Best Things about Living Abroad in Costa Rica in 2024

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Best Things about Living Abroad in Costa Rica in 2023

Living abroad in Costa Rica in 2023 will be an exciting and unique experience! Costa Rica is known for its lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, and some of the best places in Latin America.

Its culture is incredibly vibrant and welcoming, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a different way of life, from the capital city, San José, to small-town gems.

Not only this, but the most exciting thing about Costa Rica is the tropical weather of this place throughout the year is just great. It offers an appropriate atmosphere for your lifestyle, and you will face no hassle when it comes to the residence.

This is not it; the political system here is so well established that one craves, and here you will get every type of security and safety. The cherry on top is if you are a student, a retiree, or anyone, and you want to live in a place that offers you everything in one place and on a reasonable budget, my friend Costa Rica is definitely for you.

The welcoming locals of this place will not make you feel left out. In fact, they help you in a variety of manners. You will find some of the happiest people on Earth in Costa Rica.

They follow their philosophy of loving good food, good friends, and savoring the world’s beauty above all else. Do you know what the bonus point is? Let us tell you, there are so many ex-pats already there.

So, you will not find it any difficult to adjust here. Moreover, there are ex-pat communities where you can live and interact with others.

Here are some of the best things about living abroad in Costa Rica in 2023 that you need to consider before selecting Costa Rica as your next home. Are you ready for it?

#1: Incredible Nature

First, the first reason for choosing Costa Rica over all the other locations on Earth is its Incredible nature. This place is all about the fantastic wildlife in which you will find the tortoise of different species, monkeys, and exotic birds of every variety.

Incredible Nature

Costa Rica is especially famous for its rainy season, mountains, volcanos, and beaches. Several National parks are full of wildlife, which enhances the beauty of Costa Rica even more.

The lush jungles here make it a top priority for those so much into nature. One does not want to miss the numerous volcanos in Costa Rica. The idyllic beaches and, yes, how can we forget about the waterfalls will make you choose Costa Rica for living in 2023.

Check out some of our favorite must-haves when we head out for a little Costa Rican adventure:

  1. Ear Flex Baby Backpack Carrier Child Framed Carrier with Removable Backpack
  2. Nefeeko Collapsible Water Bottle
  3. GoPro 3-Way 2.0 (GoPro Official Mount)

Costa Rica is a bridge between two continents, just another bonus point. Temperature is just another yet vital factor to consider. The temperature does not fluctuate and remains constant almost throughout the year.

Although the predictability can come according to the altitudes. It means the higher you go, the colder it gets. Here are some regions you want to know if you plan to live here.

The Northern Pacific Coast

Here in this region, you are going to find beaches and beaches. Because this region is most popularly known for its dry and rugged yet iconic beaches. This part of Costa Rica is best for those interested in beaches and hobbies like surfing and soaking.

Cause the jaw-dropping beaches that are also surrounded by some of the famous national parks are going to be the reason to choose this region for living the rest of your life.

The Southern Pacific Coast

If you turn your head to the south, you will see a dramatic turn from the beaches to the landscapes. This area is hot yet lush but, to some extent, undeveloped.

One of the best points of this place is that it is the most biodiverse area in the country. If you crave solitude, then this region is best for you. All in all, this place will offer you insane adventures with eye-catching and marvelous views.

The Central Valley

Next in the row, and the most important one, is the central valley cause here you will find the capital of Costa Rica. Yes, you guessed it right. San Jose is in the central valley, not only the money but also the country’s main international airport.

Apart from all this, the green hills and the blanket of stunning mountains make it nothing less than heaven. This is not it; this is where you will find the most iconic volcanos in the region, which enhances its beauty. If we dig into further details, you will see that the roads here are plentiful and in good condition.

The Northern Caribbean Coast

If I say that this area is not accessible to the people, it would not be wrong because it is defined by water and only assessable by boats and air. A unique species of turtle live here.

Although there are better options than this place for you to live there, it can be the best option if you want to spend your weekend with your family. Because the beaches here are quite beautiful and you can surf here and relax for some time.

To sum it up, these regions and many more are those where you can spend the rest of your life. Everything is just so perfect about this place. You will not only find peace but also comfort. So, what is stopping you from packing your bags?

