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Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica
Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica
Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

Cost of Living in San Jose, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

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

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Is the cost of living in San Jose high?

Live in San Jose? Answer this Question

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in San Jose, they wrote:

"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," remarked another expat in San Jose.

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Will I save money living in San Jose?

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"No! Costa Rica is far more expensive than I thought. I eat out a lot and most of the time the prices are equivalent to US. You can eat for less at sodas and the market, which I do. Buses are a bargain, but cabs cost far more than any other major city in the region: Guatemala, Managua, San Pedro. Also, since everything is exported, prices for shampoos, soaps, tooth paste, razor blades, and things of that nature are much higher than the U.S. Also, my rent is much higher than anticipated," added another person living in San Jose.

What is the average cost of housing in San Jose?

Live in San Jose? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to San Jose, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Cheaper, undoubtedly. Unless you want to live in the most expensive/foreign-overrun areas of the country or unless you insist on staying in the same level of housing that you stay in back in the states. Costa Rica is not the USA. It's Costa Rica. Learn to live more simply, you probably won't miss it in the long run," explained one expat living in San Jose.

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Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Learn MoreGet a Quote

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.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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Get a Quote

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Chinatown in San Jose, Costa Rica

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

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Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in San Jose.

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An index of all of our site's San Jose information.

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The majority of expats in San Jose, actually choose to live not in the city, but outside of it. There are great options in the surrounding area, including places that are closer to the coast than San Jose.

Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Costa Rica on our Costa Rica forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Costa Rica Network Contribute
Help others in Costa Rica by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Costa Rica.

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Expats in Costa Rica offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Costa Rica.

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