So, you came to Costa Rica on vacation and you want to take something back with you as a reminder of your fun time here, or maybe you live here and you need to take souvenirs back to your family abroad. The thing is, sometimes it is difficult to know where to get nice souvenirs at a good price, and more often than we’d like we end up buying them at the airport on our way out of the country, and let me tell you, souvenirs at the airport (at least in Costa Rica) are expensive.
Here we will give you some ideas of what to take back with you and list some of the best places to get souvenirs in Costa Rica.
Nature inspired crafts: Costa Rica is all about nature, the wonderful rain forests and the wildlife that inhabits them are the inspiration of many local artists who create wonderful souvenirs, which are some of the preferred items among tourists. From key chains, to magnets, jewelry, beautifully painted feathers, shot glasses, decorative plates, different ornaments, all with images of different Costa Rican animals or touristic areas. The best places to get high-quality and affordable souvenirs are: The artisan street of Moravia, San José, here you can find several little shops that have great variety. The National Arts and Crafts Market in downtown San José or La Casona Souvenirs also in San José. Santa Ana to the west of San José also has several alternatives for local crafts. The town of Sarchí in Alajuela, this is a great place to visit, great for a day trip, many wonderful shops and things to see, the figurines representing the hand painted ox cart wheels are a great way to remember this country.
Clothing: If you rather take back something more practical, perhaps clothing is the way to go, T-shirts are always a great alternative, there’s a fairly new company called Arteria that offers not just t-shirts but also water bottles, umbrellas, reusable grocery bags, baby onesies, all with catchy Costa Rican phrases or words and their meanings, others with representative designs; their products are found in different locations around the country, just do a quick online search for Arteria Costa Rica and select the most convenient one. In the Central Market in San José you can also find typical Costa Rica dresses, shirts and chonetes ( farmer hats) for kids and adults. The National Team “La Sele” Soccer jerseys are also very popular, you can find them for sale even in the streets and in most souvenir shops, try to get the help of a local on finding a good quality shirt so you don’t end up with a poor imitation that will shrink or discolor. Tip: DO NOT buy these at the airport as they’ll want a lot of money for them, especially if it’s the Keylor Navas one.
Food/Drinks: Costa Rican Coffee, of course, is one of the most popular products tourists take back; however, the majority settle for Britt, as a tip, Britt has a lot of marketing behind it, multiple presentations and beautiful packaging, and that’s why it is more expensive than most other Costa Rica coffee brands. If you ask local coffee drinkers the majority will tell you they prefer other brands, Britt has a good quality and a good flavor, but it is expensive and it is not the only good coffee in Costa Rica, and not the best (at least in my opinion). Many other brands offer great quality and delicious flavor, especially those from the Naranjo, Dota and Tarrazú areas, while you are here venture to try some of them: Café Naranjo, 1820, Doka, Café Milagro, Volio, Café Arias. Other products that many tourists like taking with them include: Salsa Lizano, Gallito chocolates such as Milan and Guayabitas and the sliced guayaba (guava) paste.