Costa Rica Travel Budget

How much does it cost to travel to Costa Rica?

How much money will you need for your trip to Costa Rica? You should plan to spend around ₡41,561 ($71) per day on your vacation in Costa Rica, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ₡9,613 ($17) on meals for one day and ₡5,562 ($9.56) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Costa Rica for a couple is ₡46,150 ($79). So, a trip to Costa Rica for two people for one week costs on average ₡581,847 ($1,000). All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - Learn more about these numbers.
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A vacation to Costa Rica for one week usually costs around ₡290,924 for one person. So, a trip to Costa Rica for two people costs around ₡581,847 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs ₡1,163,694 in Costa Rica. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Costa Rica can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Costa Rica?

How much does a trip to Costa Rica cost? Is Costa Rica expensive? The average Costa Rica trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Costa Rica prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in Costa Rica can vary, the average cost of food in Costa Rica is ₡9,613 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Costa Rica should cost around ₡3,845 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Costa Rica is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The cost of a taxi ride in Costa Rica is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent ₡5,562 per person, per day, on local transportation in Costa Rica.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Intercity Transportation1 Travel between cities
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Flights to Costa Rica

How much does it cost to go to Costa Rica? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner or Kayak because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

How much money do I need for Costa Rica?

Typical travel prices in Costa Rica are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in Costa Rica. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in Costa Rica can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Water
  • Dinner at Finca Exotica
  • Pizza
  • Lunch
  • Bike Rental
  • Pasta Dinner (for 1)
  • Souvenir Skirt
  • Souvenir Purse
  • Smoothie
  • Lunch
  • Yoga
  • Fruit Plate
Typical tour prices for Costa Rica

How much do tours to Costa Rica cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    9 days
    $ 1500
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    9 days
    $ 980
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    7 days
    $ 810
  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    17 days
    $ 1300
Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in Costa Rica
Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is one of the world's best ecotourism destinations. The country is famous for it's national parks which are as diverse as the country itself. Don't miss seeing an active volcano at Arenal or the beautiful green crater lake at Poas. Relax on the beach with monkeys at Manual Antonio and enjoy the Caribbean vibe in Cahuita. This is not a country you visit to experience city life. Most people fly into San Jose and then head out the next day. Costa Rica is all about wildlife, natural landscapes and the "pura vida." It's the place to come to experience a cloud forest or see hatching sea turtles. It's a place where you can see the tourism industry actively partnering with conservation groups to find a common interest in preserving the environment. Ecology is important throughout this country and it's truly a success story of what can be done to benefit both the economy and the environment in a resource rich country.

Costa Rica has been discovered by travelers from around the world, but that doesn't mean there aren't places left to be explored. Cheap flights into San Jose make the country a popular destination for Americans and Canadians alike. If you rent a car you'll have access to many places that most travelers don't reach. The popularity of Costa Rica also means that there are plenty of amenities for tourists in the form of cheap hotels, restaurants, and tour packages. There are also tourist buses that make the routes faster than the local buses, if you find yourself short on time. Because of it's small size and easy accessibility, it's possible to see a lot of the country in a short amount of time. Do consider your options though, as Costa Rica should be more than just a highlights tour.

Many people who visit this country make a point of spending time at both the beach and in the forest. There are many different beaches to choose from on both the Pacific and the Caribbean sides. To see the cloud forest, the most popular destination is to head to Monteverde. This is also a popular area for zip lining and adventure sports. On the coast you can enjoy any number of activities including surfing, kayaking, and deep sea fishing. While many people choose to make arrangements before they arrive in the country, it's very possible to organize everything once you arrive. This often proves to be the cheapest option as well.
At A Glance
  • This country has an excellent public transportation system. Buses are the easiest way to travel around and they reach most destinations. If you're hoping to get a little more off the beaten path then a rental car may be useful, but for most destinations, the buses are the way to go. They are generally reliable and comfortable and it's easy to purchase tickets. It's a perfect option for both seasoned and first time travelers.

  • Food in Costa Rica can get a little monotonous. Rice and beans are typically served at every meal. Meat is often well seasoned, but there are times when the flavor can be a little bland. If you're looking for the best dining experiences, head to the beach where you can enjoy fresh seafood that is prepared any number of ways. Although seafood dishes are typically a little more expensive, they are well worth it, particularly if you're a little burned out on the rice and beans.

  • Many people head to this country for the adventure sports. There is everything available to visitors from zip lining, to whitewater rafting, or surfing. You can take lessons in any number of activities. Participating in these activities can really enhance your trip and allow you to have a little more diversity in what you see and do.

  • Many people choose to visit either the Pacific or the Caribbean coastline. Both or very different and offer interesting experiences. If you're interested in snorkeling, then the Caribbean side has more to offer. It also has an interesting vibe that is very laid back and relaxed. For deep sea fishing or scenic beaches, the Pacific side is more appropriate. If you can fit both sides in, then definitely do, as they are very different places and offer unique perspectives on the country.

  • Many people do a highlights tour of Costa Rica. It's easy to visit for a couple of weeks and go to the same places that everyone else does. Instead, try to find at least one off the beaten path destination and add it to your itinerary. In the end, it's likely to be your favorite stop off.


Looking for a party hostel in Costa Rica or Cancun? Looking for a budget hostel in Mexico or Costa Rica?
Top Tourist Attractions
Costa Rican Wildlife: Head to any of the national parks to see some wildlife. Wildlife viewing is one of the most popular activities in the country and you can expect to see anything from quetzals, to monkeys or slothes. Many people head to Costa Rica specifically for the bird watching, but the rich biodiversity of the area will quickly turn any vacationer into a wildlife guru.

Poas Volcano: Just a short distance from San Jose, the crater lake in this volcano is a stunning emerald color. Many people choose to visit the volcano as a day trip from the city, but if you decide to stay the night you'll have the place to yourself in the early morning. Morning hours are also when you're most likely to catch a glimpse of the emerald water as cloud and fog often rolls in during the afternoon.

Arenal Volcano: Pictured on many Costa Rican postcards, you can only hope that you're lucky enough to see the volcano actively erupting. Even if you don't catch a glimpse of the lava flowing, the area around Arenal is a great place to visit. It has hot springs that are a favorite of many visitors to the country.

Popular Foods
Most people don't travel to Costa Rica for the food. It's very simple, but natural in flavor. Most dishes are made with rice and beans which are served with a meat option and a salad. On the coast you can enjoy any number of delicious seafood options, and fresh fruit is available throughout the country. The dishes are usually mild in flavor, but slow cooked to ensure that the herbs are well blended together.

Gallo pinto: This is one of the more popular rice and beans dishes. It is usually seasoned with cilantro and onion and it's most commonly served as a breakfast dish. It's a filling way to start out the day and you will find it on most restaurant menus throughout the country.

Casado: This is a popular lunch dish that usually combines rice, beans, and a meat such as chicken or fish. It is usually accompanied by a salad and fried plantain. It's a filling dish that is mild in flavor but, when seasoned correctly, can be very delicious. It is also widely available throughout the country.

Salsa Lizano: This is a condiment option that is available on most tables in restaurants throughout the country. It's really the Costa Rican answer to ketchup and is used to flavor almost every type of Costa Rican food. Try it once and you'll likely be hooked. It is not spicy, but does have strong flavor.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Costa Rica Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to Costa Rica: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips

Tica Bus

By backpackguru in Intercity Transportation
There are plenty of local transportation options in Costa Rica but a comfortable and affordable option is Tica Bus. It runs throughout Central America and is very reliable. Don't shy away from other transportation options, but know you can travel reliably with Tica Bus.

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