Cost of Living in Costa Rica in 2022

Cost of Living in Costa Rica in 2022

Images of Costa Rica bring to mind kilometers of coastline beaches, volcanoes, and lush tropical jungle. The nation even more than other countries lives up to that idealized picture. Visitors flock to Costa Rica from all over the globe because it is firmly on the tourism map. The majority of these tourists immediately engage in either ecotourism or adventure sports. And by all accounts, the nation excels in both of these pursuits. Since tourism is the country’s main economic engine, all of this is crucial for ex-pats considering relocation. You will experience the effects of this tourism everywhere you go.

Life in Costa Rica has a cozy familiarity to it. Additionally, since it is in the United States time zones and flights are inexpensive, like many Central American ex-pat hotspots, it is an additional draw for Americans. Families, foreigners, and retirees are drawn there for reasons other than that, too.

Why Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful, affordable country that is perfect for those who are looking for a tropical escape. Costa Rica has a population of just over 4 million people and an average salary of $21,000 annually. This means that the cost of living in Costa Rica is very affordable.

Costa Rica is a beautiful and affordable country to live in. It has many great benefits, including a low cost of living. This means that you can save money on your groceries, transportation, utilities, and more. Costa Rica also offers a variety of jobs and lifestyle options. You can find many opportunities to work in the tourism industry or the agricultural sector. There are also many opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Another benefit of Costa Rica is its high quality of life. The country is ranked as the fifth happiest country in the world, and it has a low crime rate. In addition, the weather is perfect all year long, making it an ideal place to live. Additionally, the cost of living in Costa Rica is very low compared to other countries in the region. For example, the cost of living in Panama City is about three times as expensive as it is in Costa Rica.

Furthermore, Costa Rica has a wide range of affordable housing options. You can find apartments and homes that range from 100 square feet to over 10,000 square feet. This means that you can find the perfect home for your needs no matter how large or small they may be. In addition to being affordable, Costa Rica also has some of the best weather in the world. The weather here is always warm and pleasant, making it the perfect place to spend your summers and winters.

If you are considering moving to Costa Rica, or if you are already living here, be sure to take into account its low cost of living and high quality of life. You will be happy you made the decision. 

Cost of Living in Costa Rica in 2022

Quality of Life in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most affordable countries in the world to live in. The cost of living here is lower than in many other countries, making it a great place to retire or start a new life. The quality of life in Costa Rica is also top-notch. The country has a rich culture and history, as well as amazing natural attractions. There are many places to enjoy outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to surfing and diving. Costa Rica also has some of the best restaurants in the world, making it easy to eat well without breaking the bank.

Costa Ricans are friendly and welcoming people, which makes it easy to make friends here. They also have a strong work ethic, which makes it easy to find a job and start your own business.

One of the good things about Costa Rica is how tiny the nation is; as a result, from the moment you arrive in San José, you can travel to almost any place within one to six hours. Five areas make up Costa Rica: the Central Valley, the Gold Coast, Arenal, the Southern Zone, and the Central Pacific. Each area has a unique cost and quality of living. Before limiting your list of prospective relocation locations, it is a good idea to educate yourself about the areas. The good news is that there are a ton of local ex-pats who write about their lives. This information is like gold nuggets for figuring out what kind of life you may truly have when you get there. Links to local bloggers may be found throughout our Cost of Living Guide since this kind of information should undoubtedly be included in your study as well.

San José, the nation’s capital, is located in the Central Valley, a highland plateau ringed by mountains. In the Central Valley, there are several ex-pat communities, not just in San José but also in smaller cities like Grecia. The weather, which is temperate in this part of Costa Rica, is the major attraction for ex-pats. In addition, the Central Valley puts you close to important infrastructure; San José is just a one-hour drive away. Consider making Grecia or San José your home base if you’re in the Central Valley. You may enjoy the benefits of superior restaurants, museums, art festivals, ex-pat import businesses, and everything else that comes with living in or near San José. If you relocate to San José or a nearby city, you won’t have to give up much of your previous life. Jazz clubs, cutting-edge hospitals, and hip coffee shops are all accessible, and the suburbs contradict the rest of the city by having minimal traffic and disorder. If you’re a city person trying to leave the United States, it’s a nice compromise.

