Costa Rica Cost of Living in 2010

May 16, 2010 - Costa Rica, a small country the size of West Virginia that is an Eden for those looking for a country that offers a low cost of living with a stable government and year round tropical weather.

Even celebrities are coming to Costa Rica which recently included on that list people like Rush Limbaugh and Heidi Montag for many reasons like the health care system or simply a change of life in Latin America.

Costa Rica Cost of Living 2010The average Costa Rican makes about $485 USD a month which in comparison to a middle income salary in the United States or Canda is quite low. However, it does not mean that an American moving to Costa Rica could comfortably live on so little.

The hard truth is that most of foreigners could not live a comfortable like this.

Most foreigners living in Costa Rica need at least $1200 to $2000 a month to live a comfortable life in Costa Rica.

Here are the prices of a few items to give you an idea of the cost of living:


  • Cigarettes (premium brand like Marlboro) 875 colones
  • Loaf of bread (Bunny Bread style) 850 colones
  • Box of Mac and Cheese 575 colones
  • 1 kilo (about 2 pounds) of rice 1500 colones
  • Toilet paper (4 packs, double roll) 1450 colones
  • Gillette Gel deodorant 1250 colones

Rent can vary greatly depending on the location and what you are looking for but will range from $250 to $3,000 and up. Someone who is looking for a modest home with 2 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms in a decent area of San Jose can usually find it around $300 to $400. The security deposit will usually be one month's rent and is often negotiable.

Better bargains can be found if they don’t mind walking the neighborhoods and look for rent signs.

Getting around the city is fairly cheap whether you use the bus system or a taxi. The bus will run you from 160 to 360 colones depending on where you are going. Costa Rica has a very efficient bus system where the buses will run every 15 minutes inside of city.

Taxis are a different matter and in the day time, the meter will start at 420 colones.

Getting health insurance is simple and cheap if you choose to use the national coverage. Do keep in mind that the national coverage means having to wait in line and waking up early in the morning to get an appointment and then coming back for to see a doctor. A family of 3 will pay 12,000 colones a month.

In short, Costa Rica is still a very attractive place to live in compared to most countries while still giving you the amenities of home.


Allison Kim has been a freelance writer for over 3 years discussing several topics such as real estate, the economy and traveling. You can contact Allison Kim by sending her an email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Choose a Language

View Our Residential Properties
Beach Properties
View Our Rental properties
View Our Commercial Properties
Search our Lands and Lots
View Our Luxury Properties
View Our Bargain Properties

Search The Listings

Property Type
Price to

Our Featured Listings

TicoRealty Newsletter

Subscribe to the TicoRealty Newsletter for the latest listings, news and info.

GoDaddy Certification