A Cost of Living in Costa Rica from $1,200 a Month

A Cost of Living in Costa Rica from $1,200 a Month

Your cost of living in Costa Rica will depend on how you like to live, but thanks to Costa Rica’s great weather and affordable health care, you can have a quality lifestyle for less than the U.S.

One of Costa Rica’s main benefits is the tropical weather. Depending on where you come from up north, this will instantly save you hundreds of dollars a month in heating and cooling costs. The ocean breeze on your deck is free, as is the cool night air up in the mountains.

Want to live the simple life out in the country? If you do things like air-dry your laundry, cook for yourself using fresh produce from the local markets, take the local buses to get around, and entertain yourself by taking nature walks or playing the guitar on your porch, you can live quite comfortably on $1,200 to $1,500 per month, depending on whether you own your home or rent, and what kind of rental you have. A couple can live on $2,000 per month, and live better on $2,500 to $3,000.

If you rent in Costa Rica, a decent apartment or small home in a town or in the countryside can be rented for $450 or less per month.

Want to live the high life, with a car, gardener, housekeeper, big screen TV, and a house with all the trimmings? If you have $3,000 or more per month to spend, it’s in the cards, especially in the Central Valley around the capital of San Jose.

Fine restaurants, movie theaters, and other distractions of all kinds can be found, and high-end rentals in San Jose’s more desirable suburbs can be found for about $1,500 per month.

If you don’t like to cook for yourself, your food costs are still under your control. Eat at the corner comida economica, and you can get full meals with a drink for less than $5.

The high end is up to you and Costa Rica has some of the finest restaurants in the world to choose from. Or you can take a trip to the local farmers market, where about $30 can stock you up with the ingredients for a week’s worth of meals.

Even near the capital, entertainment doesn’t need to have a huge impact on your cost of living in Costa Rica. There is always an outdoor concert or fair going on somewhere that will cost little or nothing to attend.

And Costa Rica is one of the best places on the planet for outdoor entertainment. Forest walks, mountain hikes, wildlife adventures and visits to the many natural preserves are cost effective ways not only to pass the time, but to get healthy and learn about the environment at the same time.

Of course, a huge part of the savings on your cost of living here is health care in Costa Rica. The country’s national health care is high quality and extremely low cost compared to the U.S. Foreign residents are now required to pay into the country’s health care system, or Caja, which provides health insurance for about $55 per month.

Add to this the money you’ll save just by lounging on one of the many beautiful beaches here and whiling away the hours just communing with nature, and your cost of living in Costa Rica can really make your money go a long way!

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