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Souvenir Shopping (Self Guided), San Jose

It would be a pity to leave San Jose without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Jose, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: Costa Rica » San Jose (See other walking tours in San Jose)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Paragueria Rego
  • El Tostador
  • Libreria Lehmann
  • Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museum's Gift Shop)
  • Chieton Moren
  • Galería Namu
1
Paragueria Rego

1) Paragueria Rego

What to buy here: Umbrellas -In a country where the annual rainfall measures 250 centimeters nationwide, an umbrella is a must-have accessory. Rego is a household name in Costa Rica that has been selling paraguas (for men) and colorful sombrillas (for women) for over sixty years. Close to the equator, it is also popular to carry a sun umbrella. If you are planning to spend several days at the beach, you can pick up a beach umbrella at Rego. Compact designs small enough to fit in a purse start at $8. Beach umbrellas range in price from $60 to $85. While many stores and supermarkets throughout Costa Rica sell the Rego brand, it’s fun to make a purchase from the tiny shop on the corner of Avenida 2 and Calle 1o, which tends to customers over the counter. Rego offers a similar intimate and customer-oriented environment in a slightly larger shop just up the street on Avenida 4, one of the capital’s pedestrian walkways (www.regocr.com or 506-2222-2163).
2
El Tostador

2) El Tostador

What to buy here: Coffee - Costa Rica refers to the coffee bean as a “grano de oro,” or gold nugget. Coffee has played a major role in the country’s development. Big name brands and boutique labels decorate supermarket shelves, and hand-weighed pounds pass straight from the roaster to the customer in coffee shops. One-pound bags selling for as little as $3 are sure to please even the most discriminating coffee palate. Auto Mercado supermarkets throughout the capital have a well-stocked coffee aisle displaying the popular 1820 and Café Britt brands, among others. But if you want to select fresh-roasted beans from a bin, try El Tostador, located on Avenida Central and Calle 10.
3
Libreria Lehmann

3) Libreria Lehmann

What to buy here: Books - The fact that Costa Rica is home to 4 % of the world’s biodiversity makes it a stunning place to photograph. It’s no surprise that stacks of coffee table books grace the shelves of bookstores. Magical Trees by Juan José Sergio and Giancarlo Pucci (2nd Edition), a soft-covered book about the trees of Costa Rica with text in English and Spanish ($38). (One of the writers is Jaime Gambo from Costa Rica’s famous band Malpais.) Among the large selection of creative bilingual children’s books, there is a story and coloring book called Magical Trees ($7) that talks about five of Costa Rica’s native trees. You can also find coffee table books highlighting the guaria morada (orchid), which is Costa Rica’s national flower, and birds. Costa Rica is home to 860 recorded bird species. (That’s more than the recorded number in the U.S.A. and Canada combined!) Along the city’s bustling Avenida Central are Libreria Lehmann, Universal and Libreria Internacional, all of which sell a great variety of books about Costa Rica.
4
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museum's Gift Shop)

4) Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museum's Gift Shop)

What to buy here: Costa Rican Indigenous Art | Indigenous Textiles | Pre-Colombian Jewelry |

Jewelry - Forming part of Costa Rica’s dynamic arts scene are jewelry designers working in gold, silver, glass, semi-precious stones, clay and recyclable materials. Boutique shops throughout San José sell a variety of unique designs. Prices range from $10 to the hundreds. The gift shop in the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum sells Pre-Columbian replicas and modern designs in gold (14K solid and 24K plated) and silver (950). The jewelry is designed and made by artists producing pieces exclusively for the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (www.museodelbancocentral.org or 506-2243-4214).
5
Chieton Moren

5) Chieton Moren

What to buy here: Ceramic Art | Costa Rican Indigenous Art | Indigenous Textiles.

Indigenous Art - Costa Rica has tremendous biodiversity as well as ethnodiversity. Each of the country’s eight indigenous groups creates unique arts and crafts, including hand-carved and painted masks, hand-woven textiles and straw goods, intricately carved gourds, hand-sewn clothing and jewelry. Outside of purchasing goods on a visit to an indigenous community or at an artisan fair, the best place in the capital to buy indigenous arts and crafts is Chíeton Morén. With the help of the La Dolorosa Catholic Church and the La Flor Group in Boruca, San José now has a museum and gallery dedicated to Costa Rica’s indigenous people. The space is designed to educate visitors and provide an opportunity for all indigenous groups to sell their arts and crafts without an intermediary. Prices range from $5 for a hand-woven change purse to $20 for a small ceramic vase to $40 for a hand-woven straw hat.
6
Galería Namu

6) Galería Namu (must see)

Galería Namu is a Fair Trade Art Gallery, representing local and indigenous artists of Central America. The name, namu, is the Bribri word for jaguar, the sacred animal to so many tribes of Central America. This name addresses one aspect of the gallery's mission – to respect and celebrate the permanence and legacy of the first people of this land.

Visitors of Galeria Namu will find an array of unique pieces such as Boruca tribe masks, handwoven baskets, carvings, jewelry, jade amulets, hand drums, ceramics, wood crafts, original paintings, tagua, carvings, figurines, pottery...

Namu Gallery is located on Avenida 7, between Calle 5 and 7, and it is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sundays during tourist season from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays between January – April).

Why You Should Visit:
Not only is the artwork of outstanding quality, but the owners are passionate about their mission of educating anyone who comes into the gallery, whether tourists or local ticos.

Walking Tours in San Jose, Costa Rica

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Jose is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

Places of Worship Tour in San Jose

San Jose's churches are vivid examples of historical and architectural value. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in places of spirituality from either architectural or historical standpoints, this tour will take you to the most important religious sites of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Museum Walk in San Jose

Museum Walk in San Jose

Although San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America, its museums display a huge collection of traditional and pre-Columbian art. This walking tour should give you the perfect opportunity to explore the museums in the city and to familiarize yourself with its culture.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 Km or 5.3 Miles
Shopping Tour in San Jose

Shopping Tour in San Jose

Shopping in San Jose is undeniably a fun experience, with a large selection of downtown department stores, traditional marketplaces and souvenir shops selling handicrafts. So if you are looking for something authentic, original and made in Costa Rica, then take this tour to visit some of the acclaimed shopping venues of San Jose.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

Children's Entertainment Tour in San Jose

As many other cities in the world, San Jose has a lot to offer to its young tourists to keep them occupied and happy. Museum of Children, for instance, is full of fun, with plenty of educational activities and adventures. Take this tour for an unforgettable experience for you and your family.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

The Bario Amon represents one the oldest neighborhoods in San Jose. Designed by a Frenchman, Amon Fasileau, it grew to be a beautiful area with a rich architectural history. Take this walking tour to appreciate the splendor of this neighborhood.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Historic Architecture Tour in San Jose

Historic Architecture Tour in San Jose

From a small village of little significance during the Spanish invasion, San Jose grew to become a densely populated cosmopolitan city. The city of San Jose was mostly built from the profits of the coffee-export business, and that is why its architecture represents a mix of European and Latin American features. Take this tour to discover some of the best historical architecture in San Jose.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

Not to be confused with San Jose, the sunny California, San Jose, Costa Rica is the capital city of a wet (250 centimeters of rainfall per year) and colorful Latin American country renowned for its diverse craftsmanship (courtesy of the numerous indigenous tribes), splendid coffee and rich cultural...