San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is situated at a height of around 3,000 feet in the Central Valley. A 10-minute drive from downtown San José with stunning views of the city, Escaz is a suburban community where the bulk of the population resides. Escaz is home to many expatriates who live outside the city center. Escaz is quite awesome; it’s a large metropolitan suburb that has a little-town atmosphere. Retirees and digital nomads seeking coffee shops and jazz clubs will feel at home since there is a decent mix of ages in the area. Grecia, which lies outside of the city and is approximately 27 miles from San José, is a favorite among retirees who claim that the cost of living there is around 25% less than in Tamarindo on the Gold Coast. Grecia, a mountain village, is regarded as one of Costa Rica’s more reasonably priced areas.

The Gold Coast, near the Nicaraguan border and roughly five hours from San José, is a favorite destination for ex-pats who like surfing, beach lounging, and stunning sunsets. The Gold Coast’s atmosphere is influenced by both international ex-pats and Tico culture and customs. Tamarindo and Playas del Coco, usually referred to as Coco, are the two most well-liked ex-pat neighborhoods on the Gold Coast. Living is done on golf carts or while strolling the sandy beaches in flip-flops.

Both foreigners and tourists like Tamarindo, although it is around 25% more expensive to live there than in Grecia, a little mountain hamlet. There is a mixture of residents, families, retirees, and surfers in the neighborhood. The pace of life is so relaxed that going barefoot is quite acceptable. Tamarindo offers a lot of facilities for ex-pats, and the quality of living varies greatly from modest bungalow homes to luxurious condominiums. Although the cost of living is somewhat higher than in some other areas of Costa Rica, there are also many Western conveniences and alternatives available.

If you have celiac disease, eating gluten-free in Costa Rica is doable since several restaurants provide gluten-free alternatives in part because of the ex-pat population. You should get a gluten-free restaurant card for Latin America as well as visit the site Gluten-Free Tamarindo, which offers advice for eateries and stores along with recipes. 

If you are looking for a country with beautiful scenery, a low cost of living, and high quality of life, Costa Rica is worth considering.

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a very affordable country to live in. The average person spends just over $2,000 a year on expenses. This includes rent, food, transportation, and other costs. Costa Rica has a very low cost of living compared to other countries. This is because the country has a low population density and low taxes. Costa Ricans also benefit from a very strong economy. The country has a positive balance of trade and is one of the most stable countries in Latin America.

For a single tourist, the average monthly cost of living in Costa Rica is between $1,600 and $2,000, or around $60 per day. There are, of course, ways to live more modestly and spend less money, or more opulently and spend more. Additionally, people who live in families or couples may be able to split some of their bills, which would help to lower the cost of living.

This figure was determined by examining four major expenditure categories including transportation, accommodation, food, beverages, activities, and entertainment. Let’s break these factors down. 


The cost of lodging is significantly influenced by your desired degree of comfort and the location’s proximity to attractions. In low season, a night in a shared dorm room would typically cost $15 to $30, while in peak season, prices may go up to $50 per night.

A double bedroom will cost between $650 and 900 per month, while a studio or one-bedroom apartment would cost more than $1200 per month for those who want a more private setting. However, there is a catch: more people mean more competition, which means cheaper pricing (generally). In contrast, travelers to Puerto Viejo have a far limited selection of possibilities when looking for “the cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica.”

We advise staying at a Selina hostel for a pleasant level of living and features like kitchens and coworking areas (which are necessary for extended visits). There are accommodations to accommodate high-end travelers as well as backpackers, providing a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with new people. Additionally, there are no unpleasant shocks thanks to a well-known worldwide brand and places all over the globe!


