Costa Rica- What is "expensive"?

Old Mar 20th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Costa Rica- What is "expensive"?

Hi, I have been reading alot of comments on how meals and rooms at some places are very expensive. However, I also have read that some people think an expensive meal is $20-30 excluding alcoholic beverages, which I think is a great deal being from NY, unless you eat from a fast food joint.

Can you please give me an idea of the average meal at a decent place, cost of a glass of wine, cocktails such as pina coladas and daquiris, and whiskey sours? I have planned most of my trip but now am wondering what to expect in terms of meal and beverage costs?

Thanks for your help.
P.S I am staying at Tabacon and Peace Lodge. I am also staying at the Paradisus but since that is all inclusive , not to worry. Although I have read about a shrimp place that has great meals near the Paradisus- any ideas on name and costs?
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Old Mar 20th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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At Peace Lodge there isn't much option for dinner. It ran about $75 a night for the two of us.
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 09:45 AM
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It sounds like you are staying at mostly "resorts" where yur meals wil be pricey. However, if you go to La Fortuna there are some good meals that are very reasonable; Luigi's, Choza Laurel and Las Brasas. Closer to Tabaccon there is an outdoor steakhouse called El Novillo that we had a nice meal for 4 (a few beers wine and a great banana split) for $40ish. So eat away from your costly rooms and try some Tico cuisine and your dollars or colones will really take you far.
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 10:19 AM
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You are so right. Concepts of meal prices are definitely affected by what one is used to. Here in Oklahoma an expensive meal is about $60 for two including drinks and wine, etc. In Costa Rica, it is much the same for the pricy places. But we have found that at most places, although we have stayed away from the most expensive, run about 4000 colones, which is about $12. At most restaurants, we notice the range to be from $6 to $12. Of course, the prices tend to be a bit more at the more touristy areas (the beaches, the most popular attraction areas, etc). We like the little sodas (roadside type places) where you can get a good Costa Rican typcial meal for $3-$4. So, just as with hotels, the range is all over the place. For you, however, being from NY, I would say that you will find most places inexpensive. Many people who travel to Costa Rica seek out places where international food is served, but others (like us) enjoy the "tipico" or meals eaten by Costa Ricans. . .lots of rice and beans, salad, a meat (we prefer chicken and fish), fruit. I don't think there will be any surprises for you as far as meal expense is concerned except pleasant ones!
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 11:09 AM
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Thanks to all for your responses. I definitely am looking forward to experiencing local cuisine but will not be renting a car. I hear that this will be easier in the Arenal area as taxis are more available and cheaper. I am looking forward to El Novillo there.
It seems like we will have to eat at the Peace Lodge due to lack of our own vehicle, but the prices given seem to be what I expected. Thanks for sharing your insight.
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 03:38 PM
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Even at hotel restaurants (at least the ones at our hotels), we found most main courses ran in the $8 to $12 range. Add $3-4 for a salad, plus whatever drinks you might want.

Away from these more expensive hotel and resort restaurants, we didn't find CR cuisine to be particularly inspiring. It was cheap and different, but not something to seek out beyond novelty value. Most CR places tend towards rice, beans, salads, and uninspired meat dishes.
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