Cost of Living in Costa Rica

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cost of living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a picturesque Central American nation known for its lush rainforests and stunning coastlines, offers a unique and vibrant cost of living. While the cost of living in Costa Rica is generally lower than in many Western countries, it can vary significantly depending on the region and lifestyle choices. With its affordable housing options, reasonably priced food, and accessible healthcare, expatriates and retirees often find Costa Rica an attractive destination. However, certain urban areas and tourist hotspots may have higher costs. The country’s diverse landscape and warm climate make it an enticing choice for those seeking a more affordable yet enriching lifestyle. Let’s get into the specifics through this article. 

Why Choose Costa Rica?

Choosing Costa Rica offers a plethora of compelling reasons. Renowned for its ecological diversity and commitment to sustainability, Costa Rica beckons nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. From stunning beaches to lush rainforests teeming with wildlife, the country is a paradise for eco-tourism. Its warm and welcoming culture, coupled with excellent healthcare and affordable cost of living, makes it an ideal destination for retirees and expatriates. Whether seeking a tranquil retirement haven or an enriching experience in a breathtaking environment, Costa Rica stands out as an exceptional choice.

Also Read: Top Scholarships for International Students to Study in Costa Rica


Here are the expenses of restaurants in Costa Rica:

RestaurantsPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)4,820.56 4,000.00-5,356.17
Water (0.33 litre bottle)833.91 600.00-1,300.00
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)1,007.34 750.00-1,606.85
Cappuccino (regular)1,695.32 1,000.00-3,000.00
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant5,000.00 3,200.00-10,000.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course30,000.0016,000.00-50,000.00


The table displays the prices of various items found in markets, along with their respective price ranges:

MarketsPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Potato (1kg)1,278.48 600.00-2,142.47
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)1,210.57 500.00-2,500.00
Banana (1kg)779.97 500.00-1,500.00
Eggs (regular) (12)1,614.55900.00-2,800.00
Local Cheese (1kg)3,958.382,000.00-8,000.00
Chicken Fillets (1kg)4,317.33 2,000.00-7,000.00
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)6,050.96 3,500.00-9,000.00
Apples (1kg)2,177.65 932.86-4,000.00
Milk (regular), (1 litre)940.55 554.76-1,250.00
Oranges (1kg)1,347.66 535.62-3,200.00
Tomato (1kg)1,196.64 600.00-2,204.62
Rice (white), (1kg)1,054.20 620.00-1,550.00
Onion (1kg)1,258.74 700.00-2,000.00
Lettuce (1 head)519.74 300.00-1,000.00
Water (1.5 litre bottle)1,168.17 650.00-2,000.00


Here is the table displaying the transportation options with their respective prices and price ranges in a shuffled order:

TransportationPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)15,879,927.42 15,000,000.00-18,000,000.00
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)16,073,000.00 13,000,000.00-19,000,000.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)500.00 350.00-600.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)750.00 600.00-1,071.23
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)20,800.00 13,000.00-34,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)725.00 600.00-1,000.00
Gasoline (1 litre)808.51 640.00-1,033.74
Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)3,500.002,980.00-5,000.00

Utilities (Monthly)

The table displays the monthly utility costs:

Utilities (Monthly)Price (CRC)Range (CRC)
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data10,800.00 10,000.00-15,000.00
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment40,472.49 22,000.00-100,000.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)26,684.76 20,000.00-35,000.00

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Sports and Leisure

Here are the approximate cost of sports and leisure:

Sports And LeisurePrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat3,500.00 3,000.00-5,000.00
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult27,281.53 15,000.00-53,561.74
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)17,718.57 10,000.00-30,000.00


The cost of childcare in Costa Rica:

ChildcarePrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child4,454,235.08 3,000,000.00-7,200,000.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child210,297.52 130,000.00-360,000.00

Clothing and Shoes

Clothing and Shoes expenses are given below in the table:

Clothing And ShoesPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)38,348.56 20,000.00-54,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes50,379.07 30,000.00-80,342.61
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)59,232.20 37,000.00-95,000.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)26,020.67 15,000.00-40,171.31

Also Read: Cost of Studying in USA

Rent Per Month

The approximate price of rent per month in Costa Rica are given below:

Rent Per MonthPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre310,914.65 200,000.00-650,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre213,037.35 150,000.00-350,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre579,441.19 350,000.00-1,000,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre419,313.59 270,000.00-820,000.00

Apartment Price

Apartment prices in Costa Rica are given in the table:

Buy Apartment PricePrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Price per Square Metre to Buy an Apartment Outside of Centre1,021,651.66 600,000.00-1,710,000.00
Price per Square Metre to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre689,913.67 477,086.83-1,138,200.00

Salaries and Financing

The Salaries and Financing on the Cost of Living in Costa Rica:

Salaries And FinancingPrice (CRC)Range (CRC)
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)469,009.81 
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate9.567.00-12.00

Cost of Living in Costa Rica can be both affordable and rewarding, attracting individuals seeking a diverse and enriching lifestyle. With its picturesque landscapes, warm culture, and relatively lower expenses, the country stands as an appealing destination for expatriates and retirees alike. While variations exist based on location and personal choices, the overall balance of accessible amenities, natural beauty, and affordable living make Costa Rica a compelling choice for those in search of a unique and fulfilling experience.


Q1. Is the cost of living in Costa Rica significantly lower than in Western countries?

A. Yes, overall, the cost of living in Costa Rica is often lower compared to many Western countries. However, it can vary based on the region and lifestyle choices.

Q2. What are some factors that contribute to the affordable cost of living in Costa Rica?

A. Factors such as affordable housing options, reasonably priced food, and accessible health care contribute to the country’s relatively lower cost of living.

Q3. Are there specific areas in Costa Rica with higher living costs?

A. Yes, certain urban areas and popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica may have higher living costs due to increased demand and amenities catering to tourists.

Q4. Is Costa Rica a popular destination for retirees and expatriates seeking an affordable yet enriching lifestyle?

A. Yes, Costa Rica is a popular choice for retirees and expatriates due to its warm climate, ecological diversity, welcoming culture, and the opportunity to lead an affordable and fulfilling life.

This concludes the information regarding the Cost of Living in Costa Rica. If you have further questions or need assistance with your study abroad journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts at Leverage Edu. We are here to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience for you.

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