Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or Puerto Viejo?
Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or Puerto Viejo? 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.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town in Caribbean Costa Rica in the province of Limon. There are two gorgeous National Parks nearby - Cahuita and Manzanillo, and it rains more than on the Pacific side, which is why it is so lush and green with the rainforest coming down to the sea. Clear water, coconut palms, great surf and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere make Puerto Viejo a favorite among travelers. Located on about an hour south of Limon, Puerto Viejo is the center of activity between the smaller villages of Cahuita and Manzanillo. The relaxed, seaside town is framed by jungle, turquoise seas, banana plantations and scenic rivers. It's known for the Salsa Brava surf break and beaches like black-sand Playa Negra, but this burgeoning party town is no longer a destination only for intrepid surfers; it's bustling with tourist activity. Stylish eateries serve global fusion, and intentionally rustic bamboo bars pump dancehall and reggaeton. With its blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, expat Europeans and indigenous Costa Ricans, Puerto Viejo charms visitors with a unique mix of people and cultures. Rastafari culture has a firm foothold in the town, and many Rastas sell handmade jewelry and other wares along the town's vibrant roadside. Nearby you'll find rainforest fruit and cacao farms and wide-open beaches. If you're looking to chill a little, party a little and eat a little, you've come to the right place.
Which city is cheaper, Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo is $79. 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 Puerto Viejo in more detail.
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 $82 in Puerto Viejo For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
San Pedro La Laguna $6.66
Puerto Viejo $41
Typical double-occupancy room
San Pedro La Laguna
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.
Puerto Viejo'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 $26 per person, per day on transportation in Puerto Viejo.
Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro La Laguna or Puerto Viejo?
Prices for flights to both Puerto Viejo 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.
In San Pedro La Laguna travelers spend around $8.86 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 $18 per day in Puerto Viejo 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.
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:
Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread
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 Puerto Viejo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
Camping, Short hike & Watch the sunrise on the top of Indian Nose (Private tour):
Chichicastenango Market Day Tour:
Get fun with an Adventure Tour - Zip Line (Canopy):
Horseback Riding Tour:
Indian Nose Hiking Adventure (custom and private tour):
Lake Atitlan Village Tour - from Panajachel:
Tours and Activities in Puerto Viejo
For Puerto Viejo, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Tamarindo: ATV Quad Bike Adventure Tour:
Typically, people visiting San Pedro La Laguna spend on average $4.52 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Puerto Viejo spend on average $8.09 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro La Laguna and Puerto Viejo, we can see that Puerto Viejo 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 Puerto Viejo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Viejo than you might in San Pedro La Laguna.
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