Question about buying souvenirs

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Jan 28th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #1
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Question about buying souvenirs

Hello all,
Thanks for all of your imput and suggestions to travelling to Costa Rica.I do have questions about buying souvenirs. I am an adult travelling at the end of March 07 on a 9 day guided school trip as a tag along ( no chaperoning duties....I just get to go along and hang out) So, there is really no flexibility in the itinerary, which is OK as it is my first trip to CR.
We will visit the following:
Fly in San Jose.
2 days in Arenal Region: Poas Volcano, La Fortuna waterfall.
2 days Monteverde Reserve.
1 day Carara reserve
1 day Manuel Antonio Park
plus some free time here and there.
Questions:
1: goodies to take back home? coffee? rugs? Arts and Crafts? I have no clue what is available or of local interest.
2. How available are ATMs,? is it wise to have more cash than relying on plastic?
Thanks for any suggestions you seasoned travellers may have.
Snowbound123
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Jan 28th, 2007, 10:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Coffee is always a good bet. Best to stop off at a grocery store though and buy it, you will pay more and have less selection at the airport. I've also found lovely wood boxes, figurines etc all over CR. I will say I usually bring home less from CR than any other place I've traveled, it's just not a huge thing there it seems. In the San Jose/Alajuela area you'll have no problem finding an atm. In MA there is one above the pizza place on the road to the park (they have signs advertising the fact all over, can't miss it). If you take cash, make sure they are $20's or less and in good condition. I usually pre-pay as much as possible and then just carry some cash on me and get money at atm's if I pass one.
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Jan 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Excellent advice from Tully--the less cash you can get by with, the easier your travel will be. If you do feel more comfortable carrying a lot of cash, be sure to split it and stash it in a few different places! Just a good rule of thumb for travel anywhere, IMO!

The coffee is so superb, it makes a great gift. Buy it in the supermarkets rather than the airport gift shop and you can save a lot of $$. Also, Tully and I both have a "Natural Sounds of Costa Rica" CD that we really enjoy listening to. Not so sure others will enjoy it, but you will after visiting there. It is for sale in most gift shops in the country, including the airport.

I love my small oxcart I purchased and had sent to my home. It is so pretty and makes a nice little addition in a corner of my kitchen. Kind of expensive, but pretty! The handpainting is gorgeous. I think I paid about $250 for a medium sized one. Also the leather rockers are great to have if you want a souvenir that significant. We use ours all the time--had that mailed as well. Paid about $100 for it and it cost $30 to have it shipped.

Hammocks are a good buy, but kind of a hassle on the airlines coming home. Keep intending to get one, but haven't ever felt like messing with it on the way home. . .I like the colorful plaid ones.

My daughter bought a really nice padded black shoulder bag (large, square-ish) that she has used a lot for a book bag at college. The needle artwork on it was done by an Indian tribe and we found it in Sarchi at the Fabrica Joaquin Chavierra oxcart shop--large place on your left as you come in to Sarchi (which is a good place for souvenir shopping). Just a few extra ideas. . . .
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Jan 28th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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The Guatil pottery is nice if you find the good stuff and are into pots.
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Jan 29th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Where we were staying in Costa Rica there wasn't a lot of shopping; so we found most our souveniers at the airport. The shopping at the airport was better then I had expected. There was a very nice bookstore, good selection of coffee, and other gifts. We also brought back Lizano, which is a condiment for the gallo pinto. Everyone loved it and we were reluctant to give it away.
Have a wonderful trip!
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Jan 30th, 2007, 06:49 PM
  #6
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Thank you all very much for answering my questions. I will certainly keep in mind all of your suggestions. We will be visiting Sarchi too so I will look for some goodies there too.
I will give you a report after I return.
Thanks again
Snowbound
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