It is likely that all of your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone else who didn’t get invited on your trip to Costa Rica will be highly envious of your vacation; not in a mean spirited way though, but more like a deep longing for the opportunity to explore this magnificent country. While you can’t, or wouldn’t want to, include everyone on your vacation, you can bring back fabulous gifts for the ones whom you care for the most. Here are the top gifts to bring back from Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is famous for its extraordinary coffee. With multiple coffee growing regions, including but not limited to San José, Heredia, Cartago, Turrialba, Puerto Viejo, La Fortuna, and Monteverde, Costa Rica produces around 1.5 millions bags of coffee beans a year. There are fascinating coffee tours throughout the country and quite a few environmentally-conscious and family-run coffee operations that welcome guests and encourage you to take their coffee home with you. Buying coffee from these green coffee growers is an amazing way to support the local farmers and families of Costa Rica.
Salsa Lizano is the taste of Costa Rica. While not everyone immediately loves salsa Lizano, it is a gift that really conveys the flavor of Costa Rica. This national sauce is sold in all different sizes and can be purchased at any food store or souvenir shop throughout the country. Sharing traditional foods and flavors from your travels is a unique way to share your experience abroad with others back home.
Guaro, or Cacique, is Costa Rica’s national liquor. This clear sugarcane derived liquor is similar to rum but seamlessly blends into cocktails like vodka. The best way to drink this infamous liquor is via a chili guaro or Miguelito shot, or mixed with fresh fruit juice, club soda and lime, or in a cold coconut. Like salsa Lizano, you can purchase differently sized bottles of guaro to take back with you to your home country. The drinkers in your bunch will appreciate this great gift from Costa Rica, especially if you share some of the traditional drink recipes with them.
Handmade art and jewelry
There is some real talent in Costa Rica in the arts and jewelry scene. Many artisans use locally sourced materials or draw their inspiration from the culture, traditions, landscapes, and wildlife of Costa Rica. Many towns have their own unique styles and wares to offer visitors interested in purchasing a special keepsake from Costa Rica. You can find one of a kind gifts just by walking around and exploring the town that you are staying in or passing through for the day. You can find anything from sea glass and shell jewelry to murals, dreamcatchers, and hand stitched bags.
There are many incredibly talented wood crafting masters in Costa Rica. The woodwork found throughout the country is exquisite. Popular woods that are used are bamboo, teak, balsa wood, rosewood, and cedar, among many other different types that are found in the forests here. Artisans make everything from kitchen items like placemats, coffee cups, wine bottle holders, serving platters, and bowls to beautiful furniture, small trinkets, and masks. The Boruca tribe is famous for their balsa wood masks that are worn during the Fiesta de los Diablitos.
With two coastlines and a world-class surfing scene, it’s no surprise that some very talented and creative individuals are making amazing bathing suits. There are at least a dozen Costa Rican bikini companies that are hand making high quality and beautifully patterned color bikinis that actually stay on for active women. While bikinis of this caliber would cost at least $100 (€80) elsewhere, most are around $50 (€40) in Costa Rica. These local entrepreneurs are mostly young females from small towns up and down the coasts. On top of bikinis, many of them are also making one piece suits, fashion suits, sarongs, dresses, coverups, and bags. Del Toro, Salvaje Swimwear, Morena Beachwear, Maracao Beachwear, Tica Surf, and Slothly Summer Wear are a few of the most well known local brands.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.