"WOW - IT SEEMS LIKE PRICES HAVE GONE UP A LOT RECENTLY. WHY?"
WARNING!! If something is going up in price in Costa Rica (ESPECIALLY salaries•wages [and Costa Rica is VERY PRO employees], tolls and bus prices) - chances are REALLY GOOD it will go into effect on/around the first of January!!
Also, MANY taxes (like the tax for corporations/S.A.s and some other thing), are based on whatever position they have designated's monthly salary - so that means if their salary goes up - so does that tax!
Also, annual inflation in Costa Rica is on the high side.
The same January 1 timeframe is often the start date often for many new laws - THOUGH - OFTEN they fail to remind you just before it goes into effect!!