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 city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. 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.

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.

Which city 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 $44, while the average daily cost in Quepos is $75. 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 Quepos 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 $98 in Quepos 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
    Quepos $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Juan del Sur $34
    Quepos $98

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.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in Quepos 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Quepos $19

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

Typical Food prices in Quepos

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


  • Lunch
    $12
  • Seafood Dinner (for 1)
    $16

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.

Quepos's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $6.20 per person, per day on transportation in Quepos.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $15
    Quepos $6.20

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 Quepos

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

  • Manuel Antonio to SJO International Airport - Private Transfer: $209
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Quepos - Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna: $333
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Quepos - Manuel Antonio to Puerto Jiménez: $333
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Uvita to Quepos - Manuel Antonio: $140
  • Private Transfer From Manuel Antonio To La Fortuna From 1 to 6 passengers: $275
  • Private Transfer From Manuel Antonio To La Fortuna From 11 to 15 passengers: $453
  • Private Transfer From Manuel Antonio To La Fortuna From 7 to 10 passengers: $289
  • Private transfer from Manuel Antonio Quepos to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $201
  • Private transfer from Uvita to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $234
  • Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo Limón: $490

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.





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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Quepos can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $11 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Juan del Sur $13
    Quepos $11

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 Quepos

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

  • Manuel Antonio National Park Tour with pick up included: $25
  • Private Hiking, Nature and Discovery Tour in Quepos: $28
  • Private Tour to Manuel Antonio Park and it's Amazing Wildlife: $33
  • Manuel Antonio with Mauro / FULLY PRIVATE TOUR: $35
  • Espadilla Private Reserve jungle night tour with pick up included: $39
  • Manuel Antonio Jungle Night Research Experience in Costa Rica: $50
  • Sloth Tour Manuel Antonio National Park: $50
  • guided community tour (certified): $54
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Tour: $55
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Tour: $56
  • Damas Island Boat tour: $56
  • Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour: $56

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.

Typically, people visiting Quepos spend on average $9.50 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Juan del Sur $11
    Quepos $9.50


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.

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San Juan del Sur vs. Quepos Travel Comparison

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