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Costa Rica vs Mexico: Which Country Is The Better Place To Live As An Expat?

Costa Rica vs Mexico

An article compares the two countries by looking at their cost of living, quality of life, and other factors. In this article, Costa Rica is the winner!

What does Expat living mean?

Expat living means having the freedom to live and work in a foreign country. It can be a great way to see the world and experience new cultures. However, it’s important to remember that some challenges come with expat life.

One of the biggest challenges is finding a job in your chosen country. Unless you have a specific skill set that is in high demand, it can be not easy to find employment. Even if you do find a job, you may not be able to earn as much as you would back home.

Another challenge is dealing with homesickness. It’s normal to feel a bit lonely and isolated when you first move to a new country. But, with time, you’ll make friends and feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.

Where Should I live in Mexico – Expats Answer
Where Should I live in Mexico – Expats Answer

If you’re considering becoming an expat, it’s important to do your research and be prepared for the challenges of expat life. But, if you’re up for the adventure, it can be a great way to see the world and experience new cultures.

Costa Rica vs Mexico Overview

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most prosperous and well-developed countries. It has a stable government, a strong economy, and high living standards for its population. On the other hand, Mexico has a more volatile political environment with greater crime rates and a weaker economy.

Despite these differences, both countries have benefits that make them attractive places to live as expats. Costa Rica is known for its Natural Beauty, beautiful scenery, relaxed lifestyle, and excellent public health care system.


Mexico has many cultural attractions such as vibrant cities and stunning beaches like puerto vallarta that are perfect for expats. If you’re looking for an urban environment with plenty of opportunities to socialize and work, Mexico is a better choice.

Overall, Costa Rica is the better place to live as an expat if you want stability, good public services, and a healthy environment.

Mexico is a large and diverse country with a rich culture. It has both coastal and inland areas, making it an excellent place to live as an expat. The cost of living is lower in Mexico than in many other countries, and the quality of life is high.

Mexico also offers a wide range of opportunities for expats, including great weather, plenty of job opportunities, and a well-developed infrastructure.

Mexico is culturally rich, with a history of more than 2,000 years. Its major cities are full of interesting architecture and lively nightlife. The food in Mexico is varied and delicious, and there are plenty of cultural experiences to be had. Mexico’s proximity to other countries makes it an excellent choice for people who want to travel easily.

See also  10 Must-See Destinations in Ojochal Costa Rica

Cost Of Living In Mexico vs. Costa Rica

The cost of living in Mexico is significantly lower than the cost of living in Costa Rica. In fact, according to Numbeo, the cost of living in Mexico is about 30% cheaper than the living expenses in Costa Rica.

Housing Cost

Housing Cost

Housing expenses are one of the biggest expenses for expats, and Mexico has the edge over Costa Rica regarding affordable housing options. According to data, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mexico City is just $280, while the same type of apartment in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, will set you back a whopping $320.

617 m2
For Sale
Talpa de Allende, Jalisco, Mexico
300 m2
For Sale
Home Starting Price


Food costs are also cheaper in Mexico, with the average meal costing around $3 compared to $5 in Costa Rica. And if you’re a fan of going out for drinks, you’ll be happy to know that beer is much more affordable in Mexico as well – a pint will only set you back about $1, while in Costa Rica, you’ll be looking at closer to $2.5 per pint.

Transportation Cost

When it comes to transportation expenses, both countries are relatively affordable. In Mexico, a one-way ticket on the bus will only set you back a few dollars, while in Costa Rica, public buses are free for citizens and residents (though they can be quite crowded during rush hour). The cost of living in Mexico is significantly lower than in Costa Rica.

  • Consumer Prices in Mexico are 23.03% lower than those found in Costa Rica (without rent).
  • Consumer prices in Mexico are 20.37% cheaper than in Costa Rica.
  • The cost of renting in Mexico is 10.61% less than it is in Costa Rica
  • The average restaurant prices in Mexico are 14.15% lower than in Costa Rica.
  • Groceries prices in Mexico are lower than in Costa Rica.
  • The purchasing power of the Mexican peso is 4.49% higher than Costa Rican colones.
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Quality of Life In Mexico vs Costa Rica

The quality of life in Mexico is generally lower than in Costa Rica. The average life expectancy in Mexico is 75 years, while in Costa Rica, it is 81 years. Costa Rica also has a higher literacy rate and a lower infant mortality rate. Income levels are also higher in Costa Rica, with the average worker earning about $16517 per month, compared to just $16200 per month in Mexico. The cost of living is also higher in Costa Rica, but not by much. Overall, the quality of life in Costa Rica is better than in Mexico.

