Cost of living in Costa Rica in 2022

Hi everyone,

Two years after the start of the pandemic, it is time to take stock of the evolution of the cost of living in Costa Rica or more specifically, in the region where you live. The idea is to help people get ready for their expatriation to Costa Rica to plan their day-to-day budget for some key expenses.

If you are a tenant, what is your monthly rent? Please give details of the type of property you are in.

How much are your monthly charges (water, electricity, common area maintenance charges, etc.) and additional expenses (mobile phone and/or internet box subscriptions)?

How much do you spend on commuting (by public transport or using your car) each month?

How much does your grocery shopping cost in Costa Rica?

How much do you spend on health care (health insurance, consultations, etc.)?

How much are your children's school fees, depending on the type of school they attend?

What about your budget for leisure activities?

Do not hesitate to indicate other everyday costs if they could be useful to others.

Thank you for your contribution :)

Cheryl team

Hello.......The only reason we can afford where we live in Costa Rica is because we bought our land 30yrs ago.We have no car nor swimming pool,our life is considered austere,no debt.It is $2,600,a month for 2 of us and that cost is slowly rising.Our architect did a great job on situating the house on the property,this made all the difference on our cooling cost,as we live at the beach.$40 elect. $12 water,$35 phone plan/wifi,groceries $800,entertainment $200 ,tuk-tuk driver $75.After 6 years our home needs repairs and living under the jungle canopy,this close to the ocean,maintenance is 2 fold in this harsh climate of the Nicoya Peninsula.The $2,600 figure,includes property taxes and insurance.I pay out of pocket for medical and thank god it hasn't been for nothing serious.As far rentals go in our area,there is nothing available,if there is you pay a global premium.

My husband and I live in Las Delicias above Montezuma. We started construction of our Casita in Nov  2019 right before the pandemic started.

Our housing costs:

Rent/ mortgage: 0    We paid cash for the property and are paying for materials as we go. My husband is the sole laborer.

Supplies: Since we are setting up house there is always something we need for living be it plastic bins, blender, gardening materials etc. Id say we spend about $40 a month on stuff like that.

Electricity $15-20 a month
Water $10-15 a month
Internet and phone $35 (wifi for the house and 2 phones)

Groceries: We spend about $60 a week, we eat a vegetarian diet. And maybe $30 a month for dining out. Monthly $270 includes wine!

Public transport
We usually take the bus to go shopping once a week and return by cab. I can walk to the local pulperia for groceries I may need between trips to town.
Bus to town: c750 for 2
Cab back: 7000c

Monthly cost: $50

Health care: Monthly 0
We are applying for residency and will pay into CAJA.

Excursions:  I'm not living there full time, I visit for a couple of months at a time. We like to do at least one excursion each trip. Last time we did a luminescence tour in Paquera. We took the bus there, stayed overnight and took the bus back. Total for tour, transport, food and accomodations for 2: $150

Our total costs seem low but we live very simply.

One could add airfare/transport to and from Costa Rica a few times a year. I travel from Denver to Montezuma a few times a year. My last flights and transport to Montezuma cost about $500 round trip including flights and water taxi.

@tucandream this is not costa rica

@tucandream this is not costa rica

- @Henrych

   Sorry don't get your comment ????

@kohlerias everyone I know here pays more for services, food, etc.

I agree.
All I know is that they are raising the price of the national health insurance (CAJA) for expats a lot this year.

And I assume they are going to raise it for Ticos as well.

Every year they are raising all sorts of government fees making it harder for people on fixed incomes to live well, including of course the Ticos, many of whom have trouble making ends meet already.

And my Tico friend is complaining a lot about the price of gasoline too. I don't live there now, but my friend tells me that all the food prices and everything else like that is going up higher than before as well.

Because everything is going up pretty much all over the world. You can draw your own conclusions as to why, but certainly those in the oil and gas industry are making out like bandits while driving prices up on everything for everyone. Corporations have record profits while many people can no longer afford to pay their rent.

