Jaco Royale


6 Best Costa Rican Souvenirs - What to Buy?


Costa Rica, a country renowned for its stunning natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and laid-back Pura Vida spirit, offers more than just unforgettable memories.  Imagine taking a piece of this paradise back home with you through unique and authentic souvenirs. From the world-famous coffee to vibrant fabrics and handcrafted goods, Costa Rica boasts a treasure trove of keepsakes waiting to be discovered.


Pura Vida Souvenirs: Savvy Shopping Tips in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s diverse souvenirs offer a way to bring a piece of paradise home. But before you embark on your shopping spree, here are a few savvy tips to ensure you get the best deals and most authentic keepsakes:

  • Seek Out Local Artisans: Support local communities and find unique treasures by venturing beyond tourist shops. Explore artisan markets, workshops, and roadside stalls. You’ll find genuine handcrafted items and have the opportunity to interact with the artists themselves.
  • Haggling is Expected: In some markets and with street vendors, bargaining is part of the cultural experience. Do your research beforehand to understand fair prices, and be polite and respectful during negotiations.
  • Beware Airport Souvenirs: The convenience of airport souvenir shops comes at a price. Generally, you’ll find higher prices and a smaller selection compared to shops outside the airport. Stock up on souvenirs before your departure for a better deal.
  • Embrace the Local Currency: While some places accept US dollars, carrying Costa Rican Colones (₡) allows you to avoid potentially unfavorable exchange rates. ATMs are readily available in most tourist areas.
  • Look for Quality and Sustainability: Invest in well-made souvenirs that will last. For wooden crafts, ensure they’re made from sustainable wood sources. This not only supports responsible practices but guarantees your souvenir isn’t contributing to deforestation.
  • Don’t Forget the “Made in Costa Rica” Label: A souvenir’s true value lies in its authenticity. Look for the “Hecho en Costa Rica” (Made in Costa Rica) label to ensure you’re purchasing a locally made product.

By following these tips, you’ll transform your souvenir shopping experience in Costa Rica from a simple purchase to a treasure hunt for unique, authentic pieces that embody the Pura Vida spirit.

1. A Taste of Paradise: Costa Rican Coffee

Costa Rica is a coffee connoisseur’s dream.  Nestled amidst lush rainforests and volcanic slopes, the country’s various coffee-growing regions – from Monteverde to Turrialba – produce some of the world’s most exquisite beans.  Imagine savoring a cup of freshly roasted Costa Rican coffee back home, the rich aroma transporting you back to your tropical adventure.  Many coffee farms offer tours and encourage visitors to take home a bag (or two!) of their locally roasted beans.  This is a fantastic way to support local communities and bring back a truly authentic souvenir.

2. Swinging in Style: Embrace the Hammock Lifestyle

Chances are, you’ll find yourself swaying in a handcrafted hammock during your Costa Rican vacation. The good news is, you can take this symbol of relaxation home with you! Choose from a variety of styles – with or without spreader bars, single or double person, and even hanging chairs. The fabrics range from natural, open-weave cotton to vibrantly colored, geometrically patterned options. Prices start from a reasonable $15 and can go up to $100 depending on the size, fabric, and craftsmanship. Imagine unwinding in your very own Costa Rican hammock, the gentle rocking a constant reminder of your Pura Vida experience.

3. Spice Up Your Life: Costa Rican Salsas

Just like its Central American and Caribbean neighbors, Costa Rica boasts its own unique selection of hot sauces that add a fiery kick to any meal. Venture beyond the usual green and red pepper sauces and discover the explosion of flavors Costa Rica has to offer. Try the Tipica Tropical Sauce, a sweet and tangy concoction made with mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and tamarind. For a bolder option, pick up a bottle of Salsa Lizano, a rich green sauce traditionally used on steaks and other meat dishes. These sauces are not just delicious souvenirs, but a way to infuse your home cooking with the vibrant flavors of Costa Rica.

4. Beyond the Bean: Costa Rican Coffee Essentials

While Costa Rican coffee is undoubtedly the star of the show, consider these additional coffee-related souvenirs to enhance your home brewing experience. Cafe Britt stores, scattered throughout the country, offer a variety of coffee accessories and beautifully packaged beans. Look for shade-grown coffee, a more sustainable option that supports the delicate rainforest ecosystem. These beans are slightly more expensive but come with the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a positive environmental impact. For the ultimate coffee connoisseur, consider purchasing a French press or a specialty grinder for the perfect cup of Costa Rican coffee back home.

5. A Toast to Pura Vida: Guaro

For those seeking a more adult souvenir, look no further than Guaro, Costa Rica’s national liquor. This sugarcane-based brandy is a staple in most bars and restaurants. Pick up a bottle from a supermarket or a shopping center for a taste of Costa Rican nightlife. Remember, prices tend to be higher in tourist areas like Monteverde or Arenal. So, stock up in San Jose or smaller towns for a better deal. Enjoy Guaro neat, mixed in a cocktail, or as part of the traditional “Guaro Sour.”

6. A Touch of Nature: Wooden Crafts

Costa Rica’s vibrant art scene extends beyond paintings and textiles. Immerse yourself in the country’s rich craftsmanship by taking home a piece of locally made wooden decor. Souvenir shops overflow with colorful and vibrant wooden crafts, catering to every taste and budget. From practical items like napkin holders, coasters, and wine holders to decorative jewelry boxes and wall hangings, you’re sure to find the perfect piece to add a touch of Costa Rican flair to your home. These beautiful crafts are typically made from sustainable woods like teak, cedar, rosewood, bamboo, and balsa. Look for pieces with intricate carvings or colorful painted designs that reflect the local flora and fauna. Not only are these souvenirs beautiful, but they also support local artisans and preserve traditional crafting techniques.


Costa Rica isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience. And what better way to preserve the memories of your unforgettable trip than with a unique and authentic souvenir? From the world-renowned coffee to vibrant wooden crafts and fiery hot sauces, Costa Rica offers a treasure trove of keepsakes waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking a taste of the local culture, there’s something special waiting to bring a touch of Pura Vida into your home. So, follow our savvy shopping tips, embrace the local spirit, and embark on a souvenir adventure that will leave you with a lasting connection to this beautiful country.