|Cost of Living in Costa Rica
Cost of living fluctuates with each person’s taste and lifestyle.
If you are accustomed to eating Americanized food, your cost of living will be higher than someone who enjoys eating the local cuisine. Typically, the Americanized restaurants assume their clientele will be tourists and upper-class residents, so they raise prices. Supermarkets have lower prices than they do in North America, except for brands that are imported. For example, you can buy a Latin brand of “Doritos” for about 1/2 of the price that you will pay for the actual brand name. This trend is consistent with household items like soap, detergent, cereal, and cleaning supplies.
The cost of entertainment is typically less than in North America, unless you are staying at a high-end resort. Hotels, casinos, and resorts will always charge higher prices for food and beverages. However, local bars and restaurants normally sell beer for around $1.50 and mixed drinks for a slightly higher price. As previously mentioned, the more “Americanized” the locale, the higher the price you will pay for food and beverage. On the other hand, there are many local taverns and restaurants where you can easily get a few drinks and a meal for under $10.
Transportation costs vary, depending on how you want to get around. Taxi’s are used by the majority of the country and are abundant in most towns, with the greatest number being found in San Jose. If you prefer to have your own vehicle, be warned that the cost is often double what you would pay in the United States. Additionally, fuel is expensive in Costa Rica.
Utility bills are similar to most parts of the world. You pay for what you use.
Maids are available for hire at a very affordable price. Most people have them. Normally, for two visits per week, the cost is about $20. Full-time help is around $80 per week.
Many people also hire full or part time chauffeurs. Learning the roads, which are often times not marked, can be difficult at first. Especially in the central valley, where there are many narrow, winding roads, it can be tricky at first. Also, they know of alternate routes should construction be a factor in arriving at your destination. Furthermore, if you are the type of person who requires more assistance than the average person, bodyguards are available starting at $250 per week. Not that Costa Rica is a dangerous place, but sometimes you may end up in a
The price of clothing is similar to anywhere else in the world. Staying consistent to how all other goods are priced, brand names and imported clothing are more expensive than the clothing made locally.
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