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

Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or Managua?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or Managua? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: San Pedro La Laguna or Managua?

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.


Managua is the capital, and largest city in Nicaragua. The economy is generally centered around the trade of coffee, cotton, and other types of agriculture. It also is a textile capital for the area. Managua is also a very reasonably priced destination in Central America. Restaurants and hotels are quite affordable and you'll find all kinds of international cuisine around the city. Transportation is also incredibly affordable and you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised at the cost of intercity bus rides.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Guatemala, The Best Tours for Seniors to Guatemala, The Best Adventure Tours to Nicaragua, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Nicaragua.

Which place is cheaper, Managua 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 $36, while the average daily cost in Managua is $55. 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 Pedro La Laguna and Managua in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $8.24
    Managua $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $16
    Managua $46
Compare Hotels in San Pedro La Laguna and Managua

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro La Laguna or Managua? 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 Pedro La Laguna

Hotels in Managua

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: Managua Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    Managua $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Managua

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

  • Transfer From Managua International Airport: $90
  • San Jorge Rivas Transfer: $47
  • Rivas: Managua to Rivas Airport private transfer: $75
  • Private Transfer in Nicaragua: $110
  • Private Transfer from Managua City Hotels to Corinto Cruise Port: $72
  • Private Transfer from Managua Augusto Airport to Corinto Port: $72
  • Popoyo Beach Transfer: $90
  • PRIVATE San Juan Del Sur Transfer: $56
  • Airport private transfer from Managua.: $25
  • Managua-San juan del sur: Airport private transfer: $125
  • Managua-Leon: Airport private transfer from to Managua /Leon: $100
  • Managua to Managua Augusto Airport (MGA) - Departure Transfer: $33

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

Prices for flights to both Managua 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    Managua $17
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
  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Pedro La Laguna

For San Pedro La Laguna, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Temazcal sauna and dinner, cultural sharing experience: $44
  • Maya Cooking Class from Panajachel: $50

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $22
    Managua $16
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)
  • Kayaking (for 2)
  • Coffee Tour (for 2)

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:

  • Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal (Group): $125
  • 5-Hour Private Birdwatching Experience in San Juan La Laguna: $50
  • Authentic local experience with a community of women.: $68
  • Beading Class and tour a Non-profit vocational training center a Fun cultural sharing experience: $28
  • Bicycle Tour Around Lake Atitlan with Weaving Coops and Coffee Plantations: $112
  • Biking tour through the towns of Santa Catarina and San Antonio: $46
  • Boat tour in Mayan villages: $85
  • Chichicastenango Market Day Tour from Panajachel: $83
  • Coffee Tour in Lake Atitlán: $36
  • Day of the Dead Giant Kite Festival Cultural Experience: $35
  • Full Day Tour to Chichicastenango from Panajachel : $160
  • Get fun with an Adventure Tour - Zip Line (Canopy): $51

Tours and Activities in Managua

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Managua.

  • 3 full day tour at Granada, Masaya and Leon area from Managua: $210
  • Amazing Masaya Volcano at Night "Private Tour" : $88
  • Between Volcanoes Tours; Granada-Masaya.: $155
  • Full day tour: Granada + Boat ride+Handicraft Market+Catarina: $100
  • Granada Isletas and City tour: $68
  • Laguna de Apoyo Day pass plus Masaya Volcano Night Tour: $60
  • Managua City Tour: $84
  • Managua City Tour: $88
  • Managua Love Stories: A Romantic Tour: $191
  • Managua Love Stories: A Walking Tour: $99
  • Managua’s Historic Gems: A Cultural Walking Tour: $324
  • Managua’s Historic Gems: A Cultural Walking Tour: $167

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $5.59
    Managua $11

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is San Pedro La Laguna Expensive? and Is Managua Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, San Pedro La Laguna or Managua?

Managua has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of San Pedro La Laguna. When comparing the sizes of San Pedro La Laguna and Managua, 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.