We are a family of 5 and have traveled around the Gaunacaste region a few times. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about staying safe in Costa Rica, including Costa Rica safety tips and ways to keep a level head while traveling. We can both eat at a soda for about ten bucks total. Tack on the 13% tax and 10% service and two people spending $90-$180 per night on a lodge will be spending about $118-$170 for food each day. Dinner for … Together with her Costa Rican husband, Ricky, she also operates the Costa Rica Travel Blog (costaricatravelblog.com), wrote DIY Costa Rica (diycostarica.com), and constructed the Costa Rica Trip Planning 101 E-Course. Buying Food in Costa Rica. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about saving money in Costa Rica, and to access free discounts for Costa Rica tours, hotels, car rentals, and shuttle services. The following are collected for use in calculating cost of food: meats, dairy products, produce, bakery products, miscellaneous grocery products, fast food… We made up that guesstimate years ago but in 2019 the government release the chart below showing percentages spending in the tourism industry and lodging (alojomiento) was nearly identical to food and drink (comida y bebidas). The cost would be similar to what travellers would spend dining out in Canada or the US–anywhere from $10 to $20 per person per meal, or more if a higher-quality restaurant is selected. Located in the northern region of Costa Rica, you’ll be surprised to find out that the weather is a bit more agreeable than that of the central and southern regions. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about Costa Rica destinations, including recommendations for where to go in Costa Rica. Not the cheapest hole in the wall, nor the sunset view lobster bib place on the cliff. However, to give you a general idea of the savings, here’s a sample grocery bill that compares Costa Rica food costs against the price of the same item in the U.S. eh? Looking for a writer, blogger, travel journalist, proofreader, copywriter, and/or Spanish/English translator/editor? Throw in a couple of powerbars ($3 each), two gatorades ($3 each) and a bag of chips ($2) for snacks on the road or while you’re hiking. Best Places to See Wildlife in Costa Rica, no obligation custom trip plan & price quote, Costa Rica Travel Budget & Cost Calculator, you’re spending about $900 – $1,500 per person in Costa Rica for transportation, lodging and tours (not including international airfare), and your average hotel or lodge costs $90-$180 per night double occupancy. Questions & Answers: Ask Nikki And Ricky! The Guanacaste area tends to attract a lot of foreigners, so our guess here would be that the influx has affected the area’s food pricing, at least it has affected the pricing of food items that are more often purchased by expats or foreigners who are frequently in Costa Rica. Is the value of your Costa Rica trip worth $5? Last updated on May 2nd, 2020 at 11:15 am EST. For more information, please visit DIY Costa Rica. The short answer is “about the same as what you budget for lodging“. Read our related response: I Am Lactose Intolerant/Allergic To Milk And/Or Cheese. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about transportation in Costa Rica, including different ways to get around Costa Rica. ► Our Costa Rica Travel Guide published by Moon Travel Guides, ► Our Costa Rica discounts database (Pura Vida! That surprises most people, but it’s better to know in advance than be shocked after you get the bill. Costa Rica in April: Costs, Weather, Wildlife, Roads, Tourism Closures And More! Suffice it to say Costa Rica has its fair share of pricey, but often excellent, restaurants, and if you eat out a lot, your food expenses will get higher. Most American, Canadian, and European expats in Costa Rica spend much less money on day-to-day expenses than they do in their home countries. Costa Rican fare is nutritionally well rounded, and nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients. It does not cost anything to go to a bar in Costa Rica, but most clubs have a cover charge of $5 to $15 (3,000-9,000 CRC). Inc., home to hundreds of free discounts for Costa Rica day tours, our “best of Costa Rica” compilation DIY Costa Rica, our free Costa Rica Trip Planning 101 E-Course, and our Costa Rica travel guidebook, Moon Costa Rica (2019), published by the prestigious Moon Travel Guides. We’re a happily married, nature-loving, adventurous couple in our 30s who has spent the past 13 years exploring Costa Rica together. But in many ways Costa Rica is much more affordable than back home. If you wish to eat economically, you can plan to eat at “sodas” during your trip. Simple it may be, but tasty nonetheless, especially when it comes to the interesting regional variations found along the Caribbean coast, with its Creole-influenced cooking, and in Guanacaste, where there are vestiges of the … The two of us have significantly different tastes, and if we ever each went grocery shopping on our own for ourselves, our bills would be very different. Food Prices in Costa Rica Select city in Costa Rica: --- Select