Travelers have a variety of options for getting about Costa Rica. Most people will need to use the roads to go to their next location after landing at either the San Jose or Liberia airport. The entire cost of living in Costa Rica in 2022 will depend much on the method of transportation. The most typical modes of transportation are as follows:

  • Renting a vehicle
  • travel via shuttle
  • Using a taxi or the bus
  • using a bicycle (inside towns only)

Rent A Car

Only those who are experienced should rent a vehicle in Costa Rica. Driving in Costa Rica is quite different from driving in the US, and the circumstances may be hazardous since certain roads are full of potholes and bumps. But individuals who are comfortable driving may often rent a vehicle for roughly $400 per week (or better rates for long-term stays).


The majority of tourists choose a door-to-door shuttle service to get them between the destinations on their Costa Rica tour. In addition to being much more effective and swifter than a regular bus, this mode of transportation is also rather practical and cozy for passengers who are hauling baggage. In peak season, a normal shuttle trip should cost between $50 and $80 and take at least five hours.


Want to travel to Costa Rica like a local? using a Tico bus. Travelers in Costa Rica will be able to experience a more genuine side of the nation and get a sense of the true culture on the bus travels from point A to point B with a lot of unexpected stops in between. Additionally, the nation’s municipal bus system is a very affordable means of travel, with most tickets costing less than $10. Just keep in mind that things might change at a moment’s notice and that the bus terminal might not be close to the ultimate destination.


Although it’s not the most affordable choice, using a cab gets you where you’re going the fastest. Additionally, it’s a wise alternative for individuals who like more solitude when traveling large distances between Costa Rican communities. Taxi fares might vary greatly based on the distance traveled, but you can plan to spend about $60 per hour and more for shorter routes.


Once they arrive in their intended town, many visitors discover that bicycles are the most often used mode of transportation. There are no ongoing expenses, and the monthly leasing fee is just around $80. Combining transportation and fitness in the same sentence? Win-win situation!

Food and Beverages

Whether tourists prefer to explore local food or stick to more traditional western fare will affect the price of this category. Many of the upscale restaurants and cafés in Costa Rica include the term “Soda” on their signs. This just serves to highlight the fact that these establishments provide genuine Costa Rican cuisine.

The most popular dish in Costa Rica is referred to as a Casado. A Casado dish will be delivered with your choice of protein, rice, beans, steamed veggies, and delicious fried plantains after you place your order. They usually cost between 2000 and 3000 colones from Costa Rica, which (at the time of writing) translates to around $3 to $4.

There are a ton of different culinary alternatives as well, such as American, Chinese, or Japanese restaurants with French or Italian influences. Lunch at one of these establishments will probably cost you between 6000 and 12,000 CRC, or around $10 to 18 USD. There are more western alternatives in larger cities. For instance, since there are fewer local food alternatives in Jaco, Costa Rica than in a smaller town like Puerto Viejo, living expenses will be greater.

Entertainment and Activities

Each traveler’s preferred activities and entertainment will undoubtedly affect the cost of their vacation. And because Costa Rican tourism does not hold back, there are many possibilities!

The waves, or las Buenas Olas, are likely to dominate the expense of life in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Rentals typically cost $20 per hour, while a surf instruction will likely cost about $50 for two hours. Tours of the Arenal volcano and the hanging bridges at La Fortuna cost around $80-100 USD.

When it comes to things to do and see in Costa Rica, there are no restrictions at all. However, this might significantly reduce the wallet’s weight. When visiting, we advise picking one or two excursions in each location or gathering a group of friends to split the expense.


Costa Rica is a great place to live if you are looking for a cost-effective way of life. As the cost of living in Costa Rica goes up, so does the cost of living in other countries. Costa Rica has a low cost of living when it comes to food, transportation, and other costs.

While the cost of living in Costa Rica is lower than in many other countries, the quality of life is still very high. There are plenty of things to do and see in Costa Rica, and the people are friendly and welcoming. If you are looking for a relaxing place to live, Costa Rica is worth considering.

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