Living in Costa Rica has numerous advantages. The sheer variety of activities available for enjoyment and the spectacular sights you can visit throughout the country make life here a constant adventure. If you add this to the availability of modern conveniences, many large malls to choose from, excellent cultural activities, an exciting nightlife and superb medical services at very reasonable prices, then you can begin to understand why so many people have chosen to live, work, and retire in Costa Rica.
One of the aspects I enjoy most about life in Jaco Costa Rica is the excellent cost of living here which allows your dollar to stretch much further, allowing for services and luxuries that would be much too expensive to afford in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. I will give you a glimpse of the cost of living in this article, so you too can compare what these costs are with those of your own place of residence.
The cost of living in San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica) is among the lowest of any in Latin America. The costs are overall about 30% less compared to those of North America, especially in terms of the cost of service for telephone, electricity, water, and domestic/maintenance services, as well as the cost of frequenting restaurants and movies.
If you add this to the Costa Rica's mild weather, which eliminates the need for cooling and heating, you would really appreciate the cost savings you could have!
Fulltime live-in maid (Sundays off) - $200 per month
Ticket to see a movie in a modern theater - $5
Minimum price to see a cultural event at the National Theater - $8
Ticket to see a First Division Soccer Team Match - $12
An excellent steak dinner in a good restaurant - less than $20
Basic commercial phone service - $8 per month
Basic cable TV service - $27
Cable internet home service (1 Meg download/256k upload) - $39
Men's haircut & shampoo at luxury barbershops - $15
Men's haircut at local barbershop - $9
La Nacion, Costa Rica's leading daily newspaper - $0.38
A bottle of Coca Cola - $0.53
A pound of beans - $0.41
A bottle of Imperial beer - $0.67
A pack of local cigarettes - $0.95
Bus ride from downtown San Jose to Escazu - $0.60
Bus ride from San Jose to Jaco Beach (60 miles) - $2.40
Suzuki ATV-Ozark LT-f250 - $5,195 (out the door)
Suzuki ATV-Z400 - $8,100 (out the door)
Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster - $9,664
Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportser Custom - $11,436
2007 Honda CR-V 4x2 SUV - $33,000
2007 KIA Rio Hatchback 1400cc with extras - $15,600
2007 Toyota Prado (6 cyl) Diesel 4x4 - $37,600 (fully loaded)
While some imported manufactured items such as appliances, TV's, computers, and vehicles are more expensive, they are usually one time expenses. However, your daily and recurring expenses are much cheaper here and you can also enjoy a higher standard of living in Costa Rica, a country that has most of the comforts of living found in North America and Europe. When you can have a full-time maid for $200 and a driver for $400, your lifestyle experiences a significant transformation and you can also enjoy luxuries you could otherwise not afford to pay for back in your home country. Taking everything into consideration such as the great year-round climate, the friendly people of Costa Rica, political stability, a relatively low crime rate, and a truly peaceful country which has no military, it's a wonder you are not living here already!