So yes, expect for prices and the cost of living to go up higher in Costa Rica in 22.


I am a single US retiree living in Escazu. I have lived here for 12 years. I live in an upscale condo unit with many amenities (pool, meeting rooms, yoga room, media room, party areas and etc). There are about 7 restaurants in the complex itself with 3 stores (Universal, Yamuni and Old Navy) plus banks and other stores very close.
My condo is a one bedroom, one bath, full kitchen with modern stainless appliances (furnished), living / dining combo with a balcony view to Heredia. The condo is unfurnished except kitchen appliance + washer and dryer.
I do not have (nor want) a car and I use Uber, a “pirata” friend and an occasional taxi but never buses.
I am a permanent resident and pay into the CAJA monthly. I also use MediSmart for normal medical appointments and basic medical procedures at a significant discount. I had private INS health insurance and liked it but have stopped due to my age – it just became too expensive and the coverage was less than when I was younger.
I seldom go into San Jose proper except to dine and I normally shop at Pricesmart, Walmart and occasionally Auto Mercado. I typically dine at what some may call more “western” restaurants.
My average monthly budget so far thru April for 2022 (I keep it accurate monthly):
Rent:                 $1,360 ($1,200 + $160 VAT)
Food (groceries)        $350
Dining out            $600 (I eat out a lot and like wine)
Electricity             $40 (I use A/C in the bedroom only at night)
Water                $7
Cellular             $25
Cable/Internet            $65
Transportation            $200
Maid (once weekly)        $60
Medications            $150
Medical (Insurance and visits)    $200
Entertainment            $250 (includes Netflix, Showtime)
TOTAL            $3,307.00 Monthly
I hope this helps .. it is the lifestyle that I worked hard to obtain and I enjoy it very much ! I also absolutely love Costa Rica and the people – never plan on leaving.

Hello.......we live in Grecia Aleujuela Costa Rica. We used to rent a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom house in Grecia and we paid $1,200/MTH plus utilities which came up to another $150/mth. We bought a house now. There are 3 of us and we have a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home. We have a car and a swimming pool is part of our complex. We have no debt. We have a maid who comes once a week and a gardner who comes twice a month in the rainy season and once a month in the dry season. We pay approx. $600 a month for everything except food, entertainment and gas for the car.

House insurance $56; car ins $47; Condo fees $50; maid $117; gardner $40; marchamo or car tax $60.00; internet $47; elect. $62 (some months it is less). water $39, phones for 3 - $35; property taxes $34; Pricesmart membership $4.

We buy a lot of fruit and vegetables at the farmers market and meat at Pricesmart approx $800.

Entertainment $300

We pay out of pocket for medical and have not had anything much happen as yet, praise God.

We are looking into health insurance when we get back. We have full medical coverage in our home country.

We are applying for residency and will pay into CAJA.

Excursions: right now we are not living there full time, only about 7 months in the year. We like to do at least one excursion every couple of months.

We also need to add airfare/transport to and from Costa Rica a few times a year.


So I just calculated my last month worth of expenses and quite honestly, it's not that much cheaper than living in the states and I live in Los Angeles.

In one month I spend about 400$ in groceries

I'm renting my house in Montezuma and the rent is approx 12-1500 a month depending on the season

I spend quite a bit on what I like to call my medication, others call it weed. I spend about 400 a month on that.

I don't go out to eat too often and I don't drink so I probably spent about 100 total on that.

I have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a VPN that allows me to get US stations and  shows

My biggest cost right now is transportation because I rented a quad and that rental is 3000 for the season.

gas is about 10 a week

This excludes all my bills from the US,  credit cards, insurance I am not here yet full-time but on average I would say MY cost of living here is approx 3500-4000 a month. Non pot smokers would get by on less.....

I also have a dog here and that includes her food and treats