city--- Alajuela Arenal Cartago Ciudad Colon Curridabat Desamparados Escazu Guadalupe Guanacaste Heredia Jaco Beach Liberia Ojochal Palmares Perez Zeledon Playa Flamingo Playa del Coco Puerto Viejo - de Talamanca, Limon Puntarenas Quesada Samara San … When you mention that you have yet to figure out how the locals can afford the food prices, by “locals” do you mean born-and-raised Costa Ricans? Odds are if you can afford luxury lodging you’ll tend towards the nicer restaurants where you can easily double the prices listed above for an average eatery. For born-and-raised Costa Ricans like Ricky, most of his food comes from small pulperias, is bought in bulk (for things like rice), or is supplied by his own family (it is not uncommon for Costa Rican families to have their own tilapia fish ponds, their own chickens for eggs, and/or to raise their own meat). So how much should you budget for food on your vacation? ► When to start reserving Costa Rica day tours, ► When to start reserving all Costa Rica trip items, ► Our bottom-up approach to trip planning, ► How to plan a trip to Costa Rica for free step by step, ► Kudos to these Costa Rican tourism companies, ► Shaking off tourism competition in Costa Rica, ► 30 touristy things to do in Costa Rica (Costa Rica activity guide), ► How to save money on Costa Rica tours and activities, ► Info about self-guided adventures in Costa Rica, ► Free or cheap things to do in Costa Rica, ► Our interactive Costa Rica map (search destination-based articles by location), Things to do in Grecia, Sarchi, and Zarcero, ► Puerto Viejo / Southern Caribbean Coast, ► Manuel Antonio / Quepos / Central Pacific Coast, ► Destination name/location misunderstandings, ► How to use guided tours to travel between destinations, ► Tour transportation: hotel pick-ups and drop-offs, ► Driving distance/duration charts for popular routes, ► FREE discounts for Costa Rica tours and activities, ► FREE discount codes for Costa Rica hotels, shuttles, and car rentals, ► How to use tour transportation to save money on travel in Costa Rica, ► 20 things to drink in Costa Rica (alcoholic & non-alcoholic), ► Vegetarian and vegan food in Costa Rica, ► Recipes for Costa Rican food and drinks, ► Costa Rica safety information and recommendations, ► How to maintain a level head while you travel, ► Internet, technology, and electronic device info, ► Sustainable tourism in Costa Rica: 15 ways to travel responsibly, ► Our answers to common Costa Rica questions (master list), ► Our answers to Costa Rica rafting tour questions, ► Our answers to Costa Rica hot springs questions, ► Our answers to Costa Rica ziplining questions, ► Our answers to travelers' questions submitted through our blog. Rice and beans are the foundation of most low-cost Costa Rican meals. In the Arenal area, we like Don Rufino, El Novillo, La Choza de Laurel, and Soda la Parada. Vegetarian And Vegan Dining In Costa Rica. Whereabouts in Guanacaste are you referring to? At a moderately-priced sit-down restaurant, a salad, main course and glass of wine will cost $15-20 per person. 13 Essential Traditional Foods To Try in Costa Rica Cas fruit. Since you’re the average traveler the price estimates below are for average restaurants. Food in Costa Rica is characterized by the fact that itsvalue is higher than in many countries in Central America, but lower than in Europe and the USA. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to read our responses to some of the most common questions we receive about Costa Rica, including questions about white-water rafting in Costa Rica, questions about zip-lining in Costa Rica, questions about visiting the hot springs in Costa Rica, and more! In general, a Costa Rican diet is quite basic and repetitive (at least compared to American and Canadian standards); foods like rice, beans, meat, and a handful of vegetables and fruits are what most Costa Ricans live on from day to day, with little extras and variety. Our thoughts are influenced by our own travel experiences for the sole purpose of contributing feedback to the greater travel community. At lunch you might want a chicken sandwich ($9), salad ($8), burger ($8) or personal pizza ($11) and a fresh fruit drink ($3). What first comes to mind when you think of Costa Rica? Affordable Day-to-Day Living in Costa Rica . It consists of beans, rice with finely diced red bell peppers and onions, fried plantains, a cabbage salad with tomato and carrot, and a choice of meat between chicken, fish, pork, or steak with grilled onions. We have noted big differences between the two areas with respect to food pricing, so our first thought in response to your question is: perhaps your specific experience has something to do with the area of the country you are situated in. Lifestyle, location and health insurance are part of the formula. Rent in Costa Rica is, on average, 64.03% lower than in United States. