What are the cheapest and most expensive places to live in Costa Rica?
The cheapest places to live in Costa Rica are the rural areas, where there are no fancy restaurants to spend a lot on money on food. Â Cheap living, in Costa Rica and anywhere else, depends a lot on your lifestyle though. Â You can perfectly live in Escazu or in Los SueÃ±os Resort, while eating rice and beers and drinking local beer. Don’t shop foreign products, shop locally made products and those that Costa Rica has a treaty with to keep the cost of living down. Â This blog will give you more or less an idea on how to figure it all out:Â http://godutchrealty.com/Costa-Rica-Real-Estate-Blog/solution-Costa-Rica%E2%80%99s-high-product-prices
Beach areas that are popular with tourists tend to be theÂ most expensive locations to live, since much of the lodging is geared towards short term rentals that generate high income, and stores and restaurants are priced for tourists. Â They can still be a great place to live if you can afford the prices and want to live near a beach and also have conveniences (well Â stocked grocery stores, a variety of restaurants to choose from, etc).
Living cheaply requires a combination of choice of location and choice of lifestyle. Â If you choose an area where you do not need to own a car (walk or bus to grocery stores, etc), and if you eat like a local (rice, beans, local vegetables and fruit, and perhaps some chicken or local fish), and you rent a small house, you can live rather cheaply.
Since Los SueÃ±os is about the most expensive place to live in Costa Rica, no one is subsisting on gallo pinto. Eat locally like locals. Non Escazu San JosÃ© can be Affordable.
Rule of thumb: Fewer Foreigners = lower prices
Mostly or all Spanish speaking -= lower prices
While housing is indeed more expensive in areas like Escazu, Tamarindo and Los SueÃ±os, your cost of living in Costa Rica is mostly set by your lifestyle. In any of those locations, as in any others, you can shop fruits and vegetables on the farmer’s market, shop locally made products or products made by countries with which Costa Rica has trade agreements, which pay very little or not taxes at all. If you buy North American products like Pringles, any place in Costa rica can be expensive to live. If you have lunch in a French restaurant or a North American style rib restaurant no matter where in Costa Rica, you will be paying more than if you go for a “casado”, a tico style lunch of rice, beans, vegetables and meat of choice in any “soda” anywhere in the country. Construction starts around $60/sq.ft. but goes all the way to $200/sq.ft., so the quality of your house is set by your own lifestyle. It’s the cost of land that makes the difference, which is more expensive in Escazu for example than it is in Grecia, San Ramon or Upala (near the Nicaraguan border).