Should you visit San Pedro or Jaco?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Pedro or Jaco, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
San Pedro is the largest town on Ambergris Caye, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. Here you can find a tropical paradise with warm weather, clear blue waters, plenty of activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, and a host of hotels, restaurants, and other amenities.
Jaco is a beach destination on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This resort city is located in the county of Garabito in the Puntarenas province. It has a population of about 10,000 residents and a 2.5 mile long beach that is an excellent surfing destination.
Because Jaco is located on the coast, it's weather is influenced by the water. The climate is humid with a relative humidity of about 80%, but climbing to 90% in the month of June. The temperature is usually between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. There are distinct wet and dry seasons with August through early December being the rainy season and late December through early April being the dry season. Rain is irregular during the rest of the year.
Which city is cheaper, Jaco or San Pedro?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Pedro is $107, while the average daily cost in Jaco is $59. 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 and Jaco in more detail.
A hotel room in San Pedro is about $106 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
The prices for places to stay in Jaco can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $38, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $76.
The average price of local transportation around San Pedro is $27 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 Pedro
Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Pedro:
Cave Tubing Adventure Air Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jaco
Also for Jaco, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer TO or FROM Jaco Beach Area to SJO Airport:
Jaco to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) - Departure Private Transfer:
Jacó Private Transfer to San Jose Airport for 1 to 5 People:
Jaco Airport Transfers:
Private transfer from Jaco Beach to Hotels in San Jose or the Airport:
Private Departure Transfer: Jaco Beach to Juan Santamaría International Airport:
Transfer from Jaco to Monteverde up to 5 passengers:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro or Jaco?
Prices for flights to both Jaco and San Pedro 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.
On average, meal and food prices in San Pedro cost around $32 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 $13.
The average traveler spends about $12 per day in Jaco 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.
Meals for one day
San Pedro $32
Typical Food prices in Jaco
For Jaco, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
Taco Bar Dinner
Pizza & Smoothie Lunch
Breakfast Taco Bar
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Jaco
For Jaco, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Traveling Spoon Ceviche Private Online Cooking Class:
Online Costa Rican Cooking Class with cookbook author Melissa Guzman:
Costa Rican cooking class with cookbook author Melissa Guzman:
San Pedro's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Jaco can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $37 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in San Pedro
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Pedro are as follows:
Altun Ha Cave Tubing and Zip line Tours from San Pedro Ambergris Caye:
Ambergris Caye Sunset Sail Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat:
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye:
Cave Tubing and Zip line Adventure from San pedro Ambergris caye:
Cave Tubing and Zipline Adventure:
Caves Kayaking Zipline Experience from Ambergris Caye San Pedro:
Crossing the highlands: From Cusco to Puno or Viceversa - Private tour:
Hol Chan Marine Reserve Snorkel Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat:
Jungle Tour in the City - from San Jose:
Mexico Rocks Snorkel Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat:
The Best of San Jose Walking Tour:
The best of San Pedro Town walking tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in Jaco
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Jaco's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tortuga Island Tour
Tours and Activities in Jaco
For Jaco, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
High Ropes Course Adventure in Jaco:
4x4 Land Cruiser Ride to the Waterfalls Tour:
Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour:
Costa Rica: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour:
Rainforest Costa Rica Sunset Tour:
Guided Motorcycle Tour of Jaco:
Chocolate Experience by CRHR:
ATV Tour in Jaco:
Jacó beach horseback riding experience:
Jungle Waterfall and River Crossing ATV Tour at Jaco:
Waterfall Rappelling, Zipline and Trek Adventure from Jaco:
The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Pedro per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Typically, people visiting Jaco spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Jaco
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Jaco:
Night at the Bar
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro and Jaco, we can see that San Pedro is more expensive. And not only is Jaco much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Jaco would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Jaco 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 Pedro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Pedro than you might in Jaco.
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