Looking for ideas on the best souvenirs from Costa Rica? Here are some great suggestions!

Costa Rica is a country of incredible natural beauty, diverse wildlife and a laid-back lifestyle. It’s no surprise that many visitors want to take home something to remind them of their time there.

From delicious coffee and hot sauce to intricately designed oxcarts and locally made crafts, there is something for every taste and budget.

Whether you’re looking for something to remind you of your trip or a gift for a loved one back home, these souvenirs are sure to bring a piece of Costa Rica into your life.  

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Souvenirs from Costa Rica to Taste or Drink

Coffee 

Costa Rica is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world, and bringing back a bag of freshly roasted beans is a must for any coffee lover.

You can easily buy coffee in any local market or grocery store, but if you have the chance, we recommend taking a tour of the coffee plantations.

There are quite a few coffee plantations near San Jose, such as Doka, Britt and Alsacia, Starbucks’ own coffee plantation.

Tours take you through the process from bean to cup, and at the end of the tour, you’ll have the chance to pick up a bag of fresh coffee to take home.

coffee beans spilling out of a bag beside a white cup of coffee

A bag of Costa Rica coffee is a great souvenir, as it’s practical and can be enjoyed long after your time in Costa Rica has ended.

In fact, you might want to pick up more than one bag of coffee, as it’s a great souvenir, either for yourself or someone else – or both! 

You can also buy Britt coffee online at Amazon.

Chorreador (Traditional Coffee Maker)

While you can make Costa Rican coffee in a regular coffee maker, to be truly authentic, you need to make it in a traditional Costa Rican coffee maker.

Similar to the pour-over method, a chorreador is a wooden stand that holds a piece of material with the coffee grounds- the coffee sock – over the coffee cup or pot.

wooden coffee mug painted with picture of toucan in the trees sits beside a small wooden chorreador - a traditional Costa Rican coffee maker  which makes a great unique souvenir from Costa Rica

Chorreadors can be found in souvenir shops all over the country and make great souvenirs from Costa Rica. You can buy small versions – perfect for one cup – or larger ones that brew a full pot of coffee.

You can also find chorreadors, like this one on Amazon, just in case you get home and regret not buying one while you’re in Costa Rica. 

Chocolate 

Costa Rican chocolate is another delicious souvenir to bring back home. The country’s tropical climate and fertile soil provide ideal growing conditions for cacao trees and is known for producing high-quality cacao beans.

You can find chocolate shops throughout the country that offer a wide variety of chocolate products, from chocolate bars and truffles to chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Many of these shops source their chocolate from local farmers and use traditional methods to create their products. 

Costa Rican chocolate is known for its rich flavour and smooth texture. It’s some of the best dark chocolate I’ve tasted! 

Monteverde and La Fortuna produce some of the best quality chocolate in the world.

If you’re visiting either of those areas, be sure to do a chocolate tour – we did the Don Juan tour in Monteverde – and you’ll learn about the chocolate process from bean to bar, as well as sample some delicious chocolate at the end.

Plus, you’ll be able to pick up some tasty chocolate bars to bring home as a souvenir from Costa Rica – just be careful – if you’re heading somewhere hot after Monteverde, be sure to keep your chocolate in the fridge!  

Salsa Lizano

This popular sauce is another great souvenir from Costa Rica. 

Lizano sauce is used in many local dishes, including the Costa Rican traditional breakfast, gallo pinto, or as a topping for many dishes including rice and beans, grilled meat and eggs.

If you’ve been to Costa Rica, you’ve surely seen Lizano sauce on the table anywhere you eat. It’s widely available in supermarkets throughout the country and it’s a great way to add a touch of Costa Rican flavour to meals back home. 

We were travelling with carry-on only and weren’t able to find bottles that were small enough to fit the carry-on liquid allowance, but this sauce might be worth checking a bag for!

Trying to find this sauce once back home is hard. I searched and finally found it on Amazon, but as we’re based in Canada, the shipping fees were a little much – if you’re in the US, I’m envious!

If I’d known how hard it would be to get, I would have made sure to buy some while we were there. Believe me, you won’t regret it! 

Cacique Guarao

Costa Rica’s most popular liquor, Cacique Guaro, is distilled from sugar cane and similar to white rum, although some say it tastes more like vodka. It’s popular with locals and often considered to be the national drink of Costa Rica.

