Cost of living in Costa Rica

Are you moving to Costa Rica? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₡ 4,564
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) ₡ 3,857
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₡ 2,373
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₡ 820
12 eggs, large ₡ 1,758
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₡ 1,291
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₡ 3,644
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₡ 2,664
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₡ 1,028
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₡ 911
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₡ 7,729
2 liters of Coca-Cola ₡ 1,443
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₡ 708
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area ₡ 746,201
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area ₡ 244,609
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₡ 65,737
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area ₡ 654,422
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area ₡ 342,587
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio ₡ 65,586
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) ₡ 21,618
40” flat screen TV ₡ 288,323
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) ₡ 50,097
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₡ 3,472
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₡ 1,724
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) ₡ 35,124
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) ₡ 29,683
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) ₡ 62,578
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₡ 56,848
Transportation
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₡ 11,181,900
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₡ 636
Monthly ticket public transport ₡ 15,808
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₡ 2,882
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₡ 13,001
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) ₡ 38,188
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) ₡ 3,801
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₡ 2,677
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₡ 3,242
4 rolls of toilet paper ₡ 1,779
Tube of toothpaste ₡ 1,453
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₡ 4,833
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₡ 15,648
2 tickets to the movies ₡ 6,033
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₡ 17,808
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₡ 30,732
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₡ 3,561
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₡ 2,136
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₡ 1,776
iPad Air 2, 64GB -
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₡ 37
1 month of gym membership in business district ₡ 30,240
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes ₡ 1,961

Map of Cost of Living in Costa Rica

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This map shows only the top cities in Costa Rica. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan.

The color of each marker corresponds with the Cost of Living in the city. Red markers show more expensive cities, green ones show cheaper cities.
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to Costa Rica? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in Costa Rica of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

Get a salary calculation for:

List of all cities available in Costa Rica

Limón San Jose

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Recent Prices Added

  • Bread for 2 people for 1 day (250 g) in San Jose costs ₡ 850 (1 day ago)
  • 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality in San Jose costs ₡ 7,000 (1 day ago)
  • 1 kg of tomatoes in San Jose costs ₡ 1,000 (1 day ago)
  • Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district in San Jose costs ₡ 10,000 (1 day ago)