San Jose

Although it might seem more "authentic" to buy your souvenirs at their source, you can find everything in the city, a real bonus if you're pressed for time. If the capital has any real tourist shopping district, it's found loosely in the cluster of streets around Parque Morazán, just north of downtown, an area bounded roughly by Avenidas 1 and 7 and Calles 5 and 9. Stroll and search, because many other businesses congregate in the area as well.

The northeastern suburb of Moravia has a cluster of high-quality crafts and artisan shops—for good reason very popular with tour groups—in the three blocks heading north from the Colegio María Inmaculada high school. The street is two blocks behind the city's church.

Prices in shops are fixed and fair. You may be able to bargain at Mercado Central and the Calle Nacional de Artesania y Pintura, but bargaining isn’t the sport it is in other countries. Haggling, even if not ill-intended, will come off as rude. Your best bet for getting a deal is to simply suggest you’ll come back later and walk away. If the vendors really want to lower the price, they will.

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  • 1. Artesanías Zurquí


    You'll find a well-rounded selection of ceramics, wood, and leather at Artesanías Zurquí. ...Read More

  • 2. Feria Verde

    Barrio Aranjuez | Food/Candy

    It's a tad out of the way, but just up the street from the Hotel Aranjuez is the city's best Saturday-morning farmers' market. Stock up on organic...Read More

  • 3. Kiosco SJO

    Barrio Escalante | Crafts

    Ensconced inside Barrio Escalante's trendy Kalú restaurant, equally trendy Kiosco SJO proffers a good selection of locally made woodwork, fabrics...Read More

  • 4. Librería Internacional

    Barrio Dent | Books/Stationery

    The city's largest bookstore evokes that Barnes & Noble ambience, though on a much smaller scale. It stocks English translations of Latin...Read More

  • 5. Mi Pueblo Verde


    This is a standout among the Moravia shops for its fine carvings made from native cocobolo and guápinol wood. The salad bowls are especially...Read More

  • 6. Mundo de Recuerdos


    If you can't find it at Mundo de Recuerdos, it probably doesn't exist. Here's the largest of the Moravia shops with simply everything—at least...Read More

  • 7. Kaltak Artesanías


    The staff and selection at Kaltak Artesanías make it a real standout from all the Moravia shops. Walk in with some unformulated "I'm not sure...Read More

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