Shopping in San Jose
- Boutique Annemarie, located inside Hotel Don Carlos, is a nice souvenir shop. But don't buy your stamps here, they'll charge you an extra 40% for the "service".
- El Pueblo shopping mall has lots of small souvenir shops.
- Mora Books Is a used book store on the corner of First Avenue and Street 3 in down-town San José. They have a great number of guide books, and will buy, trade, or sell books.
- Mercado Artesania One of the best places for getting souvenirs and handcrafted products. This market is on 2nd Avenue by the National Museum.
- The Costa Rica Cigar Store Hundreds of Hand made Costa Rica Cigars. Locations on Sabana Sur and Barrio Amon.
Throughout the city, there are also a good deal of shops with wooden and ceramic souvenirs. The wooden pieces, such as masks, plaques, and other forms of wall art, are all beautifully hand carved as well as hand painted and the artisan usually signs their work with their name and where it was made on the backside. The ceramic pottery and dishware is done in this similar fashion and are available in a variety of designs and colors. These make interesting and personally unique gifts to bring home to family and friends for a reasonable price. San Pedro Mall: A very modern mall located east of the city. On the outside it is beautifully constructed and it is three stories high.
The best coffees have deserved reputations for superb quality. Super markets/grocers and small coffee growers usually have better prices than shops that cater to tourists. Often packaged in 12 oz. sealed bags, you should only purchase roasted, whole beans rather than ground...for epicures, "strictly hard bean" (SHB)). They will keep flavor longer...until you can store them properly at home (Google for methods), and won't include sugar as often found in Costa Rican ground. Roasted coffee also prevents you from running afoul of agencies such as FDA/APHIS that requires special licensing for importing "green"/unroasted beans (may be considered plant material).
The best cigars, where you will find a huge selection of Cuban Cigars is located at The Havana Humidor Room, 2 blocks North and 1 block West of the Holiday Inn.
- Feria Del Agricultor (Zapote Farmers Fair), Parqueo del redondel de toros de Zapote. Opens Sunday 05:00 - 14:00. A nice activity on a Sunday morning, the Zapote farmers market is a great way to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week. There are a number of vendors selling tasty breakfasts and fresh juices so be sure to come hungry.