Cheap Places to Live in Costa Rica

Are you an ex-pat or retiree looking for cheap places to live in Costa Rica? Then you are in the right place. Costa Rica has made a name for itself as one of the most affordable places to retire and one of the best countries for digital nomads. The country is known for its beauty, serene beaches, mountains and welcoming community, you will live your life in Costa Rica like in a nomad movie. As with any other country in its category, the cost of living in Costa Rica depends on where you choose to live. However, regardless of where you want to settle, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other countries. In this article, we will explain the advantages of moving to Costa Rica and the 15 best cheap places to live in Costa Rica.


The Benefits of Moving to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small Central American country known for its stunning natural beauty and biodiversity. Located between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is a secure region with favourable weather all year round. It is also home to several national parks, an international airport, and a variety of different regions to live in. Here are the reasons you should consider moving to Costa Rica.

  • One of the main benefits of living in Costa Rica is the country’s natural beauty. From the lush rainforests of the Caribbean lowlands to the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast, Costa Rica is home to a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems. The country is also home to several national parks, including the Arenal Volcano National Park, the Manuel Antonio National Park, and the Corcovado National Park, which are all home to a rich variety of plant and animal life. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities, making them popular destinations for nature lovers.
  • Another reason you should consider moving to Costa Rica is the country’s strong education system. Costa Rica has a high literacy rate and a strong education system, which includes both public and private schools. The country is also home to several universities, including the University of Costa Rica, which is one of the top universities in Latin America. This makes Costa Rica an attractive place for those who want to continue their education or for families who want their children to receive a high-quality education.
  • In addition to its beauty and strong education system, Costa Rica is also home to an international airport, which makes it easy to travel to and from the country. The Juan Santamaría Airport is the main hub for international flights in Costa Rica and is served by a variety of airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, and United. This makes it convenient for those who want to travel internationally or for those who have family or business ties to other countries.
  • There are many parts of the country to consider when deciding where to live in Costa Rica. The Central Valley is home to many of the country’s major cities and is known for its cooler temperatures and higher elevation. The Pacific coast, on the other hand, is home to many of the country’s most popular beach destinations and is known for its warm, tropical climate. Each region of Costa Rica has its own unique character and attractions, making it easy to find a place that suits your preferences and lifestyle.

Overall, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to live, offering a wide variety of natural beauty, a strong education system, an international airport, and several different regions to choose from. Whether you’re looking to retire, start a family, or just enjoy a new way of life, Costa Rica has something to offer everyone.

15th cheap cities in Costa Rica

1. Turrubares

cheap places live costa rica Turrubares

This town is one of the outstanding towns forty-five kilometres northwest of the city of San Jose. The name ‘Turrubares’ originates from the Indian language meaning long grass. The land in this town is perfect for growing African palms, oranges, coffee and mandarins. If you are looking for a cheap city, Turrubares has a lot to offer. For a single person, the cost of living in this town is between $1200 and $1700 per month. However, if you are a conservative spender, expect to live with less than $1000 per month. The city is well covered by high-speed internet, and most services and products are accessible online. Other occasions you can expect in this town include horseback riding and countless rainforest adventures. There are numerous glasses of waterfalls you can explore while living in this town.

2. Puntarenas

puntarenas cheap places in costa rica

Puntarenas is one of the cheap places to live in Costa Rica. The city is famous and known for its average cost of living. For instance, it is ranked 7th amongst the cheapest cities, and you will need $735 to live on average monthly. Also, with a population of 41.5k, Puntarenas is ranked the 5th largest city in Costa Rica.

While living in this city, you explore towns such as Cotos Brus and Montes De Oro. Also, there are many ways for you to enjoy what this city has to offer around the beach. In Puntarenas, you can enjoy camping, snorkelling and diving. Not to forget, crime in this area is relatively low; thus, while enjoying your nightlife, vandalism and theft will last in your preference.

3. Gold Coast

gold coast places for live in costa rica

The northwest coastline of Costa Rica is known as the Gold Coast. The town is located five hours near the Nicaraguan border. This town is famous for ex-pats who love surfing and beach life. Also, there are five star-resort and lots of adventure. Also, you will meet the Tico culture and traditions, not to forget the many experts visiting this country from around the world.
The cost of living on the gold coast depends on your lifestyle. For instance, you can rent a simple one-bedroom house 15 minutes walk to town and the beach for $600 a month. Also, you opt for a modern finished two-bedroom house with an ocean view for $1300 monthly. You still find a three-bedroom house in a private home with a backyard and pool for $1155 a month. That is why some people will live for less while others spend much more.

