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What is the cost of living in Costa Rica

Many people ask the question “What is the cost of living in Costa Rica?” when deciding on whether or not moving there is the right choice for them. To answer the question about what it costs to live in Costa Rica, you must first ask yourself what items and services are important for you, and what lifestyle you want to have when you move to Costa Rica.

Some people move to Costa Rica to get away from the rat race of their home country. Others move to slow down a bit and enjoy their years of retirement in the laid back culture of Costa Rica, while others move to Costa Rica for business ventures. The reason you are moving to Costa Rica will be the main factor is what the cost of living in Costa Rica is for you.

For one person to live comfortably in Costa Rica, $1,000 per month will cover basic costs and allow you to eat out and go out a few times. If you are someone who likes to eat out more often, go to the movies, to the theater, or participate in outings like kayaking or zip lining, you will find your cost of living to be higher, maybe even up to $3,000 per month. If you have a family, another factor that can affect what the cost of living will be for you is whether or not you send your child to a private school.

If your child does attend private school in Costa Rica, this will be an additional cost each month, the range is typically $300 to $1000 per month. If you send your child to public school, you will not have an additional cost of living as public school in Costa Rica is free. Another thing that can affect what your cost of living will be in Costa Rica is if you decide to own a car. Cars are more expensive in Costa Rica and car parts can be costly. The balance is that labor for mechanics is often much cheaper than labor costs in the United States, Canada, or parts of Europe.

Other services in Costa Rica are much cheaper, like paying for housekeeping or gardening services. These services usually cost $2-$3 per hour; so many people that move to Costa Rica are able to afford these services. Rent may be cheaper in Costa Rica, or you may find it similar to where you live now, depending on where that is. A furnished house can range from $200 to $3,000 per month so your cost of living will change greatly depending on what type of house you choose to rent and in what area of the country you live.

Certain services, like internet, cost about the same in Costa Rica as they do in the United States, roughly $30 per month. Cell phones on the other hand, are much cheaper in Costa Rica with monthly charges from $30 to $70 per month with 3G data plan, compared to the United States where cell phones can be $60 to $120 per month. Deciding on whether or not you need internet, cable TV, or other amenities will help you figure out what the cost of living in Costa Rica will be like for you.

Most likely, by moving to Costa Rica, your cost of living will drop lower than what it currently is in your home country. What the cost of living in Costa Rica will be for you will depend on what type of lifestyle you choose to life, but you will find Costa Rica to be reasonably priced, if not cheap. And keep in mind, the natural beauty of the country, the beaches and the mountains are free, so if you are worried about what the cost of living in Costa Rica will be, just think about all the wonderful free perks of living in paradise.  Please contact us with any questions on what to expect for costs here in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Cost of Living

The Costa Rica cost of living is as varied as the people who choose to live in Costa Rica. With a stable economy, a well-employed and well-educated populace, and a steady stream of tourism, Costa Rica offers a wide variety of activities and life-style choices. Whether you choose to live in the San Jose area, or in one of the more remote regions of the country, you will find there is a range of Costa Rica’s cost of living.

If you live in the area surrounding San Jose, you may have a car, which will add to your cost of living. Gasoline prices are regulated by the government, and as such, the cost of gasoline is standard throughout the country. This makes it easy to fill up your gas tank, as you do not have to search for the cheapest gas station. The cost of gasoline is a bit more than the average price of gasoline in the United States. The cost of a gallon of gas is about $5.45. Driving a car in Costa Rica will add to your Costa Rica cost of living.

Other things in Costa Rica are much, much cheaper than in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe. Public transportation is very cheap with local bus rides costing $1.00 or less. Housekeeping and gardening services are usually $2.00 to $3.00 per hour, so many people that move to Costa Rica end up enjoying some services that they would never have been able to afford in their home country.

Many people that move to Costa Rica and enjoy a simpler life outside of the San Jose area can keep their cost of living down to about $800 to $1,000 per month per person. Others, who live in the more metropolitan areas and enjoy the finer things, like buying imported food and wine, and eat out more frequently, can spend as much as $3,000 per month per person.

The cost of living in Costa Rica will depend on where in the country you decide to live as rent prices vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and also region to region. You may be able to find a furnished apartment or 1-bedroom house for as low as $200 per month, or if you like you can rent very nice, large houses for $2000 to $3,000 per month. The Costa Rica cost of living will be dependent on where you choose to live and how you choose to live.  The Send me South team can help you find just the perfect house for you based on your budget.

If you shop at your local farmers market, you will find that $20-$40 worth of fruits and vegetables can feed a small family for the week. By shopping at larger grocery stores and buying more imported goods, you could easily spend $200 per week on groceries.

The Costa Rica cost of living will be different for each person who decides to move to Costa Rica. One of the great things about Costa Rica is the variety of people who have here, adding their own cultures and customs to this already vibrant country. As such, there are a wide range of lifestyle choices and accommodations for all those who wish to move to Costa Rica. Your cost of living in Costa Rica can be as low or as high as you want it to be, based on the style of life you choose to live.  Please feel free to contact us if you have more specific questions on costs or need help planning your move to Costa Rica.

Cost of living in Costa Rica

Depending on where you live now, you may be pleasantly surprised to find the cost of living in Costa Rica to be much lower than your current cost of living at home. While some items may cost the same, like gasoline, and some may even cost more, like certain imported goods such as sunscreen, overall, the cost of living in Costa Rica is less than the United States and parts of Europe.

