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?

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

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 city 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 $29, while the average daily cost in Panama City 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 Panama City 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $56 in Panama City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $6.62
    Panama City $28
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    Panama City $56

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.

In Panama City travelers spend around $17 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $8.80
    Panama City $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
    $2.07
  • Cake
    $1.29
  • Ice cream
    $0.39
  • Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread
    $2.97

Typical Food prices in Panama City

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


  • Sandwich
    $8.25

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:

  • Panama Evening Food Tour: $60
  • Panama City Food Tour: Taste of Panama Walking Tour: $76
  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205

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.

To get around in Panama City, the average visitor spends $8.54 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    Panama City $8.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

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

  • Transfers from Tocumen Airport to Panama City: $40
  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Transfer to Monkey Island and Embera Village: $130
  • Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita: $18
  • Transfer to Carti, San Blas from Panama City: $80
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panamá City to Panamá Tocumen Airport: $28
  • Transfer in private minivan from Panama City to Panama Tocumen Airport: $44
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Playa Bonita or Gamboa: $27
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Playa Blanca: $63
  • Transfer from Tocumen Airport or Panama City to Colon Cruise Terminal: $54
  • Transfer from Playa Bonita or Gamboa to Tocumen Airport: $27
  • Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport: $19

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.





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.

In Panama City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $53 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $17
    Panama City $53
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

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • 2 Nights in San Blas Islands! Beach & Community Tour includes La casa de papel: $326
  • 2-day San Blas Islands in Shared Cabin with Tour, Meals and Transport Included: $209
  • 2D/1N Private Cabin (min 2 Guests) in San Blas INCLUDING Day Tour + Transport: $231
  • 3.5-Hour Discover Panama City Tour: $148
  • 5-Day Tour to Bocas del Toro from Panama City: $974
  • 5-Hour City Tour & The Panama Canal Including Ticket: $81
  • 5-Hour Tour of Panama City, Panama from Tocumen Airport: $123
  • 6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise: $215
  • A Volcano adventure: Hiking, Waterfall and more: $275
  • Adventure and relaxing at the Caribbean: $165
  • AfroLatino Travel - AfroPanama in Focus City Day Tour: $138
  • All Inclusive Full-Day Taboga Island Catamaran Tour from Panama City, Panama: $89

Alcohol

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Panama City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $4.49
    Panama City $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Panama City:

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33


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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
San Pedro La Laguna vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.