Education In Mexico vs costa Rica

Education in Mexico vs Costa Rica is a topic of debate among parents of young children. Some say that the education in Mexico is better because it is cheaper and the teachers are more experienced. Others say Costa Rica is the better choice because the schools are newer and the curriculum is more challenging.

So, which is the better place to send your child to school? The answer may depend on your child’s learning style and what you are looking for in a school system. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:


Education In Mexico vs costa Rica

The cost of education is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing between Mexico and Costa Rica. In general, private schools in Mexico are much cheaper than those in Costa Rica. Let me share, International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child costs in Mexico 2360$ and Costa Rica 4500$. Public schools in Mexico are also cheap, while public schools in Costa Rica cost High. Keep in mind that the quality of public schools varies greatly from country to country, so it’s important to do your research before enrolling your child in a public school.


The quality of education is another important factor to consider. In general, Costa Rica offers a higher quality of education than private schools in Mexico. This is due

Mexico’s education system is not as strong as that of Costa Rica. While it offers a variety of options for students, the quality of education

Costa Rica vs Mexico: The Biggest Difference Between The Countries

There are many differences between Costa Rica and Mexico, but the biggest difference is probably the cost of living.

Regarding the cost of living, Costa Rica edges out Mexico. According to Numbeo, a website that compares prices and living conditions worldwide, the cost of living in Mexico is only about one-third of what it costs in Costa Rica. In addition, food is significantly cheaper in Mexico – and utilities are also much cheaper. For example, the average monthly bill for water, electricity, and gas in Costa Rica is just $41, and in Mexico 30 USD.

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If you’re looking for a place that offers a great quality of life without breaking the bank, then Mexico would be your best bet.

anyexpat's costa rica expat services for expatriates who living abroad

Is Costa Rica better than Mexico?

Costa Rica has long been known as a paradise for Expats looking for an island getaway without the high costs associated with travel to more popular destinations. Its lush rainforests and white-sand gorgeous beaches are a draw for many, but many people don’t know that Costa Rica also offers a wealth of cultural and social activities that make it an excellent place to live as an expat.

Where Should I Live In Costa Rica? – Expats Answer
Where Should I Live In Costa Rica? – Expats Answer

Mexico, on the other hand, has been viewed by many as one of the most violent and dangerous countries in the world. The country is also plagued by rampant crime, making it difficult, if not impossible, to live a normal life without taking precautions. While Mexico certainly has its charms, such as its stunning mountain ranges and colonial cities, it’s not worth moving to if you’re looking for a peaceful environment to raise your family.

Is Costa Rica similar to Mexico?

Mexico is much larger than Costa Rica and has more diverse geography. It also has more urban areas and a more developed economy. Costa Rica, on the other hand, is much smaller and has a more laid-back lifestyle.

Both countries have similar language barriers, but Mexico is generally considered easier to learn Spanish. In terms of cost of living, it can be cheaper to live in Costa Rica if you’re willing to compromise on amenities or quality of life. However, Mexico may be a better choice if you’re looking for a city with all the bells and whistles.

The two countries also share many similarities, such as beautiful beaches and lush forests. If you’re considering which country to move to as an expat, it would be difficult not to come down favorably on either side!

What is the cost of living index for 2022?

What is the cost of living index for 2022?

Each country’s cost of living index is based on the combined cost of groceries, housing, transportation, healthcare, and utilities. The higher the index number, the more expensive the cost of living. Mexico has a cost of living index score of 83.9, while Costa Rica scores 78.8. This means that even though Mexico has a higher overall cost of living, Costa Rica is still a cheaper place to live as an expat.


Mexico has a higher population density than Costa Rica, making finding a good job difficult. Additionally, Mexico has a much higher crime rate than Costa Rica, which can intimidate some people. Finally, although both countries offer excellent health care coverage, Mexican health care is often much more expensive than Costa Rican health care. However, if you are looking for an affordable place to live with great weather, Costa Rica would be your best bet.

About the Author(anyexpat)

Quick Intro, I am Kenny and I am from sunny Scotland. I have experienced the Expat specific challenges of all aspects of moving and living in several countries over the years. Having previously built large online networks I created a single Facebook Group called "Expats In Italy" as this is what I was at that time. This single group has grown to many, with the groups focus being to help people save Time, Money, Effort and Stress in their relocation journey. My focus and that of AnyExpat is on Legal, Financial and Real Estate services, rather than offer advice myself (I do not) instead I have curated a highly qualified, English Speaking network of professionals who are standing by to assist you.

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