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Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on May 09, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of San Jose, Costa Rica is around 300,000 people. People describe San Jose as a vibrant city with a mix of modern and colonial architecture, a bustling nightlife, and plenty of cultural attractions. Expats love the city's laid-back atmosphere, its proximity to the beach, and its affordability. The weather in San Jose is generally warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (18-30 Celsius). The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500-$2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $500-$700 per month, and a two bedroom apartment is around $700-$1,000 per month.

William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

What do I need to know about living in San Jose?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to San Jose, they said:

"1. Expats should research local real estate options and associated costs to find a suitable retirement home. 2. It is recommended to learn at least some basic Spanish, particularly if travelling within the country. 3. Living costs in San Jose can be higher than other parts of the country and expats should check their budget before relocating. 4. Even though the climate is generally pleasant in Costa Rica, some expats may find the weather too humid or the rainy season to be inconvenient. 5. Healthcare in Costa Rica is generally of a high standard, though expats should consider taking out private healthcare for more comprehensive cover. 6. The culture in Costa Rica is diverse and friendly, and there are plenty of social activities to enjoy during retirement. 7. The government has a number of regulations in place to ensure the safety of expats and provide support to those coming to the country," said one expat who made the move to San Jose, Costa Rica.

"Come and see for yourself before you make a commitment to moving here. There is a lot of hype about Costa Rica being a paradise, a cheap place to live or retire, and a safe place because it eliminated its army in 1948. The reality is that San Jose has a high crime rate, the iron grates on all of the houses and businesses can be off-putting - as can the security guards with loaded riffles - and it isn't a cheap place to live. Food, utilities and rent in certain areas of the city are quite high especially for a developing nation. Other issues in San Jose: air pollution from cars is pretty bad; noise pollution gets on your nerves after a while; it isn't safe to walk outside in the late evening or night; the streets, sidewalks and highways are in terrible shape; and government monopolies make it near impossible to get a cell phone and makes renting cars super-expensive because of the mandatory insurance. People must visit and spend a few weeks talking to people before deciding to move here," explained one expat living in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica Legal Residency is an articulately bi-lingual boutique firm with 15 + years of successful experience and exclusive focus on Costa Rica Temporary and Permanent Residency, Renewals, Digital Nomad, and Citizenship. Located minutes from the Department of Immigration.
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

What do I need to know before moving to San Jose?

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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.

Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

Immigration Help Costa Rica
Immigration Help Costa Rica

Costa Rica Legal Residency is a bi-lingual boutique firm with 15 + years of successful experience on Residency, Renewals, Digital Nomad, and Citizenship.
Learn More

Immigration Help Costa RicaImmigration Help Costa Rica

Costa Rica Legal Residency is a bi-lingual boutique firm with 15 + years of successful experience on Residency, Renewals, Digital Nomad, and Citizenship.
Learn More

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