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Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
29 posts
3 reviews
Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Hi Everyone,

Will be heading to Costa Rica (Playa Hermosa/Jaco area) for 1st time during the 1st week of September and have some questions for you more experienced CR travelers.

1). How expensive is tequila in Costa Rica? That is basically all my father in law likes to drink and I read somewhere that you can import something like 4-5 liters. Is this still the case? I'm wondering if it's worth it to bring a couple of bottles with us or if we should just buy it at the duty free shop in the airport. Is there a pretty good selection of tequila at the shop? 2). Are there any good higher end supermarkets in Jaco? I read in a previous post that there is a good one in Herradura Plaza (Auto Mercado). Is there anything in Jaco similar to this place or should we stop by Herradura to do our shopping for the week?

3). Is there any good "street food" we need to try? Not sure if there is such a thing in Jaco, but if there is please provide us your recommendations.

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
Level Contributor
3,941 posts
130 reviews
1. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

When you land in San Jose, where you wait for your luggage is a Duty Free place where you can pick up your liquor. Do you have a specific type of tequila you want? You don't need to stop at the Herradura grocery store. It is a really nice grocery store but very expensive. They had a tiny piece of chees there that cost $64! The main grocery store sells liquor and there is a liquor store right in town and they deliver. They have a good selection and I didn't find the prices high, about the same as I pay here in the state, but I am a vodka drinker.

I can't think of any great street food. The sodas (local style restaurant) are amazing and my favorite. The local food in Costa Rica is wonderful.

Edited: 6:34 pm, August 06, 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,965 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

You can get many diffeentr kinds of tequila at >Duty Fre ar SJO ...you can take up to 10 bottles per person ...no problema!


San Jose
Level Contributor
998 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

i am not a real tequila drinker, but if i were Imfuess I would first consider if I can find my brand down here....my mexican friends think that although there are many brands down here rte really good are harder to find. what does he drink? auto Mercado sells many kinds of liquor, so I am prety positive you will find good brands there. jaco are has many different shops as well, but I guess Automercado, although more expensiv, offers many different imported goods.

anyway, its not a long drive from Jaco to Automercado in case you want to drive anytime. theres a place in Jaco I like for fresh fruit juice and great breakfast....but Ill hav to think of the name, dont remever well...was it Bananas? i dont know, maybe someone can chip in...

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
Level Contributor
2,478 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Street food - you might find people walking around or selling by the roadside - yucca rolls: cooked and mashed yucca fried with a filling of fairly spicy ground beef, empanadas: fried turnover with beans or cheese, plantain chips, green mango and chili, elephant ears: huge pieces of round flaky pastry covered in sugar.

Have a wonderful time!

Grecia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
916 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Don't forget chifrijo and vigorón...to die for.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
458 posts
20 reviews
6. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

The Chifrijo at Los Amigos bar is awesome!!! Had it 3 days ago.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
533 posts
33 reviews
7. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

What is chifrijo and vigorón?

Playa Hermosa...
Level Contributor
123 posts
8. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Automercado in herredura is less than 10 minutes from central Jaco. does have more american brand foods and snacks, better quality of most fruits and veggies, good meats and cheeses a well, and is a bit cleaner and modern , much like a US grocery store

in Los Suenos marina there is a gourmet store "Jimmy T's" which specializes in provisioning yatchs, Jimmy T's has and excellent selection of hard to find imported items, omaha steaks, king crab legs, precooked dishes, and more. also does chef services and catering.

Mas per Menos (Mas X Menos) is the best grocery store in central Jaco, and will have most of what you need.

avoid Maxi Pali (formerly Maxi bodega) is a bigger place, kind of like a small super walmart- groceries and home goods, electronics , whatever, but it sucks, takes forever to check out usually just one cashier opened out of 10 checkouts.

they all have some liquor, but there are a couple liquor stores in Jaco- one across from the kentucky fried chicken, and another at other end of the strip by the red cross

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,965 posts
28 reviews
9. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Vigoron is cabbage with pork skin ( Chicharrones) and some tomato..in a couple of tortillas.it is a Nicaraguan taco!

Chifrijo...is black beans...CHORIZO spicy sausage some rice ...chimichurre in a bowl...even some pork skin (Chicharrones) and go!


11 posts
10. Re: Questions before our 1st visit to Costa Rica

Hit the duty free on the way in. Best prices! You will find your booze of choice.

Many stock up there for the whole trip. While I would not classify Bubbas as street food it is a must stop for me as soon as i get into town and b4 the trip to the airport. Bohio bar on the beach with ice cold beers and Bubbas fish tacos

can't be beat for laid back and fresh. If you find a day they have Wahoo you will be hooked. Catch sunset and don't forget the corn on the cobb!

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