quepos because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Quepos. It's quite rainy in San Juan del Sur. In October, San Juan del Sur usually receives less rain than Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 197 mm (7.8 in) of rain, while Quepos receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

San Juan del Sur usually receives more sunshine than Quepos during autumn. San Juan del Sur gets 195 hours of sunny skies, while Quepos receives 169 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, San Juan del Sur is generally around the same temperature as Quepos. Daily temperatures in San Juan del Sur average around 27°C (81°F), and Quepos fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


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

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

Both Quepos and San Juan del Sur during the winter are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to San Juan del Sur because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Quepos year-round.

San Juan del Sur usually gets less rain in January than Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Quepos receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Quepos, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in San Juan del Sur. In the winter, San Juan del Sur often gets less sunshine than Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 244 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Quepos receives 264 hours of full sun.

San Juan del Sur is around the same temperature as Quepos in the winter. The daily temperature in San Juan del Sur averages around 26°C (79°F) in January, and Quepos fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Juan del Sur 26°C (79°F) 
    Quepos 27°C (81°F)

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

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

In April, San Juan del Sur usually receives less rain than Quepos. San Juan del Sur gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Quepos receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Quepos 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 Quepos during spring. San Juan del Sur gets 242 hours of sunny skies, while Quepos receives 255 hours of full sun in the spring.

In the spring, San Juan del Sur is around the same temperature as Quepos. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Juan del Sur in April average around 29°C (84°F), and Quepos averages at about 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Juan del Sur 29°C (84°F) 
    Quepos 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for Quepos and San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur Quepos
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 26°C (79°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 28°C (82°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 29°C (84°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 196 mm (7.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 144 mm (5.7 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 151 mm (5.9 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 27°C (81°F) 210 mm (8.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 27°C (81°F) 197 mm (7.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 31°C (88°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 26°C (79°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)