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

Should you visit San Pedro La Laguna or Tamarindo?

Should I visit San Pedro La Laguna or Tamarindo? 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.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a small beach town in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. This town is usually sought out by surfers, fishers, couples, and families. There are delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and friendly Tico's and Tica's (local Costa Rican nicknames) everywhere.

Which city is cheaper, Tamarindo 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 Tamarindo is $74. 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 Tamarindo 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.

A hotel room in Tamarindo is about $62 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro La Laguna $6.68
    Tamarindo $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro La Laguna $13
    Tamarindo $62

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.

The average price of local transportation around Tamarindo is $42 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $11
    Tamarindo $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tamarindo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tamarindo:

  • Volcano Adventure Sisisi Transfers & Tours Costa Rica: $155
  • Transfer TO or FROM Tamarindo Area to SJO Airport: $325
  • Transfer Liberia to Tamarindo: $90
  • Private transfer from Tamarindo to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport: $265
  • Private Transfer to Tamarindo Beach from Liberia Airport: $100
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Liberia Airport to Tamarindo with Free Drinks: $89
  • Private Premium Transfer: From Tamarindo Zone: $85
  • Liberia Airport Private Transfer To Or From Tamarindo: $86

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

Prices for flights to both Tamarindo 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

In San Pedro La Laguna travelers spend around $8.88 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Tamarindo cost around $20 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $8.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $8.88
    Tamarindo $20
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
    $2.09
  • Cake
    $1.31
  • Ice cream
    $0.39
  • Hot Cocoa & Banana Bread
    $3.00

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.

Tamarindo's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $10 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro La Laguna $17
    Tamarindo $10
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)
    $1.96
  • Coffee Tour (for 2)
    $7.05

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): $51
  • Indian Nose Hiking Adventure (custom and private tour): $51
  • Horseback Riding Tour: $51
  • Chichicastenango Market Day Tour: $60
  • Camping, Short hike & Watch the sunrise on the top of Indian Nose (Private tour): $85
  • Lake Atitlan Village Tour - from Panajachel: $205

Tours and Activities in Tamarindo

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Tamarindo are as follows:

  • 2 Days & 2 Nights Diving Adventure: $1,750
  • 2.5 Hours Tamarindo ATV Snorkel Tour to Secluded Beaches: $77
  • 4 Hour Beach & Mountain Tamarindo ATV Adventure: $144
  • ATV Adventures: $85
  • ATV Tour at Tamarindo: $77
  • ATV Tour in Tamarindo: $92
  • ATV Zipline Tour from Tamarindo/Flamingo: $125
  • ATV and SUP Tour from Tamarindo Beach: $128
  • Afternoon Sailing Tour in Guanacaste: $85
  • Antares Sailing Adventures tour: $87
  • Arenal One Day Tour: $230
  • Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure: $81

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting San Pedro La Laguna spend on average $4.53 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.53 on alcoholic beverages in Tamarindo per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro La Laguna $4.53
    Tamarindo $8.53


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

Budget Your Trip

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San Pedro La Laguna vs. Tamarindo Travel Comparison

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