Updated 3 years ago

Looking for accommodation in a city where different facilities and services are available? San Jose can be the ideal place for you. Find out more in this article.

San Jose is not only Costa Rica's capital city but also its economic and political center. Indeed, it is a very vibrant and dynamic city that has been attracting foreigners in large numbers for many years. Thus, it hosts the government's seats, as well as a developed transport network consisting of the country's major highways, as well as a the University of Costa Rica, the Jian Santamaria International Airport and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, among others.

Therefore, you are very likely to enjoy your stay there due to its proximity with so many facilities. Finding accommodation in San Jose should not be difficult either due to the availability of a range of offers at affordable rent prices.

 Good to know:

San Jose is deemed to be one of Latin America's safest capital cities. Indeed, law and order is the responsibility of the municipal police and national police. Hence, according to official figures, crime rate in 2012 stood at 9.5% for each 100,000 inhabitants.


Although it was San Jose was founded in 1738, it was recognized as a capital city in 1823. Indeed, Cartago once used to be the Costa Rican capital city. San Jose, for its part, is modern and cosmopolitan, hosting about a third of the whole country's population in its downtown and suburbs, that is nearly 300,000 inhabitants.

Note that the San Jose's metropolitan area covers a large part of the Central Valley, which also includes the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia which are found at less than an hour away. By choosing to settle in San Jose, you will enjoy many amenities and cultural, artistic and culinary activities provided by the city, namely jazz clubs, art festivals, museums, restaurants, etc.

Most expatriates in San Jose live either in coastal regions or in the rural Central Valley. Indeed, the capital city is surrounded by many small pleasant cities and suburbs that are easily accessible and connected to the city center in about 10 minutes by car.

Rent prices

As mentioned previously, finding accommodation in San Jose should not be a difficult task. However, rent prices can be quite high in some neighborhoods, as in the case of most capital cities worldwide. For instance, you might need an average of US$ 450 for a two bedroom house and round US$ 900 for a three bedroom luxury apartment in San Antonio de Escazú. Note, moreover, that housing is cheaper within the city than in coastal regions as San Jose is especially very popular with tourists.


In general, lease contracts, like in the rest of the country, have a 3 years term, renewable. Note that the owner cannot increase the rent price whenever he wishes during your occupation period. In case you are paying your rent in US dollars, the rent price can be increased only once. But if you are paying in colons, the owner is allowed to increase the rent price according to the current inflation rate.

 Good to know:

You do not risk any penalty on canceling the 3 years lease contract. However, the owner may refuse to refund the guarantee that you paid upon signing the contract.

Find accommodation

You can start your housing search on the Internet, like probably many foreigners have done before you. Indeed, you can browse several general and specialized housing websites, as well as online local newspapers and other networks. Beware, however! Make sure to specify “San Jose, Costa Rica” as California, in the US, also has a city named San Jose.

If you are already on the spot, consider registering with a real estate agency which can help you find accommodation according to your criteria more rapidly. Finally, you can stroll around the different neighborhoods, if you are already on the spot, so as to identify available housing.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Accommodation in San Jose Forum
Expat.com – Housing in San Jose 
San José Official Portal san-jose.cr
Paginas Amarillas San José – List of estate agents costa-rica.paginasamarillas.com
Busco mi casa www.buscomicasa.cr
Encuentra 24 www.encuentra24.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.