The Ultimate Guide to the Cost Of Living in Costa Rica

Are you an expat planning your next move to Costa Rica? Your decision is not complete without finding out if you can keep up with the cost of living in Costa Rica. Maybe someone told you of the low-cost of living in Central America – Costa Rica to be precise. Read on to know if you should complete your preparation or retrace your steps.

The below points are a summary of the cost of living in Costa Rica.

  • Price Of Houses: The cost of renting a house in this country is affordable, but be expecting an increase in price when you want to move closer to the country’s capital, San Jose.
  • Cost Of Food in Costa Rica: Since many of their locals are farmers, their food is affordable and always fresh.
  • Schooling: There are a lot of quality private schools, but they are all expensive too. Even with the high cost, studying in Costa Rica is worth the price.

costa rica cost of living

For a long time now, Costa Rica stands out in Central America as a good choice for retirees and foreigners from every part of the world. Not just any country, people from North America is even turning every city in this country to their new home.

But don’t blame people that are rushing to have a taste of Costa Rica. In this side of the world, getting a residence permit is as easy as ABC. Multinational companies can testify to the favorable conditions of producing in this country. To crown it all – if nature is God then His dwelling place is Costa Rica. It’s always pleasant weather all the way – from the start of the year until the end.

No one can claim to have it all. In some parts of the country, the cost of living is something you can afford while in some parts it is far from that. But Costa Rica is like America – it is a home for all. Everyone must not live in the costly San Jose. Life is an adventure, but you can create a home for yourself in this place by adjusting your lifestyle and adapting to the lives of the locals. Doing this will increase your experience as a foreigner and put more in your pocket.

Here are some of the factors to keep in mind regarding the cost of living in Costa Rica.

1- Low-cost And High-cost Houses

You will always have a taste of what you sow and get the value of what you give. Things are the same everywhere you go. The money you can afford determines the level of luxury that you will get. With $2000 per month, you can live comfortably in a 3-bedroom apartment, or you can get a furnished loft for only $1,100. The above prices are the cost of renting a house in one of those upscale, posh, and expensive tourist-heavy cities and neighborhoods in the Central Valley or along the coast. It is somehow costly, but the environments are secure with enjoyable fun amenities like lawn tennis courts and clean swimming pools – among other things.

Those posh cities are not the only nice place in Costa Rica. What will you gain if you are living in luxury and your money is going much further? Have a rethink because almost everywhere in this country has a decent place where you can even pay a lot less. It is not unheard of if you go farther from San Jose and the likes – where you can rent a house for as low as $700.

2- Local Meals Are Affordable

What is your favorite local dish? Just name it – is it a fresh food from the farm, meats of all kinds, or prepared food? No need to fasten your belt – you are longer on a plane, you are about to download an uploaded plate of food. Just go to one of their sodas (fast food joints), and with as little as 3-7 USD, they will serve that dish just the way you like it.

Places like Maxi Bodega is one of the popular supermarkets in Costa Rica where you can buy anything you want – just that their goods are pricey. But to get the best deal, go to the local markets, get what you need. Then go back and prepare a good home-cooked meal.

3- Abundance Of Schools

As far back as 1948, Costa Rica stopped funding its military and channeled the money to develop its education system. A bold move indeed. Since then they have achieved a 96% literacy rate with their free compulsory public education which makes them the best in that region.

They have many public schools as well as many quality private schools. But their private schools are far from being cheap. Apart from the matriculation fee, boarding fee, and bus services fee, their tuition fee range from somewhere between $300 to $1,000 each month.

Have you ever compared the cost of living in Costa Rica versus the USA? There are similarities and exceptions. So let’s weigh both countries.

Cost Of Living In Costa Rica Versus the USA

1- Middle Class

It is more expensive to maintain the cost of living as a middle-class citizen or foreigner in Costa Rica than in the US. But apart from a few changes here and there, the difference between maintaining the same cost of living in both countries is not much.

2- Cost Of Luxury

The cost of living in one of those Costa Rican cities is less expensive than the cost of living in American cities like Miami, Malibu, or Oahu. In Costa Rica, buying a beach view home with a guest house, good lot, gated access, and a swimming pool will cost you approximately a million dollars. But it is higher when you want to buy one of such homes in the US. But the two prices shouldn’t confuse you or cause you to change your mind about a decision you are about to take. The quality you will get in both countries has nothing in common. The USA has a quality standard in almost everything they offer.

If You Can Afford It, Then It’s Yours

Your Costa Rica trip depends on what you make of it. Your lifestyle will determine if it will be an expensive trip or an affordable one. But most American expats prefer Costa Rica because they spend don’t spend as much as they spend at home. In Costa Rica, you can enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle, buy a beautiful home on one of the beaches and still have enough bucks to live like a mayor.

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