A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Pedro vs. Panama City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Pedro or Panama City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Pedro or Panama City, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: San Pedro or Panama City?

San Pedro

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.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Belize, The Best G Adventures Tours to Belize, The Best Adventure Tours to Panama, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Panama.

Which place is cheaper, Panama City or San Pedro?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in San Pedro is $135, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $86. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for San Pedro and Panama City in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro $66
    Panama City $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro $132
    Panama City $70
Compare Hotels in San Pedro and Panama City

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro or Panama City? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in San Pedro

Hotels in Panama City

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Panama City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro $34
    Panama City $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Pedro:

  • Cave Tubing and Zipline Adventure (Boat Transfer): $205

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

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

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Panama Tocumen Airport (PTY)- Panama City: $15
  • Private transfer from airport to hotels in Panama City: $15
  • Panama City Private Arrival Transfer: $17
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer from Panamá to Tocumen Airport : $18
  • Transfer Airport-City Hotel and Beach Hotel, Tours 5hrs Panama: $20
  • Private transfer Panama City - Fort Amador Cruise Terminal: $20
  • Transfer Airport - City / Min 2 pax: $20
  • Panama: Private Transfer from Tocumen Airport: $20
  • Transfer from Panama City Hotel to Tocumen Airport: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: $23
  • Private Transfer Tocumen Airport - Old Town(Casco Viejo): $27
  • PTY Airport Transfer Service To Panama City: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro $40
    Panama City $21

Typical Food Prices in Panama City

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

  • Sandwich

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
  • Night Out Experience (360 Panoramic Views + Dinner Show): $72
  • Private Night Out Experience (360 Panoramic Views + Dinner Show): $80
  • 4-Hour Guided Panamanian Cooking Class and Markets Experience: $85
  • 10-Recipe Boozy Panamanian Cooking Class : $85
  • E-Tickets Emotions Dinner Theater Live Show Admission: $99

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro $33
    Panama City $66

Tours and Activities in San Pedro

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

  • The best of San Pedro Town walking tour: $205
  • 3 Hours Barrier Reef Tour in Caye Caulker, Belize: $54
  • 5-Hour Guided Jetboat Tour to Secret Beach, San Pedro, Belize.: $200
  • All-Inclusive Full-Day Hol Chan Snorkeling Tour : $120
  • Altun Ha Cave Tubing and Zip line Tours from San Pedro Ambergris Caye: $250
  • Ambergris Caye Sunset Sail Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat: $85
  • Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Electric Bike and Beach Cruiser Rental: $40
  • Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye: $93
  • Belizean Food Experience: $80
  • Cave Tubing and Zip line Adventure from San pedro Ambergris caye: $250
  • Double Activity Limo Tour: Xunantunich Ruins & Cave Tubing Adventure: $220
  • Exclusive All-in-1 Full Day Shared Guided Tour: $139

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • Discover Panama’s Heartbeat: In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Archaeological Site. Admission ticket to Panama La Vieja: $15
  • Panama : Must-See Sites Walking Tour With A Guide: $25
  • Panama: Highlights Bike Tour in Casco Viejo & Cinta Costera: $25
  • Poin Glass Observation Deck Ticket with VR Tour: $27
  • Bike tour to Old Town with locals: $27
  • Walking tour in Casco Viejo with locals: $27
  • Panama Casco Viejo: Walking Tour Must See Treasures!!!: $29
  • Sunset Walking Tour at Casco Viejo El Chorrillo and the fish market: $30
  • Get to know the city aboard CitySightseeing Panama: $30
  • City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $30
  • POIN Swing Experience: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro $16
    Panama City $18

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro and Panama City, we can see that San Pedro is more expensive. And not only is Panama City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Panama City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Panama City 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 Panama City.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is San Pedro Expensive? and Is Panama City Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, San Pedro or Panama City?

Panama City has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of San Pedro. When comparing the sizes of San Pedro and Panama City, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.