Stores, Malls or Markets in Costa Rica

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    Duty Free Store & Britt Shop/Liberia: Last call for alcohol, candy & coffee

    by BLewJay Updated Apr 15, 2013

    Before our plane departed from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, we stopped at Britt Café y Chocolates as well as the Duty Free Store to pick up last minute gifts.

    What to buy: Costa Rica is known for their coffee, so at the Britt Store, we purchased Tres Rios Valdiva Coffee, Poas Volcanic Earth Coffee & Organic Coffee, Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans, White Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans & Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts. At the Duty Free Store, we purchased Costa Rican Cream Liqueur & Cafe Rica Coffee Liqueur, Guaro Cacique Superior and Flor de Caña 7-Year Old Grand Reserve

    What to pay: For the Britt coffee and candy, we paid $40/USD. At the Duty Free store, we paid $65/USD for all of the alcohol. Overall, a great deal!!!

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    • Family Travel
    • Food and Dining

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    Reserva Indígena Maleku: An indigenous art shop

    by theo1006 Updated May 1, 2012

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    When driving south from Upala along route #4, a short distance past San Rafael de Guatuso we spotted this rustic art shop “Reserva Indígena Maleku¨. As we take an interest in indigenous cultures, we walked in, got talking to guide Max and eventually stayed a night at palenque Tonjibe.

    Even if you do not want to stay over, you may buy a few locally produced souvenirs. Most of these are the handywork of artist David Elizondo, aided by is community.

    What to buy: The colourful calabash halves actually are a kind of dictionary of the Maleku language: the names of the animals are written on them in Maleku and in Spanish. But if you go for authenticity, choose the brown monochrome ones; the painting with acrylics is a modern development.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Factory outlet VANDA: Buy T-shirts at the factory

    by theo1006 Written Apr 24, 2012

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    We got the tip from a friend living in San José: buy T-shirts and other souvenirs at the factory outlet in Escazú. With her directions we found the outlet easily. We bought several T-shirts, typical price COL3,350 (USD 7).
    They also sell other souvenirs like necklaces and ear-pendants from Natural Costa Rica, www.naturaldecostarica.com

    Address: Textiles San Antonio S.A.
    Costado Sur Este de la Iglesia Católica
    700 Mts. al Sur
    Escazú, San José
    Costa Rica

    Directions: In San José take the bus to Escazú. The bus leaves on the corner one block south of the Iglesia Merced. It follows autopista # 27 before it turns south into Escazú. Get off the bus at its most southern stop at a park next to Iglesia San Miguel. Walk east past te church, then turn south into the road to San Antonio de Escazú. You can of course also drive there. One block past the church you pass the Collegio Pilar, a yellow building taking up another whole block. Pass also the next block, past this the outlet is on the corner you face on your left. (At the corner on your right is a Camacho spareparts shop.) The outlet has a glass door, you need to press the door bell te obtain entrance.

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    Mercado Central & Mercardo Artesania: For souvenirs, food, and more!

    by Jefie Updated Mar 25, 2012

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    San Jose's Mercado Central was established in 1880. Over 200 stores, stalls and restaurants are crammed in the historic market, which roughly covers one city block. There are some souvenir stores as well as small shops that sell local arts and crafts, which makes it an interesting stop for visitors, but most of the mercado's 10,000 daily clients are locals who stop by to pick up fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables or to grab a quick, cheap lunch at one of the tiny restaurants referred to as "sodas" in Costa Rica. Other items for sale at the central market include shoes, clothes, backpacks, kitchenware, flowers, spices, jewels... the list seems endless! And the thing I appreciated the most is that no one hassles you to buy anything :o)

    But for those who are looking more specifically for souvenirs, I'd suggest stopping by the Mercado Artesania. This market is filled with souvenirs and handicrafts, and those who like to bargain will most likely be able to get a pretty good deal thanks to the fierce competition. Store keepers are a bit more insistent than at the Mercado Central, which I found a bit annoying, but they're quite friendly and they're quick to move on to the next client if you tell them you're not interested.

    Related to:
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    Galeria Estudio: Meet local Artists!

    by Rebecki Updated Jun 13, 2009

    It is hard to find handicrafts in Costa Rica that are made in Costa Rica. We were delighted to stumble upon this shop right on the main square. We met Cindy and Alex - the owner/artists. They have been open since March and offer a wonderful assortment of pencil drawings, painted ceramic items, jewelry and paintings. Stop in to find a special souvenir!

    Es dificil encontrar artesanias en Costa Rica que son de Costa Rica. Nos encanto este estudio - al frente de la plaza principal. Los duenos/artistas, Cindy y Alex, ofrecen una variedad de dibujos, cosas de ceramica, joyeria y pintura. Visita esta galeria para comprar un recuerdo especial!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Supermas in the city of Cartago: Shopping for glasses

    by Suzanne123 Written May 8, 2009

    I hate to say it, but Walmart has taken over the Mas y menos and Pali chain stores.