Your monthly expenses in Costa Rica will depend on your tastes and the lifestyle you choose to live. Costa Rica has a stable economy and many Costa Ricans are very affluent. As such, there are many high-end resorts, restaurants, and spas where you can easily spend a lot of money. Of course, you may decide to treat yourself to some of the finer things in life once in a while, but rest assured, the cost of living in Costa Rica can be as low or high as you wish it to be.

Going out to eat at a moderately priced restaurant, you will find that meals range from set lunches for about $3.00, to dinners of chicken, beef, or fresh seafood for $7.00-15.00 per plate. Domestic beer, mainly Imperial or Pilsen, costs $2.00 to $4.00 depending on the style and location of the bar or restaurant you are in. If you choose to eat at restaurants that are geared towards attracting tourists, you may find the prices higher than if you patronize restaurants that are more catered towards locals.

Grocery shopping can get expensive if you are purchasing imported food. But, if you choose to shop locally and purchase fruits and vegetables from your community, you will find food to be quite affordable. Avocados are usually $1.00 each; mangos and pineapples are usually less than a dollar. Coconuts and bananas are even cheaper. By buying local cheese and bread, and looking for products made in Costa Rica, you will find that grocery shopping can be much cheaper than back home.

Your cost of living in Costa Rica will also depend on which region of the country you live in, as this will determine how expensive your rent is each month. If you choose to live in the San Jose area, you may find rent to be higher than if you were to live on the Caribbean coast or somewhere on the Pacific side. Rent can range from as low as $200 per month for a 1-bedroom house, up to $3,000 per month for a 3 or 4-bedroom house.

Depending on where you live and what sort of lifestyle you like to live, you will find that the cost to live in Costa Rica will be up to you. $1,000 per month per person is a good starting point to live comfortably in Costa Rica. If you are someone who likes to eat out a lot and enjoys going out to bars or movies, you may want to plan on spending a bit more money. If you enjoy other activities, such as yoga or golf, this will also add to your cost of living in Costa Rica.

Only you know what is important for you to be happy in your day to day life and routine. Figuring what items and activities you enjoy will help you figure out what your cost of living will be in Costa Rica.  Please feel free to contact us, if you would like to ask more specific questions.

Where to live in Costa Rica

There are many factors to consider when deciding where to live in Costa Rica. While it is a small country, with a population of just over 4 million people, and land area about the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica has 12 microclimates, two coastlines, both the Caribbean and the Pacific, mountains, volcanoes, cloud forests and rain forests. As such, you will want to put some thought into where you want to live in Costa Rica. The climate, the cost, and the infrastructure and services available in an area are some of the main points to consider when deciding where to live in Costa Rica.

When people think of Costa Rica, they think tropical paradise, and this is mainly true. But, while there are many hot, humid, lush parts of the country, there is also a lot of variety in weather and terrain. Believe it or not, it’s not just one big jungle! Along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, temperatures run hotter throughout the year than they do in the Central Valley or mountainous regions of the interior of the country. In the cloud forest region of Monteverde, you may even find yourself needing warm clothing as the nights, and some days, can be quite cool. Even if you are along one of the coasts where it is warmer, the rainy season can still bring cool days and evenings, with no sun and dampness for days at a time. The Atlantic slope, which runs all along the Eastern side of the country and boarders the Caribbean Sea, sees more rainfall annually than any other part of the country. If you don’t like rain, but want to be by the beach, the Pacific might be the right place for you. The temperatures can be quite hot along the Pacific coast with a dry period of up to six months out of the year. You’ll need to ask yourself if you want to live somewhere with more or less rain, hotter or cooler average temperatures.

Next, consider the costs of the different parts of the country. Towns and cities that see more tourism tend to have higher costs for food, drinks, and activities. Renting or purchasing a house or apartment will cost more or less depending on the demand and availability of housing options in a given region. When deciding on where to live in Costa Rica, think about how much money you are planning on spending each month for living costs. More affluent neighborhoods in the San Jose area will have higher housing costs than more remote parts of the country. On the flip side, more remote areas of the country will have higher costs for goods being delivered. Groceries, car parts, and medicine can all be costly if they have to be driven in from San Jose.

Infrastructure is the next thing to consider when deciding where to live in Costa Rica. If you are moving to Costa Rica for work, this will determine where you live. If you have children that need to attend school in Costa Rica, finding a place to live with a school that fits your child’s needs will be an important factor in choosing where to live. Having a hospital or clinic nearby may be more or less important to you based on your health needs and conditions. Also, think about what amenities and activities are important to you. If you like to do yoga, golf, go to the movies or the theater, you will want to find a place to live that offers these services. Think about how far you are willing to travel to do simple errands like go grocery shopping, do your banking, or see a doctor. These factors are all very important when deciding where to live in Costa Rica.

While Costa Rica is a stable country with great education and healthcare systems, there are many parts of the country that have a very “off the grid” feel and location to them. Take some to think how removed from the hustle and bustle of city life you want to be. If you are moving to Costa Rica to “get away from it all”, you might want to be further from San Jose, but this means being further from certain things you might be used to. Living in more secluded parts of the country can be very enjoyable and is appealing to many people, but be sure you are prepared to do without certain amenities and services within close proximity.

Wherever you decide to live in Costa Rica, you will find the country welcoming, exciting, and beautiful. Before you start searching for your desired location, take some time to consider the climate, costs, and infrastructures of each region of the country. Once you have a good idea of the region of the country you want to live in, you can begin the process of looking for housing options in your dream location. Ask us about the Send me South scouting trips and orientation tours.

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