Many times, we hear complaints about the high cost of vacationing in Costa Rica, usually these complaints come from locals who affirm vacationing in our own country costs the same or more than vacationing abroad; and every so often we can hear the same complaint coming from foreign tourists, which makes you wonder if this is actually true or just a perception.
Granted, many factors come into place when it comes to calculating a budget for vacationing in Costa Rica, it depends on the type of tourist, since some prefer a certain level of facilities and even luxury while others are happy as long as accommodations are comfortable, and others settle for even less than that; but for this particular exercise we will go with average, and stay away from the top and bottom ends of the spectrum.
During high season, the average rate per person per night in a four-star hotel according to the Costa Rican Hotel Chamber is of around $211.00 USD, and this price usually includes just continental breakfast, which means, visitors will have to consider food expenses, which can range from about $30.00 to $60.00 per person per day, depending on what and where you are eating.
The above being considered, if a tourist spends 7 nights in Costa Rica, that adds up to almost $1,800.00 in average just in food and accommodations. Now, consider ground transportation, if renting a car is the choice, going for an SUV is better in this country, this will have a cost of close to $50.00 per day plus coverage, so for 7 days this is an approximate of $500.00. If guided tours are part of the equation, taking two tours could mean an additional $450.00 per person. At this point we are at $2,750.00, per person on a 7-day conservative budget. Tickets to fly to Costa Rica from New York this time a year can be found at an average of $650.00 per passenger, bringing the total to $3,400.00.
Tourists can do it for less, saving money in airfare and hotels if they do a little research and plan ahead of time, that total can come down to about $2,000.00 USD choosing low-cost airlines, all-inclusive hotels or rental places, and venturing to explore the country on your own. It can also go a lot higher if the decision is to go for a luxury vacation.
Vacationing in Costa Rica isn’t the cheapest option, but it is worth every penny, build your own plan, visit during the low-season which is still great, and have a wonderful taste of Pura Vida!