San Jose Stories and Tips

Street Fair

While I was staying at the Costa Rica Backpackers House in San Jose, I decided to go for a gingerly walk through the city. While walking around, I found a small outdoor market near the government buildings. I was looking for some true Costa Rican coffee for my mother (she is a true coffee fan) and here was my paradise. For the length of a football field, there were dozens of vendors selling all local trinkets and some of the weirdest things I have ever seen. Upon walking into the market, I immediately found what it was that I was looking for; a bag a pure Costa Rican coffee in a brown burlap sack with the Costa Rican flag printed right on it. The price was great, at only $4, but like any other street market, prices are only suggested and everything is negotiable. I ended up getting the coffee for $3 and then proceeded on through the market.

Other things I came across were hand made souvenirs made from things like trees and coconuts from around the land. There were also guitars (which cost me a mere $28 for a handmade guitar and a case), drums, clothing, and accessories and a plethora of Costa Rican pride things. And one of the greatest things about this little market was the people.

Everyone was very helpful and all told you the best places to go and the coolest things to see. One guy told me to come back that night for the fire-spinner’s celebration. Up and down the entire street were tons of people spinning what seemed like giant jump ropes, but they were covered in flames and lighting up the streets. As the evening went on, fireworks from all over the city shot up into the sky, illuminating the streets and awing the people.

But, I digress. The market was a great place to hit up and totally worth a stop when you make your way down there. Be careful though, because there are two markets; one near the north part of the city and the other near the Coca Cola Bus Station. The one near the Coca Cola Bus Station is crime ridden and you are almost guaranteed to get pick pocketed there. So beware. This one is much more tourist friendly and the products are of a better quality. And don’t forget to ask a Tico for some advice on what to do, they love helping out. Enjoy!

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