4. San Ramon

San ramon costa rica

San Ramon is one of the cheap places to live in Costa Rica. Over the years, the city has grown from a small town owned by coffee farmers to a major centre of commerce. While it is a thriving city, San Ramon has maintained the beauty of a typical Costa Rica pueblo and is cheap to live in. Also, the city is known for its year-round moderate climate that attracts retirees looking for a city with the best weather to settle in. The city has a population of 86,610 and is home to a diverse group of people.
Those who are looking for a property to buy can get a decent property somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000. Nonetheless, a two-bedroom rental property with sufficient amenities will cost about $600 monthly. This city is no stranger to technology, and properties are accessible to cable or DSL high-speed internet.

5. Nuevo Arenal

nuevo arenal costa rica

The town of Nuevo is located on the northern edge of33-square mile lake. The city offers its residents a clear picture view of Arena Volcano. Nonetheless, it is considered the best place to live for a person looking for a fabulous beach town. However, the town is regarded as the most minor and most rural. It is not isolated. This town can boast of being one of the fastest ex-pat growing communities with day-to-day living amenities right in town. You will find good restaurants, high-end cuisine, shopping malls, gas stations, pharmacies and banks here.
The cost of living in this town is low. For instance, the cost of electricity is low as you don’t need to use an air conditioner in this town. Also, the town is connected to high-speed internet, cable TV (where you can watch premium TV), and the cost runs from $(60 to 80). Your cost will even go lower if you dine and live like a local. This means you must attend the farmers market for fresh veggies, fruits, seafood, and other local foods.
Nonetheless, a fully-furnished two-bedroom house near the town costs $850 per month. This cost includes all the basic amenities. But you can still find a two-bedroom house at $650 within walking distance of the lake.

6. Uvita

uvita cheap places

Uvita is the central town on the Whale Coast (Southern Zone Costa Ballena). The town is located between Ojochal in the south and Domical in the north. besides, it is surrounded by significant groceries, top-notch cuisine, banks, credible medical centres, schools, and all the necessary amenities. High-speed internet is also available at affordable prices.
The best thing about you can buy a two-bedroom home for less than $250000. Also, if you a looking for a rental house, a two-bedroom house goes for $800 per month. And if you are a couple, you can live comfortably with less than $2000 if they are reasonable.

7. Cartago

cartago places to live in costa rica

The city of Cartago is based in the central part of Costa Rica. The town was once the capital city of Costa Rica but was partly destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the yearly 1732. Cartago boasts among the oldest and largest cities in the country. The city is a prime agricultural centre where potatoes, orchids and onions are among the major crop in the region.
Nonetheless, a one-bedroom house costs roughly $400 per month. However, if you are okay with living in an apartment, the same unit will cost you $ 305 per month. Also, depending on how prudent you are on your finances, you can spend less than $900 a month. This amount is affordable, with an average monthly salary of 901. The cost of essential utilities like farmers’ market supplies is relatively low. Besides, high-speed internet (unlimited data) will cost you 53.91 a month.

8. Puerto Limon

puerto limon costa rica

The bustling port town is a unique and vibrant fabric in Costa Rica. The majority of the resident here are of Afro-Caribbean ancestry. That is why Limon is known to offer a culture-rich experience to its visitors. Furthermore, it has several museums, unique architecture, and other must-see attractions worth your time.
If you plan to move to Puerto Limon, you will not have fast Wi-Fi networks in some areas you will experience poor cell phone networks. Besides, renting a furnished 2-bedroom house costs approximately $600 per month. If you are a couple, you can live with less than $2000 per month if you are not extravagant in lifestyle.

9. Nosara

Nosara is one of the nicest and cheapest places to stay in Costa Rica. The town is safe and has a good-natured blend of locals and foreigners. The city has a favourable climate and fast internet. Living in Nosara allows you to do plenty of things in your free time. You can relax on the stunning Nosara beaches, enjoy hiking through the jungle of Nosara or go to the viewpoint of North Guiones beach. Also, if you like surfing, Nosara has the most spectacular surfing destinations.
Nosara has plenty of malls and shops where you can go and shop. Also, if you want to eat out or enjoy a bottle of your favourite beer, you can choose from many restaurants and bars. The town’s housing costs are among the cheapest in the country. Expect to part with roughly $1300 per month for a one-bedroom house.

10. San Jose

san jose costa rica

This town is one of the cheapest places to live in Costa Rica. This big city offers residents a mix of urban and suburban living. Being the country’s capital, it has all the essential amenities from schools to hospitals. In addition, San Jose is the cultural hub of Costa Rica. It has many theaters, museums, and galleries you can visit during your free time and learn about the history of this fascinating country.
Also, if you are looking for work, there are tons of multinational companies making the city flooded with job opportunities. In addition to the Mediterranean climate, reliable public transportation, and a great food scene, are some of the things that attract many expats living this town.

The city is also near Juan Santamaria Airport, which makes international travel quite easy. In addition, the proximity of the city to the Caribbean coast means you will have access to beautiful white sand beaches anytime.

