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

Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or Panama City?

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

Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or Panama City? 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 Panama City?

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.

Panama City

Panama City is the cosmopolitan capital city of the country of Panama. With a population of almost 900,000 and almost 1.5 million in the metropolitan area, it's a very diverse city with expat residents from all over the world. You don't have to search far to find someone who speaks English, and many Panamanians are quite helpful and friendly.

Which place is cheaper, Panama City 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 Panama City is $86. 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 Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $8.20
    Panama City $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $16
    Panama City $70
Compare Hotels in San Pedro La Laguna and Panama City

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro La Laguna or Panama City? 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 Panama City


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: Panama City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    Panama City $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

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

  • Transfers from the airport to city hotels and others: $45
  • Transfers Airport - Hotels Riu Playa Blanca, Decameron, Bijao, Playa Blanca: $70
  • Transfers: $37
  • Transfer to Panama City, Hotel and City tour - 1 night: $266
  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Playa Bonita to Panamá Tocumen Airport: $43
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panama Tocumen Airport (PTY)- Panama City: $19
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panama City - Panama Tocumen Airport (PTY): $19
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panamá Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita: $48
  • Transfer in private minivan from Playa Bonita to Panama Tocumen Airport: $70
  • Transfer in private minivan from Panama Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita: $70
  • Transfer in private minivan from Panama Tocumen Airport to Playa Blanca-Farallon: $160

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

Prices for flights to both Panama City 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    Panama City $21
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
    $2.05
  • Cake
    $1.28
  • Ice cream
    $0.38
  • Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread
    $2.95

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:

  • Guatemalan street food tour with a local bilingual guide: $40
  • Guatemalan Cooking Class around Lake Atitlan: $50
  • Maya Cooking Class from Panajachel: $55

Typical Food Prices in Panama City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Panama City:


  • Sandwich
    $8.26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

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

  • 3-hour Afropanamanian Cooking Experience in Panama: $55
  • Panamanian Dinner and Folkloric Show Ticket with Pickup: $60
  • Panama Evening Food Tour: $60
  • Panama City FOOD Tour: $65
  • 4 hours dinner and cocktail activity in Panama: $65
  • 4-Hour Guided Panamanian Cooking Class Experience: $85
  • 10-Recipe Boozy Panamanian Cooking Class : $85
  • Panama: 10-Recipe Boozy Panamanian Cooking Class + Dinner: $85
  • E-Tickets Emotions Dinner Theater Live Show Admission: $110
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $21
    Panama City $66
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)
    $38
  • Kayaking (for 2)
    $1.92
  • Coffee Tour (for 2)
    $6.92

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
  • 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
  • Half-Day Private Indian Nose Peak Tour from Lake Atitlan: $140

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • Canopy-ziplining Adventures in Anton Valley: $195
  • City Tour y Canal de Panamá: $40
  • Panama Canal locks (Miraflores ) and The Casco Viejo walking tour: $67
  • Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo Tour: $115
  • #1 Walking Tour in Casco Viejo, Panama Canal Museum & Lunch : $77
  • "Bridge of the Americas Stand-Up Paddle Private 2 hours Tour " : $100
  • 1- or 2-Night Experience in San Blas Islands: $260
  • 2 Hours Private Luxury Tour in a Convertible Car in Panama City: $255
  • 2 Hours Tour to Panama La Vieja for Groups: $140
  • 2-Day San Blas Adventure from Panama City: $270
  • 3 Hours Private Photo Tour in Casco Antiguo: $90
  • 3-Hour Private Tour in Panama La Vieja: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $5.56
    Panama City $18


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


Which is Bigger, San Pedro La Laguna or Panama City?

Panama City has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of San Pedro La Laguna. When comparing the sizes of San Pedro La Laguna and Panama City, 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.