While you can find Guaro all throughout Latin America, Cacique Guaro is only found in Costa Rica.

A small sample bottle costs around $2 US, and is small enough that you can fit it in your carry-on. Try it mixed with Lizano sauce, lime and tomato juice!

Craft Souvenirs from Costa Rica

Replica Ox Carts

The oxcart is a traditional symbol of Costa Rican culture, historically used to transport coffee beans and other goods. The carts were typically made from wood and featured large wheels with spokes that were painted in bright colours and intricate designs.

Over time, they became a source of pride and artisans began to decorate them with beautiful designs that often included colourful flowers, animals such as toucans and jaguars, and geometric patterns.

painted oxcart in Costa Rica - a replica makes a great souvenir from Costa Rica

Today, the oxcarts are still used in parades and festivals, and miniature replicas make for unique and colourful souvenirs. Mini oxcart replicas can be found all throughout the country, and are often made by hand, and future similar intricate designs as the full-sized carts.

And if you’re looking to see an actual oxcart, the town of Sarchí, which is an easy day trip from San Jose, boasts the world’s largest oxcart.

Pottery

Costa Rican pottery is known for its bright colours and is typically hand-painted with intricate designs. Handmade pieces include bowls, vases and other decorative items.

The pottery in Costa Rica is unique, as it’s made from the mud that is plentiful in the rainforest. 

Wooden Crafts

Woodworking is a deeply rooted tradition in Costa Rica, and the country is known for its beautiful wooden crafts.

Artisans throughout the country use a variety of local tropical woods, such as cedar, Guanacaste and teak, to create intricate and unique pieces.

You’ll find everything from gorgeous wood furniture to hand-carved figurines, kitchen utensils and wooden bowls. These items are both functional and decorative and add a touch of Costa Rica to your home. 

a carved wooden sloth and a carved wooden toucan - carved wooden figurines are a popular souvenir from Costa Rica

While you can find beautiful wooden crafts all over the country at local markets and souvenir shops, the town of Sarchi, about an hour’s drive from San Jose, is known as the crafts centre of the country. 

Jewelry 

Jewelry is a practical and unique souvenir to buy wherever you travel, and Costa Rica has some beautiful jewelry to offer.

Many artisans use locally sourced materials, such as stones, shells and seeds and create one-of-a-kind pieces that are beautiful but also hold a significant cultural meaning.

These unique and authentic pieces make for great souvenirs and gifts and can be found throughout Costa Rica at local markets or artisan shops.

Hammocks

Costa Rica is a place to relax and unwind, and hammocks are a common sight to see, often strung between palm trees on beaches or on the porches of houses.

They come in various sizes, colours and materials, and can be found with or without a wooden stretcher, depending on the style you are looking for.

Look for handmade hammocks in markets and shops, especially in areas near the beach.

Hammocks are a practical souvenir from Costa Rica and perfect for relaxing and bringing that Pura Vida lifestyle back with you.

a colourful woven hammock hangs in the trees

Typical Souvenirs from Costa Rica

Magnets  

Magnets are an easy and fun way to bring home a small memory of your travels.

Yes, they’re typical souvenirs, but you can find some interesting Costa Rican ones, such as ones that feature butterflies, sloths, toucans, or a map of the country.

These are great souvenirs to buy if you’re travelling with kids, as they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to pack.

Plus, when you’re back home and kids see the magnets displayed, they will remember the fun experiences you had as a family and continue talking about their travels.

T-shirts

Another typical souvenir, but one that is more practical and will definitely be used, at least in our house – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that shirt show up in the weekly wash – is a t-shirt.

Especially when you’re travelling with kids, a tee is something that they can wear and will help them remember their trip over and over again.

Souvenir tees often feature wildlife or sayings – “Pura Vida” tees are quite popular – and they’re easy to find anywhere in the country.

They’re also one of the easiest souvenirs to pack in your luggage for the return trip!

Painted Metal cups

While cups are a typical souvenir that you can usually find anywhere, these metal cups are a great souvenir from Costa Rica.

Many are hand-painted locally, so you’re supporting local, and honestly, a cup is always useful!

a painted metal cup with a picture of a sloth and the words Costa Rica makes a great souvenir

We picked up some of these gorgeous metal cups after visiting the hanging bridges in Monteverde and they came in handy when we were in Manuel Antonio where our accommodations didn’t have cups or mugs in the rooms. 

