San José Feature

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Last, Last-Minute Buys

If you really didn't have time to shop, never fear. Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría has two noteworthy souvenir shops—Britt Shop Costa Rica and Green Trails— for those last-minute purchases. Choose from various blends of coffee ($5 per pound) and such merchandise as hand-carved bowls and jewelry, aromatherapy candles, banana-paper stationery, and Costa Rica travel books—Fodor's included. There's nary another store in the country carrying such a variety all in one place. The catch is that the airport shops charge U.S. prices.

The several IMAS Duty Free shops, whose proceeds go to benefit government social services, have the standard selection of duty-free alcohol. Costa Ricans, who pay high taxes on liquor and wine, love the prices here, but you won't find any bargains you can't already get back home. Don't forget that liquids in your airplane carry-on are limited to the same three-ounce restrictions as you pass through airport security.

Artesanías del Sol. This out-of-the-way place on the far eastern side of the metro area has a good selection of pottery and baskets. 100 m west of Plaza del Sol, Curridabat, 11802. Daily 8–6; Dec. daily 8–8.

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