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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Puerto Viejo 2024
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Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast


Cost of Living in Puerto Viejo

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Puerto Viejo helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Category Cost
Apartment Rentals Rental prices in Puerto Viejo can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the property. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $400 to $600 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment can range from $800 to $1,200 per month.
Apartment Purchases Buying an apartment in Puerto Viejo can be quite expensive. The price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can start from $100,000 and go up to $200,000 or more. A three-bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000.
Transportation Public transportation in Puerto Viejo is relatively cheap. A one-way ticket on local transport can cost around $1. A monthly pass can cost around $30. Taxis start at around $2, with an additional $1 per kilometer. Gasoline costs around $1 per liter.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Puerto Viejo is relatively low compared to many other places. A liter of milk costs around $1.50, a loaf of bread is around $2, a dozen eggs is around $2.50, and a kilogram of local cheese is around $5. Fruits and vegetables are also quite cheap, with a kilogram of apples or bananas costing around $1.50.
Restaurants A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Puerto Viejo can cost around $6 to $10. A three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $30 to $50. A regular cappuccino costs around $2.50.
Utilities Basic utilities for an apartment (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) can cost around $60 to $100 per month. Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) can cost around $50 to $70 per month.
Private School Tuition Private school tuition can vary greatly depending on the school. Preschool (or kindergarten) can cost around $300 to $500 per month. Elementary school can cost around $400 to $600 per month. Middle school and high school can cost around $500 to $800 per month. These prices include tuition, books, and other fees, but do not include uniforms, transportation, or extracurricular activities.
Please note that these are average prices and actual costs may vary. Prices are also subject to change due to inflation and other economic factors. It's always a good idea to do your own research and contact local real estate agents, schools, and service providers for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Puerto Viejo

"The cost of living in Puerto Viejo, is relatively affordable compared to many Western countries. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be quite economical, while outside the city center, it can be even cheaper. The cost of utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage is also quite reasonable. Groceries in Puerto Viejo can be inexpensive, with local markets offering fresh produce at lower prices. Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant is also quite affordable, while a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant can be a bit more expensive. Public transportation in Puerto Viejo is quite cheap, with a one-way ticket on local transport being very affordable. However, owning and maintaining a car can be more expensive due to the cost of gasoline and car maintenance. Healthcare in Puerto Viejo is also quite affordable, especially when compared to costs in the United States. However, it's important to note that the cost of living can vary greatly depending on lifestyle and personal spending habits. In general, while Puerto Viejo is one of the more affordable places to live in Costa Rica, it's still more expensive than other Central American countries. However, its natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle, and friendly community make it a popular choice for expats and retirees," said one expat living in Puerto Viejo.

Can I live in Puerto Viejo on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Puerto Viejo for a few years now and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but it does require some adjustments. The cost of living here is generally lower than in the US or Europe, but it's not dirt cheap. You'll need to be mindful of your spending, especially when it comes to non-essential items and activities. For housing, I'd recommend looking at neighborhoods like Playa Negra or Cocles. They're a bit more affordable than the town center, but still close enough to enjoy all the amenities. You can find a decent 1 or 2 bedroom house in these areas for around $500-$700 a month. On the other hand, areas like Punta Uva and Manzanillo tend to be more expensive, so you might want to avoid those if you're on a tight budget.When it comes to food, local markets and supermarkets are your best bet. Eating out can be quite expensive, especially in touristy areas. I usually spend around $300 a month on groceries, but I cook most of my meals at home. If you prefer eating out, you'll need to budget more for this.Utilities like electricity and water are relatively cheap, usually around $50-$100 a month depending on usage. Internet is a bit more expensive, around $70 a month for a decent connection. Transportation is another area where you can save. Public buses are cheap and reliable, and you can get a bicycle for local commuting. If you want to have a car, keep in mind that gas is quite expensive here.As for healthcare, it's affordable and of good quality. You can join the public healthcare system for a small monthly fee, or get private insurance if you prefer. In terms of sacrifices, you might have to give up some of the luxuries you're used to. For example, imported goods are quite expensive here, so you'll need to adapt to local products. Also, while there are many modern amenities, they might not be up to the standard you're used to. For example, internet can be slow and unreliable, and power outages are not uncommon.But overall, I've found that the benefits of living here far outweigh the sacrifices. The laid-back lifestyle, beautiful surroundings, and friendly locals make it a great place to live. Just be prepared to adjust your lifestyle and spending habits, and you'll be able to live comfortably on $1,500 a month," commented an expat living in Puerto Viejo.

Can I live in Puerto Viejo on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Puerto Viejo for a few years now and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make a few sacrifices. For instance, you might not be able to dine out at high-end restaurants every night or live in the most luxurious neighborhoods. But, if you're willing to live a bit more modestly, you can definitely make it work. The cost of living here is relatively low compared to many places in the U.S. or Europe. You can rent a decent house or apartment for around $500 to $1,000 a month. The more expensive rentals are usually in the more touristy areas like Playa Chiquita or Punta Uva. These areas are beautiful, but they can be a bit pricey. If you're looking to save money, I'd recommend looking at neighborhoods like Cocles or Playa Negra. They're still close to the beach and have a great community vibe, but the cost of living is a bit lower.Groceries can be quite affordable too, especially if you shop at the local markets. You can get fresh fruits, vegetables, and other staples for a fraction of what you'd pay back home. Eating out can be affordable too, if you stick to the local sodas (small restaurants) instead of the more upscale tourist spots.As for utilities, electricity can be a bit expensive, especially if you're using air conditioning. But if you can get by with fans, you can save a lot. Internet and cable TV are reasonably priced, and you can get a good cell phone plan for around $20 a month.Transportation is another area where you can save. Owning a car can be expensive due to the high import taxes, but public transportation is cheap and reliable. You can also rent a bike for around $10 a day, which is a great way to get around town.In terms of sacrifices, you might have to give up some of the conveniences you're used to. For instance, you won't find many big-box stores here, so you might have to adjust your shopping habits. And while healthcare is affordable and generally good, you might not have access to the same level of medical care as you would in a larger city.But overall, I've found that the benefits of living here far outweigh the sacrifices. The laid-back lifestyle, the beautiful surroundings, and the friendly community make it a great place to live. And on a budget of $3,000 a month, you can definitely live comfortably," said one expat living in Puerto Viejo.

Can I live in Puerto Viejo on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Puerto Viejo for a few years now and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make a few sacrifices. For instance, while you can find places with high-speed internet, it's not as reliable as you might be used to. Power outages can also be a bit more common than in more developed countries. As for housing, you can find a nice place to live for around $1,000 a month. The neighborhoods of Playa Negra and Cocles are quite affordable and still offer a good quality of life. They're close to the beach and have a good mix of locals and expats. On the other hand, neighborhoods like Punta Uva and Manzanillo can be a bit more expensive, so you might want to avoid those if you're on a tighter budget. Eating out can be quite affordable if you stick to local sodas (small restaurants) and avoid the more touristy places. Groceries can be a bit more expensive than you're used to, especially for imported goods. But if you stick to local produce, it's quite affordable. As for transportation, owning a car can be expensive due to high import taxes. But you can get around quite easily with a bicycle or a scooter, or by using local buses. Healthcare is quite affordable and of good quality, especially if you join the local healthcare system (the Caja). All in all, while you might have to adjust your lifestyle a bit, I think you'll find that you can live quite comfortably on $5,000 a month in Puerto Viejo," commented an expat living in Puerto Viejo.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

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