Cost of living in Costa Rica

Summary of cost of living in Costa Rica

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₡ 1,507,939
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: ₡ 688,672
  • Cost of living in Costa Rica is more expensive than in 67% of countries in Latin America (6 out of 15)
  • Cost of living in Costa Rica is cheaper than in 63% of countries in the World (47 out of 75)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₡ 5,587
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₡ 3,882
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₡ 1,799
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₡ 831
12 eggs, large ₡ 1,621
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₡ 1,029
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₡ 2,797
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₡ 2,036
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₡ 935
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₡ 1,029
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₡ 10,493
2 liters of coca-cola ₡ 1,499
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₡ 695
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₡ 554,702
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₡ 270,901
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₡ 39,353
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₡ 433,078
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₡ 221,306
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₡ 22,855
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₡ 15,049
40” flat screen tv ₡ 188,597
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₡ 59,270
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₡ 4,330
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₡ 2,643
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₡ 35,961
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₡ 20,938
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₡ 53,266
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₡ 49,097
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₡ 11,278,500
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₡ 593
Monthly ticket public transport ₡ 21,831
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₡ 2,766
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₡ 8,438
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₡ 45,132
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₡ 2,971
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₡ 2,472
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₡ 3,499
4 rolls of toilet paper ₡ 1,501
Tube of toothpaste ₡ 1,288
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₡ 7,373
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₡ 12,962
2 tickets to the movies ₡ 6,109
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₡ 19,743
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₡ 29,314
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₡ 4,366
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₡ 2,276
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₡ 1,457
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₡ 313,969
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₡ 47
1 month of gym membership in business district ₡ 39,656
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₡ 2,109

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:
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?

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List of all cities available in Costa Rica

Limón San Jose, Costa Rica

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