The list of things Costa Rica is known for doesn't end at green rainforests, magical beaches, rich culture, and preserved wildlife. It's one of my favorite destinations in Central America because there's so much to do in Costa Rica. There's a lot to explore and even more to buy!
Regardless, shopping in Costa Rica is a fun experience, whether you're with your travel buddies or visiting Costa Rica solo. For me, it's the price tags of the local Costa Rican products like jewelry, clothes, and shoes that really stand out. It's easy to find cheap, fun souvenirs that will help you remember your trip forever.
With a little research and preparation, you can find unique and authentic products that reflect the local Costa Rican culture. You can get your hands on a lot of fair deals in Costa Rica while also supporting the local vendors. It's easy to find souvenirs, even if you're visiting Costa Rica on a budget.
So, let me show you the best things to buy while you're in Costa Rica!
What to Buy in Costa Rica?
Whether you're looking for handmade jewelry, souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, or local foods, Costa Rica has something for every tourist.
The real question is, which of these Costa Rican products are within your budget? Which of them can you easily take home with you? Here are 7 great ideas to fill your suitcase with Costa Rican souvenirs.
7 Affordable Items to Buy in Costa Rica for Tourists
Make sure you set aside some time in your Costa Rica itinerary to get your hands on the 7 items to bring home.
7. Locally Designed Jewelry
Jewelry in Costa Rica is world famous, and rightfully so. It has such a great variety of colors and sizes and absolutely unique designs that you will instantly fall in love with.
There are so many pretty necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and bamboo rings in Costa Rican markets. These affordable trinkets make fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts. Even if you don't wear jewelry, you'll want to bring some back for your friends.
Many Costa Rican jewelry designers work with gold, silver, glass, semi-precious stones, clay, and recyclable materials. Unique vintage-style jewelry pieces are sold in local jewelry shops all across Costa Rica for as low as $2.
6. Costa Rican Coffee
If you function on caffeine like me, then you must try some famous Costa Rican coffee and buy some for your friends back home. Some of the best coffees in South and Central America are thought to come from Costa Rica, and I totally agree!
The high altitude of Costa Rica's coffee-growing areas and ideal temperatures help make this coffee so delicious. The country's tropical environment, fertile soil, and regular rainfall are the cherry on top.
The way the beans are gathered and processed is another reason why Costa Rican coffee is so good. Each coffee bean is hand-picked so that only the ripest beans are processed. So, don't forget to buy yourself a big pack of those aromatic coffee beans to take home!
5. Embroidered Handbags
There is a wide variety of handbags available in Costa Rica, ranging from local artisanal designs to international brands. But, you can get those anywhere in the world, which is why I'm suggesting you check out the woven handbags instead.
These woven bags are usually made by local vendors, using natural fibers like jute, straw, or cotton. They are typically lightweight and come in a lot of distinct designs and colors.
Another great option in this section is buying embroidered handbags, which are often made by hand, often featuring intricate embroidery work. These handbags can be quite vibrant and are usually made with cotton or other natural fibers.
4. Handmade Leather Sandals
Buying shoes is never cheap, no matter where you go in the world. The same goes for Costa Rica. Since I promised you an affordable list of things to buy in Costa Rica, I'm not going to disappoint.
For as low as $20, you can get yourself a nice pair of handmade leather sandals from a local shoemaker in Costa Rica.
If budget is not your main concern and you actually need comfortable shoes for your tour of Costa Rica, you can get those as well. There are some shoe shops as old as 100 years that sell you high-quality and reasonably priced leather shoes.
The cost of traditional Costa Rican shoes ranges between $20 to $60.
3. Natural Beauty Products
Costa Ricans know how to treat your skin the way it deserves with their 100% certified organic and eco-friendly beauty products. You must get your hands on some of the locally-produced moisturizers, aromatic oils, and exfoliating scrubs.
They are made with safe and natural ingredients like coffee, chocolate, and coconut to keep your skin fresh and glowy. The best thing is that they don't cost as much as modern cosmetics do.
2. Indigenous Art
There are 8 indigenous groups still living and thriving in Costa Rica. Each of those communities produces distinctive arts and crafts.
The most common and cheap items among those indigenous artworks are gourds with complex carvings, hand-carved, and painted masks. You can also find beautiful hand-woven fabrics, straw products, hand-sewn garments, and jewelry.
There are many places in the capital San José where you can purchase indigenous arts and crafts for tourists at reasonable prices. All indigenous groups are given a chance to sell their goods directly to customers in those areas. You can expect to pay between $5 and $65.
1. Traditional Costa Rican Clothing
Traditional attire from Costa Rica is incredibly beautiful and meaningful. The country's Spanish heritage, economic history, and love of fun and dancing are all reflected in them. In most parts of Costa Rica, bold primary colors are used to create horizontal stripes on the skirts.
Get yourself a nice long-flowing skirt and a ruffled blouse to remember your Costa Rican adventures even after you return home. The prices of these clothes are pretty affordable, and they're among the cheapest things you can buy in Costa Rica.
Plan Your Costa Rica Adventure With Pilot!
These are some of the things you can buy in Costa Rica on your vacation without busting your budget. Keep in mind that the exchange rate in Costa Rica fluctuates, so always have some extra cash on hand. Don't forget to use Pilot to plan your trip to Costa Rica.