#2: Low Cost of Living

Costa Rica offers a lower living cost than other places in the world, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to live a comfortable lifestyle.

Low Cost of Living

According to an estimate, the cost of living in Costa Rica is 37% to 38% less than that of living in the United States. Regardless of which region you choose to settle down, the overall cost of living there is comparatively lower than in most countries. Isn’t it incredible?

The maximum living cost of one ex-pat in Costa Rica is nearly $1000 to $2000, and in our opinion, it is pretty reasonable. In this section, we will guide you about the cost of housing to the cost of entertainment, and whatnot. Because this section is all about the cost of living in Costa Rica.

Housing Costs in Costa Rica

As we are comparing the cost of living with the cost of living in the USA, it is essential to mention that the rent here is also 71% lower than in the United States.

The most expensive city in the country is San Jose, located in the central valley. If we look at the expense of living in that city, renting one apartment or bedroom costs you nearly $600-$700. And if we go outside San Jose, it drops to at least $350-$400 per month.

Remember that they will charge you an extra $50-$60 monthly for your essential utilities: water, electricity, heat, etc. You can also go for the big apartment, but it will cost you a good $1800-$1900 per month in the capital.

But if you want to live outside the money, you will see a dramatic rent price decrease. It is all about your choice when selecting a place to live.

Food and Entertainment Costs in Costa Rica

Next and the most important thing to look at is the food and entertainment cost. The food and entertainment are also pretty affordable.

If we look at an estimate of a single person’s lunch in no so fancy restaurant, it is approx. $6-8 dollars. Whereas if you are considering food for two in an average restaurant, it will at least cost you $32-$35.

If we talk about the drinks and specifically when it comes to cappuccino, then it starts from $2.20. Maybe you will find this a little expensive, but remember that Costa Rica is famous for its coffee as they grow some of the world’s best coffees here.

Besides, it will cost you even less if you prefer cooking at home. The price of a potato bag is $0.70-$0.80.

The Cost of Transportation in Costa Rica

If you do not know already, let me tell you about the roads of Costa Rica. The streets are tarnished, and you need a lot of practice and keeping safe on the top priority list.

If you are not considering driving on your own, Costa Rica has its own secure and reliable bus services that are also there for you. The one-way ticket on the bus is $0.60, which will cost you monthly almost $30.0 something.

Also, if you are considering taking a taxi, it will cost you $1.50-$1.80 per mile. Which is, again, quite reasonable.

No matter if you are choosing to drive on your own or planning to take a bus or taxi. The catch is that the cost of transportation is reasonable compared to the cost of other options.

Healthcare Costs in Costa Rica

The best thing about living in Costa Rica is that it has its very own government-run health care system. But, this facility is only for those who are citizens of it and who are permanent and temporary residents.

You can also apply for permanent residency after constantly living there for three years. It will not be wrong to say that Costa Rica has one of the best medical care systems in the world.

Other than the government-run healthcare systems, different medical clinics are also available. Moreover, you can avail of private health insurance to assess health care services quickly.

Plus, this insurance helps you pay your medical bills in case of accidents or emergencies.

Education in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has one of the best education systems in Central American countries. If you plan to move with your family, your children can get a high-quality education in this country. The literacy rate in Costa Rica is around 95%, and the curriculum is the same across all public schools.

Public schools are free in Costa Rica. There is no school fee, and you only have to buy books and uniforms for your kids.

Moreover, if you can’t afford to buy this stuff, you can apply for a scholarship, and the government will help you buy all the necessary things, including books and uniforms. If your children know Spanish, public schools are the best option for you to choose.

Costa Rica also has many private schools which offer more personalized education and smaller class sizes. These schools may have higher tuition fees and a different curriculum than public schools.

There are also international schools in Costa Rica. International schools would be a good choice if you are a foreigner and do not know Spanish.

The monthly fee of international schools starts from USD 150 to USD 1000. One thing to remember is to enquire about the additional cost of extra activities before admission to International schools. However, international schools are a great option if you can afford to attend school.

#3: Rich Culture

The rich culture of Costa Rica is another crucial reason for choosing Costa Rica over others. Costa Rica is a combination of European, indigenous, and Afro-Caribbean cultures.

