Living Costs: Belize vs. Costa Rica

Belize and Costa Rica are among the best places in the world to retire. Hosting some of the most spectacular sites in the world with breathtaking views, both Belize and Costa Rica are located on the shores, and this is probably why people love these two locations so much. So near to the sea means there is so much to do; swimming, canoeing, surfing or just leisure walks on the cool sands. The temperatures are also not as chilly as in the United States, which means a more comfortable living environment.


Belize vs. Costa Rica

It is not a surprise that thousands of people have retired to these regions and continue to do so every year. Why? Is this just because of beautiful surroundings and a serene atmosphere? No, there are so many other reasons as well such as plenty of activities, friendly people, simple residency requirements, and advanced medical facilities. And the best part is that whatever you do or wherever you live, your living costs will be so much lower than in the United Stated. You may be living in the most expensive towns of these two countries, and this will still hold true.

Pacific Sunset, Herradura, Costa Rica

Costa Rica vs. Belize

So Costa Rice and Belize are definitely great places where you can spend your retired life with comfort without having to spend too much. But if you were to choose between these two, which ones would you opt for? This can be a difficult decision, but since expenses are always given more consideration than other aspects, we will talk about these. We will lay out the average living costs of Belize and Costa Rica, and you will then hopefully be able to decide where you want to settle.

currency Worth Belize vs. Costa Rica

US dollars have a worth that is two times more than that of the Belizean dollar. The rate is fixed and even if you are paying is US dollars, it will be accepted in most parts of the country. And if you need more money, you can easily draw out some cash in USDor the local currency from many ATMs that are located in all parts of the country.

The national currency in Costa Rica is Costa Rica Colon (CRC). One USD is nearly equal to 550 CRC. Just like Belize, there are several ATMs in Costa Rica as well and so you have easy access to cash. Now we will present you a breakdown of all major costs.

Accommodation costs Costa Rica vs. Belize

Winning Department: Belize

The average rent for an unfurnished home in Belize is around $400 a month. If you can spend up to $300 more, you will be able to find a luxuriously decorated unit. As for Costa Rica, the rents start from $500 for an unfurnished house. If you opt for a rural area, you may get something in less, but in urban and coastal areas, the rents will be more than this. For furnished units, you will have to spend around $1,000.

In Costa Rica, you will also find housing properties available for rent and equipped with all the luxuries and amenities such as several bedrooms, plasma TVs, housekeepers, gardeners, and so on. However, you will have to spend up to $3,000 per month which is quite high.


Winning Department: Costa Rica

Food costs depend on whether you want to cook by yourself or just eat out the whole time. For those who love spending time in the kitchen, groceries in Belize range from $150 to $300. In Costa Rica, the costs vary depending on whether you buy local products or imported goods. A visit to a small famer’s shop should cost you around $30 to $40. Weekly visits will incur costs of $120 to $160 a month, which is almost the same as Belize. However, if you buy imported items, the cost will run up to $200 for just a trip. 4 weekly trips in a month will take your grocery bills to around $800.

Now what if you do not like cooking? You can dine out. Eat at a small roadside restaurant in Costa Rica, and you will be paying less than $5 for a meal. And if simple meals are beyond your taste and you prefer dining at a fine restaurant, you will have to pay around $15 to $20 per person for a meal. Compared to this, Belize may be a little expensive. Eating at a fine restaurant will cost around $45, and if you opt for an inexpensive restaurant, you will be paying around $7.

Talking about beverages, beer and coffee cost around a dollar in Belize, and around $2 in Costa Rica. Imported beer is expensive than the rates given here.


Winning Department: Costa Rica

On an average, the monthly bills for water, gas, and electricity are around $25, $25, and $100 respectively. In Costa Rica, these bills are around $8, $10, and $50. The monthly rates for cable, phone and landline in Belize are $100, and in Costa Rica, they average at $85.

Adding all the utilities costs, Cost Rica’s expenditure is lower than Belize at $153. The values of Belize are $250.

Please note that these do not include any of the installation costs for cable TV, internet, and phone.

Healthcare Belize vs. Costa Rica

Winning Department: Belize

As far as the technologies and advancements are considered, both Belize and Costa Rica are at the same level. Factor in costs, and Belize wins yet again. A visit to a doctor’s clinic will cost you a few dollars and if you have to stay in a hospital, you will be paying $15 for a single day. Privatized medical care may be slightly expensive than this.

In Costa Rica, you will have to buy an insurance policy. At the lowest, private insurance will cost you $60 per month and the government insurance will cost you $30.

So will you be able to decide now where you want to live?

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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