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Old 08-11-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Default Lowest cost of living in Central/Latin America

I was looking at Costa Rica and checked some listings for accomodation on craigslist and could not believe the prices. A tiny 1 bd in San Jose had an asking rent of $800/month, that's almost as much as here in Los Angeles!!! I know in many parts of the US you could rent a 1 bd for $500-600/mo. I would imagine a country like Costa Rica would be much cheaper!

My question is which spanish speaking country has the lowest cost of living?
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Camberville
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Bolivia
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Was the web site you visited in English? If so, there is your answer. Most countries think that US citizens are loaded, and therefore try to get what they can when working with an American. Can't blame them really. If you are bilingual, you would be better off.

Just as an example; when my wife and I were planning our honeymoon, my wife found a two week cruise package she just had to have, beginning in Venice, and onto the Greek Islands, Turkey, Croatia, southern Italy. The US web site had it listed for $2700.00US per person, but they were giving us a "great" deal and it was only ~$2300.00US p/p. This did not include air fare from the US.

My wife is from Spain, so she called a travel agent in Barcelona, found the exact same package, same ship, same dates, etc. The cost was only $1279.00US p/p! Ever since then, when booking travel in Europe, we've always made our arrangements in Spain.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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hook, yes, it's craigslist..definitely more targetted towards tourists I guess. I'm interested in knowing the actual rents in San Jose, I mean rents that locals pay.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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Well, don't get too excited yet. Costa Rica has one of the highest standards of living, and is also becoming one of the most expensive countries in Latin America.

It sounds like you've targeted Costa Rica. Give it some time, I am certain you will get an answer you want. However, the more desireable the location, the more you will pay. True of any city, in any country. A rent of $800.00US per month may not be out of line if, let's say, it was on the 30th floor of a decent high rise.

The average Costa Rican earns $200-300.00US per month, so it almost seems certain that they are not paying $800.00US a month for rent. You may not get a place in the middle of the action for less than $800.00US, but I'm sure you can get a nice place for ~$500.00US close by.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Hi Hook, yes, that is what I was expecting..around $500US for something decent. My main reason to live there would be to become fluent in Spanish. I am estimating that will take me about a year.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Lake Forest, CA
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Asunción, Paraguay would be would be among the lowest cost of living of Spanish speaking countries in South America. I've been there several times and it is a reasonably decent city to spend some time, although it is a poor country with a history of corruption. You are off the beaten path in Paraguay and there is an interesting mix of expatriates among a local population that is quite friendly. I felt quite safe there most of the time, although I was careful about where I went alone after dark. Summer (December-March) is hot, like it is in central Alabama in summer. Rest of the year is subtropical warm. It is centrally located in South America and fairly easy to visit Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia from there.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:44 PM
 
Location: 77441
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having been to most of south america, I will agree with Bolivia. you can live like a king there for a moderate amount of $$... Plus it is a wonderful country with wonderful people...
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,466 posts, read 2,241,433 times
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We rent a private one bedroom vacation home just outside of Gracia, Costa Rica for $750/mo. for several months each year. Locally, there are studio apartments available from ex-pats in the $350-450 range. San Jose is probably not the best environment for a first timer in CR, especially if you have no local contacts. The outlying areas are generally much nicer and safer. Many people do "live in" (as in live with a local family) language study programs which you might want to explore. The website WeLoveCostaRica is a good place for advice and info on housing.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Originally from Cali relocated to Inman Park/Old 4th Ward/Westside Atlanta
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Medellin, Colombia would be your best bet. It has wonderful weather, beautiful women and is very cheap and safe.
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