Cost of Living in Costa Rica: A Comprehensive Guide

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

The tropical beauty of Costa Rica in Latin America has become a popular choice for digital nomads, expats, and retirees in search of a low cost of living without sacrificing quality of life. Understanding the monthly budget and numerous expenditures connected with living in this Central American jewel is vital for making an educated decision, whether you’re contemplating relocating to Costa Rica for its spectacular natural beauty, mild temperature, or the appeal of a laid-back lifestyle.

Becoming a Legal Resident in Costa Rica

Let’s quickly discuss residency requirements and processes before going into the cost of living. The popular “pensionado” programme is geared towards retirees, while the “rentista” programme is designed for individuals with a stable income from outside Costa Rica. The novel “digital nomad visa” allows remote workers to legally settle in a country while maintaining their nomadic lifestyle.

Cost of Living Overview

The cost of living in Costa Rica is quite low compared to other developed countries, although it will vary depending on your specific situation, habits, and preferences. Central Valley communities like San Jose attract numerous expatriates and digital nomads because of the region’s reduced cost of living compared to coastal areas.

Monthly Budget for a Single Person

Let’s examine what a single individual in Costa Rica might expect to spend on a monthly basis. Please keep in mind that the numbers provided here are only estimates that may change depending on your individual circumstances.


A one-bedroom flat in the downtown area can cost you $500 to $800 per month, whereas a similar flat in the suburbs would cost you only $400 to $600. To save costs even more, you may look into roommates.


The average monthly cost of utilities including power, water, heating, cooling, and waste is between $100 and $150.

Food and Groceries

The average cost of groceries for one person per month is between $250 and $400. Meals at local restaurants can be had on the cheap on occasion, costing anything from $5 to $10.


Buses and trains, Costa Rica’s main modes of public transportation, offer an affordable way to go about the country. It’s reasonable to budget between $50 and $100 each month for transit costs.


The country’s free and public healthcare system is a major draw for anyone considering a move to Costa Rica. Residents can get health insurance for between $75 and $150 each month.

Entertainment and Leisure

There are many low-cost or free activities to do in Costa Rica due to the country’s rich natural resources. However, it’s smart to set aside $100–$200 every month for fun things like going to the movies, reading, and visiting neighbouring national parks.

Living Costs for Digital Nomads

Because of its beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and consistent internet, Costa Rica has become a popular location for remote workers. The key to a productive and enjoyable stay for digital nomads is catering to their individual requirements.


Co-living spaces and fully equipped flats with internet access are common choices for digital nomads. Rental costs might range from $600 to $1,000 monthly.

Coworking Spaces

Cities like San Jose have an abundance of coworking spaces for people who like to work in a community setting. Membership fees might be anything from $100 to $200 each month.


Working from home requires a reliable internet connection. Thankfully, residents of Costa Rica may choose from a number of different internet plans, with prices ranging from $40 to $70 per month.

Food and Cafes

Travellers working remotely may take advantage of the local food and relax in quaint cafes. It’s realistic to assume that you’ll spend $200-$300 each month on meals and coffee.


If you’re looking for a peaceful, low-cost, and nature-filled way of life, Costa Rica may be your ideal destination. Travellers on a tight budget as well as those looking for a five-star vacation will find that the cost of living here meets their needs. Digital nomads, expats, and retirees may all find a lot to love in this nation, thanks to its low cost of living, good quality of life, and kind people.