The living cost in Costa Rica has numerous advantages. The sheer variety of activities available for enjoyment and the spectacular sights you can visit throughout the country make life here a constant adventure. If you add this to the availability of modern conveniences, many large malls to choose from, excellent cultural activities, an exciting nightlife and superb medical services all with a low cost of living in Costa Rica. With all of the above, you can begin to understand why so many people have chosen to live, work, and retire in Costa Rica.
One of the aspects I enjoy most about life in Jaco Beach is the low cost of living in Costa Rica which allows your dollar to stretch much further. This gives you purchasing power for services and luxuries that would be much too expensive to afford in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. I will give you a glimpse of the living costs in Costa Rica in this article, so you can compare what these costs are here with the costs of your hometown. The cost of living in San Jose Costa Rica is amongst the lowest of any in Latin America. Overall, the costs are about 30% less compared to those of North America, especially for services such as telephone, electricity, water, and domestic/maintenance services, as well as the cost of dining out and visits to the movies.
If you add this to Costa Rica’s mild weather, which eliminates the need for cooling and heating, you would really appreciate the cost savings you could have living here.
Living Costs in Costa Rica
Maid Service- $1.75 – $2.50 per hour
Ticket to see a movie in a modern theater – $5
Minimum price to see a cultural event at the National Theater – $8
Ticket to see a First Division Soccer Team Match – $12
An excellent steak dinner in a good restaurant – less than $20
Basic home phone service – $7 per month (base rate)
Cellular phone service through ICE – $7 per month (base rate)
Basic cable TV service – $27 per month
ADSL internet home service – $26 per month
Men’s haircut & shampoo at luxury barbershops – $15
Men’s haircut at local barbershop – $5.25
La Nacion, Costa Rica’s leading daily newspaper – $0.35
A bottle of Coca Cola (reusable glass bottle) – $0.60
A bottle of Coca Cola (disposable plastic bottle) – $1.00
Fresh Ahi Tuna – Approximately $3.60 per pound
Fresh Mahi Mahi – Approximately $3.50 per pound
A pound of beans – $0.70 per pound
A pound of rice – $0.50 per pound
A bottle of Imperial beer – $0.85
1/2 Gallon of Orange Juice – $2.25
1/2 Gallon of Milk – $1.40
5 Gallon Tank of Purified Water – $3.50
American Style Rib Eye Steak (local grocery store) – Approximately $5.00 per lb
A pack of local cigarettes – $0.87
Bus ride from downtown San Jose to Escazu – $0.55
Bus ride from San Jose to Jaco Beach (60 miles) – $3.57
Taxi any where in Jaco – $0.75 – $3.00
Suzuki ATV-Eiger 500cc with trailer – $7,000
Harley Davidson 1200 Nighster – $14,300
Harley Davidson Custom Classic – $10,100
2007 Honda CR-V 4×2 SUV – $26,900
2005 KIA Rio 4 door compact – $7,850
2007 Toyota Prado (6 cyl) Diesel 4×4 – $33,600 (fully loaded)
While some imported manufactured items such as appliances, TV’s, computers, and vehicles are more expensive but these are items you do not purchase every month or every year. However, your daily and recurring monthly expenses are much cheaper here and you can also enjoy a higher standard of living in Costa Rica, a country that has most of the comforts of living found in North America and Europe. When you can have a full-time maid for $200 per month and/or a driver for $400 per month, your lifestyle experiences a significant transformation. Taking everything into consideration; great year-round climate, the friendly people of Costa Rica, political stability, a relatively low crime rate, a truly peaceful country which has no military, and low living costs in Costa Rica, it’s a wonder you are not living here already!
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