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Costa Rica Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Costa Rica

Costa Rica may not have a strong reputation for retail therapy, but good gifts and souvenirs can still be found if you know where to look.

San José is where you'll find shopping malls housing international chains and local brands. Alternatively, head to the bustling Central Market on Avenida Central if you're after trinkets and local bounty (coffee, traditional herbal remedies and fresh produce). The market is open every Monday to Saturday, 0630 to 1800 hours.

In popular beach towns, there are shops selling handcrafted jewellery, wooden bowls, sarongs and hammocks.

Popular souvenirs include hot sauces, Costa Rican coffee beans and a chorreador (a traditional coffee-making device with a wooden stand and a cheesecloth to filter coffee and below it, a place for your mug).

Shopping hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1400-1600. Saturday 0900-1200.

In San José, shops may operate from Mon-Sat 0900-1800, while shopping malls tend to close at 2100. In touristy areas, shops may also open on Sundays.

Nightlife in Costa Rica

San José is the largest city in Costa Rica. Accordingly, it has the highest number of bars and dance clubs that get very busy on Fridays and Saturdays.

Outside of San José, beach parties with live DJ performances are common among coastal towns, while high-end hotels tend to have their own bars and socialising areas.

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