What is the Typical Cost of Living in Tarija?

by Celeste

We are an American family of 3 living near the jungle in Ecuador. We want to move to Bolivia next year, but are finding little information online about costs of living. Can you help us? We wish to live in either Sucre, Santa Cruz, or Tarija. So far we are leaning towards Tarija, but are wondering how the C.O.L. compares to the other two.

Here in Ecuador we pay $200 for an unfunished 3 bed, 2 bath house, light and water included. We pay $50 a month for fast wifi. I average about $50 a week on food if I do all the cooking for us 3. Restaurants average $3 for a complete meal with drink.

On average, we make about $1400 a month working online. How far will our dollar go in these 3 cities, but mainly in Tarija?

Thanks! Celeste

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Nov 25, 2016
All depends on your networking skills
by: TreeHugger

As you might guess, everything is negotiable in Bolivia, like everywhere in Latin America.

If you go thru expats, you ll pay a minimum of double the price, but you ll get some service.

If you speak spanish and are easy going, capable to get empathy from others, you might get a price close to locals, even with a gringo face.

In the best case expect 100 Dollars a month for a one room apartment, 200 dollars for a house on long term deals. Thru Jehovah expats, count 3 times to 10 times the local price.

Nov 13, 2014
living in tarija
by: Anonymous

Been here a month. Found a house with 2 bedrooms and two baths, hot water, lots of land with fruit trees for 235 dollars a month. Key is: don't deal with realtors. See what they advertise but try to find the owner. They will rent a lot cheaper without the commissions. The hard part is getting a permanent visa or one year residency. Agencies are filled with incompetent, corrupt officials. Get help.

Oct 07, 2012
Cost of Living In Tarija
by: Nano

I'm currently living in Tarija and work online as well. I live with my grandpa so I don't pay rent but he charges our neighbors $200/mo. for a very good 3bedroom/1bath area in the mercado central. Food is always dependent on what your habits are. I, for example, hardly go out and eat so I spend about $120/mo. on food and eat tons of meats because I body build if not I would spend much less I would surmise.

Like someone mentioned above electricity, gas, water etc. is pretty spot on.
Internet, is really dependent on what you're looking for.

I used to have Cossett wired internet 1.5mbps/sec for $150/mo. Then I found Tigo 4G network 1mbps/sec for $40/mo. with a slight drop in speed. I hear fiber optics is coming soon.

Sep 23, 2012
Cost of Living in Tarija in 2012
by: Anonymous

Tarija is still one of the least expensive places to live in Bolivia, but the city of Tarija is also the 4th fastest growing city in Bolivia at this time, so that may be changing in the near future.

In comparison to Ecuador, Bolivia is not as cheap. In Tarija, for example, you can rent a 2-bedroom home for about $500-1000 a month (depending on the location of course).

There are some apartments which may be a little less expensive (as low as $350/month for a 2-bedroom) in the older parts of town.

If you have children, you'll want to factor in a private school (the public schools in Bolivia are absolutely horrific). There aren't many in Tarija, most are Catholic schools, but cost about $100-$150 a month.

Electricity can run you about $10-50 a month, depending on how much you use.

Water will cost you very little, possibly about $20-30 a month, again it all depends on who much you use.

Cable TV will run you about $25-50 a month, depending on the package you choose.

You can rent a phone line for about $25 a month, not including long distance calls.

Internet is very expensive in Bolivia. That will cost you a minimum of about $40 a month (not very fast) and up to $100 a month (for faster). None of it is satellite as Bolivia uses fiber optic cables borrowed from neighboring countries.

Food is not expensive in Bolivia or Tarija. In fact, it's one of the least expensive living costs, unless you purchase a lot of imported goods (canned, boxed, etc.) You can feed a family of 4 for as little as $100 a month if you purchase most of your fruits and vegetables in the local markets. My family averages $250 a month because we purchase our food in the grocery store (especially meats and some imported goods like cereals).

You'll most likely use natural gas for cooking unless you purchase an electric stove/oven. Natural gas is incredibly cheap here ($3-4 a month) in canisters. There are gas shortages sometimes.

Clothing is expensive here and if you wear American sized shoes, you'd better bring a lot with you. Few are the places you can find shoes for women over size 8 and over size 9 for men. Kids shoes are widely available but expensive too. It's hard to find shoes for under $20-50 a pair. Large-sized clothing is nearly unheard of. Sometimes it's cheaper to pay a tailor.

Public transportation is very cheap in Tarija. You can cross the entire city for $3.

Electronics and household appliances are very expensive in Bolivia. Most are imported from Brazil and cost the same or more as in the US.

In sum, a family of 4 can live in Tarija for $1500 to $2000 a month if you don't aspire to luxury.

Hope this helps.

Sep 23, 2012
In response...
by: Anonymous

We work for a restaurant company back in the States. My husband and I are in sales for the professional equiptment and we can do it from an online showroom.

Thanks so much for your answer, it helps a lot. Can anyone else out there discuss the cost of living in Tarija?

Sep 21, 2012
Relocating to Bolivia
by: Anonymous

Hi Celeste,

Santa Cruz would be 2x your current expenses in Ecuador. Keep in mind 'temptation' costs, too. That is, expenditures due to the availability of something that you might not otherwise have in a rural village...ie movie theater.

I've never been to Tarija but would imagine the cost of living is cheaper (than a big city)and certainly more quaint and tranquilo. Santa Cruz, La Paz, and even Cocha all have their share of turmoil. Because you don't need to live in a big city for work, Tarija is probably a good idea. By the way, what sort of work are you so lucky to be able to do from So America ? Cheers

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