Cost of living in Costa Rica

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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₡ 5,426
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) ₡ 3,705
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₡ 2,445
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₡ 816
12 eggs, large ₡ 1,556
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₡ 1,244
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₡ 2,780
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₡ 2,116
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₡ 1,068
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₡ 802
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₡ 7,786
2 liters of Coca-Cola ₡ 1,567
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₡ 669
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area ₡ 626,425
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area ₡ 357,071
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₡ 111,470
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area ₡ 705,949
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area ₡ 401,953
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio ₡ 140,382
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) ₡ 23,117
40” flat screen TV ₡ 280,432
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) ₡ 62,868
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₡ 3,681
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₡ 2,035
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) ₡ 39,616
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) ₡ 34,402
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) ₡ 58,267
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₡ 58,707
Transportation
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₡ 13,057,900
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₡ 662
Monthly ticket public transport ₡ 21,102
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₡ 2,357
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₡ 26,718
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) ₡ 40,372
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) ₡ 3,545
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₡ 2,124
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₡ 3,088
4 rolls of toilet paper ₡ 2,242
Tube of toothpaste ₡ 1,345
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₡ 9,934
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₡ 15,963
2 tickets to the movies ₡ 6,585
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₡ 22,276
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₡ 30,784
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₡ 3,988
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₡ 1,852
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₡ 1,584
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB ₡ 332,594
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₡ 140
1 month of gym membership in business district ₡ 32,248
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes ₡ 1,727

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.

List of all cities available in Costa Rica

Limón San Jose, Costa Rica

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