So, if you came all the way to Costa Rica, chances are you don’t want to go shopping for souvenirs with a “made in China” tag, right? We believe in sustainable tourism, and it’s transformation power. We’d like you to buy for your dear ones (or for yourself) really cool stuff from local craftsmen and craftswomen; dreamers, designers and brands while helping the local economy at the same time. Plus, you’ll have a better story to tell back home which is the whole point of buying souvenirs. Here are a few recommendations for shopping souvenirs:
Also read: Our Manifest: Sustainable Urban Tourism
This isn’t just a store. “Chietón Moren” means “good deal” or “fair trade” in the brunca native dialect. This place is beautiful and the display is very informative about our native territories and their art expressions, almost like a museum. Most importantly, the shop belongs to the Cultural Association Chieton Moren, which represents craftsmen and craftswomen from all eight native protected territories in Costa Rica. You’ll be buying directly from them as every product’s price tag has the name of the artist, their community and the price he/she set for it. The shop makes no profit, just covers it’s operational costs and for this they use a lot of volunteer work from the Administration school of the University of Costa Rica.
- Schedule: Monday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm
- Location: https://g.page/chietonmoren?share
- Website: https://www.chietonmoren.org
Hot sauce, marmalades, bottled craft beer, watches, jeans, shirts, local band’s merch and albums. Costa Rica is home to a lot of creative and talented people and La Estantería, in Barrio Escalante is proof of it. Here you’ll only find local products, and all of them are SMEs. Remember: these shelves are not stocked with products, but with the work of those who dared to follow a dream.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo…” ― Rob Siltanen
- Schedule: Monday to Thursday 9am to 6pm / Fridays 9am to 8pm / Saturdays 9am to 4pm
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nRLRd5YjRk61ERjC9
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/estanteriacr/
Established in 2006, eÑe was the first shop dedicated to promote local design. These pioneers bet on creating a space for costarican products and had to start by building up the appreciation and the demand for locally designed and produced items. Nowadays, products of over 60 artists are waiting for your visit. Although the space is small, the selection of cute things to choose from is huge; from stuffed animals, to shirts, prints, jewelry, purses and even shoes. This is a great small shop.
- Schedule: Monday to Saturdays 10am to 6:30pm
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uRQ6yhWF3ifWz8Uf9
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/esquina13y7/
Hola Lola Travel Gift Shop
Costa Rica’s souvenirs had been the same for decades. That is, until Hola Lola came around with a totally refreshing graphic image and contemporary design targeted to modern travelers fond of fashion and good design. Illustrations are made by designer Priscilla Aguirre and they depict our beautiful and colorful country, it’s culture and wildlife. The shop is beautiful, and it’s stuffed with a vast array of gorgeous travel gifts like tote bags, umbrellas, prints, postcards, notebooks, soaps, creams and a lot more. Plus, you’ll be able to find items from regions you may have visited such as Monteverde, Arenal, Puerto Viejo, Manuel Antonio, and of course our beloved San Jose.
- Schedule: Monday to Saturdays 10am to 7pm / Sundays 10am to 4pm
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/eDK7NjKibTnio35H8
- Website: http://holalolashop.com/
Recycle or die! Ok, so perhaps these are not souvenirs or even travel gifts. But when traveling you should also pamper yourself with pretty things to wear in style back home. And, have you ever given some thought to the fact that perhaps the world doesn’t need any more “new clothes”? Mextraña is the ultimate fashion thrift shop in San Jose. Here, every item is carefully selected and modified by Paola and Dayla, two sisters in love with fashion and the vintage style. Check out their showroom in Barrio La California and they’ll help you choose the right stuff for you. Oh, and if required, they can even adjust any clothing piece to fit like a glove.
- Schedule: Tuesday to Saturdays 12pm to 8pm
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/fyM8nz8fgVpSAN3x7
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/mextrana.cr/
We hope these tips help you find the perfect souvenir or gift. If you want more advice about San José, don’t hesitate to write to us; or, visit us at our offices in Barrio La Califonia.
Carpe Chepe – Centro de Información Turística
- Horario: Lunes a sábados, de 10:30am a 7:30pm
- Ubicación: https://g.page/CarpeChepe?share