    I had a very professional and high quality eye exam in the optical store of supermas (also walmart owned) for $4.00

    I paid $160.00 for three prescription sunglasses (one a designer brand). I kid you not. They are the best quality glasses that I have ever owned and at 1/3 of the cost back home. Plus I avoided the cost of an expensive eye exam.

    Many people get medical treatment and dentistry done in Costa Rica. Have your teeth cleaned. Seriously. It will pay for the trip.

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    Frut & vegetable stands

    by caminoreal Written Jun 16, 2008

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    All around downtown San Jose are little fruit & vegetable vendors on the sidewalks. The produce is usually better and cheaper than you can find in the markets.

    What to buy: I buy fruit, avocados (aguacates, they are called here) and other little items for snacking in my room. Try the Costa Rican way of eating mangos -- with a little salt and lime juice sprinkled on the sliced fruit. It's delicious.

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    Artisan Market: Best place to shop for handycrafts in San Jose

    by monica71 Written Apr 29, 2008

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    The Artisan Market is the best place to shop for handycrafts if you are in San Jose. You can bargain on the price and you can get some high quality things from here. Make sure you stop by before going to all the stores and expensive boutiques in San Jose.

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    all over the country: Buy Fresh and Tasty Fruit

    by monica71 Written Apr 29, 2008

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    While visiting Costa Rica, you have to buy fresh fruit. They do taste so good! I still can not get over how tasty the watermelons, strawberries, pineapple, mangoes are! I can not wait to go back and buy more! I was so sorry we could not bring any fruit with us here. My backpack would have been full with fresh fruit from Costa Rica if this would have been allowed :)

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    all over the city and at the airport: Coffee Britt Chocolates

    by monica71 Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    I read a lot about the Coffee Britt chocolates and treats and I wanted to give them a try. I have tried some of them and my favorite so far is the Guayabitas Chocolate Covered treats.
    I got mines from the La Fortuna super market, but you can also get them at the airport, on the duty free shops. The price varies from $6 (for the single packages) to $13 (for the octagon ones that have a sample of their chocolate covered treats). If you buy them in the supermarket, you may save few bucks, but do not expect big savings since they add taxes to everything you buy from the stores.

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    Taller Eloy Alfaro in Sarchi Sur: Handycrafts

    by monica71 Written Apr 29, 2008

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    You can get really nice handcrafted souvenirs in Sarchi, especially if you stop by Taller Eloy Alfaro.
    This is the only place in the country that is making the ox carts in a traditional manner. You can see people making the ox carts, carving wood bowls and wood sculptures and painting the ox carts by hand.

    I got a nice wooden bowl with a lid (it's in our kitchen now with sugar in it) from here. I also asked the gentleman who was painting the ox carts by hand to paint one for me with the design I chose from a catalog. He was nice to do it and I had to come back in about 1 hour to get it. I paid about $7 for the ox cart (he did not charge me extra for it since all the ox carts are paid by hand anyway, but I gave him a $2 tip) and I can say that it is the best souvenir I got in a long time!

    What to buy: wood bowls, wood carvings, jewelry boxes, hand painted ox carts

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    Downtown San Jose: Downtown San Jose

    by ArenJo Written Feb 10, 2008

    There are lots of shops in downtown San Jose that sell good quality, cheap clothing. I found a lot of in-style business clothes for young women. I got whistled at a few times, but for the most part I was left alone.

    What to buy: In-style business clothes for women.

    What to pay: Cheap.

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Women's Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    all over costa rica: Kids just want to spend

    by motorcitykitty Written Apr 8, 2007

    we went to a open air type flea market the first day. The kids went nuts and bought tons of stuff, after a while it starts looking the same.

    What to buy: CR is known for their wood. I bought some really nice wooden bowls and mixing spoons.

    What to pay: 25.00 US for big bowl 4 small bowls with mixing spoon and fork

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    Any Supermarket: Coffee

    by tedandtina Written Sep 7, 2006

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    Generally, if you are looking for coffee for gifts and personal consumption, instead of buying at the airport or souvenir shops or hotel please try a local supermarkey. Local brands and more choices at real bargains.

    What to buy: Coffee

    Chocolates

    Cookies

    What to pay: A few dollars, maybe 3-7$ for various brands of coffee.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Seniors

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    Mercado

    by sachara Updated Jun 22, 2006

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    I always like to look around at markets and market areas. I´m interested to look at the local crops, products and handicrafts. So we visited one of the markets in San José.

    We also did some shopping for our long bustrip from San José to Managua, like fruits, bread and drinks. There was a lot of choice.

    Visiting this market, it was the only time during our four week trip in Meso-America that someone was following us for a while, staring at our bag and pockets.

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