Cost of living in Costa Rica

Summary of cost of living in Costa Rica

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₡ 1,700,101
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: ₡ 820,578
  • Cost of living in Costa Rica is more expensive than in 70% of countries in Latin America (7 out of 20)
  • Cost of living in Costa Rica is more expensive than in 55% of countries in the World (44 out of 96)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₡ 5,356
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₡ 4,077
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₡ 1,869
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₡ 848
12 eggs, large ₡ 1,716
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₡ 1,003
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₡ 2,390
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₡ 2,020
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₡ 1,055
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₡ 893
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₡ 8,917
2 liters of coca-cola ₡ 1,424
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₡ 702
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₡ 685,616
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₡ 360,596
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₡ 40,435
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₡ 428,397
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₡ 237,962
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₡ 31,779
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₡ 18,211
40” flat screen tv ₡ 244,885
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₡ 78,408
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₡ 4,254
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₡ 2,499
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₡ 37,846
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₡ 25,973
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₡ 59,076
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₡ 50,637
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₡ 13,957,600
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₡ 660
Monthly ticket public transport ₡ 23,538
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₡ 3,098
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₡ 10,612
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₡ 36,178
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₡ 3,349
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₡ 3,294
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₡ 3,834
4 rolls of toilet paper ₡ 1,768
Tube of toothpaste ₡ 1,827
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₡ 6,433
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₡ 16,062
2 tickets to the movies ₡ 6,416
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₡ 24,417
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₡ 27,362
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₡ 4,038
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₡ 1,955
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₡ 1,728
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₡ 329,611
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₡ 44
1 month of gym membership in business district ₡ 39,210
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₡ 2,227

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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