Should you visit San Juan or Saint Croix?
Should I visit San Juan or Saint Croix? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
If you've ever set foot on a Caribbean cruise, you've probably spent a bit of time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, maybe you should consider spending more than just a port day in this beautiful and historically rich city.
As the capital and largest city in all of Puerto Rico, San Juan is home to approximately 400,000 people. Established in 1521, it is also the second oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas.
As this city fuses a historic paradise with modern day energy, it has absolutely everything to offer. Intellectual wanderers, beach bums, rainforest adventurers and radical surfers will all find plenty to do in San Juan.
Sometimes all you want out of a vacation is the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves and the taste of a cold drink. No more. No less. That's exactly what you can expect in St. Croix.
The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is a place of our leisure and relaxation. It's a bit of an expensive lifestyle for its 50,000 residents and daily visitors, but when you're living on island time, money is never a worry. There are no worries on island time.
This once volcanic island is covered in incredible beaches, stunning mountains, palm tress in the wind and historic colonial towns. While they may be a bit old and rundown, the Danish architecture still stands as a unique part of this island's legacy. Don't expect much window-shopping, though. That was not a feature incorporated in this style of architecture. If you want to know if a store is open, just step on in, but remember, shop hours are also running on island time.
Which city is cheaper, Saint Croix or San Juan?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Juan is $153, while the average daily cost in Saint Croix is $189. 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 and Saint Croix in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $198 in San Juan For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $119. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Saint Croix the cost is $238 on average.
Food in San Juan costs travelers about $29 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
While meal prices in Saint Croix can vary, the average travelers spends about $45 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Saint Croix should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Saint Croix is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
San Juan $29
Saint Croix $45
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan
For San Juan, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour:
Authenic Puerto Rican Food Tasting Cooking Lesson (Volunteer Option Available):
Old San Juan Sunset Walk & Taste Food Tour:
Puerto Rican Food Tour:
To get around in San Juan, the average visitor spends $11 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.
The average price of local transportation around Saint Croix is $28 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan
Also for San Juan, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to San Juan Airport:
Airport Transfers: SJU to Hotels in Isla Verde/Condado/Old San Juan Puerto Rico:
San Juan Port Arrival Transfer:
San Juan Port Departure Transfer:
San Juan Bus Terminal Shuttle Transfer:
San Juan Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Private,One Way Transfer,To/From:Airport/CruisePort/Hotels to Dorado & RioGrande:
Transfers from San Juan (SJU, hotels, ports, locations nearby) to Dorado City:
Transfers from San Juan (SJU/hotels/ports/locations nearby) to Río Grande City:
Private Arrival Transfer from San Juan Cruise Port to Hotel in San Juan:
Private Departure Transfer from San Juan Hotel to San Juan Cruise Port:
Private Airport Transfer: from San Juan to Luis Munoz Marin Int. Airport (SJU):
Is it cheaper to fly into San Juan or Saint Croix?
Prices for flights to both Saint Croix and San Juan 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.
In San Juan, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $40 per person, per day.
Saint Croix's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $46 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.
Typical Entertainment prices in San Juan
For San Juan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Horseback Riding Tour
Full Day Snorkeling Trip
1 Hr Windsurfing Lesson
Tours and Activities in San Juan
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Juan.
Old Let the city's buildings tell you their stories on an audio tour:
Skip the line! Port-Airport transportation:
Scenic Walking Tour in the Historic Old San Juan:
San Juan Sightseeing Tour:
City Tour San Juan and surroundings:
Guided Sunrise Kayak Experience at Condado Lagoon:
Old San Juan Walking Tour:
Oneway - to/from SJUAirport, Cruise Port, Hotels in SAN JUAN - Standard Sedan:
Pinones(Loiza) Tour: An Authentic Food & Beach Experience:
The Best Old San Juan Walking Tour:
Fountain of Youth Tour of Old San Juan:
San Juan Small-Group Snorkeling Tour on Coral Reef:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Juan, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.83.
The average person spends about $22 on alcoholic beverages in Saint Croix per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Sample the Local Flavors in San Juan
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Juan:
Bacardi Rum Distillery and Old San Juan Tour:
Private Old San Juan and Bacardí or Barrilito Distillery Experience:
Bacardi Rum Distillery with Cocktail Class and Old San Juan tour:
3 Day Puerto Rico Extravaganza (Beach, Biobay, Rain Forest, Distillery & Old SJ):
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Juan and Saint Croix, we can see that Saint Croix is more expensive. And not only is San Juan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Juan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Juan 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 Saint Croix would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Saint Croix than you might in San Juan.
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