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

Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or La Fortuna?

Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or La Fortuna? 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.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela. It is the closest town to Arenal Volcano, and the area is often simply refered to as Arenal. The volcano itself is active and has been constantly erupting since 1968. It erupts on average 41 times a day. This area of northern Costa Rica is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.

Which city is cheaper, La Fortuna 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 La Fortuna is $68. 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 La Fortuna 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $66 for a double occupancy room in La Fortuna.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $6.62
    La Fortuna $33
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    La Fortuna $66

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 price of a meal in La Fortuna can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $18 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $7.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $8.80
    La Fortuna $18
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Fortuna

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in La Fortuna.

  • cooking class la fortuna: $40
  • Cooking Class Including Tortilla Making in La Fortuna: $55
  • 3-Course Cooking Class: $138

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.

The average price of local transportation around La Fortuna is $14 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    La Fortuna $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Fortuna

Some specific examples of transportation prices in La Fortuna:

  • Transfer from Arenal or La Fortuna to Conchal beach up to 5 passengers: $240
  • Shuttle Transfer Lake crossing from Arenal To Monteverde: $25
  • Private transfer from Arenal or La Fortuna to Hotel RIU up to 5 passengers: $320
  • Private Transfer Lake crossing from Arenal To Monteverde From 1 to 6 passengers: $231
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Juan Santamaria Airport From 7 to 10 passengers: $192
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Juan Santamaria Airport From 11 to 15 passengers: $288
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Juan Santamaria Airport From 1 to 6 passengers: $138
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Int. Airport Liberia From 7 to 10 passengers: $211
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Int. Airport Liberia From 11 to 15 passengers: $316
  • Private Transfer La Fortuna To Int. Airport Liberia From 1 to 6 passengers: $158
  • Private Transfer From La Fortuna To Monteverde From 7 to 10 passengers: $248
  • Private Transfer From La Fortuna To Monteverde From 11 to 15 passengers: $372

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

Prices for flights to both La Fortuna 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.

La Fortuna's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $29 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $17
    La Fortuna $29
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:

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

Tours and Activities in La Fortuna

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for La Fortuna are as follows:

  • 3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall & Volcano Hike: $189
  • Afternoon Tour to Arenal Observatory Lodge and Natural Hot Springs River: $49
  • Arenal Canopy Adventure: $48
  • Arenal National Park: Hanging Bridges Tour: $69
  • Arenal Observatory Tour: $39
  • Arenal Rainforest Experience & Baldí Hot Springs Package 2: Safari Float: $245
  • Arenal Volcano Bird Watching Experience: $65
  • Arenal Volcano Hanging Bridges & Jungle Walking Tour: $69
  • Arenal Volcano Hike Tour at the National Park: $65
  • Arenal Volcano Hike and Hot Springs Tour from La Fortuna: $155
  • Arenal Volcano Hiking + Hot Springs Experience: $69
  • Arenal Volcano National Park Walking Tour: $65

Alcohol

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

The average person spends about $7.21 on alcoholic beverages in La Fortuna per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $4.49
    La Fortuna $7.21


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro La Laguna and La Fortuna, we can see that La Fortuna 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 La Fortuna would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Fortuna than you might in San Pedro La Laguna.

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San Pedro La Laguna vs. La Fortuna Travel Comparison

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