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Why the Cost of Living in Costa Rica is Worth It

Living in Costa Rica – Costa Rica has many things to offer to tourists and expats alike; peaceful nation, robust economy, lush forest and verdant surroundings, ocean teeming with life, majestic volcanoes, picturesque scenery, never-ending adventures, friendly natives and so much more.

living and retiring in costa ricaThese are just some of the great things that attract people to visit or live permanently in Costa Rica. However the real main reason why Costa Rica looks so enticing and attractive to foreigners is the affordable cost of living in this beautiful country.

It is true that the cost of living in Costa Rica is one of the highest in Latin American and actually the highest in all if Central America but it is still considerably cheap when matched to other comparable North American cities. Furthermore, the cost of living in Costa Rica has never put a dent on the number of tourists and expats who arrive in hordes despite the rising cost.

Now you must be curious as to how much is the cost of living in Costa Rica.

Just like in any other country the cost of living in Costa Rica varies from one region to another plus it depends largely on your chosen lifestyle. Say if you are living in a remote area with few amenities and average infrastructure you can live by $1500 or less per month for a family of two. However, if you are living in a newly renovated high-rise condo in the Central Valley or have a beach-front property where you can dine out every night, go shopping to your heart’s content or have access to different types of amenities then you most likely would have to spend double or three times more.

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To give you an easy-to-understand figure, if you buy a Big Mac from McDonald’s in the US it would cost you $4.62, in Costa Rica it is $4.28 while it would be $2.78 in Mexico. On the other hand if you buy Big Mac in Columbia you would be spending $4.34, $3.56 in Peru and $7.15 if you buy it in Venezuela.

Although the above figure is a good analogy to best understand the difference in buying power of the same currency in different countries, not everything in Costa Rica is expensive. There are a number of things that are still less expensive in Costa Rica. Let us take the cost of labor for instance. In Costa Rica domestic help, like a cook or maid, is usually at $3 per hour. There is also the cost or haircut which is only $3 – $4, while the cost of labor for automotive repairs is still dramatically lower. Furthermore, education, property taxes and the high-quality health care service in Costa Rica is also very inexpensive. You can also add into the pile the cost of housing in Costa Rica which is relatively inexpensive especially if you are living in an unpopular area.

If you are budget conscious there are a few things you have to avoid. Since Costa Rica is a small country that relies hugely on import products for daily living you can expect that appliances, imported wines and food products from the US or other countries, and cars are overly expensive. Other products that are quite pricey in Costa Rica are electricity, phone service and gasoline.

Rest assured though that the cost of food in Costa Rica is so much more affordable compared to other countries. Eating at a high-end restaurant or buying from a fast food chain like McDonald’s sure is expensive but if you dine at a small and locally owned establishment you can eat a hefty serving of delicious food for just $2 to $4 per head. You can also make huge savings, about 30 per cent of your grocery bill, if you buy vegetables and meat at local markets, street vendors or local street fairs instead of buying at a big box supermarket.

Because of the facts above you may be asking yourself why you should pay more to live in Costa Rica. The answer is simple; in Costa Rica you have lots of choices when it comes to housing, amenities, services and consumer goods. What’s more, you get a highly educated middle class population who are friendly and helpful to outsiders, politically stable and have the most stunningly beautiful settings on earth.  

Get Your Free Copy of “Secrets of Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica”

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Is the Property Really for Sale? 

What is the Maritime Zone? 

Myths About Squatters 

Construction, Architects & Engineers 

Purchasing Under a Corporation 


And so much more……..

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