11. Alajuela

alajuela cheap places in costa rica

Living in Alajuela has quite a few advantages. It has a favourable climate and a significantly low cost of living. The cost of food and housing is super affordable! That is why there is a large expat community living in this city. This small city is just a short drive from the Nicoya peninsula and is very close to the most popular beach in the country, Jaco beach.
When you live in Alajuela, you will enjoy stunning views of Costa Rica’s breathtaking landscapes and the rolling mountains.
Moreover, international travel is easy while living in this great city. The town is a short distance from the Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO).
Alajuela also has some of the country’s best private and public hospitals. So, when living in this city, you are guaranteed quality health care.
And if you are a foodie lover, there are a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can go and enjoy authentic cuisine and drinks.

12. Atenas

Atenas is one of the most affordable places to live in Costa Rica. This city is highly secure, with a relatively low crime rate. Also, Atenas boasts some of the most renowned hospitals and schools in Costa Rica. Public transportation in the city is excellent, so you can easily access different neighbourhoods without difficulties.
One of the critical things that makes Atenas the ultimate destination for many expats and Costa Rican residents is its strategic location. The city is 30 minutes’ drive away from San-Jose Airport. Also, it is a few miles away from the Central Pacific Coast beaches. It is a cheap place to work remotely.
The temperature in Atenas is pretty comfortable, with warm days and cool nights. Moreso when living in this city you will enjoy incredible views of mountains and breathtaking valleys.
The locals are also welcoming and friendly, and a thriving expat community lives in the city.

13. Dominical

Are you looking for a beach city in Costa Rica? Dominical would be an ideal location. Dominical is a beach town located on the lush Costa Bellana. The city has refreshing weather with plenty of bars and restaurants where you can get your favourite cocktail and watch the waves.
Dominical boasts some of the most reputable hospitals in Costa Rica. So, if you choose to retire in this town and have a pre-existing condition, you don’t have to worry about how you will access healthcare.
The cost of living in this town is quite affordable, from food to housing. In Dominical, a furnished two- to three-bedroom house rents for $900 to $1200 per month.

Besides a pleasant climate and developed public transportation, this town has reliable internet access. High-speed fibre optic internet is available in almost every neighbourhood in Dominical. Also, other essential utilities such as electricity and water are dependable. The place is also secure and home to a large community of expats and locals because of all the advantages the city has to offer, many expatriates are choosing this place to pay their taxes as digital nomads.

14. Tamarindo

Are you looking for a place to live in Costa Rica without sacrificing your quality of life? Tamarindo can be an ideal choice. This bustling beach town is a perfect place to call home if you want a quality lifestyle but are on a budget. The cost of living in Tamarindo is far cheaper than in other towns in Costa Rica. The average monthly cost of living in this town is $1120. However, being a top tourist destination, houses aren’t cheap. A one-room apartment in the city costs around $1200 monthly. Almost every place you stay in this town has super-fast and stable Internet access, most of which is Wi-Fi.
In addition, Tamarindo enjoys a pleasant climate all year round and is a few miles from the airport. There are plenty of luxurious hotels across the town where you can dine in and enjoy local and international cuisine.
Furthermore, Tamarindo has lots of activities for everyone. Whether you like surfing, boogie boarding or sports fishing, you can do all that in this town. You can also visit national parks and see wildlife. And if you are a night person, the town offers a lively nightlife.

15. Quepos

Quepos is quite a small place with a population of approximately 22000 people. However, regardless of size, there are plenty of things to do! The town has lots of bars and restaurants and boasts a lively nightlife. The restaurants serve traditional dishes like casados and ceviche that you will enjoy.
Quepos has some of the most reputable schools and hospitals in Costa Rica. Also, the public transportation system is quite accessible. The town also has many opportunities to explore, from the mountains to the beaches.
The city is home to some of the most famous parks in the country, such as Manuel Antonio National Park. The locals living in Quepos are friendly and welcoming, and the place enjoys warm weather all year round.
The cost of living in this town is affordable. The prices for food and amenities are reasonable. Furthermore, there are various housing options in Quepos, from basic to mansions. Here you can get a furnished one-room apartment at a price ranging from $ 1000 to $ 1200 monthly.

FAQs Cheap Places to Live in Costa Rica

Can I live in Costa Rica for 1000 a month?

It is possible to live in Costa Rica for around $1,000 per month, depending on your lifestyle and location.

Is Costa Rica an inexpensive place to live?

Costa Rica is generally considered an inexpensive place to live, especially compared to other countries in North America and Europe. The cost of living in Costa Rica is lower than in many other countries, and it is possible to live comfortably on a budget.

What is the safest place to live in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is generally considered a safe place to live, but like any country, there are certain areas that are safer than others. In general, the areas with the lowest crime rates are the suburbs and rural areas outside of the major cities.

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