A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Pedro La Laguna vs. Jaco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or Jaco?

Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or Jaco? 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.

San Pedro La Laguna

Located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, Lake Atitlan is a beautiful volcanic lake ringed by small towns and villages that are highly frequented by backpackers. Panajachal is one of the best known of the towns, as well as the main entry point of the region, while others like San Pedro La Laguna are quieter and more off the beaten path. Lake Atitlan and its villages attract visitors for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and Mayan culture nearby.

Jaco

Jaco is a beach destination on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This resort city is located in the county of Garabito in the Puntarenas province. It has a population of about 10,000 residents and a 2.5 mile long beach that is an excellent surfing destination.

Because Jaco is located on the coast, it's weather is influenced by the water. The climate is humid with a relative humidity of about 80%, but climbing to 90% in the month of June. The temperature is usually between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. There are distinct wet and dry seasons with August through early December being the rainy season and late December through early April being the dry season. Rain is irregular during the rest of the year.

Which city is cheaper, Jaco or San Pedro La Laguna?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in San Pedro La Laguna is $29, while the average daily cost in Jaco is $62. 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 Pedro La Laguna and Jaco in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $13 in San Pedro La Laguna For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The prices for places to stay in Jaco can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $40, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $80.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $6.62
    Jaco $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    Jaco $80

Food

In San Pedro La Laguna travelers spend around $8.80 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.

The average traveler spends about $12 per day in Jaco 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 Pedro La Laguna $8.80
    Jaco $12
Typical Food prices in San Pedro La Laguna

For San Pedro La Laguna, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lemonade
    $2.07
  • Cake
    $1.29
  • Ice cream
    $0.39
  • Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread
    $2.97

Typical Food prices in Jaco

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


  • Hermosa BeachLlunch
    $3.20
  • Taco Bar Dinner
    $7.32
  • Pizza & Smoothie Lunch
    $5.13
  • Ice Cream
    $4.81
  • Breakfast Taco Bar
    $2.72
  • Fruit Plate
    $2.40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jaco

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

  • Traveling Spoon Ceviche Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Online Costa Rican Cooking Class with cookbook author Melissa Guzman: $35
  • Costa Rican cooking class with cookbook author Melissa Guzman: $70

Local Transportation

San Pedro La Laguna'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 $11 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro La Laguna.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    Jaco -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jaco

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

  • Transfer from Jaco to Monteverde up to 5 passengers: $210
  • Transfer TO or FROM Jaco Beach Area to SJO Airport: $95
  • Private transfer from Jaco Beach to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $152
  • Private Departure Transfer: Jaco Beach to Juan Santamaría International Airport: $153
  • Jacó Private Transfer to San Jose Airport for 1 to 5 People: $146
  • Jaco to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) - Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Jaco Airport Transfers: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro La Laguna or Jaco?

Prices for flights to both Jaco and San Pedro La Laguna 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro La Laguna can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Jaco can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $39 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $17
    Jaco $39
Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro La Laguna

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro La Laguna's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Canopy Tour (for 2)
    $39
  • Kayaking (for 2)
    $1.94
  • Coffee Tour (for 2)
    $6.98

Tours and Activities in San Pedro La Laguna

For San Pedro La Laguna, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Camping, Short hike & Watch the sunrise on the top of Indian Nose (Private tour): $85
  • Chichicastenango Market Day Tour: $60
  • Get fun with an Adventure Tour - Zip Line (Canopy): $51
  • Horseback Riding Tour: $51
  • Indian Nose Hiking Adventure (custom and private tour): $51
  • Lake Atitlan Village Tour - from Panajachel: $205

Typical Entertainment prices in Jaco

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Jaco's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Dance Class
    $7.98
  • Surf Lesson
    $40
  • Bike Rental
    $7.98
  • Tortuga Island Tour
    $79
  • Massage
    $36

Tours and Activities in Jaco

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

  • 2 Hour ATV Adventure Through Costa Rican Jungle in Jaco: $71
  • 2hrs ATV & Crocodile COMBO Tour: $113
  • 3 Hour ATV Tour Through Costa Rican Rainforest: $90
  • 3 hrs ATV Tour: $87
  • 3hrs ATV & Monkey Mangrove COMBO Tour: $145
  • 3hrs ATV Plus Horseback Waterfall COMBO Tour: $159
  • 4x4 Land Cruiser Ride to the Waterfalls Tour: $33
  • 4x4 Rainforest Adventure Booze Safari: $98
  • 4x4 Rainforest Tour - Lunch & Waterfall Included: $95
  • ATV 2 Hour tour With Waterfall Experience: $70
  • ATV Full-Day Tour in Jaco: $186
  • ATV Tour in Jaco: $54

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting San Pedro La Laguna spend on average $4.49 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Jaco spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $4.49
    Jaco $21

Typical Alcohol prices in Jaco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Jaco:


  • Wine
    $12
  • Night at the Bar
    $22


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

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San Pedro La Laguna vs. Jaco Travel Comparison

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