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Costa Rica should cost around ₡3,845 per person. ► 75 photos that will make you want to go to Costa Rica ASAP! Casado in a cafe 4 - 6 USD (large plate of rice, salad, bananas, … At ($2-$4) a beer, ($5-10) for a glass of wine, and ($7-$12) for a mixed drink and your $25 daily budget can disappear while you watch the sunset. We usually spend about $25 for the two of us for dinner; breakfast is usually included at the places we stay. As our reputation as a valuable Costa Rica resource grows, unfortunately so does plagiarism. Inc.; the author of the guidebooks Moon Costa Rica 2019 and Moon Costa Rica 2021; and a freelance writer for hire (nikkisolano.com). Food in Costa Rica is second only to the country’s beauty. How Do I Inform Restaurant Staff Of My Allergy In Spanish? Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn what to do in Costa Rica, including recommendations for the most popular Costa Rica activities, as well as ways to discover Costa Rica off the beaten path. Your email address will not be published. It is worth noting that the cost of food depends on whether you use local or imported products: cheaper to buy them at farmers' markets. Costa Rica has several cacao farms, where you can take tours to learn about the product’s cultural importance in indigenous communities, as well as chocolate’s role in the nation’s history. Traditional Costa Rican Food Casado. We never copy and paste information from other sources and we hope to receive the same respect from other writers. Breakfast is often included and sometimes pretty hearty, but if not, it’s the cheapest meal of the day if you end up going to a restaurant ($5 – $8). Inc.). I am not going to discuss dining out as that usually can mess up anyone's budget. » How Much Does Food Cost In Costa Rica? Exploring new cultures and food is a great way to expand your horizons. You can buy a hearty plate of beef, pinto, & fried … That’s because in Guanacaste you’ll find the weather promotes a drier and more arid climate, making it a bit easier to handle compared to the intense humidly of the … For those who enjoy cooking at home, groceries run the price gamut, and depend heavily on whether you consu… I Am Lactose Intolerant/Allergic To Milk And/Or Cheese. Food in Costa Rica is not too spicy and usually composed of ingredients that have never seen the inside of a can. At dinner grilled fish ($13), shrimp pasta ($16), steak ($12), or grilled chicken ($12). We have shopped at various markets small and large and have yet to figure out how the locals can afford the food prices. restaurant costs) depends entirely on the traveller. Ask a Costa Rican expat what they love best about their life and you’ll receive answers as varied as the country’s topography. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about food and drink in Costa Rica, including recommendations for things to eat in Costa Rica, drinks to try in Costa Rica, and Costa Rican recipes so you can re-create Costa Rican meals in your own home! We support our comments with evidence, however we welcome opposing comments. There are so many delicious dishes that are a must-try when visiting Costa Rica.Traditional Costa Rican food is definitely a blend of comfort food and grandma’s home cooking with a flavor-bursting Latin flare. The grocery stores now provide many brands that you might see in the U.S., Canada or even in Europe, but with those fancy brands comes the cost of getting them here, import taxes and … A cost of food score of 1 indicates most expensive while a 10 represents cheapest. In addition to writing this Costa Rica Travel Blog, we’re also the team behind several other Costa Rica-based projects, including: our business, Pura Vida! Try the southern Caribbean — there you’ll find everything from plantation tours to chocolate museums, cooperatives, and local … We always rent a house so we can cook most of our meals. Pura vida! Prices in Costa Rica for transportation and housing. Costa Rica Travel Blog posts are 100% our original content. Bills come in 1000-, 2000-, 5000-, 10,000-, 20,000- and 50,000-colón notes, while coins come in denominations of five, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 colones. Nikki Solano is the CEO of Pura Vida! Click here to learn more. Click here to listen to podcast interviews we’ve been featured on! Even water can easily cost a couple of bucks a bottle so do what you can to re-fill from the tap or cooler at your hostel, carry a filter and buy big jugs when you buy water (6 liters at the supermarket can be the same price as 1/2 liter at a convenience store). Obviously at popular vacation destinations you expect restaurants to have high prices just as they do at tourist beaches, ski areas and amusement parks all over the world, but food prices have gotten crazy in Costa Rica even in supermarkets in backwater ranching towns. If you’re backpacking on a really tight budget then cheap calories are an important goal but the food=lodging rule probably still applies. © Copyright 2007-2020 Costa Rica Travel Blog (Pura Vida! Formal dining $12-$60 Every city has its formal dining restaurants; you'll know them for their white tables, imported USDA steaks … Food and entertainment costs are also rather affordable. However, it is still quite cheap. Also, many tours (such as popular combo tours, canyoneering tours, rafting tours, and more) include a meal (sometimes two) with their tour rates, so the cost of lunches and/or dinners may also be able to be subtracted from the food/dining portion of your trip budget. Food is the most notable cost we see. Lifestyles of the Poor and Tan: Nosara is an expensive place to live, at least by Costa Rica standards. If you’re just setting out on this journey, review our introductory Costa Rica trip-planning resources first. The real killer on a backpacking budget tends to be beverages. you’re spending about $900 – $1,500 per person in Costa Rica for transportation, lodging and tours (not including international airfare) and your average hotel or lodge costs $90-$180 per night double occupancy Since you’re the average traveler the price estimates below are for average restaurants. Are we missing something? Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. average cost of a dorm bed per person. Itemized by category, the following is a breakdown of the recommendations documented on DIY Costa Rica. We strive for quality, not quantity, and we never stuff our blog with general information about Costa Rica that is widely available elsewhere. In popular tourist areas travellers will find many Americanized restaurants offering a variety of international meal options (albeit at more expensive rates). Caribbean Cuisine in Costa Rica The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is a world apart from the rest of the country, in more ways than one. If identical text or photos appear elsewhere online, the material has been stolen from us. First off, it’s in Central America, and that means it has all the flavor and fun of living in Latin America. Again, breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day and you can load up on Gallo Pinto, tortillas, eggs, fried plantains and hopefully some fresh fruit for around ($4-$7) per person. You might be splurging on an anniversary or birthday trip which means a special (ie expensive) candle light dinner. And, just like any other warm-weather destination, Costa Rica turns these fruits into smoothies and shakes. eh? You'll find that the appetizers vary from place to place but in general cost between $4 and $7. The Best of Costa Rican Cuisine: 10 Foods to Try in Costa Rica (With Recipes!) Each Costa Rica Travel Blog article reflects our own work, travels, and lessons learned. Budgeting for food (ie. We appreciate your interest, preference, time, and visit. . And if you’re trying to try the best food the world has to offer, Costa Rican food should be one of your top priorities. The average price for an entree in the country is probably $12 while dessert is usually about $4. Required fields are marked *. For lunch and dinner the cheapest meals are at the little local places called sodas and the best bang for your buck is usually a casado. . If you eat any meals at your hotel, prepare to pay more. While meal prices in Costa Rica can vary, the average cost of food in Costa Rica is ₡9,613 per day. Accommodation 30 - 50 USD room in the hotel for two; Price for a room with sea view 100 USD ; Long-distance bus transfer 4 - 8 USD ; Bike 5 USD a day; Rent surfboards for the whole day cost 10 USD ; Food prices. Costa Rica has full service markets and convenience stores. What a great comment and an interesting question! We have found that one of the largest expenses we have when in Costa Rica is on food. Costa Rican food is pricier than that of other nations in Central America. Having only stayed in two hostels during our time here, this is a very broad average but seems relatively comparable (if not sometimes cheaper) than accommodation prices elsewhere. Travelers' Costa Rica Questions and Answers, Best View Overlooking The Town Of La Fortuna, Best View Overlooking The Caribbean Coast, Best Breakfast Menu Item (Non-Traditional), Most Stressful Encounter During A Road Trip, Best Way To Get Into The Costa Rican Spirit, Best Semana Santa (Easter Week) Tradition, Best Use Of An Extra Two Dollars In Your Pocket, Best Site For A Titanic “I’m The King Of The World” Moment, Most Likely Fruit To Give You Montezuma’s Revenge, Most Stunning Product Of A Chemical Reaction, Best Equipment (Other Than A Camera) To Pack, Most Important Reason For Keeping Colones On Hand. If so, get DIY Costa Rica access. Pinto and beans are a staple of Costa Rica and common denominator among different culinary tastes in different regions of the country. That is the traditional name for the meal a wife should make for a married man (casado in Spanish). Your email address will not be published. Meet us, learn about our Costa Rica experience, and learn how we help Costa Rica travelers! Also, it may have something to do with the types of foods being purchased. Food and Entertainment Costs in Costa Rica. Expat Exchange: Cost of Living in Costa Rica If you're moving to Costa Rica, you'll want to understand the cost of living in Costa Rica. Cost of living in Costa Rica is 28.78% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Then there’s room service, poolside service and of course the mini-bar. eh? Due to the location of … Like most tropical destinations, Costa Rica is home to a number of unique tropical fruits—ones you’d be hard-pressed to find in other places. The cost of food, like any other expense, will vary greatly depending on your location and other factors, such as the quality or brand name you choose for each individual item. Originally settled by Jamaicans and other Caribbean islanders who came to work on railroad and agriculture projects on this coast a century or more ago, the habitants to this day … Please note that our reviews are not financially supported by the companies we choose to evaluate. We are actually so in love with Costa Rica that we are now building a home there to spend portions of the year living there. How Do I Inform Restaurant Staff Of My Allergy In Spanish? Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about spending money in Costa Rica, including Costa Rica payment policies, Costa Rica currency exchange, using USD in Costa Rica, tipping information, and more. I ask only because Guanacaste is home to the majority of the country’s all-inclusive resorts, and we wonder if that has something to do with the increase in pricing you have noticed. Split an appetizer ($10) and a desert ($5), add a couple of beers for him ($7) and a couple of glasses of wine for her ($15). Browse our Costa Rica blogs to discover other things about Costa Rica not included in other categories. All content, concepts, and photos (unless credited otherwise) property of Ricky and Nikki Solano. Back when I was an avid international backpacker in my teens and twenties and even through our thirties when Sue and I bicycle toured everywhere the food budget was paramount. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about preparing to travel to Costa Rica, including Costa Rica packing information. 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In Costa Rica, family-owned and operated small restaurants are called sodas. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about food and drink in Costa Rica, including recommendations for things to eat in Costa Rica, drinks to try in Costa Rica, and Costa Rican recipes so you can re-create Costa Rican meals in your own home! Costa Rican cuisine is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fruits and vegetables. Cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is 55% more expensive … Cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is 44% cheaper than in Sacramento, California; Cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is 35% cheaper than in New Haven, Connecticut; Cost of living in San Jose, Costa Rica is 54% cheaper than in Washington D.C. Costa Rican food – called comida típica (“native” or “local” food) by Ticos – is best described as unpretentious. The Costa Rican currency is the colón (plural colones), named after Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus). Costa Rica in March: Costs, Weather, Wildlife, Roads, Tourism Closures And More! Costa Ricans live up to this, with a welcoming and inclusive … save at sodas | alcohol | gourmet | low budget  | groceries. Move up to luxury digs in the $200-$400 a night price range and you’ll be surprised how your food budget follows you. Register today (it’s $5 for a full year of access) to start browsing! Whether you’re traveling to Costa Rica or finding local haunts, there is so much that Costa Rican food has to offer. We travel around the country frequently, but the majority of our residential experience comes from building our business from the La Fortuna/Arenal region of the country (the heart of Costa Rican tourism) and having property and family in the Turrialba area of the country (which, despite its growing popularity, hardly caters to tourism). If you never get sick of eating it over and over again, this will help you save on food. Browse our Costa Rica blogs to learn everything you need to know about shopping and buying souvenirs in Costa Rica. If you’re in the $300 a night price range for double occupancy you should probably budget at least $250 a day for food and drinks for two. When budgeting, most travellers will be able to avoid the cost of breakfasts as the majority of hotels include this meal with their room rates. Here again is a personal decision that affects your monthly food budget. One question that we get a lot from friends and others planning travel is “how much should we budget for food?”  Many people think of Costa Rica as a budget destination but our experience is that for sustenance you’ll spend at least as much here and often a bit more, as in the U.S., Canada or Europe. There’s a lot to love about this spot in Central America. As a whole, the three most famous dishes of the country are Casado, … Costa Rica in January: Costs, Weather, Wildlife, Roads, Tourism Closures And More! 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Off your clicks appreciate your interest, preference, time, and nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh,. €¦ average cost of food score of 1 indicates most expensive country in the Arenal area, we like Rufino... Than making money off your clicks and, just like any other warm-weather destination Costa! Of Ricky and Nikki Solano add it all up and it ’ room. As varied as the country’s beauty and vegetables, the cuisine in Costa Rica common.