Cost of Living in San Jose, Costa Rica

It is great to know that you can live comfortably somewhere in the worlds and that you can enjoy the beloved lifestyle.

That is why many people look for an ideal destination to satisfy their needs, desires and wishes.

If you are searching for a place which will offer you a lower cost of living than in many American and European countries, and at the same time, give you a chance to enjoy its beauties, we recommend San Jose.



San Jose has to offer both domestic and international cuisine and it is known that the restaurant food is delicious and affordable.

Local dishes will include meat, rice, beans, salad and vegetables and this can be found in an inexpensive restaurant for $7 per person.



If you decide to live like locals do, you will save a lot on food which is the major expense.

Actually, open air markets are the places where the locals purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, and spices, seafood, beef and chicken, eggs, bread, coffee, and much more at lower prices.



You do not need to use a car for commuting, as it will take you pretty much money,not only for gasoline, but for registration and insurance.

The transportation expenses when you are using the public transport system are very low, as one way ticket costs less than $0.7.



When renting an apartment you should keep in mind that you will probably pay a lot more if you are going to live in a larger home.

In general, the expenses are around $70 per month for basic utilities, while the Internet access is far too expensive, exceeding $75.

Sports and leisure


When it comes to entertainment, the closeness to the ocean allows numerous outdoor activities such as is surfing, walking or jogging on the beach, but those who would rather exercise indoors will have to pay around $60 per month.

Watching a recently released movie at the local cinema costs approximately $5.

Clothing and shoes


Clothing in San Jose is really expensive, especially when compared with the minimum wages.

A pair of running shoes costs half of somebody’s monthly salary.

However, there are some great discounts and low cost apparel, so you can still afford clothes, but you need to choose where you purchase it carefully.

Rent per month


For those who rent in San Jose, apartment costs will vary, depending on the size and style of it, as well as the location.

As everywhere in the world, apartments in the city center are more expensive, and the difference here is around $100.

Cost of Living Averages Table for San Jose

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $6.96
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.47
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.30
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $5.17
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.66
Eggs (12) $2.46
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.66
Monthly Pass $37.89
Gasoline $3.91
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $73.27
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.06
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $75.57
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $60.71
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $14.82
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $5.11
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $65.48
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $52.37
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $97.67
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $502.92
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $409.59
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $912.99

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in San Jose?

Rent is one of the highest costs that most foreigners face when they come to San Jose.

Those who possess their own property can save from $500 to $1000 per month on it and can afford putting some money aside or purchasing some luxurious things.

By carefully deciding what expenses are of the utmost importance and covering them first would make your living there decent and comfortable.

It is interesting to mention that even though utilities are expensive, less money is given for them than for leisure activities.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

San Jose: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The possible expenses in San Jose cannot be determined exactly, as they vary and depend on whether you will live as an individual or with your partner or family.

You can live comfortably in San Jose on the average salary, but it will obviously depend on your lifestyle.

The minimum salary is too low, and it cannot cover even the rent, and not to mention other expenses.

If you like living luxuriously, like drive daily and wearing designer clothes, you could actually end up paying a lot more to live in San Jose.

Average Salary$768.05
Minimum Wage$460.4
Mortgage Interest Rate9.30%

Cost of Living by City in Costa Rica

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
San Jose 57.84

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