Actual Cost of Five Days in Costa Rica

Dining in La Fortuna

When I say five days, I actually mean three days IN Costa Rica and two travelling there and back.

So how does the cost break down?

Flight: $585
Obviously the biggest expense was just the flight to get there.

Insurance: $50
Maybe I’m a little paranoid, but I really didn’t want to lose all the money I paid if I got sick/injured before leaving or a couple (or more) thousand if I had to be airlifted out. Costa Rica has great public healthcare, but I’d rather be covered in case the worst happened.

Lodging: $90
Between the four hotels/hostels we stayed in, this ended up not being bad at all.  Averages out to $22.50 per night.

Food/Drinks: $125-150
This surprised me that it was higher than the lodging costs, but was definitely worth every penny. Costa Rican cuisine was so incredibly fresh and filling, plus Imperial (the national beer of Costa Rica) was REALLY good.

Transport: $85
Covering eight cab rides and four buses, I think I have all the transport in here. 60% of this is split up between the cab to Jaco and rides to/from the airport.

Activities: $175
This is pretty much just the canyoning/waterfall repelling and ziplining in Arenal. The second biggest expense overall but SO worth every penny.

Miscellaneous: $40-50
I bought some stickers and coffee. And any other miscellaneous stuff not accounted for above.

GRAND TOTAL: $1,150 – $1,185

Additional costs:
Vaccines: $315
I didn’t necessarily need these because I have the major vaccines covered, but I figured typhoid wouldn’t hurt and the other 2 I’d be needing soon anyway.

I didn’t purchase anything else specifically for this trip. I loved having everything I needed ready to go!

How do your vacation budgets usually shake out?



  1. You did good with your vacation budget! I just spent $2K on Hawaii, with mainly a rental car and hotel taking up most of that.

  2. I usually spend more than I set aside, but it’s not terribly off the charts. 🙂 I didn’t actually go back and calculate everything for the week.

  3. You look so happy! I love seeing how much everyone spends on vacation especially since I want to try to go to New York City this fall as well as Italy next year. 🙂

  4. lora | kathleen says:

    @Michelle – I think you did really well for Hawaii!
    @Suki – I typically spend more than I expect to, which is a little annoying, but I try to keep reserves in case that happens.
    @Serendipity – I love seeing what everyone else spends too! It helps me keep myself realistic.

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