Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or San Juan del Sur?
Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or San Juan del Sur? 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.
San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is a popular port destination on the Pacific coast of southwest Nicaragua. The town was once a quaint fishing village but has grown into a tourist town with activities for visitors that include surfing, fishing, and, of course, partying. The town has a population of just over 15,000, most of whom are either fishermen or involved in the tourism industry. There is also a large expat community from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Which city is cheaper, San Juan del Sur 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 San Juan del Sur is $45. 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 San Juan del Sur 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.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $36 for a double occupancy room in San Juan del Sur.
Hotel or hostel for one person
San Pedro La Laguna $6.61
San Juan del Sur $18
Typical double-occupancy room
San Pedro La Laguna
San Juan del Sur
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 average traveler spends about $16 per day in San Juan del Sur 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
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Juan del Sur
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Juan del Sur.
Food Tour - Nicaragua Gastronomy:
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 San Juan del Sur is $15 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Juan del Sur
Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Juan del Sur:
One-Way Private Transfer from San Juan del Sur to Managua:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro La Laguna or San Juan del Sur?
Prices for flights to both San Juan del Sur 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.
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.
San Juan del Sur's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 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.
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:
Get fun with an Adventure Tour - Zip Line (Canopy):
Indian Nose Hiking Adventure (custom and private tour):
Horseback Riding Tour:
Chichicastenango Market Day Tour:
Camping, Short hike & Watch the sunrise on the top of Indian Nose (Private tour):
Lake Atitlan Village Tour - from Panajachel:
Tours and Activities in San Juan del Sur
Here are a few actual costs in San Juan del Sur for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Mombacho Volcano Hike and Ziplining Adventure from San Juan del Sur:
Open Bar Sunset Cruise in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua:
SJDS PORT EXCURSION: Zipline and Adventure Park:
San Juan del Sur Shore Excursion: Private Masaya Volcano and Catarina Tour:
Typically, people visiting San Pedro La Laguna spend on average $4.48 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting San Juan del Sur may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro La Laguna and San Juan del Sur, we can see that San Juan del Sur 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 San Juan del Sur would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Juan del Sur than you might in San Pedro La Laguna.
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