Coffee Table Book 

There’s probably a better name for these books, but my grandma always had a few on her table so that’s what she called them.

Books are often a staple wherever you travel, but Costa Rica has such gorgeous scenery and a coffee table book is a great way to remember those amazing moments of your travels.

They’re also great conversation starters and can be enjoyed long after your trip is over. We have one like this one, which has gorgeous photos and brings back great memories of our trip every time we open the book.


Where to Buy Costa Rica Souvenirs

You can find souvenirs almost everywhere in Costa Rica, including local markets, souvenir shops and specialty stores.

Some of the best areas to find Costa Rican souvenirs are in the more touristed areas, such as San Jose, La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio, and Guanacaste.

In these areas, you will find a wide range of shops and markets selling everything from Costa Rican jewelry and handmade crafts to coffee, chocolate and other local products. 

San Jose 

In San Jose, the Mercado D’Artesania is a fantastic market to buy unique souvenirs. Near the National Museum of History, this market features artisans from all over Costa Rica, who sell a variety of handmade gifts, jewelry and crafts.

Sarchi 

Known for its handicrafts and unique souvenirs, Sarchi is a good place to buy souvenirs in Costa Rica. An easy day trip from San Jose, here you’ll find plenty of artisans selling handmade crafts and even get a chance to watch them at work. 

Manuel Antonio 

Manuel Antonio is a popular spot with tourists so, of course, you’ll find plenty of souvenirs here. There are shops near the main beach, selling souvenirs and beachwear, as well as some shops just outside Manuel Antonio National Park.

While you may find some unique souvenirs, the ones here tend to be more mass-produced souvenirs and similar to ones that you will find all over the country. 

La Fortuna 

Another popular tourist destination in Costa Rica, there are plenty of souvenirs to be found in La Fortuna.

Whether you’re shopping in the main town or picking up something after any of the activities you choose to do in La Fortuna, there are plenty of options to remind you of your time in Costa Rica. 

Monteverde 

The small town of Santa Elena has a few souvenir shops in the downtown area and many of the activities and tours in Monteverde will have a selection of souvenirs as well.

You can find everything from the typical magnets and tees to glassware and wood figurines.

If you do a coffee tour here, you can pick up a coffee maker and fresh coffee beans at the end of the tour, or there’s a good selection in town as well. 

SJO Airport 

Lastly, while you won’t find the cheapest or most authentic souvenirs here, the airport is one of the most convenient places to do some last-minute shopping.

There are plenty of shops with the same souvenirs that you’ll see all over Costa Rica, like magnets, coasters and tees, but you’ll also find some more unique wood-carved items and art.

And of course, there’s a large Britt store where you can purchase coffee beans and chocolate. 

Costa Rica Souvenirs Online

And if you’re worried about space in your luggage or being able to bring back things in your carry-on, you can always buy some Costa Rica souvenirs online once you’re home.

Yes, it’s not exactly a souvenir that you bring back from your holidays, but it’s still a great way to remember your travels to Costa Rica!


Tips for Buying Costa Rica Souvenirs

  • When buying souvenirs, try to look for locally made and authentic products from Costa Rica, such as handcrafted ceramics, coffee, chocolate and textiles. 
  • While many shops will accept credit or debit, smaller shops or local artisans may only accept cash. Also, when paying with cash, you save the international fees on credit and debit, plus often you’ll get a small discount for paying in cash. 
  • Pay in the listed currency. While USD is accepted in most places, if the price is listed in colones, pay in colones. If it’s listed in USD, pay in USD (but be aware if change is needed, you may receive colones back)
  • Be sure to check what you are allowed to bring back home with you. Some souvenirs made from wood or plant products may be subject to restrictions in certain countries. It’s always best to check your own country’s customs regulations before purchasing items or returning home.  
  • It’s also important to note that while you might want to bring some natural items, like seashells or plants, back with you, it’s actually illegal to take seashells out of the country.

Final Thoughts: Souvenirs from Costa Rica

Souvenirs are a wonderful way to remember your travels and experiences once you return home. From colourful and intricately designed handcrafts to delicious coffee and chocolate, Costa Rica has a variety of options to choose from. Whichever your preference, souvenirs of Costa Rica are a great way to remember your time in this incredible country. 

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