Let me just say that we are normally budget travelers, and have been to other countries for literately 1/2 of the below costs. So yes: OUCH!
Here are the details:
|Category||Estimated Expenses||Actual Expenses||Comments|
|Airfare||$1,308||$1,608||We bought a package that included air and 7 night hotel stay. However, our package included air with Spirit Airlines. They charge extra for each checked and carryon bag (for each leg of the trip) and for booking your plane seats in advance. This added additional $320 to our expenses.|
|Hotel(s)||$122||$122||This was an additional night in San Jose on the way home.|
|Travel within country||$200
|We ended up not renting a car but instead hired private driver to and from airport. The smaller amount was for daily use of local bus.|
|Food and drink||$1,000 (estimated $125/day)||$950||We hear that Costa Rica is expensive, so we added a little extra in here.|
|Entertainment||$150||$100||Trips to bar, entrance fees to parks, etc.|
|Tours||$200||$95||Guided tours of rainforest and such|
|Other||$58||$66||Departure tax – we paid at the hotel to save time. They added an $8 charge.|
|Grand Total:||$3113||$3,290||Actual is more than estimated!|
So, the moral of this story is: Costa Rica is really expensive, at least in the beach tourist areas. For now, that is all we have experience with. While we were there, we talked to some of the locals and were told that this did not used to be so. And that Costa Rica’s prices only just skyrocketed over the last decade. We hope to get a chance to visit the less visited central valley that everyone says is so much cheaper.
I have to admit that I’m a bit skeptical, however, because I’ve been reading expat forums and folks are saying that in general Costa Rica is not really much cheaper to live in than US, except for real-estate taxes and insurance (both health and real-estate). Those of course, can be huge money savers. So, as we explore more, we will see.