Cost of living in Costa Rica

Summary of cost of living in Costa Rica

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₡ 1,834,481
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: ₡ 806,738
  • Costa Rica is the 4th most expensive country in Latin America (4 out of 17)
  • Cost of living in Costa Rica is more expensive than in 57% of countries in the World (31 out of 70)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₡ 6,983
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₡ 5,046
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₡ 2,290
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₡ 950
12 eggs, large ₡ 2,505
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₡ 1,253
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₡ 3,625
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₡ 2,138
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₡ 1,462
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₡ 964
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₡ 8,480
2 liters of coca-cola ₡ 1,743
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₡ 952
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₡ 605,171
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₡ 321,439
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₡ 38,122
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₡ 426,773
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₡ 227,481
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₡ 35,538
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₡ 18,732
40” flat screen tv ₡ 294,698
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₡ 73,990
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₡ 5,379
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₡ 2,728
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₡ 38,077
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₡ 24,568
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₡ 54,233
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₡ 39,819
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₡ 18,383,000
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₡ 919
Monthly ticket public transport ₡ 33,571
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₡ 3,872
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₡ 11,044
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₡ 36,487
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₡ 3,038
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₡ 2,962
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₡ 3,612
4 rolls of toilet paper ₡ 1,689
Tube of toothpaste ₡ 1,551
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₡ 7,509
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₡ 12,210
2 tickets to the movies ₡ 6,793
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₡ 14,186
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₡ 33,546
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₡ 4,541
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₡ 2,531
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₡ 1,353
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₡ 403,893
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₡ 50
1 month of gym membership in business district ₡ 33,270
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₡ 2,507

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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.

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Limón San Jose, Costa Rica

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