The Cost of Living in Costa Rica in Dollars: A Detailed Analysis

Here we bring you a summary of the cost of living in Costa Rica in dollars because Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty and environmental diversity, it is an attractive place for people from abroad who wish to live in its coasts and mountains. It is the perfect destination to live, work or retire. It is important before making the decision to move to this paradise to understand and be aware of the cost of living. Below, we will break down the main expenses for living in Costa Rica, adding value with some tips to manage your budget in a smart and effective way.

Cost of housing in Costa Rica

Prices vary by location, renting an apartment in the city can range from $500 to $1200 USD per month, in the area of Guanacaste, Puntarenas, it can range from $1000 to $2000 USD, all depending on size and location.

Real Estate

If the idea is to buy a lot to build a house the average price can be between $150,000 and $300,000 USD. Building a house can range from $740/m2 to $1195/m2.


Food, focusing on the cost of living in Costa Rica in dollars, will depend on the supermarkets or restaurants of your preference, here you can see an approximate of the prices.

For lunch in a local restaurant, which in Costa Rica are called Soda, typical food restaurants, where you can find marriages from $8 to $12, in other restaurants between seafood and meat prices are around $20 to $40 per person. Monthly groceries for one person can cost around $150 – $250 USD.


Internet connection, electricity, water, the average cost of these services are around $250 USD per month. The internet connection will depend on the plan you choose, between $30 to $80 USD per month. Electricity, considering the air conditioning, is between $50-100 USD per month. Finally, you can spend about $70 USD per month on water.

Health and medical insurance

The health care system in Costa Rica is known for its quality. While it is less expensive than in the United States, it is important to consider the cost of health insurance:

Private health insurance can cost between $50 and $150 USD per month, depending on coverage and age.

Tips for Managing Your Finances in Costa Rica

Detailed Budget:Keep track of your expenses to better understand where your money is going.

Smart Shopping: Shop at local markets and take advantage of bargains to save money on food and groceries.

Public Transportation: Use public transportation whenever possible to reduce gas and parking costs.

Health Insurance: Make sure you have adequate health insurance to avoid unexpected and costly medical expenses.

Local Exploration: Enjoy Costa Rica’s outdoor activities and natural beauty, which are often free or low cost.

In summary, the cost of living in Costa Rica in U.S. dollars varies depending on your lifestyle and location. If you plan properly and follow some money-saving tips, you can enjoy life in this beautiful country without breaking your budget. Costa Rica offers an exceptional quality of life, and many find that the benefits of living here far outweigh the costs.


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