Rich Culture

Pura Vida

Costa Rica is all about nature and happy humans. They are so friendly and kind that they attract you towards themselves within a bit of time.

The culture of Costa Rica is described by one of the most famous expressions, “Pura Vida.” If we translate it, it means pure life and is the country’s national slogan.

But, if we dig into the history, we will know much about Central America. To keep it short, this slogan means that the people who live there are full of life, and the proof is that they get an award for being the world’s happiest people.

If we talk about their happiness, we can see that people are happy because they are surrounded by many natural environments. The beautiful mountains, waterfalls, volcanos, and rages make their surroundings so peaceful that they make them kind and humble.

The History & Art

When it comes to historical and cultural places, the name San Jose popped into my mind the next moment. The capital of the country is rich when it comes to such sites. The art and architecture here are all you need to see if you are the one who is crazy about these two things.

The people of this area are more into spending time with their families, and that is how they like to spend their time. Most of the people you are going to find there are catholic. 

The Events & Festivals

Next, we are going to talk about the festive events of Costa Rica. One of the most famous ones is the horse show.

This horse show event happens nationwide, whether in a small city or a big one. And the gold ring is specially built for this event.

You will see so many people working for it that everything will be completed before the event day. Then there is a rodeo function that also happens in a ring.

In this one, there are various activities, including bullfights or runs and also parades of horses. Because Costa Rica has a rich cowboy history, you will see so many events about horses and bulls.

Other than these events and festivals, there are so many events happening across the year that you surely will know about when you start living there. After learning the details about the richness of the culture, we are sure we have convinced you to some extent, and now you are considering moving out.

If not, there is still so much to tell you about this beautiful country. Let’s dig into more details.

It is not wrong to say that there is something for everyone in Costa Rica. Do you love nature? Then this is the place for you!

If you are in culture and civilization, this place welcomes you with its rich culture. If you are in wildlife, then this place is totally for you. All in all, it is just the perfect place to move to.

#4: The Friendly Community

Costa Ricans are incredibly friendly and welcoming, so you will feel at home. One of the most important things you should consider while shifting to a different place is what kind of people live there.

The Friendly Community

By this, we mean that you should do your homework and research about the locals there, including their attitudes and behaviors towards others and especially towards ex-pats.

This thing can even make you rethink your decisions. But when moving to Costa Rica, you do not need to worry about it.

Do you know why?

Because the people of this place are so friendly, kind, humble and most importantly they are so welcoming towards ex-pats and tourists that you don’t regret your decision.

The people of Costa Rica are commonly referred to as Ticos. This word comes from the Spanish word “hermits,” which means little bothers.

I guess the term Ticos has cleared it all in one goes; that’s why you do not need to worry about people there. They care for you like their own family and are high on the values of community and togetherness.

One of the noticeable things about them is that they run at their own pace. They have no concerns about deadlines and stuff.

If you ask Tico about the completion of the task, then he will simply reply that he will complete it tomorrow. Tomorrow does not mean that tomorrow; it means he will complete it in some days.

We will call it moving at a snail’s pace, but at least they are enjoying life and not rushing for anything.

There is this famous saying that Ticos says, which means that Ticos use all of their time speaking hello, and thanks, and there are so many different ways that they use, which can clearly show how relaxed and fun-loving people they are.

You will find them in all colors, types, and sizes, but their unity is incredible. They are well-educated, gentle, down-to-earth, and polite.

You will see them treating the tourists in the most hospitable manner. No one ever returns disappointed from their behavior and attitude.

What is more? The Ticos are entirely family oriented. They do not like spending time on random things; instead, they prefer to be with their families in their leisure time.

They love music and dance, so when they get together for family dinners or traditional dinners, they enjoy dancing and music, which shows their harmony.

Costa Rican people do nothing but try to cherish their vast culture, history, and civilization, and we guess that makes them unique and different from others. All in all, these are some of the most basic details about the people of Costa Rica that will surely make you think about moving there.

#5: Delicious Food

If there is anything that comes after the beauty of Costa Rica, then it’s delicious and finger-licking food. And if someone asks us about our reason for moving to this place, we will say that the food makes us choose this place.

Delicious Food

Costa Rica is a great place and is best known for its food, which is made up of the best and most fresh ingredients.

