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

Should you visit San Pedro or San Jose?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Pedro or San Jose, 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 San Jose?

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.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and is likely to be your first and last stop in a visit to the country. The city is situated in the Central Valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making for a beautiful flight in. The city has an elevation of 1200 meters and sits on a plateau with a beautiful backdrop of lush green forest. Half of the people in Costa Rica reside in the country's capital city. You are likely to stay only a day or two, but there are a handful of things to do and see including museums and markets. You will also find many embassies, as well as the University of Costa Rica in San Jose.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Belize, The Best Adventure Tours to Belize, The Best Budget Tours to Costa Rica, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Costa Rica.


Which place is cheaper, San Jose or San Pedro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Pedro is $134, while the average daily cost in San Jose is $89. 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 San Jose in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro $66
    San Jose $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro $132
    San Jose $96
Compare Hotels in San Pedro and San Jose

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro or San Jose? 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 San Jose


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: San Jose Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro $34
    San Jose $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Pedro:

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

Typical Local Transportation Prices in San Jose

Some typical examples of transportation costs in San Jose are as follows:


  • Taxi from SJO
    $25
  • Local Bus
    $2.70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Jose

Also for San Jose, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • San Jose to Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) – Departure Private Transfer: $32
  • Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) to San Jose – Arrival Private Transfer: $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from SanJose Juan Santamaría Airport to SanJose City: $39
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from SanJose City to SanJose Juan Santamaría Airport: $39
  • Transfer Costa Rica SJO Airport To OR From Hotels nearby Private : $40
  • Private One-way Juan Santamaria Airport Transfer to from San Jose: $41
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer: Alajuela and San Jose: $45
  • Private San José Airport Transfer to San José Hotels : $50
  • Private Transfer from San Jose City to Puntarenas Cruise Port: $51
  • Private Transfer from San Jose Airport One Way: $56
  • Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) to San Jose – Round-Trip Private Transfer: $64
  • Private transfer from SJO Intl Airport to downtown Hotels: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro or San Jose?

Prices for flights to both San Jose 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro $40
    San Jose $18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Jose

For San Jose, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Bites and Sights: Walking Food Tour in San Jose, Costa Rica: $31
  • San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Food Tour and visit Gold Museum : $60
  • San Jose By Night Tour: Farm to Table Dinner & Cocktail Class: $63
  • Half-Day San Jose Evening Bus Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $76
  • Private Authentic Food Tour in San José: $84
  • Dinner + Typical dance show at the best viewpoint in San José: $99
  • City Tour + Dinner at the best viewpoint of San José: $149
  • Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner: $179

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro $33
    San Jose $21

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: $204
  • 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: $75
  • Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye: $93
  • 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
  • Hol Chan Full-Day Bucket List Snorkeling and Marine Life Tour: $105
  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve Snorkel Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat: $89

Tours and Activities in San Jose

For San Jose, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Entrance Ticket to the Farm of Hacienda Orosi: $11
  • Entrance ticket to the Hacienda Orosi: $21
  • Hiking Experience in El Quetzal Private Reserve: $26
  • Hacienda Alsacia Starbucks Coffe Tour: $31
  • San Jose Walking Nature Tour: Sloths, Birds and Trees: $33
  • 2-Hour Orosi Nocturnal Tour: $33
  • San Jose Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $35
  • Historical Tour and Old Houses by Dota: $35
  • Skip the Line: Rescate Wildlife Rescue Centre General Admission Ticket: $35
  • San Jose ART Walking Tour - small groups, creative experience: $35
  • Corso Lecheria Tour: $40
  • A taste of Aquiares - 2 hours Coffee Tour: $42

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro $16
    San Jose $16

Sample the Local Flavors in San Jose

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in San Jose:

  • Bar Crawl in Downtown San Jose: $34
  • Bar Crawl in San Jose in a Deluxe Party Bus: $65
  • Wine Tour and Tasting: $85


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

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 San Jose Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, San Pedro or San Jose?

San Jose has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of San Pedro. When comparing the sizes of San Pedro and San Jose, 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.


When is the best time to visit San Pedro or San Jose?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit San Pedro or San Jose in the Summer?

Both San Jose and San Pedro during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to San Pedro because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to San Jose year-round.

San Jose gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in San Pedro. San Pedro usually gets more rain in July than San Jose. San Pedro gets 243 mm (9.6 in) of rain, while San Jose receives 164 mm (6.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

It's quite sunny in San Pedro. In the summer, San Pedro often gets more sunshine than San Jose. San Pedro gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Jose receives 164 hours of full sun.

In July, San Pedro is generally around the same temperature as San Jose. Daily temperatures in San Pedro average around 28°C (82°F), and San Jose fluctuates around 28°C (82°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Pedro 28°C (82°F) 
    San Jose 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit San Pedro or San Jose in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both San Pedro and San Jose. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to San Pedro year-round. San Jose attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

San Jose receives a lot of rain in the autumn. San Pedro gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, San Pedro usually receives around the same amount of rain as San Jose. San Pedro gets 255 mm (10 in) of rain, while San Jose receives 254 mm (10 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

San Pedro usually receives more sunshine than San Jose during autumn. San Pedro gets 196 hours of sunny skies, while San Jose receives 169 hours of full sun in the autumn.

San Pedro is around the same temperature as San Jose in the autumn. The daily temperature in San Pedro averages around 26°C (80°F) in October, and San Jose fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Pedro 26°C (80°F) 
    San Jose 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Pedro or San Jose in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to San Pedro as well as San Jose. San Pedro attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to San Jose throughout the year.

San Pedro receives a lot of rain in the winter. San Pedro usually gets more rain in January than San Jose. San Pedro gets 138 mm (5.4 in) of rain, while San Jose receives 8 mm (0.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Jose. In the winter, San Pedro often gets less sunshine than San Jose. San Pedro gets 199 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Jose receives 264 hours of full sun.

In the winter, San Pedro is cooler than San Jose. Typically, the winter temperatures in San Pedro in January average around 24°C (74°F), and San Jose averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Pedro 24°C (74°F) 
    San Jose 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit San Pedro or San Jose in the Spring?

Both San Jose and San Pedro are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to San Pedro throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to San Jose because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In April, San Pedro usually receives more rain than San Jose. San Pedro gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while San Jose receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

It's quite sunny in San Jose. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Pedro. San Pedro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as San Jose during spring. San Pedro gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while San Jose receives 255 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, San Pedro is generally around the same temperature as San Jose. Daily temperatures in San Pedro average around 27°C (80°F), and San Jose fluctuates around 29°C (85°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Pedro 27°C (80°F) 
    San Jose 29°C (85°F)

Typical Weather for San Jose and San Pedro

San Pedro San Jose
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 24°C (74°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Feb 24°C (76°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 28°C (83°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 25 mm (1 in) 29°C (84°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Apr 27°C (80°F) 52 mm (2 in) 29°C (85°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
May 28°C (82°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 29°C (83°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jun 28°C (82°F) 258 mm (10.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 226 mm (8.9 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 243 mm (9.6 in) 28°C (82°F) 164 mm (6.5 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 187 mm (7.4 in) 26°C (79°F) 289 mm (11.4 in)
Sep 28°C (82°F) 287 mm (11.3 in) 28°C (82°F) 328 mm (12.9 in)
Oct 26°C (80°F) 255 mm (10 in) 27°C (81°F) 254 mm (10 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 183 mm (7.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Dec 25°C (76°F) 138 mm (5.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)