Immigration. Travel. Living.

Costa Rica: how the immigrants living

Flag of Costa Rica

Its citizens and residents enjoy a front-row view of the beautiful landscape and picturesque coastal views found across the nation.

If you spend even a week here, you will understand why the country is among the most popular retirement destinations on Earth.

This Central American country is not just popular with people looking to relocate for retirement and eco-tourism; it also ranks as the best place to start a business in Central and Latin America.

Compared to countries in Latin America, Costa Rica has the most developed economies, the highest standards of living, and the lowest percentages of people in poverty. In this guide, we will be showing everything you need to know about Costa Rica before you travel to the country.

Life as an expat

Costa Rica is a relatively small country but boasts of the highest standards of living in Latin America.  It is one of the most diverse and beautiful nations on Earth. It is home to 27 national parks, cloud forests, volcanoes, tropical beaches, and lowland rainforest that shelters more than 65% of the country’s flora and fauna.

This Central American country is also very safe. The security agencies and other vigilantes help to ensure that law and order are maintained. However, if you just arrived, you should be extra careful and cautious.

Public and social services are also top-notch. Clean water, stable electricity, cable TV, cell phone service, and high-speed Internet are available nationwide.

One of the best places to live in this Latin American country is San José. San José is the capital city of Costa Rica located in the Central Valley. There are a lot of expat communities in this region.

Once you arrive in San José, you can travel to any part of the state within 3 hours. One of the biggest reasons why San José is a popular city for tourists and expat is its beautiful weather. San Jose is an urban tropic; it doesn’t get too hot or too cold here.

If you live in San José, you’ll be close to a lot of opportunities and infrastructures that you won’t find anywhere in Central America.

Living in San José or any of its neighboring cities means you get to eat in nicer restaurants, visit classical museums, get a good apartment for a cheap price, and enjoy everything that comes with living in a big city.


While the cost of flats, apartments, and houses vary depending on the city and town, the cost of buying or renting a house is very affordable. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $506/month [in a city center] and $454 [outside of a city]. The average price of an apartment for sale in a Costa Rican city is $204 [per square foot].

Properties and real estate across the nation are very affordable.  The most expensive properties are located in metropolitan areas like San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Escazu, and the Pacific coast.

green trees on mountain under white clouds during daytime

Healthcare system

Costa Rica has an excellent low-cost healthcare system. The country provides universal medical coverage to its citizens and permanent residents. Both the public and private health care systems in the country are continually being upgraded.

With just $150/month, you can enjoy complete medical coverage under the national public health insurance system also known as CajaEvery resident with medical insurance under “Caja” enjoys a wide array of medical services available in over 50 hospitals and 300 clinics across the country.

There are also lots of affordable private hospitals and insurance services throughout the country. Private clinics and hospitals also have state-of-the-art facilities that can handle medical emergencies and other complicated procedures.

If you don’t feel like going to the hospital or clinic, there are lots of pharmacies that can accurately diagnose and prescribe drugs for situations like birth control pills, high cholesterol medication, nausea, malaria, or migraine.

Cost of living

Living in this country allows you to enjoy the best quality of life at a very affordable price. There are millions of American, Canadian, and European expats that are comfortably living in Costa Rica.

These people enjoy life in Costa Rica not just for the beauty or quality of life but because the cost of living in the country is very affordable.

A single person can live comfortably on a $1,100 budget per month. A family of four can enjoy life in this Central American country on a $2,400 budget and retired couples can enjoy life in this Latin American state on a $1,500 budget.

How cool is that?

But as always, your cost of living and expenses depends on your lifestyle. But overall, Costa Rica is more affordable than most countries in Europe and North America.

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