Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is the cost of living in Costa Rica? Hear what expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Costa Rica have to say about the cost of housing, health insurance and general living costs.

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Is the cost of living in Costa Rica high?

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Costa Rica, they wrote:

"Depends where you live and how you live. A friend in Palmares lives on $970 a month, including rent, vehicle, food, utilities and regional travel. Others live in Escazu in the high cost areas. We live in San Ramon and get by well in a nice place on less than$2000 a month, including yard guy, and maid for 12 hours a month! Depends on you," explained one expat living in Costa Rica.

"This is probably the number one question that people ask. Honestly, there is no "correct" answer to this because everyone has different needs. All I can say is Costa Rica is NOT as cheap as it used to be. It is one of the more expensive destinations but it is still much cheaper than the US. Housing, taxes, maid service, drivers, medical...these items are significantly less. Food, utilities, gasoline, dining out....can be close to US prices in an affordable city. Shopping at the "feria" for produce is your best bet for keeping costs very low," said another expat in Escazu.

"In Costa Rica, this is a difficult question as there are many different communities, some more popular with expats and others more with a local feel. You will certainly live comfortably at $2,000 per month. If you are renting, consider adding more to this amount. Again lifestyle is important to consider. High end dining and shopping, live concerts will be more expensive. Consider also these activities may not appeal to you upon retirement," added another person living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

"Depends on lifestyle. I eat all my meals in restaurants, go to coffee shops, have a big social life and go on a lot of dates, I travel every month. My expense including all this are around $3500/mo," explained one expat living in San Jose.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Montezuma, Costa Rica
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