You may be wrong if you think the food here is like Latin American or Mexican. Because the food of Costa Rica is much different from theirs. Most of the food has rice and black beans, if not both, then definitely one of them.

Food is expensive in some restaurants because there is a lot of tourist traffic. But then there come the street food and traditional meals everyone craves, and one should try this.

One of the best things about Costa Rica is people gather for a formal dinner and share joyous moments.

Isn’t it lovely?

We will mention some of the best dishes that make you go to Costa Rica and have it without wasting any more time. So are you ready for it? 

Gallo Pinto

This is the first meal of the day, yes, you guessed it right, breakfast. It is made of rice and beans, and we are sure you are not surprised by rice and beans.

This dish comes from the culture of Nicaraguan, but the locals of Costa Rica call it Pinto.

Gallo Pinto is made by mixing the main ingredients and adding spices like pepper, onions, and the secret ingredient, salsa line. When combined perfectly, some color variations make the dish look more presentable.


It is one of the most traditional dishes of Costa Rica. This is actually not a single dish but a combination of mawordshes.

Costa Rican people say that the marriage of multiple dishes is quite funny. The platter of Casado comes with rice, beans, salads, meat, tortillas, and sauces. It is already so much mouth-watering.

Imagine eating it every day when you live in Costa Rica. If not every day, maybe every weekend. Moreover, it is affordable, and you will feel full after eating the whole plate.

Sopa Negra

It is a soup of black beans which is quite popular in Costa Rica.

Sopa Negra is the best deal for you if you are a vegetarian. Also, it is gluten-free, which is also a plus for many people who are conscious about their diet.

The main ingredients of this soup are beans, onions, tomatoes, hard and soft-boiled eggs, and bell peppers. Imagine having Sopa Negra in your cozy apartment in Costa Rica while enjoying the natural beauty and great weather.


Last but not least, let’s talk about a traditional sweet dish. Flan is a satisfaction to your craving for something sweet.

A mixture of milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla makes a delicious custard-type dessert. Then it is cooked in a pan, and caramel is added. Also, it is chilled before serving.

Local people say that flan is the original dish of the Romans. However, the Costa Rican flan is a modern variation of the original word.

But whatever it is, it is so delicious that you can’t resist it if you watch someone preparing it before you.

Overall, Costa Rican food is famous all around the world. The uniqueness of these traditional dishes makes you crave them even when you are in your home country.

Wrapping Up

Although Costa Rica is a small country in South America, the quality of life is fantastic here. Beautiful landscapes, mesmerizing white sand beaches, exotic wildlife, fresh air, high-quality education, city life, and rich culture are good reasons to move to Costa Rica and live there.

Best Things about Living Abroad in Costa Rica in 2023

Costa Rica is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and you can easily travel on a tourist visa. Manuel Antonio, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, and Santa Ana are tourist attractions you can visit to experience nature and adventure.

If you want to be a permanent resident of Costa Rica, apply for a work permit. Once your application gets approved, you can work and live here.

Many digital nomads are shifting to Costa Rica to enjoy life while working remotely. So, Costa Rica can be your new home if you are a remote worker.

In addition, the cost of living in Costa Rica is affordable, so you can start a new life here quickly. Smaller towns are cheaper to live in, and you can enjoy the rural areas surrounding these towns.

For example, Tamarindo, a small village in Guanacaste Province, is a fantastic place for ex-pats to live. It is also a popular destination for tourists who love surfing.

Living in a foreign country like Costa Rica in 2023 will be an incredible experience. You’ll get to explore the country’s natural beauty, learn more about its culture, and enjoy the warm hospitality of its people.

Best Things about Living Abroad in Costa Rica in 2023


  1. Nice article.
    You do incorrectly state the CR national health is only for citizens and permanent residents. However temporary residents also are part of the CAJA healthcare system, once they have their Dimex.

  2. I love this ….. I am actually about to move to CR in August… I am looking for employment though. I am a veteran, but I have been a retail manager for the last 15 yrs. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hey Russell!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Congrats on your big move! That is so exciting. In regards to work, to be able to legally work in a Costa Rican company, you must be at least a temporary resident. Alternatively, what many expats do is find a job that allows them to work remotely from a US company. Perhaps try looking into remote customer service lead roles. Good luck on your move!

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